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About T52

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  • Birthday 02/06/1952

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    Litchfield County Connecticut
  1. T52

    PROPOSED: AI Tech Center

    Leslie Robertson of Twin Towers fame did the engineering on the Bank of China ... another pretty talented designer
  2. T52

    PROPOSED: AI Tech Center

    In design, there is function and there is form. On the form side there is is the building shape and then there is the gingerbread which is like the little pagoda roof and ornamentation that people associate with buildings like Broadcast House. Actually, there is often more in common with the core of buildings than many people imagine. Column spacing, floor to floor height and live load capacity of the floor often dictate the potential use (or re-use) of a building. In downtown buildings, the shape of the site usually dictates most of the footprint of the building. Many times some efficiency is lost in a building conversion but at a cost savings over complete demolition and re-construction. That having been said, the "ugly buildings" in that 30-60 year timeframe are often re-skinned into a more contemporary architectural style only to be de-skinned and returned to their original look 30 years later. Even the "Butt Ugly" building is a potential gem in the rough. Given the current state of the economy, I'd be inclined to take a second look at re-cycling a building like the Broadcast House. As for Bushnell Towers, I worked with that architect on a different project and found him to be incredibly gifted. Don't under-estimate the developer's role in the process...
  3. T52

    PROPOSED: AI Tech Center

    One of the interesting things about that building is that the construction technique used was lift slab - banned in this State after the collapse of L'Ambiance Plaza. In the late 70's I worked for an architectural firm in there.
  4. Perhaps it would be better for the developer to pay for the work completed prior to "getting more work done"...
  5. T52

    Downtown Hartford Residential Projects

    Don't discount the fact that the current spike in building materials will go straight to the bottom line of any new development projects which will in turn have to be made up for in higher rents. Also, some of the renting of larger units has been a result of renters stepping up from smaller units. A waiting list is a good thing if it is not too large.
  6. Looks like the magic carpet is back -
  7. I drove past the Science Center this morning and it looks like the crane is finally moving on the "magic carpet" - rumor has it that there is an additional 40,000 lbs of steel going up (another source reported 40 tons - 80,000 lbs - I don't know which report is right so I went conservative).
  8. T52

    Downtown Hartford Residential Projects

    You ignored the 170 student/intern rooms that are part of the Sage Allen project...
  9. Just as the original Temple Street Project proposal was not going to get off the ground. The City gave up on the idea of the Temple Street Development and comissioned an Architect and completed demolition drawings to turn the site into another vacant lot when some people rolled up their sleeves and made it happen.
  10. Not to mention that the laser ablated granite photos are pretty cool as well...
  11. Perhaps that is because I knew that the initially rendered Sage Allen project was not going to be built due to site problems and the options were a scaled down version or no project at all. My first budgets on that project were dated 1996 and it took 8 years to get construction underway. Unlike numerous projects I have budgeted for developers (that were never built), Sage Allen is 95% occupied and Hartford is better for it. Perhaps I am troubled by the Science Center because I know how tough it is to make these projects come together. By the way, if you do a little research you will find that the Science Center was proposed on the other side of the river (on Konover's site which was why the magnet school was located there) - was that another bait and switch?
  12. I also have a little construction experience and my point is that Berlin Steel may be taking the brunt of the blame in the press for this when in fact their obligations as erector of a structure with bolted connections were likely satisfied due to the facts that the tolerence requirements of this type of structure are greater than a simple structure, the blted connections involve pre-drilled holes and the fabrication was outside of the scope of their work (as I have been told). Contractors do not work on the huge margins that people think they do and at the end of the day, it appears that the underlying reason for the re-work was that the "magic carpet" did not exactly match the drawings - something hardly detectable without measuring equipment. I seriously doubt that the "magic carpet" will look any different after the blood is spilled and therefore feel that the process seems a bit wasteful...
  13. Actually, this is not as black and white as you might think. In construction, there are allowable tolerances for different parts of structures and in some instances those tolerances can be different for the same components in different applications depending on the complexity of the structure. If this structure is of unusual complexity, which seems a reasonable possibility, the out of plane dimensions that I have seen (something like 12-18") could very well be within allowable tolerances. Those tolerances relate to things like the cumulative effect of minor inconsistencies in materials and fabrication techniques. When a piece of steel is rolled to create a curve, the steel is actually bent further and then it springs back to a lesser curve. The steel will then bend to a different curve when it is put in place (deflecting under its own weight). If you were making lots of the same pieces, you would make minor adjustments and it some point get it down to very tight tolerances. When you are making just a few pieces, it is not practical to expect that the fabricator is going to roll and test enough pieces to get the tolerances zeroed in, therefore the greater latitude. That having been said, one has to ask why would anybody want to force the issue, absent any structural issue like the beams are too small, bad connections, defective materials etc. The process that is underway could easily be a million dollar problem and when the numbers are that big, you can bet there will be a battle to settle this thing out. I have seen greater dimensional busts with large simple structures when putting large additions on buildings that have stood for years without causing issues but the problem. At some level I can't help imagine that there is a huge ego fueling this wasteful process...
  14. An article on the removal/repair: http://www.courant.com/news/custom/topnews...dlines-specials
  15. This is the roof problem I heard about. I really don't think that the ice issue is real given the horizontal distance between the roof and the highway. Without engaging in the discussion of who pays for the repair of the elevation/deflection problem, predicting the behavior of unrestrained formed steel components is as much art as science. When you are pushing the envelope with pieces at the scale of the monumental roof structure of the science center, the possibility of problems is pretty great and when problems arise they need to be taken in stride. The posts on the Courant article drawing similarities to the I-84 debacle are evidence of the ignorace of the posters.