Archinect - News 2016-06-28T11:03:39-04:00 Berkeley balcony collapse investigation: no criminal charges from the DA, but five contractors could face license revocation Alexander Walter 2016-04-19T17:25:00-04:00 >2016-04-19T17:59:45-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Californian district attorney investigating a balcony collapse that killed six students &ndash; five Irish and one Irish American &ndash; and seriously injured seven others in June last year has said she will not be bringing manslaughter charges because a successful prosecution seems unlikely.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"But another state agency, California&rsquo;s Contractors State License Board (CSLB), has determined that five contractors involved in building the balcony probably violated California law, and has submitted its findings to the state&rsquo;s Attorney General&rsquo;s office. The move could lead to the suspension or revocation of the contractors&rsquo; licenses."</em></p><p>The tragic Berkeley balcony collapse previously in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">13 lawsuits emerge after deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">After deadly balcony collapse, Berkeley building and safety codes tighten</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry rot to blame for Berkeley balcony collapse; existing building codes called into question</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">6 dead after Berkeley balcony collapses</a></li></ul> Why cranes keep collapsing, despite "sophisticated equipment" Justine Testado 2016-03-07T14:20:00-05:00 >2016-03-09T21:27:24-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="257" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As cranes have grown in height and girth, the controls to operate them have intensified in number and complexity...the crane units in use these days have libraries of intricate manuals, packed with details...some operators may not have time to fully understand or read completely. Same goes for the maintenance team. When something does go wrong with such large machines...the 'mess and carnage' gets magnified.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Crane safety experts give their thoughts on the leading causes of crane collapses, and why safety regulation is more complex than it seems.</p><p>Previous news about collapses:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Crane collapses in Manhattan, one dead and two seriously injured</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">More than 50 dead after crane collapses on Mecca's Grand Mosque</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">13 lawsuits emerge after deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Three killed after partial stadium collapse at 2014 World Cup venue&#8203;</a></p> Developer and architects of collapsed Taiwan apartment building arrested Alexander Walter 2016-02-11T13:17:00-05:00 >2016-02-11T13:20:42-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="336" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Three Taiwanese construction company executives have been detained on charges of professional negligence resulting in death following the collapse of an apartment building that killed dozens. The district prosecutor's office in the city of Tainan said [...] that Lin Ming-hui and architects Chang Kui-an and Cheng Chin-kui were suspected of having overseen shoddy construction of the 17-story Weiguan Golden Dragon building, which crashed onto its side following an earthquake Saturday.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previously in the Archinect news:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Taiwan earthquake: tin cans found as fillers may have caused high-rise to collapse</a></p> Taiwan earthquake: tin cans found as fillers may have caused high-rise to collapse Alexander Walter 2016-02-08T13:22:00-05:00 >2016-02-08T14:21:28-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Taiwan's&nbsp;Government has ordered an investigation into the collapse of a high-rise building in an earthquake&nbsp;after it emerged tin cans had been used in its&nbsp;construction. Rescue workers found the cans as they searched for survivors two days after the 6.4-magnitude&nbsp;earthquake that has killed at least 37 people.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>However, an engineer speaking to Taiwanese TV news channel&nbsp;CNA&nbsp;explained how using cans in construction was not necessarily illegal: &ldquo;For such purposes in construction, it was not illegal prior to September 1999, but since then styrofoam and formwork boards have been used instead.&rdquo;</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Watch Taipei 101's 728-ton mass damper in action during Typhoon Soudelor</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Shigeru Ban builds earthquake-proof homes in Nepal: "I'm encouraging people to copy my ideas. No copyrights."</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How Chile&rsquo;s strict building codes help reduce the country's earthquake casualties</a></li></ul> Crane collapses in Manhattan, one dead and two seriously injured Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-02-05T20:25:00-05:00 >2016-02-07T16:10:27-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Associated Press reported that the person killed was a Wall Street worker sitting in a parked car. [...] The accident happened as workers were trying to secure the crane against winds around 20 mph by lowering the boom, which had been extended to as long as 565 feet the day before, officials said. Because the crane was being lowered, workers were directing pedestrians away from it on a street that otherwise would likely have been teeming with people.</p></em><br /><br /><p>A couple of nearby construction workers took video of the collapse on a cellphone &ndash; you can watch that <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Cliff-side apartments on the brink of collapse following El Niño storms in California Alexander Walter 2016-01-29T13:24:00-05:00 >2016-02-03T09:01:44-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="287" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California apartments with commanding views of the Pacific are now in danger of collapsing into the ocean.&nbsp; Erosion blamed on El Ni&ntilde;o rains is tearing away at the cliffs of Pacifica, just outside San Francisco. Drone footage shows how volatile the situation is, and how close to the literal edge some apartments are</p></em><br /><br /><p><img alt="" src=""></p><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">To better predict sea level rise, scientists resort to crowdsourcing and ask drone owners to help create data</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Have these heavy rains alleviated the California drought?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Officials Set Fire to House Teetering Over 75-Foot Cliff</a></li></ul> 13 lawsuits emerge after deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-11-16T18:51:00-05:00 >2015-11-17T11:07:10-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The lawsuits make disturbing allegations that the balcony was poorly constructed, sustained dry rot to the point of growing mushrooms and officials at the apartment complex knew about the dangers, but failed to fix them. [...] The lawsuits allege the builders cut corners to save money, that a subcontractor did not use plywood called for in the plans, but cheaper oriented strand board that is more susceptible to water damage and dry rot.</p></em><br /><br /><p>After a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">balcony collapse</a> at the Library Gardens apartment complex in Berkeley, CA killed six and injured seven others in June, the city has <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tightened building codes</a> and began a forensic inspection into the balcony's&nbsp;construction. Lawsuits have since been filed against Segue Construction (the complex's builders and sub-contractors), Blackrock Investment (current Library Gardens owner) and Greystar (the complex's property management firm), among others involved in the building's construction.</p><p>The lawsuits, filed by the surviving victims and their families, allege that the balcony wasn't properly waterproofed:</p><p><em>The builder framed the balcony in Oct. 2005, but did not waterproof it right away.&nbsp;The next two months, the bare wood was exposed to more than 13 inches of rainfall. It was a wet winter.</em></p><p><em>The lawsuits say, that January, "These defendants consciously chose to waterproof and complete construction of the balcony for apartment 405, without correcting the water saturated wood components."...</em></p> More than 50 dead after crane collapses on Mecca's Grand Mosque Alexander Walter 2015-09-11T13:33:00-04:00 >2015-09-11T13:36:18-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="573" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>At least 52 people were killed when a crane crashed in Mecca&rsquo;s Grand Mosque on Friday, Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s civil defence authority said on its Twitter account.It said 30 people were injured. The Muslim annual Haj pilgrimage is due later this month and Saudi authorities go to great lengths to be prepared for the millions of Muslims who converge on Mecca.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Dry rot to blame for Berkeley balcony collapse; existing building codes called into question Alexander Walter 2015-06-24T21:05:00-04:00 >2015-07-02T12:29:41-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In a report released a week after the incident, officials with Berkeley&rsquo;s Building and Safety Division confirmed suspicions that dry rot had deteriorated the wood beams supporting the balcony. They also said they found no construction code violations.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's been a week since the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tragic balcony collapse</a> occurred, and while the victims' families try to cope with the grief, experts have been searching frantically for the cause of the accident. Was the fault in the structural design? Is the contractor to blame for poor execution? Speculations quickly ran wild, and the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">comment section</a> of Archinect's news post quickly flared up.</p><p>The newly released report seems to have determined the cause of the collapse, but the debate on how to improve existing building codes (and properly enforce them) has just begun.</p> 6 dead after Berkeley balcony collapses Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-06-16T17:51:00-04:00 >2015-06-25T18:04:39-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Berkeley city officials have shut down access to public records regarding the construction of the apartment complex, which was completed in January 2007. Normally, they would be viewable upon request, but zoning office staff cited a pending police investigation and a request by the Berkeley city manager that the records not be made immediately available.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The fifth-floor balcony collapsed early morning Tuesday, in the midst of a birthday celebration for one of the victims. At the time of collapse, there were reportedly thirteen people on the balcony; the seven who survived the fall now face life-threatening injuries. Of the six dead, five were Irish citizens, living or working in the Bay Area for the summer.</p><p>Library Gardens apartments, where the collapse occurred, was completed eight years ago, and typically houses students and faculty of nearby University of California, Berkeley. As victims were identified and families notified, the collapse quickly became international news, and a police investigation into the building's safety is pending. Historically, the Bay Area has been a popular destination for Irish students to spend a summer abroad &ndash; it's unclear what effect this tragic event will have on future exchanges.</p><p><strong>Update: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry rot could be factor in Berkeley balcony collapse, engineers say</a>&nbsp;</strong><em>(via LA Times)</em></p> 41 people charged for murder in 2013 Bangladeshi factory collapse Justine Testado 2015-06-02T09:19:00-04:00 >2015-06-03T22:02:39-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The police in Bangladesh filed formal murder charges on Monday against 41 people accused of involvement in the 2013 collapse of a building that housed several clothing factories, leaving more than 1,100 people dead in the worst disaster in garment industry history.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More:</p><p><a title="How concrete floors can prevent child deaths in Bangladesh" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How concrete floors can prevent child deaths in Bangladesh</a></p><p><a title="&quot;The trauma of rebuilding&quot;: After Kathmandu's earthquake, what can architects do? We talk with a Nepalese architect on the ground for Archinect Sessions #27" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"The trauma of rebuilding": After Kathmandu's earthquake, what can architects do? We talk with a Nepalese architect on the ground for Archinect Sessions #27</a></p><p><a title="L.A. Mayor Calls for Mandatory Earthquake Retrofitting" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">L.A. Mayor Calls for Mandatory Earthquake Retrofitting</a></p><p><a title="China Quake Renews Worries Over Construction Practices " href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China Quake Renews Worries Over Construction Practices </a></p> UTSA School of Architecture installation toppled by climber Alexander Walter 2014-07-02T13:47:00-04:00 >2014-07-04T14:53:02-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="288" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Architecture students at the University of Texas at San Antonio will have to go back to the drawing board in order to reconstruct their fallen class project in Travis Park. Weather conditions and probably someone climbing on the sculpture, called &ldquo;F2,&rdquo; factored into the collapse of part of the structure Saturday night. The 15-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide dome made of interlaced wood topped with white spikes has only been in the park since late May [...].</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Officials Set Fire to House Teetering Over 75-Foot Cliff Archinect 2014-06-13T15:48:00-04:00 >2014-06-17T17:39:00-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A $700,000 home was teetering over the edge of Texas' Lake Whitney &mdash; until officials set it on fire. The home, which had been gradually crumbling into the lake for weeks, was set on fire shortly after 10 a.m. local time after authorities deemed it the safest and cheapest option. Officials had considered pulling the home closer to land using a giant net &mdash; deemed unsafe &mdash; or letting it fall into the lake on its own &mdash; too expensive to clean up.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> China’s “fast food homes” were built quickly and cheaply, and they’re starting to collapse Alexander Walter 2014-04-07T14:28:00-04:00 >2014-04-07T14:30:09-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The collapse of a five-story building in the city of Fenghua trapped at least six people, one of whom has died so far, according to state media (in Chinese). The apartment building was built in 1994&mdash;part of a nationwide boom in the 1980s and &lsquo;90s that packed the Chinese real estate market with substandard, shoddily built buildings. Authorities are warning that the poor quality of buildings from the those decades could represent huge dangers in coming years.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Apollo theatre collapse due to 'old' materials Alexander Walter 2014-03-24T13:54:00-04:00 >2014-03-25T19:11:38-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Seventy-six people were injured when part of the roof came down during a performance of The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time in December. BBC Radio 4's You and Yours has seen a letter from Westminster City Council saying hessian wadding embedded in the ceiling was getting weaker over time. The material's deterioration led to the collapse, the council said.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previously: <a href="" target="_blank">London theatre collapse: scores injured at Apollo in West End</a></p> London theatre collapse: scores injured at Apollo in West End Archinect 2013-12-19T17:38:00-05:00 >2014-03-24T13:55:30-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>More than 81 people have been injured, seven seriously, when part of a theatre in London's West End collapsed onto a packed audience during a performance. Fire crews had to rescue people from the Apollo theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, which was showing a performance of the hit show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.</p></em><br /><br /><p><strong>UPDATE: </strong><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apollo theatre collapse due to 'old' materials</a></p> Three killed after partial stadium collapse at 2014 World Cup venue Archinect 2013-11-27T14:51:00-05:00 >2013-11-27T14:56:07-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="290" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Brazil's World Cup preparations suffered a deadly setback on Wednesday when a roof collapsed killing at least two building workers at the S&atilde;o Paulo stadium that is due to host the opening match. Coming a week before the draw for next year's tournament, the fatalities revive concerns about unsafe infrastructure and the slow pace of construction, which have dogged the hosts for more than a year.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Building collapse kills four in India's Mumbai, scores trapped Archinect 2013-09-27T12:26:00-04:00 >2013-09-27T12:26:05-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A five-storey apartment block collapsed on Friday in the Indian financial centre of Mumbai, killing at least four people and trapping scores in the latest accident to underscore shoddy building standards in Asia's third-largest economy.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Grand Bazaar in Istanbul in Danger of Collapse? Archinect 2013-08-30T13:33:00-04:00 >2013-08-30T13:37:54-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="191" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It's one of largest and most popular covered markets in the world -- but now management claims vendors have weakened the structure of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar to the point it may collapse. Merchants view the situation differently.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Building collapses in Philadelphia Alexander Walter 2013-06-05T12:26:00-04:00 >2013-06-05T12:27:08-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As many as 10 people are believed to be trapped in the rubble of a building that collapsed Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, city Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said, according to CNN affiliate WPVI. The building collapsed at the corner of 22nd and Market streets in Philadelphia's Center City area, WPVI reported.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Sydney Crane Crash Caught on Tape Anna Johnson 2012-11-27T00:50:00-05:00 >2012-11-27T00:50:23-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="304" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The moment whereby a burning crane which caught fire on a construction site snapped and fell on top of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) building on Broadway in inner Sydney this morning has been caught on tape. A video, which was filmed by a passer-by and supplied to Channel Nine, shows the upper portion of the crane above the main boom tip collapsing onto the building rooftop.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Atlantic City boardwalk collapse as Hurricane Sandy slams coast Archinect 2012-10-30T13:19:00-04:00 >2012-10-30T13:21:47-04:00 <img src="" width="200" height="225" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>According to police, the famed boardwalk's north end is collapsing.This is happening while wave heights 100 miles off the coast of New Jersey are likely to hit 30 feet or more.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> 50 feet of Seaside Heights' Funtown Pier collapse from Hurricane Sandy Archinect 2012-10-30T13:11:00-04:00 >2012-10-30T13:17:20-04:00 <img src="" width="380" height="330" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>About 50 feet of the Funtown Pier at Seaside Heights Boardwalk has collapsed and washed up on the beach as a pile of wooden beams and twisted fencing. The collapse, which happened within the last hour, caused no injuries, according to Seaside Park Police Chief Frances Larkin.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> So The Front Of A Building Blew Off In NYC Archinect 2012-10-29T20:29:00-04:00 >2012-10-29T20:36:53-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>How does that happen?</p></em><br /><br /><p> Stay safe out there, folks! <a href=";src=hash" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">#Sandy</a></p> Manhattan Construction Crane Collapses at One57 Luxury Tower Alexander Walter 2012-10-29T17:24:00-04:00 >2012-10-29T17:27:16-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="366" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A crane attached to One57, the luxury apartment tower under construction in midtown Manhattan, partially collapsed amid gusts from Hurricane Sandy. [...] One57, poised to be the tallest residential property in Manhattan at 90 stories, is being developed by Extell Development Co. A penthouse at the building went under contract earlier this year for more than $90 million.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> China Bridge Collapse Raises Infrastructure Concerns Alexander Walter 2012-08-24T17:35:00-04:00 >2012-09-10T10:29:20-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>One of the longest bridges in northern China collapsed on Friday, just nine months after it opened, setting off a storm of criticism from Chinese Internet users and underscoring questions about the quality of construction in the country&rsquo;s rapid expansion of its infrastructure.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Just one month ago: <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beijing Infrastructure Not Fit for Torrential Rains </a></p> Kenya loses Sh1.4 billion ($15.5m) on collapsed buildings Archinect 2011-07-26T19:12:43-04:00 >2011-07-26T19:14:31-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="259" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Chairman Gideon Mulyungi said 24 buildings have collapsed in the country since 1996. &ldquo;Forty-one lives have been lost and 47 people injured over the same period,&rdquo; Mr Mulyungi said in an interview.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Goff's Bavinger House collapses Donna Sink 2011-06-23T23:15:48-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" width="333" height="500" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The architectural oddity either fell to a recent microburst of high winds in Norman, or at the hand of the owner.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Mystery surrounds the current condition of the work of an odd genius.</p>