Old Forensics and Current Ethics

I spent some time yesterday reading about an interesting issue concerning an old and famous disaster. The name “the Johnstown Flood” is well-known, but the details of the 1889 dam failure that killed over 2000 people are not so much any more. In short, western Pennsylvania is rough terrain, with narrow river gorges cutting through …

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Facade Inspection and Public Safety

I’ve been meaning to write about the currently-hot topic of facade inspection for about a month, and yesterday’s Times made it a lot easier. The headline “Facades on 1,400 Buildings in New York Are a Threat to Pedestrians” might seem like clickbait, but it’s an accurate statement of the official Department of Buildings perspective. Matthew …

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Indicative Stripes

Yet another photo off of a rooftop, this time on the Upper West Side. You can’t really tell from this angle, but those buildings are all ten to thirteen stories high, and they’re all steel-frame with brick curtain walls. We’re looking at the rear facades, facing the interior of the block. First, most of these …

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The Little Mysteries

The first possibility is that the roof of this tenement was visited by the world’s most boring graffiti artist, who left the world’s most boring graffito on the old chimney. The second possibility is that a tenant was spray-painting something and used the chimney as a prop. The paint marks are overspray in that case. …

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Research Update

A new year, and some more old papers made accessible: Marie worked on a study of the uses of non-destructive testing with two co-authors (Robert Weber, William Windes) that resulted in a report from the Army Corps of Engineers, “Evaluation of Nondestructive Methods for Determining Structural Configurations of Existing Buildings”: here. I presented a paper …

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