Two New York Minutes

This Thursday evening I will be competing in an Elevator PitchaKucha* organized by the New York Metropolitan Local Association of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the topic of improving the city’s infrastructure. The event, called “Infrastructure in a New York Minute,”** is going to be a very fast-paced*** presentation and discussion. I don’t want to …

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Three! Count ’em! Three!

Probe at a loft building in Brooklyn to find the size of the floor joists above. The contractor did exactly what I asked: he cut open the ceiling. Except… The figured tin ceiling, which was the one I asked the contractor to remove, was the third ceiling in the space. If you look at the …

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Stepping Up In Size

I set the minimum size for buildings to be included in the research that led to the Structure of Skyscrapers at ten stories. There were a number of pretty good reasons for this: no building with ordinary occupancy reached that height in the US until the 1870s, it’s a height that requires elevators to be …

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Prefabrication – The Past Of The Future

While I rarely have much to do with new buildings, I read various engineering and design journals, so I’m reasonably familiar with the topics of the day. For some time now, there’s been discussion of prefabrication as the future of construction. More accurately, there’s been talk of expanding the extent of prefabrication, as some has …

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A Little Bridge, Far From Home

That is the Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge near Oroville, California. It is apparently the oldest remaining suspension bridge in the American west and has travelled twice. The first time, before it was constructed, it took a very long journey; after it was decommissioned it moved a shorter distance. My thanks to Cory Rouillard for alerting …

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