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Texas Tower (Block 58) by Hines, 47-Story Office Tower

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I do understand what your saying and I definitely understand how frustrating it can be with these announced and canceled projects. I wasn't trying to put anyone on trial,

I just thought that you and J were saying downtown was pretty much over for a while and I was just trying to point out that stranger things can happen. Like the construction of this new 

Texas Tower.

Another thing that you probably understand if you have been following Houstons economic cycles, is that we tend to be up when the rest of the nation is down, and down when the rest of the nation is up. The energy trends have such a huge bearing on our feast and famine times. Thats why I was really excited and surprised when Hines made the announcement for these two

northern additions. Theres a lot of room in the northeast quadrant and plenty of possible skybridge connections to Houston center available to continue the connections.

I don't always like everything that happens in town and when I don't, I usually say it. If someone takes offense so be it.

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20 minutes ago, bobruss said:

I do understand what your saying and I definitely understand how frustrating it can be with these announced and canceled projects. I wasn't trying to put anyone on trial,

I just thought that you and J were saying downtown was pretty much over for a while and I was just trying to point out that stranger things can happen. Like the construction of this new 

Texas Tower.

Another thing that you probably understand if you have been following Houstons economic cycles, is that we tend to be up when the rest of the nation is down, and down when the rest of the nation is up. The energy trends have such a huge bearing on our feast and famine times. Thats why I was really excited and surprised when Hines made the announcement for these two

northern additions. Theres a lot of room in the northeast quadrant and plenty of possible skybridge connections to Houston center available to continue the connections.

I don't always like everything that happens in town and when I don't, I usually say it. If someone takes offense so be it.

 

That's fine, you're fine. Yes Houston can be countercyclical, but right now the energy market is not really up.

 

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The difference I'm seeing is that the current surge in new construction in both commercial and residential is true demand economy rather than speculative as its been in the past. There is a reason why we have such a substantial amount of "Class A" space that are all around 25-45 years old and that was because of speculative market that normally comes about in a boom era. When you read back to that era we were the Dubai of that time. Many projects were built through pure speculation and not actual market demand. This seems completely different and the evidence is the fact that oil is down and has been for a few years now. Downtown, thanks to a good mixture of private and government interests has created an interesting feedback loop that I only see snowballing over the years to come. The more people moving into town is driving the market for more amenities, which then brings more offices that want to identify with being closer to things people want, which then brings in more development for housing, which brings more people, which brings more amenities, etc... etc... Its a wonderful positive feedback loop that now can run itself and evolve. There is no such thing as infinite growth, but the peaks and valleys of the boom/bust years have gone away, and its been replaced with more robust growth that seems independent of the Oil Market.

Edited by Luminare
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No it's not. I worked in that industry for eight years in the late 70's though the terrible drop in the mid eighties selling valves and piping related products for refineries and it's definitely not up. It never stays up for very long and is more like a roller coaster. You have incredible highs and death defying plunges. I had to change professions and never looked back, but when it good it makes everything around here buzz. Thats why I was som surprised with Hines.

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4 hours ago, Luminare said:

The difference I'm seeing is that the current surge in new construction in both commercial and residential is true demand economy rather than speculative as its been in the past. There is a reason why we have such a substantial amount of "Class A" space that are all around 25-45 years old and that was because of speculative market that normally comes about in a boom era. When you read back to that era we were the Dubai of that time. Many projects were built through pure speculation and not actual market demand. This seems completely different and the evidence is the fact that oil is down and has been for a few years now. Downtown, thanks to a good mixture of private and government interests has created an interesting feedback loop that I only see snowballing over the years to come. The more people moving into town is driving the market for more amenities, which then brings more offices that want to identify with being closer to things people want, which then brings in more development for housing, which brings more people, which brings more amenities, etc... etc... Its a wonderful positive feedback loop that now can run itself and evolve. There is no such thing as infinite growth, but the peaks and valleys of the boom/bust years have gone away, and its been replaced with more robust growth that seems independent of the Oil Market.

 

I agree that Houston's economy as a whole is growing with or without oil and this is a very positive development but I think the office market is still pretty strongly tied to oil. In the Downtown District report that someone posted in that forum, they have a pie chart showing the downtown office market and as I recall it is about 40% energy, 30% legal, 20% FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate), and 10% other. You've essentially got an industry, the energy industry, and then you've got the legal and finance-related institutions that work with that industry. Then there's some other stuff like United Airlines but it's in the minority. This is not a completely bad thing - it's a big part of why our downtown office market has thrived over the years while that of other nearby cities has languished, and why we're one of the few American cities that regularly builds tall office buildings. But I hope we can start attracting other sectors downtown.

 

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34 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I agree that Houston's economy as a whole is growing with or without oil and this is a very positive development but I think the office market is still pretty strongly tied to oil. In the Downtown District report that someone posted in that forum, they have a pie chart showing the downtown office market and as I recall it is about 40% energy, 30% legal, 20% FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate), and 10% other. You've essentially got an industry, the energy industry, and then you've got the legal and finance-related institutions that work with that industry. Then there's some other stuff like United Airlines but it's in the minority. This is not a completely bad thing - it's a big part of why our downtown office market has thrived over the years while that of other nearby cities has languished, and why we're one of the few American cities that regularly builds tall office buildings. But I hope we can start attracting other sectors downtown.

 

 

Definitely agree. Thats an interesting stat though. Where did you get it from? I would like to look for myself. There is no doubt that a big part of the city is still the Energy Sector and everything else second (I mean we have a district called the "Energy Corridor" for crying out loud haha). Every city has a main component of its industry thats the majority. We just don't want the one industry dictating whether the city lives or dies. I think once again we have to go back to what I proposed earlier which is the positive feedback loop that is developing on the whole. The more it feeds into itself the more its going to change and grow as it gradually spits out the negative components that don't keep the positive aspects of the system from functioning. I also think people underestimate what happens when new developments occur. New contemporary space means those big industries will move into them freeing up space for our existing office space. The more contemporary our stock becomes the more our older stock will cease to be Class A and be demoted making it easier for new industries to make there first jump into town. Yes we do have a crap ton of office space, but its only Class A because they haven't had any real competition (in regards to new construction) in many years. All that space will then drop down to Class B which will fill up quicker.

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12 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Definitely agree. Thats an interesting stat though. Where did you get it from? I would like to look for myself. There is no doubt that a big part of the city is still the Energy Sector and everything else second (I mean we have a district called the "Energy Corridor" for crying out loud haha). Every city has a main component of its industry thats the majority. We just don't want the one industry dictating whether the city lives or dies. I think once again we have to go back to what I proposed earlier which is the positive feedback loop that is developing on the whole. The more it feeds into itself the more its going to change and grow as it gradually spits out the negative components that don't keep the positive aspects of the system from functioning. I also think people underestimate what happens when new developments occur. New contemporary space means those big industries will move into them freeing up space for our existing office space. The more contemporary our stock becomes the more our older stock will cease to be Class A and be demoted making it easier for new industries to make there first jump into town. Yes we do have a crap ton of office space, but its only Class A because they haven't had any real competition (in regards to new construction) in many years. All that space will then drop down to Class B which will fill up quicker.

 

http://www.downtowndistrict.org/static/media/uploads/attachments/downtown_market_update_2018_q4_final.pdf

 

The breakdown is more like 30/30/20 Energy/Law/FIRE rather than 40/30/20 like I remembered. Forgot about Government which has 12%.

 

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33 minutes ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

Friend and I went to downtown for lunch and beers.  He took my photo with Texas Tower in the background.

 

ZBuSwEF.jpg

 

uo91b3L.jpg

I spy 2 tower crane bases on the southeast wing and the north west wing.

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1 hour ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

Friend and I went to downtown for lunch and beers.  He took my photo with Texas Tower in the background.

 

ZBuSwEF.jpg

 

 

Also my favorite downtown building(Pennzoil Place) in the background

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I heard concrete pour will start this Friday and go through Sunday. The pour should include about 15,000 cubic yards of concrete and five different cementing companies.

Edited by DrLan34
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13 hours ago, Timoric said:

To anyone who has been to one, does it smell like anything or odorless? 

I went to the 609 Main mat pour and don't recall any strange odors.

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It's supposed to rain on Saturday and Sunday. Will this affect the pour?

Also with that much conrete being poured how much will it affect the temperature on site? 

 

 

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To anyone who has been to one, does it smell like anything or odorless? 

 

This might be my favorite question in a long time.  I have been to a lot of concrete pours and had to think for a bit about what is smells like!  Like Tumbleweed_Tx said, it certainly smells like diesel exhaust, each pump has a big diesel engine running and there are typically 4-10 trucks lined up at each pump.  there could be up to 50-60 concrete trucks around the site at any given time.

 

The actual concrete doesn't smell like much, think about wet beach sand or how a road smells right after it starts raining.

 

The concrete curing process is exothermic and does generate heat, but most of that is lost during the evaporation process or held deep within the mat.  There wont be any noticeable temperature changes with the pour.

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On 3/5/2019 at 9:32 AM, bobruss said:

It's supposed to rain on Saturday and Sunday. Will this affect the pour?

Also with that much conrete being poured how much will it affect the temperature on site? 

 

According to an email today from Downtown Management District, the pour is still on for 3 p.m. Saturday:

 

Good Morning,
 
Just a note: Houston-based real estate firm Hines plans to pour the concrete mat foundation for its latest downtown Houston office tower this weekend. The mat pour for Texas Tower, on the former Houston Chronicle site (800 block of Texas), is scheduled to begin Saturday, March 9 at 3 pm and take between 19 to 21 hours, wrapping up around 11 am Sunday, March 10.  
 
Street closures are as follows:
 
Saturday, March 9 (Noon) - Sunday, March 10 (3 pm) 
- Complete continuous closure of the 500 block of Travis
- Complete continuous closure of the 800 block of Texas
- Complete continuous closure of the 500 block of Milam
 
Thanks!
angie
 

-- 

Angie Bertinot
Houston Downtown Management District
Director of Marketing & Communications | Retail Development Program
909 Fannin, Suite 1650
Houston, Texas 77010
713.650.3022 (o) | 713.650.1484 (f)
www.downtownhouston.org
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44 minutes ago, cspwal said:

I like that wood seems to be coming back into interiors 

Well then you should be really excited to know they are building entire skyscrapers out of wood now.  

 

 

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25 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

Well then you should be really excited to know they are building entire skyscrapers out of wood now.  

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of wooden skyscrapers, but more for facades and interior treatments. This idea of a skyscraper being all wood is kind of a "flavor of the month". These are the same people that 10 years ago praised concrete structures because it was cutting back on deforestation and now its the same people asking us to change to wood so we stop taking minerals from the ground. The kind of wood to get in this video or ones that can bear structural loads would need some serious engineering to the point where its not exactly wood anymore, but more of a composite material. We already do this P-Lam. Another problem that might come about, which was the problem we had with steel is that floor plans will begin to get more restrictive as wood can't span as much as concrete without the beams being incredibly deep. Looking forward to interesting uses of wood structurally, but this current push is bordering on obsession.

Edited by Luminare
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23 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

Well then you should be really excited to know they are building entire skyscrapers out of wood now.  

 

 

 

Hines is apparently doing one in Toronto, an 11 story office with GFR in a mixed-use development. Will be the tallest wooden building in North America. They had to persuade the city to alter their building codes. Could be more difficult in the U.S. where everybody is on the IBC code.

 

 

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Wooden skyscrapers of the future somehow bring this to mind:

 

image.png.02ea359464ebcd1550f29e57095f2867.png

 

:ph34r:

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Steel is also susceptible to fire and must always be encased in something unless purely decorative. Apparently thick wooden beams do not catch fire easily. But would I feel safer in steel? Probably.

 

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With apologies to the group for lurking so long: I live in the Rice and am watching this thing slowly come up.

 

We were sent this about the concrete pour slated for this weekend:

 

Quote

The mat foundation for Block 58 is a 12 foot thick steel reinforced concrete foundation that carries the weight of the building tower. The foundation is approximately 14,000 cubic yards of concrete, will weigh over 2,000,000 lbs. and contain approximately 1,500 tons of reinforcing steel. The concrete foundation must be placed in one continuous operation. The concrete pour will utilize six concrete pumps and when all goes well over 800 cubic yards and hour will be put in place. The concrete placement will take between 19 and 21 hours to complete and is scheduled to begin on Saturday Mach 9th at approximately 1:00 AM and will be completed late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Concrete finishing operations will continue all day Sunday long after the concrete placing operation has been completed.

 

To place the volume of concrete required, there will be a concrete truck entering and leaving the project every 45 seconds on average.  As a result, Travis will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Capital and Prairie; Milam will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Preston and Texas; Texas will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Smith and Travis and Prairie will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Main and Travis and closed between Travis and Milam. The lane closures will go up Friday night and all streets will be returned to service Sunday. There will be police officers at each of the intersections to assist with traffic flow.  

 

We will use six concrete pumps – two pumps on Travis, two pumps on Milam, one pump on Texas and one pump on Milam and each are expected to place over a 125 cubic yards of concrete an hour. We will have light plants set up to assure the work site is well illuminated and that the work is performed safely. Because of the time required and the impact to traffic, this work must be done over a Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately, the work will be disruptive to residents in adjacent buildings. Vehicular access will be maintained to each of the surrounding buildings, but the reduction in traffic lanes may slow traffic getting to the buildings.

1

 

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41 minutes ago, keaton said:

With apologies to the group for lurking so long: I live in the Rice and am watching this thing slowly come up.

 

We were sent this about the concrete pour slated for this weekend:

You could sell tickets. Charge by the minute or half hour. Can't bring your own beverage and jack the price up. Could make some serious money. 

 

 

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Question to the engineers here... if when the pour is complete and dry a week from now they discover a crack, does that mean they have to chip the whole thing out and start over?

 

(Ducks)

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

Question to the engineers here... if when the pour is complete and dry a week from now they discover a crack, does that mean they have to chip the whole thing out and start over?

 

(Ducks)

 

Not an engineer, but have done a few submittals where as architects we look at stress samples to make sure that the mixture used follows the standards set in the specifications for the building.

 

All concrete cracks at some point. Its not a matter of if, but a matter of when and under what kind of load, and are the cracks enough to induce failure throughout the whole pour. There are tolerances that are allowed for cracking and to what degree the severity of the cracks are. Before they even start this pour they have probably, somewhere on site, poured a test core that essentially just sits on site. They let it settle and cure for the allotted time provided in the specifications. They will do multiple mixes and cores as well. On smaller jobs some GC's will try to weasel their way out of it, but for a skyscraper were the risk is severe, they will not mess around (at least you hope).

 

Probably should get @Purdueenginerd to explain further, but this is from an architect in training's perspective and experience thus far.

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Thanks @Luminare for the call out! Everything you stated is correct

 

6 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

Question to the engineers here... if when the pour is complete and dry a week from now they discover a crack, does that mean they have to chip the whole thing out and start over?

 

(Ducks)

 

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!

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EDIT: They are starting the street closures early, so the concrete pour is on.

 

I'm going to do a timelapse from my window. Should be pretty nifty to watch.

Edited by keaton
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4 hours ago, keaton said:

EDIT: They are starting the street closures early, so the concrete pour is on.

 

I'm going to do a timelapse from my window. Should be pretty nifty to watch.

 

They pushed it back to this afternoon because of the chance for lightning.  

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1 minute ago, bobruss said:

where are all of the concrete trucks?

 

 

I haven't seen any arrive yet. Still setting up the pumpers

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Happy to do it! 

 

I can zoom into areas if there's something in particular you want to see. I have some limited zoom options.

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1 hour ago, keaton said:

Okay so I got a little excited and set up a live stream. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Per the live feed. Concrete Trunks are coming in hot. This will finally begin.

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And the first batch of concrete is starting now!

 

A little color that may not come across on the camera feed: there are probably 100-200 workers scattered around the site and spectators lined along the new parking garage to the north.

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So it appears they start in the middle and work out. Isn't the matt about eight feet thick?

One other question. Do they stay in the center until it reaches that height and then move out to the sides?

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5 minutes ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

Keaton,

 

Are you on the Market Square garage? See you soon :lol:

 

I am not, I'm watching from the Rice - but it's had a nice share of folks up there! Perfect temperature after a gloomy morning

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Oh man.. people in MST are in the pool watching.  

 

Keaton, I think I see you at the Rice hotel.. by the two trucks by any chance?

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