Fears that ‘leaning’ San Francisco high-rise can’t survive earthquake
In my humble construction opinion, the Leaning Tower of Frisco my not be able to withstand the vibrations of the trolley cars for much longer. The more top heavy from leaning the building gets, the more unstable it becomes.
They say; money is the root of all evil; I would like to add greed and stupidity to the saying as well.
It is human-nature and sometimes makes sense to cut corners WHEN POSSIBLE to $ave a buck. But NOT when it comes to constructing bridges, high rise buildings and structures of that nature. Some Of the People By the Bay are learning that lesson the hard way.
All of the condos in the 58 story UPPER – very UPPER scale high rise are priced well into the millions. BUT they are worthless as tits on a bull when it comes to being a safe place to live.
There are a combination of circumstances that is causing the building to sink 17 inches so far and list 14 inch; it is only a few years old. Theoretically, the residence that are still inhabiting The Leaning Tower of Frisco are in great danger. Not only physically but financially.
Physically, because the tower may take a dump at anytime and; how does one sell something that is useless and dangerous as that. All that glitter is not gold. .
As usual; when the shit hits the fan, just like politicians, no one wants to take the rap. Everyone is pointing the finger at the other guy. The architects are blaming the engineers and the engineers are blaming the owner and architects.
There was one major discrepancy even before the project got off of the drawing board. They did not design the pilings (foundations) to go all the way to bedrock . They saved a few pennies by not drilling deeper, but in the long run cost themselves and everyone else involved huge amounts of money.
As depicted in the picture, the drillers only drilled the casing down into the soft clay and sand instead of into hardpan or bedrock. For a building of that size, softer subsurface material is not sufficient to support such a large structure. For the few dollar$ the design people saved the owner, it is going to cost 1,000 times or more to correct the problem, that is if there is a solution.
From my experience, the fault lies with the design engineering firm. It would not surprise me if one of the laborers on the job made the engineers aware of the discrepancy but was told to mind their own business.
Through my experiences in the construction business, I only knew one engineer that had any common-sense and would listen to ideas or suggestions. For the rest of them, they didn’t know when to come out of the rain. If it was not printed in their specifications manual, it did not exist.
Believe this or not, one of the suggestions some genius made was to freeze the ground below and around the pilings to stabilize them. I can’t not even imagine what it would cost for such an undertaking (pardon the pun); not only the application of placing it but keeping the ground frozen for the duration. I say that would be throwing good money after bad.
The COLD HARD facts; this behemoth has to be torn down but no one wants to bite the bullet. It will cost more to demolish it than it did to construct it.
As for the DIE-HARDS that are still squatting in the Leaning Towner of Frisco, they are very foolish.
A consumer group is suing the developers of San Francisco’s Millennium Tower for $200 million for damages over the building’s condition. 200 million will not even scratch the surface of what it will cost to either repair or demolish the building.
There are so many situations in all businesses where fools cut corners to save a buck; either because they unqualified or greedy; sometimes both. In many cases, their poor decision making only results in endangering people lives and costing a fortune to repair.
This should serve as a good lesson to all. Regardless of what we do in life, do it right the first time. PAY ME NOW OR PAY ME LATER – Late has arrived for the Leaning Tower of Frisco.