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CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG

July 13, 2009

Study What Fails
Filed under: Sitework — Tags: — nedpelger

I came upon a site that shows some engineering failures. All of us in the construction industry should continue to pay attention both to what works and what doesn’t. We need to study failures to try to avoid the mistakes, but also to keep in mind the magnitude the problems can take.

The photo below shows a 5 story building that toppled.

building_tilt_mat_footings

Look at the mat foundation under that building. The likelihood of over-turning failure seems high with a nothing but a shallow mat foundation on that small footprint.

In Central PA, where I mostly build, we have sinkholes in the limestone bedrock. I’ve helped fix hundreds of these annoying openings over the years. I don’t get too excited when the Construction Supervisor calls to tell me another sink hole opened somewhere on site. The photo below takes sinkhole to another order of magnitude, though.

sinkhole

Apparently this massive sinkhole opened in Florida. Look at the size of the cars to the left (about 10 o’clock). That certainly ruined somebodies day.

We all know we should pay attention to what works, to study success and try to re-create it. Remember to study failure as well. Things can go wrong in many ways. Learn to pay attention to the failures of others, since you won’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself.

CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG

June 17, 2009

Challenging Situation, Creative Solution
Filed under: Sitework — Tags: — nedpelger

If you have 2 minutes, watch this video of unloading a hydraulic excavator from a truck. It just cracks me up.

Though their techniques are questionable, you’ve got to admire the skill in solving the problem.

CONSTRUCTION KNOWLEDGE BLOG

March 9, 2009

The Power of Hydraulics
Filed under: Sitework — Tags: — nedpelger

When I started in construction, hydraulic excavators were just starting to become popular. I remember my boss purchasing a Cat 225 hydraulic excavator when I was foreman on the Conowingo Dam approaches project in 1983. It seemed to me that piece of equipment could do just about anything.

These incredible photos prove it. Can you imagine being the operator for this endeavor? He really had to trust the engineers that designed this crazy climbing tower. These photos visually show the amazing power of hydraulics.

hydraulic_excavator_climbing1

Of course, the standard admonition applies, “Don’t try this on your jobsite.”

By the way, thanks, Rick, for putting this in the ConstructionKnowledge.net Forum. If you enjoy this blog, please pop over to the Forum and have a look around, maybe post something and connect with your fellow construction aficionados.

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