Just Like A Movie

Fifteen years ago, I was on a team evaluating the condition of the building above, constructed slowly in the 1860s as the New York State Inebriate Asylum in Binghamton. At that time it had been effectively abandoned for fourteen years and adaptive reuse was being planned; thanks to the 2008 recession, that reuse is still …

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A Process Of Elimination

Just down the block from that Federal style house I was taking about are some fancier-than-usual tenements. (Also, in the background, you’ve got a nice view of downtown about half a mile away, but that’s incidental to my point.) I want to talk about the one on the left, on the corner of the block. …

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Structural Investigation: Competence

Today’s post was added to this series in response to a comment regarding yesterday’s post. I said yesterday “The question we have to ask is not whether it meets the specific requirements of today’s code (it almost certainly does not) or the code in force when it was built (it might or it might not). …

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Structural Investigation: Options

Every modern building code I’ve seen has, somewhere, some opt-out language. Not for opting out of the code, as that would mean that the code was unenforceable, but rather for opting out of specific requirements. For example, in the 2015 IBC: 104.11 Alternative Materials, Design and Methods of Construction and Equipment The provisions of this …

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Structural Investigation: The Severity Of Known Issues

Above, a Montenegrin bridge being repaired in 1920 from damage resulting from World War I. In the course of investigating a building, you will find any number of conditions that deviate from whatever platonic ideal of a building you have in your head. Those deviations can be described a lot of ways, generally negatively: they …

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