Jump to content


Full Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Purdueenginerd

  1. So I was curious, I tried looking up the parking minumums in NYC and I found this https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2016/03/17/parking-requirements-will-be-reduced-in-a-huge-chunk-of-nyc/ it seems that there is, but only for publicly subsided housing, which is a far cry from Houston which has parking minimums for a broad spectrum of retail and multi-family residential requirements. I could be incorrect regarding NYC, so feel free to interject. I dont think NYC is a fair comparison however. Atlanta is similar to houston in terms of sprawl and recent growth in the late 20th century. It would appear they, among other US cities have parking minimums and are undergoing debate to reduce or remove them: https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2019/02/11/atlanta-zoning-update-addresses-parking-adus-missing-middle Looking at my googling, it appears that many US cities have (or had) parking minimums that were enacted in the 50s and 60's which likely coincides with the transportation engineering movement of the era: Sprawl.
  2. Yeah thats an elegant product. Youre right though, even on the structural engineering side we normally punt the guard rails to a 3rd party and its not even looked at until construction is well underway. Ive done handrails for industrial sites, but theres a few times here and there where I've had to design custom guardrails for architects, but surprisingly its difficult to get the look they want and comply with code requirements.
  3. Cool seeing the lateral deflection of the crane as they load up the counterweights. Kudos to the general contractor on this job, that rebar, formwork, and housekeeping seem quite good
  4. I believe there are code requirements on guardrails that prevent a 4" sphere from passing through the vertical posts. Often times you'll see the glass guard rails on these buildings but those are expensive. Perhaps they got value-engineered out?
  5. That lot is already mostly parking lot. Is this project a renovation or a brand new building? I cant quite tell.
  6. WilCal, I dont think its in bad taste. I was pretty upset by that fatality on 8th street as I ride on heights blvd quite a bit. My personal opinion is that the 11th street bike path is a good infrastructure development. My personal way of advocating for additional biking infrastructure is to remind my fellow neighbors that cyclists are people too and building things like protected bike lines might be a way to mitigate fatalities and injuries for pedestrians and cyclists.
  7. Thanks @Luminare for the call out! Everything you stated is correct Just to add, like many things it depends on the location of the crack, size of the crack and the type of crack. All concrete cracks. The curing process causes a volumetric shrinkage of concrete (more specifically the cement crack). There's ways to mitigate it. The rebar/steel is one way. Your concrete mix design is another. For large placements like a matt foundation controlling temperature might also be part of the plan. The reinforcement in a foundation for a high rise is so dense that its unlikely to get significant cracking, at least discernible cracking to the human eye. When I get called out to look at cracks in a structure, the crack pattern, location, if its planar or faulted, and its width can tell me a lot about the cause and what to do as an engineer. But to answer your question. not often will a crack force the engineer, architect, and owner to ask(or demand) the GC to start over, if the problem can be solved within reasonable engineering judgement. But lets say that Matt Foundation is just absolutely covered in cracks, 1 foot apart, all relatively wide. This would be alarming. And after a lot testing, finger pointing, analysis, and probably litigation, the contractor might have to start over. On the other hand if there was 1 small crack, 30 feet long, not faulted in that entire foundation. I'd say epoxy inject it and move on. Funny enough I had a project a couple of years ago where the contractor cast a lot of non-structural decorative concrete for some area paving; and it cracked quite a bit. It didnt comply with the architects contract documents so the contractor had to tear it out and start over. So... the answer is : it depends!
  8. Drawings at the Houston Permitting office are public, to an extent. I often have to get old building drawings from CoH. Heres how it works. From basically 1989-present, all drawings are digitized. So a call into the permitting office see if they have it, and scheduling an appointment, you'll be able to go view the drawings. To take digital copies home or printed copy normally runs a fee. I forget the price (I normally expense it, so I pay little attention to the price). Secondly, if the building drawings have a copyright on them, sometimes they will require a letter from the property owner or drawing owner releasing them -- sometimes. From 1971-1989 (roughly) they have most of the drawings on microfilm. This one requires setting an appointment and allowing the permitting office to find the drawings. Couple of things help here: The address, Name of the building, and year it was constructed. They'll email you back, telling you they found it or found something. Then you go in examine the drawings and tell them which ones you want. Some cities you can print straight from microfilm, but Not Houston. They have to send them offsite, its normally about 2-3 weeks before you can get all your drawings. Pre 1971, Records are more spotty. They've allegedly lost drawings in floods, etc... and I've had mixed results for drawings pre-1971 in Houston. A small retail building from the 1930's will be tough. Specwriter has a great point too. Because if that building has had a substantial renovation that required permitting, they might have that set, which might have enough info for you to work with. As for options if the city doesnt have the drawings. There are few archival groups in city of houston, Rice and UH have some old city drawings in storage. But I've only seen them have large public structures, or the early high rises of the city. Ive had to get a few drawings from Rice in the past. Your last option actually, is to hire someone like an architect who then hires a structural engineer (like me!) who specializes in remodeling old buildings. Ill go out there and measure every beam for the right price
  9. Went with my wife during the superbowl and it was still quite busy. Guess everyone else thought the game was boring too.
  10. This is definitely a site where you'd want 10' sidewalks, and it sort of looks like the standard 3' sidewalks. They might be waiting towards the end of the project to redo the sidewalks perhaps? That I actually like. With on street parking on Washington(though Im not sure if this area has it), its better to have the sidewalk right up against the road. The design philosophy of Street->3' uninterrupted strip of grass--> sidewalk is a suburban technique that forces street parkers to walk onto wet/muddy grass.
  11. Im not super familiar with EDI international, but that rendering looks like standard Revit Model (which is a commonly used construction drawing software) that they plopped on a google maps satellite view. I dont think the rendering is cheap. Just their texturing and the ground come off as bland. my two cents at least.
  12. Will be nice if the fill the block w/ good street presence. This thing still seems over 3-4 years away though.
  13. I'm not super familiar with temporary structures but I would imagine if theres a specific duration that the building will be there, it will still have to comply with IBC 2012 CoH Amendments (building code for Houston) The slab-on-grade with grade beams is going to be more durable than cinder blocks and like you commented, will probably look nicer.
  14. Thats a pretty light foundation actually. Grade beams and a slab on grade. Dont have any pictures showing drilled piers, but this foundation looks like something youd see for a residential building.
  15. I could be wrong as well as I have not seen the interior framing. But if I had to guess, I would opine that its steel frame for the center columns and beams to support the roof bar joists however the exterior perimeter appears to me to me tilt wall with a decorative finish. That tilt wall is likely supporting the other side of the bar joists. Those exposed aggregate tilt wall buildings were really popular in the 70's and 80's. Link below with some construction details on how theyre built. https://www.concreteconstruction.net/how-to/tilt-up-exposed-aggregate_o I pulled an image from 1978 from when the complex was under construction. Pretty hard to tell but it looks like the walls are up and theres no roof on the building(the Center building) yet which is consistent with tilt-wall construction.
  16. The architect isnt making the structural engineer's life easy on this one. Tilt Wall construction like that and it looks like theyre cutting huge holes in it and significantly altering building profiles. I get the feeling this might be scaled back significantly once it gets to the DD issue of the drawings. Neat complex though
  17. Thats good. Guess they have weekend and late night shifts working. Might explain why this building is going up so fast.
  18. Little bit of infill sandwiched between dense residential buildings. Should be good.
  19. In my opinion, I'm not a huge fan of 9 floor of garage space within that footprint. I get the idea that whilst looking for parking the driver will get dizzy driving up to the top.
  20. How I imagine the Change-order is written: Scope: Change first floor to retail Cost: half a million Schedule: 6 years, with weather days for rain chance over 10 percent.
  21. This is unfortunate. I'm normally okay with demolition of a structure, so long as what replaces it is a economic, artistic, or public improvement over the previous structure. Should this go to a car-dealership, which no offense to car dealers, seems like a gross use of land in the midtown area. Especially since residents in this part of town are more likely to be walking, biking, and taking public transportation to their place of work.
  22. Very Doubtful, I did some structural analysis on that garage a few years ago for a project. 1940's era garage in not the greatest condition. edit: n'mind. Confusing my garages, disregard my comment.
  23. Labor is generally a lot bigger portion size of total construction budget than materials. Allocating 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week will for sure lead to a good chunk of the workers get OT pay, which drives up labor costs a lot. As for whether thats offset by the sooner profitability of the land owner is dependent on their loan, what theyre making money on, and how many tenants they have in waiting.
  • Create New...