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  1. #1
    Jeff Spencer's Avatar
    Jeff Spencer Guest

    Default Ocean Tower Demolition, South Padre Island

    Diesel for 700-mile round trip.....$110.00

    Cheesy hotel room for 1 night....$40.00

    1,500 pounds of high explosive shaped charges and 3 miles of det cord to bring down a 31-story building in less than 10 seconds...........priceless.

    The Ocean Tower was the tallest reinforced concrete structure south of San Antonio, TX, at least until the foundation failed shortly after top-out. This caused the top of the building to lean out over its base by over 14 feet. The building was not completed, with construction halted last year. Deposits on condo units started at $150,000 -- the developer had to refund them all. The implosion was done by CDI engineering, the ones that took down the Seattle Kingdome. Talking to people who worked on the project, the geotech engineer specified piling depth of 95 feet, just like he had on all his other projects. Problem is, the weight of the structure, calculated later during repair attempts, indicated that the pilings should have been driven to about 200 feet. The building is gone as of yesterday, but the lawsuits continue.

    NOTE: There is some mild profanity on the video. My teenage son was in charge of filming and got somewhat carried away.

    Jeff

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX2gSlVgGvQ

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  2. #2

    Talking Re: Ocean Tower Demolition, South Padre Island

    There is some mild profanity on the video. My teenage son was in charge of filming and got somewhat carried away.

    Holy Sh#t. We used our LG Blue Ray Netflix receiver to look it up on You Tube. Then we watched it on our Sony Bravia in HD. Nice.

    Michael Carson
    Inspect It Right Home Inspections L.L.C.
    www.inspectitrighthomeinspection.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Ocean Tower Demolition, South Padre Island

    That's an expensive mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Spencer View Post
    Talking to people who worked on the project, the geotech engineer specified piling depth of 95 feet, just like he had on all his other projects. Problem is, the weight of the structure, calculated later during repair attempts, indicated that the pilings should have been driven to about 200 feet.
    You don't calculate the weight of a structure AFTER you have topped out. I cannot imagine an engineer - even a bad one - not calculating loads (dead, live, wind, etc.) before designing the foundation.

    In that area are piles driven to bedrock or are they friction piles?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  4. #4
    Jeff Spencer's Avatar
    Jeff Spencer Guest

    Default Re: Ocean Tower Demolition, South Padre Island

    Bruce,

    I couldn't get many more details. SPI is a barrier island, so the structures are of course on sand, suggesting friction piles. This was one of the few, and the largest, reinforced concrete structures on the island. From what I heard, the lawsuit names the geotechnical engineers and the design engineers. The prime contractor was dropped from the suit.

    Jeff


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Ocean Tower Demolition, South Padre Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Spencer View Post
    From what I heard, the lawsuit names the geotechnical engineers and the design engineers. The prime contractor was dropped from the suit.
    Since this appears to be a design mistake the contractor(s) should have been dropped from the suit - that is assuming the contractor(s) installed the pilings per the plans. The engineers normally follow the pile driving very carefully to ensure they have the required resistance. If the pilings met the required resistance then maybe (as you indicate) the design loads (from the building) were incorrect.

    However this thing works out somebody is gonna be in a lot of trouble and somebody (i.e., an insurance company or two) is gonna be out a LOT of money.

    This goes to show you how important the foundation is. If your foundation is not adequate everything you build on it will be in jeopardy. This is not a new concept. Somewhere in the Bible it says to build on rock instead of sand (the rock being a metaphor for faith).

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

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