The Leaning Tower Of San Francisco



See my post above about the Obayashi company and Webcor connection. Supposedly Obayashi stock is tanking in Japan as the news is out that they are related to this mess.

Just stupid, stupid, stupid…

This is a classic case study of how NOT to ever build or do a remodel, owners! Do not ever skimp on something crucial like the foundation. Again, pay me now or really pay me later…


It’s not just about the Millenium; remember, the joint venture was blaming the tower’s problems on the transbay construction, a huge government project which we see is under their management.


I know, but supposedly the building was already settling more than expected before the Transbay digging even started.
Yeah, if I had the time, this is one trial jury service I wouldn’t mind serving since it would be very interesting…:slight_smile:


And the tip of the pricing cutting iceberg reveals itself at the Titanic Towers…


Hmmmm…even across the pond I guess? :slight_smile:


All responses by realtors no less…everything will be fine, the sky (millennium towers) ain’t falling and it will be resolved sooner than later so business as usual. Come on, this probably won’t be resolved fully (both construction fix and lawsuits) until many years later if we are lucky. I better not be paying for it!!!



I am always intrigued by this. I am in chip design myself. For chip designs the foundry vendor (that makes the actual chips) provides us with models of the building blocks so that we can run all kinds of simulations to predict the behavior of the circuits designed. Then when the actual chips are produced by foundry, we verify (and hope) that the chips work as we designed. Given the nature of semiconductor engineering, the models need to be very accurate and the manufacturing process needs to be extremely tightly controlled in order to produce chips that will work.

For civil engineering, the same principles should apply but the level of accuracy in the manufacturing process is completely different. During design time all building materials should be modeled so that we know how much pressure there is at any given point by the weight above it, and how much pressure the type of material chosen can withstand with some comfortable margin that the designer can be assured he/she won’t get sued. But at the actual build time, do the materials used actually match the designer’s expectation (which I would imagine should generally be what’s accepted by the industry)? Do the cement from all vendors used conform to the strength standards required by the designer? For a large project I am sure these are all tested, but there is a lot of room in how they are tested and what is considered as passing the test, and whether the materials tested match the materials that will be used in actual construction. To me unless the procurement process is well controlled and all materials are strictly tested ahead of time, one is bound to see a large variation in the quality of the materials and in the quality of the finished product. In the end how does one ensure the structure is going to perform as designed and not have quality issues that will only show up years later? In semiconductors you can build a batch of chips and put them through high-stress testing to simulate aging then figure out your failure rate (in order to estimate your costs), but in construction you build only one product only once and there is no second chance of fixing it without incurring significant costs once it’s built.

On this specific leaning tower issue, it seems like the builder chose a method that is generally accepted by the industry (not by everyone but I am sure the builder didn’t invent a whole new way to build it in order to save some costs), but the method might have limitations that have never shown up before and are only exposed in certain conditions that happened to be the case in this one. If it’s an issue with soil, then how does the soil engineer know that the soil deep down will behave differently from what the samples showed, or does not conform to the expected load-bearing capabilities of similar soil elsewhere? If everyone is following protocol, and it turns out that the protocol is bad, whose blame should it be?


Structural engineering is a science with scientific procedures and calculations…Soils engineering is based on empirical knowledge and educated guesses…Who know what is exactly going on 200’ below grade?

However pile driving is in effect a load test…Piles are driven to refusal, generally 40 blows per foot for a 14" square concrete pile, rated for 200kips of load…That is the excepted load test…Has always worked empirically in the past…It is possible settlement is occuring in the sand layers below that…But the weight of 200’ of soil that has been sitting there for thousands of years should have stabilized the underlying sands…Maybe an underground river is moving the sand around…But trying to figure out what is happening at minus 200’ will be difficult. .The best solution would be to reinforce the basement slab and create a matt or raft support…Obviously they have dealt with the settlement already and it will slow down…It is generally a log type curve of reduced settlement over time…Biggest problem is utilities and transitions…Settlements can be handled as long as the are not too differential…


As far as blame, the lawyers just blame everyone and hope to shake money out the deepest pockets…


Bunch of idiots… uh why not just build to bedrock then with this information??? My god, any unlicensed contractor might have even gotten that part right at least.


I’m going to have to save that sentence as one of those memorable quotes one can use. :grinning:


Shouldn’t be a surprise. Would you buy a unit in a falling building???


When they hit 10cents on the dollar I am buying in…Of course the big problem with luxury highrise is huge HOA fees…


LOL: You may need to consider big liability insurance coverage when the tower hits other places !!!


Great…our wonderful Bored Of Stupidvisors wants to join the party…



Damn it, we SF taxpayers better not be paying one red cent for the stupidity of the developers and everyone associated with this POS building!!! See, now the narrative is that the SF Building Dept may have erred. That is not good.


What a shock the SF building department is inept…I remember watching a inspector head into abar while qorking and not leving for hours…The whole department is full of self serving public hating jerks…


Ok, counter punch…


Ribht back at 'cha…