Read this article from the Wall Street Journal blog about a 13-story building lying on the ground.
First, the apartment building was constructed, then the plan called for an underground garage to be dug out. The excavated soil was piled up on the other side of the building. Heavy rains resulted in water seeping into the ground. The building began to shift and the concrete pilings were snapped due to the uneven lateral pressures. The building began to tilt, then toppled over.
They built 13 stories on grade, with no basement, and tied it all down to hollow pilings with little or no rebar.
Brought to you by the same folks that make your kids' toys and want to build your car.