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

Could self-healing bio-concrete reduce future construction defect claims?

As nerdy as it probably sounds, I can’t even begin to put into words how excited I am for products like this. Back in January of 2014, I wrote about the winners of the 2013 Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge, including the inventors of self-healing bio-concrete. Cracked concrete is a frequent allegation in construction defect claims. Continue reading “Could self-healing bio-concrete reduce future construction defect claims?”

Lessons learned from the Navy SEALs on what “resilience” really means for the built environment

A short while back, I had a chance to meet an extraordinary young man named Brandon Andrews. As he was transitioning out of the Navy SEALs, he launched a new company called Trident CM LLC, with the brilliant idea to recruit former SEALs to provide construction quality management on DOD projects.

In the built environment, from the Northridge earthquake, to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and other disasters, resilience has become an imperative. But what does that even mean? Continue reading “Lessons learned from the Navy SEALs on what “resilience” really means for the built environment”

Next up in Commercial Real Estate Development: The Moon!

They say, “the sky’s the limit,” but perhaps not for long when it comes to commercial real estate development. The valuation of real estate is based on a simple principle: there is only so much land on the surface of our planet. What if we could open up a little more land for development, even if it isn’t the most convenient?

In response to a number of startup firms eyeing the possibility of commercial real estate development on the surface of the moon, the US Federal Aviation Administration has taken an interesting step to ensure “that commercial activities can be conducted on a non-interference basis.” Continue reading “Next up in Commercial Real Estate Development: The Moon!”

Sustainable Donuts: New internal green building certification program for Dunkin’ Donuts endorsed by UL

After my heart attack about two years ago, I have tried to limit my donut intake (instead of once a week, now it is more like once a month). Who would’ve ever thought that donuts could be so sustainable?

The corporate overlords at Dunkin’ Donuts have taken an interesting path to improving the sustainability of their facilities by developing their own internal green building certification program. The environmental division of Underwriters Laboratory has reviewed the Dunkin’ Donuts program and offered endorsement for the certification requirements. Continue reading “Sustainable Donuts: New internal green building certification program for Dunkin’ Donuts endorsed by UL”

Do energy efficient building practices result in better feedback loops and better workmanship?

My wife and I have been lucky to have three kids that (so far) haven’t ever played with fire, or knives, or consumed dangerous cleaning supplies, or anything like that. It didn’t take burning down the house, stitches, or stomach pumping to teach each of them the danger inherent with certain things—a quick touch to a hot oven provides instantaneous feedback.

This is the primary concept of the feedback loop, explained by Wired Magazine: Continue reading “Do energy efficient building practices result in better feedback loops and better workmanship?”

London: Failed, fallen structural components at the Cheesegrater building prompt investigation

The Leadenhall Building at 122 Leadenhall Street in London, also known affectionately as the Cheesegrater due to its unique shape, is 47-stories tall and is the UK’s 4th largest building. Featuring a cutting edge high-performance building envelope incorporating passive heating and cooling elements, 85% of its construction took place off-site, making it one of the largest and most complex prefabricated projects to date. Continue reading “London: Failed, fallen structural components at the Cheesegrater building prompt investigation”

Italian scientists facing prison for failing to predict 2009 earthquake acquitted, for now…

In April of 2009, an earthquake caused extensive damage to the ancient city of L’Aquila, Italy. Relatives of people I know in that region luckily survived without injury. However, the Italian government surprised the International scientific community when it filed criminal charges against the geologists for “failing to predict the earthquake.”

Fortunately, the geologists were acquitted in October. Appeals by prosecutors are still expected, so this story is not yet over. Continue reading “Italian scientists facing prison for failing to predict 2009 earthquake acquitted, for now…”

Pictures from the 2014 AGC San Diego Hot Summer Nights car show

On July 29th, the San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors (AGCSD) held its annual “Hot Summer Nights” event. Featuring dozens of restored/modified classic cars owned by members of the organization, the event is a fun way to see some of the toys that AGCSD members are so passionate about. While I’m not a … Continue reading Pictures from the 2014 AGC San Diego Hot Summer Nights car show