Just last November, a massive Five-Alarm fire rocked a multi-story residential building that was almost 80% complete at the time, completely destroying the project. This month, yet another multi-story residential tower that was almost complete caught fire, making it the 5th in 5 year to suffer the same fate. At least 3 of the previous 3 fires have been ruled as arson but, up to this point, no arrests for any of the previous arsons have been made.
Amid a housing crisis in California’s bay area, signs point to an individual or group actively trying to sabotage new housing developments in the area, according to the Developer of this most recent project. The total cost of construction of the 31,500 square foot, 6 story multi-use building is estimated at $80 million. The building fire started at 4:30am and no injuries were reported.
An on-site tower crane was also caught up in making the situation for nearby residents a dangerous one. Nearly 900 nearby residents from around the site were evacuated in case the crane ended up collapsing. Even if they weren’t evacuated, chances are they would have left anyway, as temperatures around the fire registered at over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Jermey Davis, a fire investigator, told NBC Bay Area that arson is a hard thing to prove, but fires started accidentally behave fundamentally different than one started on purpose. He says a naturally started fire makes a V-shape, starting with the point at the bottom and then spreading out as it gets higher. A fire started by gas or other flammable liquid is very wide at the base.
In the video below (first video), you can see the crane actually spinning due to the fire. The following day, the crane was taken down, by being pulled over by a cable attached to an excavator (second video on bottom).
Full story: Video: Huge fire tears through Oakland construction project | San Francisco Business Times
It’s pretty amazing the work that can get done when a lot of resources and money are thrown at one project. Past examples of this include a gigantic sinkhole that was repaired in Japan in just under a week, the complete emergency rebuild of Atlanta’s I-85 overpass that was completed a month ahead of schedule, and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish a 1,640 foot long overpass overnight.
When anyone sees a hard hat, they typically immediate associate it with construction. It’s the ultimate symbol of safety on the job site. We all know we should wear them, but it’s easy to get annoyed with the minor inconvenience that they cause and forget about the extreme consequences that could result if a falling object catches us when we aren’t wearing one.
Cameras are EVERYWHERE these days. They’re on sites documenting the full construction process of your project, they’re on projects taking 360 degree progress footage, and most importantly, they’re in your pocket on your smartphone. Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be a good or bad thing, especially for employers, because not only can it make lives much easier for communication and documentation purposes, but it also gives people the chance to show the world when things go absolutely terribly.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.
On Sunday, demolition contractors tried to bring down the upper portion of the Pontiac Silverdome, former home to the Detroit Lions, but several of the explosives didn’t ignite and the structure was still upright after the smoke cleared. After videos of the failed demolition were posted online, the internet had a field day.
Construction timelapse videos make extremely complicated and long projects look much easier to build than they actually are. The recently opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi took 8 years to complete, but you can watch the full process in only 3 minutes.
High winds can cause problems in many situations on a job site, especially with cranes and scaffolds. A horrific crane collapse in downtown New York City was caught on tape after a gust of wind knocked it down in early 2016. Last week, high winds caused more problems at construction sites, as it knocked over a scaffold above a busy sidewalk and sent a suspended scaffold swinging out of control and crashing into a building.
Getting the perfect view of a major building demolition can get you millions of hits, or even better, shared by us right here on Construction Junkie. Have your video get epic-ly photobombed and you’ll get even more views and definitely shared by us.