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

What is liquefaction and why is it so dangerous to buildings and their inhabitants?

During an earthquake, as most people may recall from grade school, sometimes a strange phenomenon occurs in sandy soils known as liquefaction. And it is exactly what it sounds like — the ground that is made up of solid particles (sand) suddenly behaves like a liquid. Liquid is a poor support for a building's foundation, … Continue reading What is liquefaction and why is it so dangerous to buildings and their inhabitants?

Florida: Sinkhole Swallows Portion of 3-Story Resort Building

Geology is to blame for a situation which very nearly ended in disaster at a resort in Florida. In the middle of the night, a security guard began waking and evacuating guests at the Summer Bay Resort as a sinkhole rapidly expanded beneath one of the buildings. Luckily, nobody was harmed. About 30 percent of … Continue reading Florida: Sinkhole Swallows Portion of 3-Story Resort Building

California: Malicious Prosecution Claim Denied Following Construction Defect Litigation

Owners of a home on San Fransisco's historic Lombard Street hired a contractor, Thomas Lutge, to remodel their home. Due to the site conditions, this work required extensive excavation and underpinning prior to construction of a new basement foundation. All did not go as planned. Following Lutge's excavation, a geotechnical and structural engineering firm, Sure … Continue reading California: Malicious Prosecution Claim Denied Following Construction Defect Litigation