Daily digest: A 3D investigation of the Surfside collapse, COVID is still battering construction, and more

COVID Comedown

Daily digest: A 3D investigation of the Surfside collapse, COVID is still battering construction, and more

Construction is slowing down as the COVID’s Delta variant strains supply chains and employee resources (Leo Fosdal/Unsplash)

Good morning and welcome back to yet another roundup of news to know as summer officially winds down and we head into another pandemic fall. If you’re in the United States., this long weekend is the perfect time to wind down; unless you were one of the millions affected by Hurricane Ida over the last few days.

Here’s what’s going on today:

The New York Times digitally recreates Champlain Towers South to expose its construction flaws

The site of the deadly tower collapse in Surfside, Florida, has officially hit the market, but questions remain over what caused the Champlain Towers South condo building to fall. Now, the New York Times has put together a forensic recreation of the tower that flies through the 3D modeled structure to pinpoint probable failure points and areas of deferred maintenance. Factors like planters not originally specified for the deck above the parking garage (leading to water infiltration and tens of thousands of pounds of added weight on the structural columns) and flaws in the original design have all been meticulously called out.

H/t to the New York Times

250 Water Street tower hits a snag over South Street Seaport Museum funding

The SOM-designed, Howard Hughes Corporation-funded 250 Water Street tower project in the South Street Seaport has reportedly hit a bit of a snafu as New York City officials work out to transfer the promised $50 million to the struggling South Street Seaport Museum, an important part of the project’s approval. The city and Howard Hughes are currently working to formalize the process, but Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is withholding support of 250 Water Street until a formal agreement can be hashed out.

H/t to The Real Deal

The Delta variant continues to hold back the construction industry

Despite a resurgent boom in design and construction demand, COVID’s Delta variant has been dragging down the construction industry. As the more infectious variant of COVID-19 continues to cause a worldwide surge in cases, the virus is (familiarly) causing material and labor shortages, price hikes, transportation costs to skyrocket, and rampant inflation. That last point is particularly salient, as a new study from Associated Builders and Contractors found that while non-residential construction spending remained essentially flat in July, factoring in inflation meant that the volume of work decreased month-over-month.

H/t to Construction Dive

In Waterbury, Connecticut, the Mattatuck Museum expansion is finally complete

The Boston-based Ann Beha Architects has completed its renovation and expansion of the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut, adding 6,8000 square feet of new space to the 144-year-old institution. The two wings of the regional history and art museum’s current home, a former Masonic Temple built in 1912, were formally joined by the new, zinc-clad addition, which rises on the lot’s corner between the two disparate halves. A 3,300-square-foot landscaped rooftop terrace (open to the public but also reservable for private events) tops the new single-story addition.

A historic (but inauthentic) totem pole comes down in Tacoma

A Tacoma, Washington, totem pole once touted as the world’s largest, has been cut down and removed. On August 3, workers from the city arrived with chainsaws to slice up the totem pole, originally built ahead of President Teddy Roosevelt’s visit to the city on May 22, 1903. The problem? Despite claims by the original builders, the totem pole wasn’t carved by Indigenous peoples at all and improperly represents the local Puyallup Tribe. The city will commission new art for Fireman’s Park from the Coast Salish, and is working to find a new permanent home for the remains of the old pole, which underwent an extensive restoration and re-stabilization in 1974 through 1976, and later 2014, respectively.

H/t to The Seattle Times