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Old 11-03-2016, 03:24 PM   #61
TheRifleman
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

^^^

The only reason I said I'm assuming this needs to be knocked down is because when groups start accusing each other of fraud instead of addressing the issue I feel like there might not be hope for this.
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Old 11-03-2016, 04:05 PM   #62
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

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^^^

The only reason I said I'm assuming this needs to be knocked down is because when groups start accusing each other of fraud instead of addressing the issue I feel like there might not be hope for this.
You can't read anything into mutual accusations of fraud. The first legal filings will include not just fraud but a laundry list of other torts and the kitchen sink for good measure. Half of it will be pure fluff and the lawyers from both sides will know that.

In the background, not only for common sense purposes but also for litigation discovery reasons, I assure you a whole bunch of extremely skilled engineers are getting paid to figure ways to first determine the cause(s) and then determine method(s) to address the issue and put estimates to the price tag. Their work will be needed not just for the fix but for the litigation.

When you get worried about these sorts of situations is not when parties are hurling accusations of fraud at each other, but when everyone goes into stone silent "no comment" mode. If all sides other than the tenants go turtle like that, THEN you start to worry something really extreme is going on, and all the lawyers are issuing "STFU" edicts to their clients. The city's building department seems to have gone into their shell, so they're looking pretty scared. But there's still plenty of public hollering between the builders / architects / developers of MT and the similar cast on the neighboring Transbay project. So I don't think it's time to worry about the really bad scenario yet.

Unless you're thinking of being a lender / investor on Millennium's next project. Then you should be at least having conversations about worst case possibilities.

There's absolutely no reason to assume now it has to be knocked down. Even if the sub-soil situation turns out to be really bad, I'm going to be astounded if there isn't a less-expensive way to fix it than demolition. "Less-expensive than demolition" on a tilting tower of this size could still be a cracking big number, big enough for insurers to fight like hell to find an exclusion that gets them off the hook. It's gonna be a donnybrook. I know lawyers in the San Francisco area who do construction defect litigation; you'd think they'd all feel like they died and went to heaven, ... but .... there's worries the financial impact could be so big the sources get overwhelmed, and that's when large legal bills sometimes go unpaid.
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:51 PM   #63
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

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I'm assuming this building needs to be knocked down.

Has there ever been a development of this magnitude that would have to be knocked down? (Any other case studies)
I'm thinking they take a 200+% Loss on this development I'm not sure how these deals are structured but this could cause bankruptcies for companies .
There was the Harmon Tower in the Las Vegas CityCenter development, which was half built before inspectors realized that the rebar was subpar, and eventually was torn down.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Harmon

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There's absolutely no reason to assume now it has to be knocked down. Even if the sub-soil situation turns out to be really bad, I'm going to be astounded if there isn't a less-expensive way to fix it than demolition. "Less-expensive than demolition" on a tilting tower of this size could still be a cracking big number, big enough for insurers to fight like hell to find an exclusion that gets them off the hook. It's gonna be a donnybrook. I know lawyers in the San Francisco area who do construction defect litigation; you'd think they'd all feel like they died and went to heaven, ... but .... there's worries the financial impact could be so big the sources get overwhelmed, and that's when large legal bills sometimes go unpaid.
I'm thinking about applying a solution similar to that applied to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Don't worry about the sinking so much, just control the tilting. Engineers removed via boring some soil from under the side of the foundation the tower is leaning away from.

In any event, this tower is going to become a case study in foundation design and other areas.
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:00 AM   #64
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting



Kobe 1995



Kobe 1995, before and after. Interesting the decrease in building height. Most of the severe damage in Kobe was near the waterfront.

The leaning tower of Pisa fix is unlikely to work for the leaning tower of San Francisco. The Italian version is not built atop harbor mud, with high liquefaction potential in an earthquake.



Blue dot is the location of the leaning tower.

Image from:
http://temblor.net/earthquake-insigh...rancisco-1048/

An interesting thing about MP's leaning tower is that they subsequently proceeded to use a similar foundation design on their latest San Francisco project a few blocks away and which is under construction (and now awaiting a new foundation). I mean they knew the settlement and tilting issues they had with the leaning tower, and yet chose to repeat their design mistake. The lawyers will have fun with that.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:11 AM   #65
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

One engineering estimate is that it could sink 31 inches.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/us...=10059472&te=1
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:43 AM   #66
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

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.... I mean they knew the settlement and tilting issues they had with the leaning tower, and yet chose to repeat their design mistake. The lawyers will have fun with that.
So will the brokers assigned the task of selling those units. [/sarcasm]

I see that yesterday the City filed suit against the developers for the failure to disclose what they knew when selling units in this tower. So I retract what I said yesterday about the City being in turtle mode. MT spokesman says the City is just trying to deflect blame; I'm sure that's part of their motivation, but it might not be all of it.

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In any event, this tower is going to become a case study in foundation design and other areas.
Agreed, with "other areas" most assuredly to include construction defect litigation.
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:54 PM   #67
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

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The leaning tower of Pisa fix is unlikely to work for the leaning tower of San Francisco. The Italian version is not built atop harbor mud, with high liquefaction potential in an earthquake.
Pisa is exactly the same. Fine grained, water logged silts in the Arno River delta. Early efforts to reinforce the foundation to stop the leaning were enough to inadvertently cause liquefaction and made the leaning worse.
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Old 11-05-2016, 05:30 AM   #68
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

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Pisa is exactly the same. Fine grained, water logged silts in the Arno River delta. Early efforts to reinforce the foundation to stop the leaning were enough to inadvertently cause liquefaction and made the leaning worse.
I stand corrected. A quick look at the geology of Pisa indicates it was much closer to the sea than now. Sort of like Bruges.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:06 AM   #69
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

Now using satellites* to measure the sinking, and sinking rate is accelerating.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/S...e-10640917.php

* Assume its laser altimeters on satellites.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:08 AM   #70
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

^^^^

Wonder if they can even stop this at this point? Wonder if they built this Skyscraper on a SINKHOLE.
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:16 AM   #71
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

Using radar mapping to track what's sinking, and what's rising. And where the Hayward Fault is moving.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/us...=headline&te=1
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:02 AM   #72
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

A condo (penthouse) finally sold this past week.

Appears to have been an estate sale. New owner already has a unit in the building and recognizes the risk. In one sense, he is already along for the ride.

As built, and fitted out, the unit cost $18+ million. Sold for $13 million, so at a big discount. Market price before the revelations might have been in the mid $20Ms
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:42 AM   #73
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

Lengthy Bloomberg article summarizing where things stand.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...llennium-tower



^^^ Stress gauges on a wall in the garage.

Quote:
Two people with knowledge of Millennium Partners' liability policy say the developer is insured to cover some $100 million in damages caused by settlement or construction defects; the policy is split among several insurers. Ancillary policies held by the building's architect, structural engineer, and general contractor are worth another $50 million to $100 million, according to one of the people. Any legal fees incurred by the policyholders could be deducted from their policies.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:03 AM   #74
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

Holy shit...



(from that article too)
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:19 AM   #75
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

That looks like maybe it was drilled out deliberately for inspection and repair?

As FUBAR as this siutation is, it also might represent an amazing arbitage opportunity for someone with deep pockets and a high risk tolerance. (In fact its interesting to speculate if some millenium-related vehicle might take that on - buy back from owners with some risk-sharing built in etc. etc.)

It's hard to imaging that this is unsolveable short of demolition. I'm no engineer - but there has to be some version of 'drill new piles to the bedrock' that can get done for less than several hundred million dollars. (Unless everything is so heavy and wet that as soon as you perforate the gravity slab you're dealing with a mud geyser...glad its someone elses problem!)
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:55 AM   #76
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

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That looks like maybe it was drilled out deliberately for inspection and repair?

As FUBAR as this siutation is, it also might represent an amazing arbitage opportunity for someone with deep pockets and a high risk tolerance. (In fact its interesting to speculate if some millenium-related vehicle might take that on - buy back from owners with some risk-sharing built in etc. etc.)

It's hard to imaging that this is unsolveable short of demolition. I'm no engineer - but there has to be some version of 'drill new piles to the bedrock' that can get done for less than several hundred million dollars. (Unless everything is so heavy and wet that as soon as you perforate the gravity slab you're dealing with a mud geyser...glad its someone elses problem!)
Yeah, you can see the cut lines in this pic, but the stuff up at the top? Damn.

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Old 02-02-2017, 11:14 AM   #77
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting



The Bloomberg article has several photos of water seepage / infiltration at the lower levels. This is a basement storage area; note the strain gauge on the cracked wall.

The article doesn't discuss the source(s) of the water, but I would think the seepage is something that has developed recently. One would think real estate agents and prospective buyers would have noticed this at the time that condos were being marketed.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:03 PM   #78
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

Quote:
....
By and large, the individual condo owners’ suits have claimed Millennium Partners is guilty of fraud, saying the firm was aware of the sinking before the building opened and failed to disclose it to buyers.

So far, however, the homeowners association has stopped short of accusing the developer of fraud — and perhaps with good reason. The multimillion-dollar tower fix may require getting money from Millennium Partners’ insurance company — but under law, an insurer can’t be held liable for a client’s fraud.
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articl...e-10912856.php
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:59 PM   #79
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Re: San Francisco high-rise sinking, tilting

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranci...ium-tower.html

An engineer from UC Berkeley who was one of two experts who originally certified Millennium Tower's design as structurally sound said this week that the builders of the luxury project should have hired a geotechnical expert if they wanted to be certain about the soil's building strength.

UC Berkeley Professor Jack Moehle and peer review colleague Hardip Pannu were hired by DiSimone Consulting Engineers to review the structural soundness of Millennium Tower's foundation via the city's Department of Building Inspection program.

Moehle told the board the project should have had a separate geotechnical expert to look possible problems with the soil it was constructed on. Moehle told the board the project should have had a separate geotechnical expert to look…

At the beginning of August, it was revealed that the 58-story Millennium Tower has sunk more than a foot and leaning two inches. It now faces a rash of lawsuits from both regulators and angry homeowners worried about their investment in the $350 million building, according to a letter from the homeowners association’s board.

A city report recently concluded that the building is safe to live in.

On Thursday, Moehle told the board the project should have had a separate geotechnical expert to serve on its peer review panel to look possible problems with the soil it was constructed on. The project had earlier geotechnical experts vet the project. But Moehle said that during the peer review process, he was only able to verify that the building itself was up to code, not the foundation or the ground it was built on.

“I’m not saying that the foundation design has been reviewed by me and that I have determined that the foundation is going to work, etc. It doesn’t say that. I’m not qualified to do that,” Moehle told the board of supervisors, local CBS affiliate KPIX reports.

That brought immediate pushback from Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who said Moehle should have immediately flagged the project, adding the city will now pay for its own peer reviewers.

“The role of a peer reviewer is to sound some alarm rather than, at every turn, say, ‘yes it complies with your code, yes it’s gonna be fine’…well, look here’s the reality…it’s not fine,” Peskin said. “It just kind of makes a mockery of what peer review is supposed to be.”

A spokesman for Millennium Tower sent the following statement:

"It was clear from Professor Moehle’s testimony that Mission Street Development met and and in fact exceeded the requirements of the city.

The building was designed and constructed to the extraordinarily high standards established by the City and County of San Francisco for this type of structure, and was carefully reviewed and approved by all required City agencies, prior to construction. Mission Street Development not only relied on the expertise of renowned designers and engineers with extensive experience in San Francisco, but on independent peer review that was not in fact required by the city.

We now know that it was TJPA’s subsequent dewatering of the underlying soils, and TJPA’s massive excavation and construction, that have caused 301 Mission to settle beyond expectations."

Homeowner and attorney Gerald Dodson, who is part of a homeowner lawsuit against the tower's developers, told the Business Times that Moehle's testimony is simply more evidence that the process was rushed. He pointed to Moehle's assertion that “the responsible party may be the Earth that God gave us” as particularly frustrating.

"Who is Moehle trying to kid? Even though he now says he is not a geotechnical engineer, he knows full well that the soil under the Millennium Tower was largely put here by man and not God," Dodson told the Business Times.

"The Tower is on a landfill and should have gone to bedrock and he knew it but he wanted to appease the developer, Millennium Partners, by greasing the skids, and he got caught."
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