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Old Posted Aug 3, 2016, 2:04 AM
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San Francisco’s Millennium Tower is tilting and sinking

San Francisco’s Millennium Tower is tilting and sinking
By Wil Barlow • August 1, 2016



The tallest residential tower in San Francisco, and the city’s third tallest overall, has sunk 16 inches since it’s opening in 2008, according to SFGate.

Designed by Handel Architects, the Millennium Tower is one of the highest-profile buildings in the city with units selling as high as $12 million for a penthouse, one of which was owned by venture capitalist Thomas Perkins until his death earlier this year. Other notable residents include San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana.

Currently the Transbay Transit Center, a transit station and neighborhood development project, is under construction on an adjacent site. Its first phase is due to be completed in late 2017, but a study of the site conducted by Arup in 2010 found that the tower had already sunk ten inches. Initial predictions for the tower suggested that it would only sink six inches over its lifetime.

Of added concern is the fact that the tower is not settling evenly, and now has a tilt of two inches. Professor Greg Deierlein of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center at Stanford University told SFGate that these figures were “significant…and of concern,” but not yet a threat to safety. However, the imbalance can lead to expensive maintenance costs down the road due to cracking walls and other structural issues.

The Transbay Transit Center and the building’s developer, Millennium Partners, have each placed blame for the tilt on the other. P.J. Johnson, a spokesperson for Millennium Partners, told SFGate that the nearby construction on the Transit Center caused the problem, suggesting that adequate measures were not taken to protect the tower during the excavation. Representatives of the Transit Center, on the other hand, have suggested that Millennium engineers cut costs and failed to anchor the building into the bedrock. The building also uses concrete rather than steel, and is therefore much heavier.

It’s unclear what steps developers will take to combat the issue, but it will likely involve expensive and complicated repairs.

http://archpaper.com/2016/08/san-fra...tower-sinking/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti....html?ITO=1490
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2016, 2:16 AM
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Crazy to think that my favorite SF building is sinking so fast. Hopefully they can fix it before it's too late.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2016, 2:11 PM
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At least it's mostly sinking straight down, so it's not in any major danger of tipping over.
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2016, 3:27 AM
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One of the solutions being proposed is to construct a taller, heavier structure next door to keep it anchored upright. I'm all for this one
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2016, 5:36 PM
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One of the solutions being proposed is to construct a taller, heavier structure next door to keep it anchored upright. I'm all for this one
And by "next door" they mean... where? Aren't all the lots within a block or so already substantially developed.

Not only is available land an issue, but how would that even be feasible? Think about all the variables that would have to fall into place: The city could up-zone a tower site in the right location, but there's no guarantee that a developer would build something substantial enough (unless it was Millennium Partners looking to protect their original investment but no way to guarantee that outcome). The city could put requirements in place to ensure an adequately weighted structure, but that seems incredibly heavy handed with numerous potential legal issues. Plus, in order for the weight of a nearby structure to balance the structural load of the soil below Millennium Tower, it would have to exert force on the soil below (i.e. have the same type of foundation/not drilled into bedrock) which I doubt anyone would comfortable financing or insuring at this point given all the known issues. In short, I'm skeptical.

Last edited by L.ARCH; Oct 12, 2016 at 6:05 PM.
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Old Posted Oct 13, 2016, 1:52 AM
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According to the article I read it was an engineer from a Midwestern university who looked at the problem and suggested this as a solution. But it didn't address any of the issue you brought up. I agree that even if there an adjacent property which would fit the bill aside from the issue you mentioned building such a tower would likely negate one of the main advantage/selling points of living at the Millennium in the first place, the views.

If you've given it any thought what do you think might work? Is it possible to install a counterweight? Not a tower but something underground -even under public streets ?
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2016, 8:17 PM
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Given that Millennium Tower is subsiding in part because of the excavation for the Salesforce Tower and Transbay Terminal, there's your future heavier building right there.

In other news, it's not sinking so straight anymore.


San Francisco's 58-story Millennium Tower is upscale, but literally sinking fast

Peter H. King
October 22, 2016


Looking back, Pamela Buttery can recall an early clue that something could be amiss at the luxury high-rise where she’s lived for the past six years.

A golfer, she sometimes practiced her putting indoors, tapping the ball toward a portable cup on the hardwood floor in her living room.

If Buttery missed, the ball would carom off the wall and strangely change course, swerving right and gaining momentum as it rolled toward the northwest corner of her condo. At which point, she said, her cat Maximus would “go racing after the ball.”

And as it sinks, the building also has begun to list ever so slightly — an estimated two to four inches at the structure’s base and 14 inches at the top, where Buttery’s unit sits at the northwest corner of the next-to-highest floor.

...

While a paper trail of concern about potential settling leads back to early 2009, even before the Millennium Tower was ready for occupancy, most residents of the building knew nothing about any issue with the foundation until they were summoned in early May to a private meeting in a lounge on the tower’s club level.

Identification was checked at the door. Residents were told that what they were to hear must be kept a secret. A lawyer introduced a structural engineer who delivered, as Buttery and others recall, a simple statement that startled the packed room:

“The Millennium building is too heavy for its foundation.”

Not only had the tower settled by far more than the four to six inches originally forecast for the life of the building but, “most importantly,” recalled Jerry Dodson, a retired patent lawyer and a vocal critic of the tower’s builders, the engineer said “it wasn’t stopping.”

Dodson has since heard estimates that the building could sink anywhere from 30 to 48 inches, “but nobody really knows.”
http://www.latimes.com/local/califor...nap-story.html


Violations found in repairs to sinking, tilting luxury high-rise
By J.K. Dineen
October 28, 2016 Updated: October 29, 2016 6:57am

San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection has filed two notices of violation against Millennium Tower, saying the owners made unauthorized repairs to address issues caused by the building’s sinking.

The department found spalling and leaking in the underground parking garage, as well as repairs that had been done without permits. DBI ordered the building owner to obtain permits for the work already done and provide an engineering report on the condition of water intrusion and cracking in the garage walls.

A second violation charges that two ramps on the Millennium complex’s ground floor — one connects the 58-story condominium tower to the adjacent 11-story podium, and the other goes to the rear porte cochere — are steeper than the maximum slope allowed by state building codes. The handrails were also found to be out of compliance. Both must be corrected within 90 days.

Building Inspector Daniel Lowery said that the slope of the ramps had clearly become steeper during settlement and that the owner had tried to correct the problem.\

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...g-10421476.php


Agency says it will keep pumping water near leaning SF tower
By J.K. Dineen
September 21, 2016

The Millennium tower on the lower right, across the street from the location of a new proposed plaza tucked into the southwest corner of Mission and Fremont Streets intersection in San Francisco , Calif., on ... more

The public agency building the Transbay Transit Center says it will keep pumping groundwater from beneath the construction site well into 2017, despite claims the process is contributing to the sinking of the Millennium Tower next door.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority said the dewatering, which is performed to maintain a dry work site, would continue for the foreseeable future at the $4.5 billion transit center.

“At some point prior to completion of the transit center in late 2017, construction will have progressed to the point that the weight of the transit center is sufficient to counterbalance the upward water pressure, and dewatering can cease,” the authority said in a statement.

The statement comes after executives with Millennium Partners, which built the 419-unit luxury condominium tower at First and Mission streets, accused the authority of “a pattern of reckless behavior” that has caused the 58-story building to sink 16 inches and tilt 2 inches to the northwest at its base.

In particular, they said the water table under the high-rise has dropped at least 20 feet since construction started on the transit center in 2012. The dewatering caused the compression and weakening of the soil under the tower’s foundation, Millennium contends. The tower, at 301 Mission St., opened in 2009.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...ar-9238395.php

The blame game continues.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2016, 12:43 AM
CaliNative CaliNative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalziand View Post
Given that Millennium Tower is subsiding in part because of the excavation for the Salesforce Tower and Transbay Terminal, there's your future heavier building right there.

In other news, it's not sinking so straight anymore.


San Francisco's 58-story Millennium Tower is upscale, but literally sinking fast

Peter H. King
October 22, 2016


Looking back, Pamela Buttery can recall an early clue that something could be amiss at the luxury high-rise where she’s lived for the past six years.

A golfer, she sometimes practiced her putting indoors, tapping the ball toward a portable cup on the hardwood floor in her living room.

If Buttery missed, the ball would carom off the wall and strangely change course, swerving right and gaining momentum as it rolled toward the northwest corner of her condo. At which point, she said, her cat Maximus would “go racing after the ball.”

And as it sinks, the building also has begun to list ever so slightly — an estimated two to four inches at the structure’s base and 14 inches at the top, where Buttery’s unit sits at the northwest corner of the next-to-highest floor.

...

While a paper trail of concern about potential settling leads back to early 2009, even before the Millennium Tower was ready for occupancy, most residents of the building knew nothing about any issue with the foundation until they were summoned in early May to a private meeting in a lounge on the tower’s club level.

Identification was checked at the door. Residents were told that what they were to hear must be kept a secret. A lawyer introduced a structural engineer who delivered, as Buttery and others recall, a simple statement that startled the packed room:

“The Millennium building is too heavy for its foundation.”

Not only had the tower settled by far more than the four to six inches originally forecast for the life of the building but, “most importantly,” recalled Jerry Dodson, a retired patent lawyer and a vocal critic of the tower’s builders, the engineer said “it wasn’t stopping.”

Dodson has since heard estimates that the building could sink anywhere from 30 to 48 inches, “but nobody really knows.”
http://www.latimes.com/local/califor...nap-story.html


Violations found in repairs to sinking, tilting luxury high-rise
By J.K. Dineen
October 28, 2016 Updated: October 29, 2016 6:57am

San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection has filed two notices of violation against Millennium Tower, saying the owners made unauthorized repairs to address issues caused by the building’s sinking.

The department found spalling and leaking in the underground parking garage, as well as repairs that had been done without permits. DBI ordered the building owner to obtain permits for the work already done and provide an engineering report on the condition of water intrusion and cracking in the garage walls.

A second violation charges that two ramps on the Millennium complex’s ground floor — one connects the 58-story condominium tower to the adjacent 11-story podium, and the other goes to the rear porte cochere — are steeper than the maximum slope allowed by state building codes. The handrails were also found to be out of compliance. Both must be corrected within 90 days.

Building Inspector Daniel Lowery said that the slope of the ramps had clearly become steeper during settlement and that the owner had tried to correct the problem.\

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...g-10421476.php


Agency says it will keep pumping water near leaning SF tower
By J.K. Dineen
September 21, 2016

The Millennium tower on the lower right, across the street from the location of a new proposed plaza tucked into the southwest corner of Mission and Fremont Streets intersection in San Francisco , Calif., on ... more

The public agency building the Transbay Transit Center says it will keep pumping groundwater from beneath the construction site well into 2017, despite claims the process is contributing to the sinking of the Millennium Tower next door.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority said the dewatering, which is performed to maintain a dry work site, would continue for the foreseeable future at the $4.5 billion transit center.

“At some point prior to completion of the transit center in late 2017, construction will have progressed to the point that the weight of the transit center is sufficient to counterbalance the upward water pressure, and dewatering can cease,” the authority said in a statement.

The statement comes after executives with Millennium Partners, which built the 419-unit luxury condominium tower at First and Mission streets, accused the authority of “a pattern of reckless behavior” that has caused the 58-story building to sink 16 inches and tilt 2 inches to the northwest at its base.

In particular, they said the water table under the high-rise has dropped at least 20 feet since construction started on the transit center in 2012. The dewatering caused the compression and weakening of the soil under the tower’s foundation, Millennium contends. The tower, at 301 Mission St., opened in 2009.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...ar-9238395.php

The blame game continues.
The lesson? All new skyscrapers should have foundations that go to bedrock.

Last edited by CaliNative; Nov 4, 2016 at 12:53 AM.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2016, 2:11 AM
CastleScott CastleScott is offline
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The lesson? All new skyscrapers should have foundations that go to bedrock
Gosh no kidding-someone really messed up on this, I wonder if Joe Montana still has his condo in there?
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2016, 5:44 AM
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Satellites Confirm Sinking of San Francisco Tower
25 November 2016

The Sentinel-1 satellites have shown that the Millennium Tower skyscraper in the centre of San Francisco is sinking by a few centimetres a year. Studying the city is helping scientists to improve the monitoring of urban ground movements, particularly for subsidence hotspots in Europe.

Completed in 2009, the 58-storey Millennium Tower has recently been showing signs of sinking and tilting. Although the cause has not been pinpointed, it is believed that the movements are connected to the supporting piles not firmly resting on bedrock.

To probe these subtle shifts, scientists combined multiple radar scans from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 twin satellites of the same area to detect subtle surface changes – down to millimetres. The technique works well with buildings because they better reflect the radar beam.
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Ob...rancisco_tower



annotation by the Register
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2016, 2:12 AM
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If an earthquake were to occur anytime in the near future, what are the odds that this tower would collapse?
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Last edited by TechTalkGuy; Dec 1, 2016 at 4:23 AM. Reason: Video Added.
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