The saga continues in one of the biggest construction stories of 2016, the sinking and tilting Millennium Tower of San Francisco. When we last updated readers in December, satellite images from the European Space Agency had not only confirmed that the tower has sunken considerably, but that it also hasn’t stopped sinking yet. Meanwhile, residents living in the tower are worried about their safety and the value of their homes.
According to the San Francisco Gate, the Department of Building Inspection has recently completed their inspection of the tower and they have found that even though there are signs of strain on the electrical systems and the building’s foundation system, the Millennium Tower is still safe to occupy. The inspector’s report specifically called out “evidence of water intrusion” affecting the electrical system on the fifth level basement, but the systems were still “working adequately.”
The Department of Building Inspection told the SF Gate that multiple permits have been pulled in order to fix many of the issues found during a December 2, 2016 inspection and the recent January 11, 2017 inspection.
While this is good news for the developer of the property, the residents aren’t completely satisfied. They’re awaiting results of the geotechnical study ordered by the homeowner’s association before getting excited about any good news. Jerry Dodson, a resident of the building and attorney who represents some of the homeowners in a lawsuit, said “The building is continuing to sink and tilt at a rate of 2 inches per year, according to the European Space Agency,” which examined the building from orbit. “This will quickly overstress the building and take its toll on the plumbing and utility systems if it hasn't already.”
As the results of independent studies and inspections are being determined, there are still many questions surrounding how the necessary repairs will be paid for. According to Bloomberg, the developer has an insurance policy that will cover $100 million of construction defects or damages caused by settlement. Other entities involved with the project, such as the architect and general contractor also hold an additional $50 million to $100 million in insurance. Even if repairs cost less than the insurance policies cover, it’s not even a sure thing that the insurance companies will even cover the issues this building is facing. The worst case scenario for the homeowners is that they may need to shell out additional cash in order to complete the repairs.
Full Story: Sinking Millennium Tower safe to live in, city report concludes | SF Gate
Full Story: Who Will Pay for San Francisco's $750 Million Tilting Tower? | Bloomberg
3D printing has had to overcome plenty of obstacles, including materials, mobility, weather, and height. Slowly, but surely, technology companies are beginning to overcome these challenges. A 400 square foot house was recently printed in concrete on-site, in less than 24 hours and in freezing temperatures. Other companies are working on perfecting 3D printed steel for pedestrian bridges. Height limitations seem to be the hardest problem to solve, however.
As of early March, there were nearly 200 construction companies that marked themselves as “interested” in constructing the US/Mexico border wall. The Daily Mail now reports that over 600 have expressed interest in the design and construction of the wall. The Request for Proposal (RFP) package for the conceptual design of the wall was released on March 17th and the responses are due no later than March 29th.
Scissor lifts are on most typical construction job sites and they’re an often overlooked hazard. Too often, liberties are taken with the lifts that create unsafe conditions, which can cause injuries and deaths. OSHA recently released the results of their investigation of 10 fatalities and 20 injuries involving scissor lifts and released their findings in what the organization refers to as a “Hazard Alert.”
The concept of solar roadways has been in the news a lot recently. Using the millions of miles of roadways throughout the world to also create power seems like a no brainer, the asphalt and concrete we’re using now aren’t really accomplishing anything more than handling the traffic on the road. But, there’s also a very strong reason why those products are used: they’re strong, reliable, and relatively durable. Still, many researchers believe there is a lot of unharnessed potential for roads and the world now has a very strong test subject for the future of solar roadways in Tourouvre-au-Perche, France.
With Sears and Kmart stores slowly closing across the country, Sears Holdings had to sell off their longtime brand of tools, Craftsman to generate cash flow. The buyer turned out to be Stanley Black & Decker (SBD), who also runs DeWalt, Black + Decker, Porter Cable, Bostitch, and others. Late last week, their deal to purchase the tool icon was officially finalized.
In February, the House of Representatives voted 236-187 on a resolution to block the ‘blacklisting' rule, sending it to the Senate for a second vote. The act would have given the federal government the ability to disqualify contractors if they violated any of the 14 labor laws, which can be found here, over the past 3 years on any project totaling $500,000 or more
Try to imagine .0015 inches, it’s not easy to visualize. Now, rip one of the hairs off of your head and that’s about half of the .0015 inches, which is the allowable variance of a concrete floor that one contractor is working on right now.
In what has and will continue to be one of the more controversial construction projects in American history, the US/Mexico border wall appears to be moving forward and there are many construction firms across the country that are very interested in the $20 billion project.
OSHA inspectors and city building officials are usually the people that can make life pretty uncomfortable for construction companies, but it’s a whole different story when the FBI comes calling. A new stadium for the Double-A minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats, was supposed to open before the 2016 season, but delays and cost overruns have pushed that opening well into 2017. Now, the FBI is investigating, according to the Hartford Courant.
The phrase “America’s crumbling infrastructure” has been said over and over again the past few years. It’s why we’ve seen such a large uptick in bridge demolitions, a rise in innovative processes to reduce the time it takes to replace bridges, and the reason for President Trump’s emphasis on spending $1 trillion over the next 10 years to fix them.