2016 has been a tough year for people that live in ocean-near luxury high rise condos. The Millennium Tower in San Francisco, California, which is home to many of the city’s rich and famous residents, has found itself in the middle of several lawsuits after it was determined to have sunk around 16 inches since its opening in 2008. Now, it appears that it’s not the only luxury tower in America with foundation issues.
Plaza Harbour Island is a 20-story, 144-unit luxury condo tower in Tampa Bay, Florida. After originally opening its doors to residents in 2007, the residents have allegedly dealt with a variety of issues at the property and have since filed a lawsuit. The Tampa Bay Times (referred to as “The Times” going forward) reported that the geotechnical report found very soft and unstable soils were beneath the property, much like the San Francisco Tower. It’s unclear, at this point, what type of foundations were used to support the structure, but, according to the Times, visible exterior cracking is a sign of “significant subsidence concerns and structural design deficiencies.''
photo above shows the Plaza Harbour Island, via Instagram
Two years ago, in November of 2014, the Times explains, foundation repairs were made to the townhouse area of the property. After the repair work was completed, a Tampa Bay law firm alerted several companies of “certain design and construction defects.” Property values have reportedly plummeted since the issues were found, because owners are now required to disclose the conditions to potential buyers. In a tower that contains units that were sold for more than $2 million, it’s understandable that a lawsuit was filed.
Unit owners in Florida generally have a 3-year window after completion of construction in which to bring claims relating to the fitness of work performed by contractors and subcontractors on a project. This same warranty from the developer runs for 3 years after completion of the building or 1 year after control of the association has been transferred to the unit owners, whichever occurs last. But this period cannot exceed 5 years. The construction experts at TheLienZone lay all this out in their article, Who’s at Fault, showing that unit owners also have the possibility of raising negligence claims with a longer statute of limitations against the design professionals. And of course, if a defect is considered latent, this could extend the amount of time available for unit owners to lodge their claims.
There’s a lot at stake here and at least in Florida there may be a number of avenues for the unit owners to pursue.
Full Story: Is one of Tampa Bay's premier condo towers sinking? | Tampa Bay Times
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
Contact with overhead power lines is a major hazard when working on most construction sites and especially when working from elevated platforms or with heavy machinery.
Back in September, OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would extend the deadline for crane operator certification requirements. Although OSHA 1926.1427 has required crane operators to receive certain certifications to be able to operate the machines since 2010, actual enforcement of that rule has been delayed several times.
In most aspects of construction, communication and training is absolutely key to running a successful project and business. That is especially true when it comes to safety on the job site. One of the most popular ways of communicating safety hazards to the field staff is through tool box talks.
As annoying as it may be to deal with sometimes, there is a good reason why trucks carrying oversized loads have spotters and flaggers. We’ve seen the worst of what can happen when the spotter fails to alert truck drivers in time, like the one that caused a 2013 Washington State bridge collapse, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Just one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a new law requiring at least 40 hours of safety training for all 185,000 of the city’s construction workers, a partial roof collapse at a Brooklyn construction site left 6 workers injured, 2 of them serious.
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Construction Safety is talked about constantly. There are many construction companies that take it very seriously. There are also many that don’t. All will say it’s their top priority.
So what can a city do that’s facing regular worker deaths and increases in workplace injuries? New York City has decided to require extensive safety training for all of the 185,000 construction workers in the city.
According to the Workzonesafety.com, nearly half (46%) of all work zone-associated worker fatalities from 2003-2010 were caused by being struck by a vehicle. Surprisingly, only around 2% of those workers were killed by a drunk driver. From 2003 to 2015 (the last year this data was updated), a total of 1324 work zone fatalities have been recorded, which averages to about 102 per year.
Residents living near a Jersey City, New Jersey construction site were frightened as they watched “explosions” of smoke coming out of holes in the ground.