New Steel Reinforcing and Post-Tenioning safety requirements coming to CA in 2018

Retrofit Magazine shared the following major construction safety news announcement: The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has voted to adopt the Iron Workers (IW) safety standard updates for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. California is the first state-approved OSHA plan to work with the IW to reform existing safety standards. The IW … Continue reading New Steel Reinforcing and Post-Tenioning safety requirements coming to CA in 2018

Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

According to Rong-Gong Lin II, Raoul Rañoa and Jon Schleuss of the LA Times, the city of Santa Monica is considering a mandated seismic retrofit program: Santa Monica’s safety rules would go beyond what Los Angeles has done by requiring not only wood-frame apartments and concrete buildings to be retrofitted, but also steel-frame structures. The ordinance … Continue reading Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

Researchers at Stanford are pleased to report the following: Thousands of miles of buried optical fibers crisscross California’s San Francisco Bay Area delivering high-speed internet and HD video to homes and businesses. Biondo Biondi, a professor of geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, dreams of turning that dense network into an … Continue reading Stanford researchers working on regional “seismic observatory” using existing fiber optic networks

California: It ain’t easy being a green builder (but there are some real opportunities)

San Diego’s Building Industry Association played host to an outstanding and dynamic presentation earlier this morning on the topic of energy and the 2016 California building codes that went into effect at the beginning of this year.

The panelists included a great mix of building professionals and thought leaders that don’t merely speculate on the impact of green building — they live it:

Continue reading “California: It ain’t easy being a green builder (but there are some real opportunities)”

Oroville Dam interim report highlights the importance of codes and standards

When the Oroville Dam failed earlier this year, it prompted a review of numerous major infrastructure projects throughout California. The news is not good, as it is clear that many billions of dollars of tax-funded projects were designed and constructed to withstand significant seismic events. That’s because we’ve learned that our previous codes and standards … Continue reading Oroville Dam interim report highlights the importance of codes and standards

Augmented Reality goes to trial, wins (for now…)

David Kravets, writing for Ars Technica: A judge on Thursday declared as unconstitutional a local Wisconsin ordinance mandating that the makers of augmented reality games get special use permits if their mobile apps were to be played in county parks. The law—the nation’s first of its kind—was challenged on First Amendment grounds amid concerns it … Continue reading Augmented Reality goes to trial, wins (for now…)

Can a hybrid jet engine and battery combo help California meet renewable energy goals?

As California continues the transition to renewable energy, practical issues sometimes create unforeseen complications. One example: California requires that ALL residential buildings constructed after January 1, 2020 produce at least as much energy as they used. By 2030, all new nonresidential buildings must meet zero net energy requirements.

Additionally, the state is requiring that 50% of existing nonresidential buildings meet the zero net energy requirements by 2030, although some details obviously need to be worked out as far as deciding which 50% of those buildings must comply. Continue reading “Can a hybrid jet engine and battery combo help California meet renewable energy goals?”

As deadline approaches, majority of San Francisco’s mandatory seismic retrofits not yet even permitted

According to J.K. Dineen at the SF Chronicle: With five months to go before a Sept. 15 deadline to pull permits for the work, owners of nearly 52 percent of “tier three” buildings — wood-frame structures of between five and 15 units — have yet to submit permit applications. That’s the first step in the … Continue reading As deadline approaches, majority of San Francisco’s mandatory seismic retrofits not yet even permitted

View from the Top: West Coast’s tallest building(*) makes its mark on the San Francisco skyline

With 1.4-million square feet of habitable space, spread out among 61 floors, the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco is projected to be the tallest building “West of the Mississippi” topping out at 1,070 feet above ground.

(It should be noted that while the top of the spire at the Wilshire Grand in LA will reach 1,099 feet, Salesforce will still have the highest occupied floor at 970 feet. Until, of course, some third building is erected to surpass both of the former…) Continue reading “View from the Top: West Coast’s tallest building(*) makes its mark on the San Francisco skyline”

Why is the risk for earthquakes just as high in parts of the Midwest as it is in California?

During the tail end of my junior year of high school, my family and I temporarily relocated to Southwest Missouri. We were fleeing the cratering of the entire construction industry in Southern California, hoping to catch the extraordinary boom in construction taking place surrounding Branson. Although the school year only had a few weeks left, … Continue reading Why is the risk for earthquakes just as high in parts of the Midwest as it is in California?