San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

Poolio

Active Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
316
Reaction score
822
But not completely unprecedented:

The Harmon in Las Vegas is another interesting story. "Completed" in 2009 but never occupied. It was originally intended to be 49 stories but cut back to 28 when construction defects were found. It was deemed unsafe anyway though, and they ended up demolishing it just a few years later.
 

theSil

Active Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
261
Reaction score
354
Excellent video trending on YouTube explaining the construction of Millenium Tower and how they're trying (and failing) to right it now. Probably nothing eye-opening if you've been following closely or are in the construction trades, but extremely interesting as a layperson.


One thing I still don't understand is that at 5:32 the video states that the building has settled 17 inches, more than 3 times than what was expected over the building's lifespan, and is out-of-plumb by over a foot. Yet, the narrator says that one probably wouldn't notice this with their naked eye. How can a building settle about a foot more than expected, unevenly, and it not be noticeable to someone on the sidewalk? Is there not a step-down created? I must be misunderstanding something.
 

393b40

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
2,100
Reaction score
1,124
I must be misunderstanding something.
Geometry. Think about a right angle, now think if you make it an acute or obtuse angle... the top of the line will be much much further out than the bottom depending on the height of the line.
 

theSil

Active Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
261
Reaction score
354
Geometry. Think about a right angle, now think if you make it an acute or obtuse angle... the top of the line will be much much further out than the bottom depending on the height of the line.
You're describing the building being out-of-plumb by a foot. I understand how that would be imperceptible from the sidewalk because for a 600-foot tower like this one, that means it's now making an 89.9-degree angle with the ground.

What I don't understand is how a building settling 17 inches into the ground , about a foot more than expected, is imperceptible. Wouldn't there be 12-inch step down when entering the building now? Do engineers design buildings of this size with the expected amount of settlement "built-in", such that it will be level with its surroundings once finished?
 

bigpicture7

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
2,648
Reaction score
3,623
You're describing the building being out-of-plumb by a foot. I understand how that would be imperceptible from the sidewalk because for a 600-foot tower like this one, that means it's now making an 89.9-degree angle with the ground.

What I don't understand is how a building settling 17 inches into the ground , about a foot more than expected, is imperceptible. Wouldn't there be 12-inch step down when entering the building now? Do engineers design buildings of this size with the expected amount of settlement "built-in", such that it will be level with its surroundings once finished?
Presumably because the surrounding ground was impacted by the sinking as well. You'd have to look at the true horizontal level of the sidewalks/roads before and after. I would bet that their localized slope is different now.
 

nomc

Active Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
275
Reaction score
454
Presumably because the surrounding ground was impacted by the sinking as well. You'd have to look at the true horizontal level of the sidewalks/roads before and after. I would bet that their localized slope is different now.
How would that not cause visible cracking, at least in some locations?
 

stick n move

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
8,439
Reaction score
4,697
I bet theyre going to have to de-construct the tower. It feels inevitable at this point. After the few examples so far in nyc and other cities its not as crazy as it once was. Theyre now saying that the sewer/water lines are going to fail and the added piles are actually making it worse so theyre adding much less. Theres really no other option but to declare it a total loss and take it down. Of course theyre going to keep bandaging it up in the mean time, but its coming.
 

Johnnyrocket891

Active Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
172
Reaction score
108
I bet theyre going to have to de-construct the tower. It feels inevitable at this point. After the few examples so far in nyc and other cities its not as crazy as it once was. Theyre now saying that the sewer/water lines are going to fail and the added piles are actually making it worse so theyre adding much less. Theres really no other option but to declare it a total loss and take it down. Of course theyre going to keep bandaging it up in the mean time, but its coming.
Wonder who takes the hit on this?
 

Top