San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

bigpicture7

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393b40

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My guess is the structural engineer(s) on record get fucked by this the most assuming the "it's safe, don't worry" doesn't hold up.
 

Beton Brut

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Construction defect law in an seismically active area must be a growth industry.
 

bigpicture7

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This just gets uglier and uglier...

New news story:
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Tilting-Millennium-Tower-Could-Cost-Taxpayers-Millions-390248251.html

Apparently there's documentation that the municipal transit project signed off on liability to protect the building despite knowing the foundation scheme, so they are looking like quite the hypocrites now that they're stating the building has an unacceptable foundation - they shouldn't have accepted liability 6 years ago if they really felt that way (when there was already mounting evidence it was sinking too fast).

This is an incredibly complex legal situation. The travesty is that the legal battle is going to delay action being taken. I'd still like to see MP begin IMMEDIATELY on underpinning this tower, and figure out how they are going to pay for it later - I know that sounds ridiculous from a business standpoint, but, there's evidence that this needs to be done regardless, and it will only become more problematic if they wait. If there's a court decision in their favor, they'll get monetary relief...if there isn't, they'll have prevented further loss.

Let's get shovels in the ground!
 

SHAZBAT73

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All parties involved with this better pray that there isn't an earthquake like the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake anytime in the near future.
 

stellarfun

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

More on the sinking Millennium residential tower in San Francisco. The Board of Supervisors is calling the city's building agency to task, the condo owners' geotechnical engineer declares it will continue sinking, Millennium's structural engineer says, 'who, us?', and the lawyers are dancing jigs down Market St.

Rest of the post moved to separate thread on the sinking Millennium tower as datadyne suggested.
 
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datadyne007

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

More on the sinking Millennium residential tower in San Francisco. The Board of Supervisors is calling the city's building agency to task, the condo owners' geotechnical engineer declares it will continue sinking, Millennium's structural engineer says, 'who, us?', and the lawyers are dancing jigs down Market St.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Sinking-Millennium-Tower-puts-building-agency-on-9220921.php

This article makes it clear that Millennium elected to anchor the building in dense sand, and chose not to drill support shatfs another 120 feet to bedrock.

WTF were they thinking?
Millennium Tower San Francisco thread: http://www.archboston.org/community/showthread.php?t=5318&page=2
 

stellarfun

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More on the sinking Millennium residential tower in San Francisco. The Board of Supervisors is calling the city's building agency to task, the condo owners' geotechnical engineer declares it will continue sinking, Millennium's structural engineer says, 'who, us?', and the lawyers are dancing jigs down Market St.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Sinking-Millennium-Tower-puts-building-agency-on-9220921.php

This article makes it clear that Millennium elected to anchor the building in dense sand, and chose not to drill support shatfs another 120 feet to bedrock.




WTF were they thinking?
 

tysmith95

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Pressure from leadership to keep costs down often causes corners to be cut.
 

stellarfun

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The newly revised estimates show a 72 percent chance that a magnitude-6.7 or larger quake — almost the size of the 1989 Loma Prieta temblor — will strike the Bay Area before the year 2044. The odds of a much larger magnitude-7 quake are 50-50.

“The San Francisco Bay Area should live every day like it is the day of The Big One,” said U.S. Geological Survey scientist Ned Field, lead author of the eight-year-long analysis, called the “Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast.”
March 2015
http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2015/03...rcent-chance-in-next-30-years-scientists-say/

This is a link to the last condo in Millennium SF to actually sell, near the end of July, five days before the news broke of the sinking tower. It supposedly sold for $50,000 over asking.
http://www.realtor.com/realestatean...D=aff_cj_rdcandrental_allaffiliates_cj#photo2

Nothing has sold since.

There is commentary that Millennium is unique among San Francisco towers, in not being anchored to bedrock. Whether true or not, I don't know. But the Chronicle article indicates that the city may pass an ordinance requiring all such towers to be anchored in bedrock.
 

statler

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

Right, but most other developers manage to get a decent ROI without building Leaning Tower of Pisa v.2.0
 

cca

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

Right, but most other developers manage to get a decent ROI without building Leaning Tower of Pisa v.2.0
Seems that people push barriers until the world starts pushing back. I would bet this is what has happened. Someone decided there was an acceptable risk with the system they chose. That is some complicated stuff going on under that building and I for one am very conservative when it comes to making sure buildings stay in place. I am surprised that greater care would not have been taken in a place with such active geology.

cca
 

stellarfun

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

ROI is what they were thinking. Its what happens folks.

cca
At the time of the last condo sale, Millennium's supposed profit was $150 million, which represented a 25 percent ROI. How much of that will disappear with legal fees and liability claims is to be determined.

There are four law firms representing the condo association, the entire practice of one of them (a LAX firm) is 'landslide and earth movement law', which is a legal specialty that I never knew existed.
 

JumboBuc

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

How much of that will disappear with legal fees and liability claims is to be determined.
Right, the idea that profit motivation leads to shoddy construction relies on some very short-sighted logic. Millennium's skimping on the SF foundation will likely hurt their margins on that project significantly. They may even end up taking a loss there. Once all is said and done, they will be much worse off financially than if they had invested more in the foundation to begin with.

Even if you ignore all the other ramifications of this sinking tower, the decision to not go all the way to bedrock in SF was a bad one from an ROI perspective. Sometimes people and firms make stupid decisions; don't pass that stupidity off on capitalism.
 

CSTH

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

They took a risk. Maybe even a small risk. It didn't pay off. That happens sometimes, even with very small risks.

And it doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong decision, assuming it was consistent with generally-accepted standards and practices (and if there was an insurance underwriter involved, then I assume that it was).
 

bigpicture7

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Re: Millennium Tower (Filene's) | 426 Washington Street | Downtown

They took a risk. Maybe even a small risk. It didn't pay off. That happens sometimes, even with very small risks.

And it doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong decision, assuming it was consistent with generally-accepted standards and practices (and if there was an insurance underwriter involved, then I assume that it was).
MP will ultimately be judged as to how the respond to this, more so than that they took a risk in the first place. If they respond swiftly and minimize harm to their customers and the city, then this will be ancient history in a few years (or at worst, a bit of fun folklore like the plywood window panels on the Hancock). If they fight a bloody legal battle and delay action, then this will only get worse.

This building needs to be underpinned with new deep piles and with needle beams (or some type of similar scheme). If they act now, the costs will be contained, and they may even be able to get some insurance and/or subcontractor settlement money to support it. If they delay, the repairs and damage will only get more expensive. Since the work absolutely has to be done regardless, it does not make sense to wait to find out who is liable to start the repairs - planning the repairs and working the legal liability issue can be done in parallel.
 

stick n move

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The tallest building in the world the burj khalifa is built in sand and not tied into bedrock so its not unprecedented or reckless. Someone either just fucked up or the transbay really affected it. The construction methods are not uncommon though, but in earthquake prone sf Im not sure if its appropriate. Im not an engineer though so it may well be with mass damping or bracing.
 

datadyne007

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The tallest building in the world the burj khalifa is built in sand and not tied into bedrock so its not unprecedented or reckless. Someone either just fucked up or the transbay really affected it. The construction methods are not uncommon though, but in earthquake prone sf Im not sure if its appropriate. Im not an engineer though so it may well be with mass damping or bracing.
Burj Khalifa has ~50m (~164') deep piles in a piled raft foundation.

Edit, here's a better slideshow on just the founation:
http://www.slideshare.net/hamed1469/overview-of-foundation-design-for-the-burj-dubai-34820199

 

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