"A huge amount more uncertainty" in the Millenium Tower fix

Originally published at: "A huge amount more uncertainty" in the Millenium Tower fix | Boing Boing

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I just hope someday we can all laugh about this.

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Seems like from an engineering standpoint, more uncertainty is exactly what you want. Maybe the building’s not leaning at all!

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Flying buttresses.

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I’m with Bob Pike on this. Again.

Simply assuming wishing that a diaphragm wall that large will just conveniently sink out of the way is… well, just incredibly dumb. Both the frictional surface and the footprint are huge. Which is why diaphragm walls sometimes are designed to be part of a foundation.

Next thing they’ll might try is to wash away some clay under the wall, or liquefy a layer of clay.
Which would be tricky because they might remove too much clay / remove it to fast / remove it not uniformly. And before you know it the damn thing starts to lean in two directions.

(Or starts leaning in the opposite direction. And then they’ll try to fix that, with another fix. Which they’ll somehow botch too. Making the tower sort of wag itself very, very slowly. Until half of it is underground and it finally settles on the bedrock. But still leaning to one side.)

Afterthought: come to think about it, I’m somewhat surprised that one of the great thinkers of this age, who also happens to own a revolutionary tunneling company, hasn’t suggested an even more ludicrous solution yet.

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I am surprised Hamburger continues to focus on the foundation, which is already not functioning as intended and does not instead begin to focus on a system of counter-weights suspended from the top of the building off of the side they need to see settle. These new units would have a spectacular view.

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I must confess I have a thing for cantilevered constructions, so… fine by me.

(I am so glad that this isn’t one of my projects.)

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You have to wonder about the persons that want to be on this team, interestingly Hamburger is still hanging in there, I mean the offers must be rolling in for his expertise.

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I’ve been following the Building Integrity series on the tower (past Boing), and it goes into a lot of detail on the engineering configuration, the engineering analysis process, and some of the political calculations involved.

Summary: It seems like they did not have Top Experts on the original engineering reports, and it also seems like they do not have Top Experts on the fix team. Or at least, in both cases, if the people were Top Experts they were not sufficiently insulated from the political dimensions to give forthright engineering assessments, instead capitulating to demands for cost-saving (and inadequate) solutions.

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I find that easy to believe, very easy.

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“I’m inclined to think…” heh

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Are the people certain now that the wall will sink the same ones that were certain that the friction pile foundation wouldn’t sink?


–the diagram makes me wonder how much the building is tilting and how much it is sheering. Picture a stack of books, if you tilt it, at some point the book will start sliding. How does extra stress does the out of vertical loads compare to the stresses designed in for wind loading?

Edited to use the right word “sheering” to describe what I was talking about. I just has a senior moment and could not remember it.

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Indiana Jones Conspiracy GIF

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“You know Hamburger, he once got lost in his own friction pile force analysis.”

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If this had been New York, I’m sure that the problem would have been solved in very short time.

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image

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At this point I am surprised Ron hamburger hasn’t insisted that the problem is actually that the rest of the city is leaning in the other direction.

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Hamburger has not yet realized that one of his shoeheels is a little thicker than the other.

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A hamburger is more intelligent than ron hamburger.

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High demand for interested talent. Low supply of the same. Plenty of leverage for negotiating rates and contractual indemnification. And as a bonus, it’ll be very hard to prove you made it worse.

It’s not as unattractive as you’d think.

This kind of thinking is why I avoid this kind of contract. The air is thick with vultures…

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