Book Review: NYC Building Code, 3, Support of Excavation

I want to look today at a single subsection in the code, where the changes are relatively subtle but very real. Unlike yesterday and Monday, this is a topic that I deal with a lot: support of excavation, usually abbreviated SoE. If that phase sounds funny, think of it as “why doesn’t the earth cave …

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Book Review: NYC Building Code, 1, Underpinning

I’m not actually going to review the 2022 New York City Building Code because I don’t want to write that and you don’t want to read that. What I want to do is take a look at some of the significant changes in terms of structural issues and specifically those places that the NYC code …

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I wrote about the Columbus Monument once before, but that post was so brief as to barely exist. The picture of the monument above, from 1903 or so, inspired me to discuss the most structural-engineering aspect of the monument: it sits on top of a train station that wasn’t there when it was built. Let’s …

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Hidden Technology Transfer

When people took the idea of braced iron frames from bridges and started using it for buildings, it was clear for all to see, at least during construction. Before the metal framing was hidden by brick or terrace cotta, it was visible above the construction fences surrounding the building sites. I’ve put up any number …

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Woolworth: Caissons

The book A History of the Singer Construction that I was mining last week is not unique. The position of skyscrapers in the early twentieth century – interesting expressions of the high-tech of the day, accessible to view by any passers-by – meant that they were popular subjects for magazines and newspapers, and that publicity …

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