In a controversial move last week, San Francisco placed warning signs on buildings that violate San Francisco’s seismic safety laws. The large signs, written in multiple languages and displaying drawings of destroyed buildings, were posted on and around buildings to notify potential occupants that the building’s owners have not retrofitted the structure. While many agree that something must be done to convince building owners to upgrade unsafe structures, some feel that publicly “shaming” the buildings and its owners is not the smartest way to achieve the city’s goal. Berkeley tried something similar to what San Francisco is doing back in 2005. They placed warning signs on at-risk buildings and required owners to send letters to their tenants about the building being in danger if an earthquake hit. Of the 239 buildings targeted by Berkeley, 100 owners voluntarily retrofitted their structures while the city had to pass a law to get the other 139 buildings retrofitted. San Francisco is going further than any other California city has in the past to notify the public by placing larger signs on more buildings.
The Colorado Department of Trasportation is going to line the I-70 twin tunnels, near Idaho Springs with concrete to enhance the tunnels' strength and longevity. Watch the video below explaining the details of the project and see pictures of the unlined tunnel's interior!
The interactive timeline below shows how the London skyline has changed over the past 50 years. London's skyline has been changing rapidly, especially over the last 15 years with skyscarpers like the Walkie-Talkie, Heron Tower and the Shard being completed. There are currently over 200 new buildings over 20 stories tall proposed in London ensuring that the skyline will continue to change in the future.
A tailings pond at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in central B.C. failed last month and released millions of cubic meters of waste water, triggering a state of emergency for the local community. An aerial footage taken from the affected area reveals the extent of the spill, while residents and experts express their fears about the long-term impact on the environment and local fish stocks. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs stated that "Like the Exxon Valdez, Mount Polley will be synonymous with one of the most disastrous environmental events in British Columbia".
Hayward Baker Inc., North America's leader in geotechnical construction, was recently awarded a contract for the New Atlanta Stadium project. The new stadium, expected to open in 2017, will be the Atlanta Falcons home and will also be hosting sports, entertainment and convention events. The project includes the design and construction of Vibro Piers to support isolated column foundations and load bearing continuous wall foundations.
Australian real estate firm Modscape unveiled the plans for a dream house concept attached to the side of a cliff. The designs are meant to show potential buyers how Modscape can create homes located near some of Australia’s coastal areas, or in this case attached to the side of a cliff. Modscape specializes in custom built sustainable modular architecture. The house is made from prefabricated pieces and is attached to the cliff by steel pins. While some might be to scared to enter the home from fears of the house falling into the ocean, former president of the Royal Insitute of British Architects Maxwell Hutchinson believes that design is structurally safe.
A new bridge project began last month in Fairfield, Vermont that uses new technology to reduce construction time, save money, and help the Vermont Transportation Agency start more projects that are backlogged across the state. The ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology is part of Vermont’s accelerated bridge program that incorporates quick building design and other innovations to speed up the bridge building process. The system was developed at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in response to Tropical Storm Irene that hit the region several years ago. Vermont engineers found themselves unable to quickly repair or replace the many bridges that were damaged by the storm. Rather than taking months to complete a bridge using conventional methods, the ‘Bridge in a Backpack’ technology allows a new bridge to be finished in weeks.