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

Google bets on massive heat pump system in pursuit of LEED Platinum at new campus

Adele Peters, writing for Fast Company: At a construction site on Google’s new Bay View campus–a few miles from its headquarters in Mountain View, on NASA-owned land near the San Francisco Bay–cranes lift tubing high in the air and drop it into holes that descend 80 feet into the ground. It’s a step that will … Continue reading Google bets on massive heat pump system in pursuit of LEED Platinum at new campus

Impersonating a fully licensed architect, engineer or contractor is no way to go through life

Becoming licensed as an architect, engineer or contractor is the culmination of many years of hard work. Since humans often like shortcuts, I suppose it should come as no surprise that someone felt that impersonating an architect would be a lot easier than actually becoming one. As you might expect, hilarity did not ensue. Consumerist's … Continue reading Impersonating a fully licensed architect, engineer or contractor is no way to go through life

Tracking the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire through its plumbing and sewage infrastructure

Annalee Newitz wrote an awesome piece for Ars Technica on a subject that most people would probably not care much about: Ancient Rome's plumbing and sewage system: The ancient Roman plumbing system was a legendary achievement in civil engineering, bringing fresh water to urbanites from hundreds of kilometers away. Wealthy Romans had hot and cold … Continue reading Tracking the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire through its plumbing and sewage infrastructure

Things you can’t learn in school: Troubleshooting

Andrea Marson wrote a great post discussing the art of troubleshooting within the context of engineering. This is a topic that has a great deal of personal meaning to me as well, as a forensic analyst investigating high-stakes and complex disputes involving real estate and construction. Although Marson is an electronics and software professional, some … Continue reading Things you can’t learn in school: Troubleshooting