Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Under construction on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco

Oct. 31, 2015
While walking to the Balboa Park BART station saw this under construction building on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Getting the forms out

Removing the forms
It takes some hard work getting the forms out once the slab has been poured.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Elevator pit

Elevator pit
This elevator pit is getting ready for waterproofing.  You don't ever get to see this part of the building once the construction work is over.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Foundation poured

Foundation poured
It is amazing how quickly buildings are built and how long they last.  In this photo of a new foundation (concrete slab) you can see a ramp and plumbing connections.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Egress requirements in the Building Code

Egress requirements in the Building Code

Provide a minimum of two exits from each floor separated by a travel distance equal to not less than 1/2 of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the floor to be served.

What does it mean?

Let's understand the intent of the code.

If the code would only ask the architect to provide two exits without saying anything about how far apart the two exists need to be, the designer can--theoretically--provide two exits, side by side, on just one elevation of the building, and meet the code.  So, there was a need to say that the two exits need to be very far apart so that in case of an emergency people can run in either direction.  But then how far is 'very far'?  Enter the diagonal.  Measure the diagonal and then take half of that measurement.  Your two exits need to be equal to or more than that number.  Say, the diagonal is 100 feet.  Then the exits should be anywhere between 50 and 100 ft--two exits only 49 ft. apart will not work.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What is a ‘draw’ in construction?

What is a ‘draw’ in construction?

Online dictionaries seem to be far behind in including terminologies specific to the construction industry.  This post is being written to help the person looking for the meaning of ‘Draw’ or ‘Draw Meeting’.

Refers to the amount a contractor is asking for payment from the allocated budget of a construction project—think of it as money being drawn out of a pool.

Draw can also be associated with a cardinal number in a series of payments to the contractor e.g., ‘first draw’, ‘second draw’.

Draw meeting
Refers to a meeting of the contractor and other parties (mostly the architect and an owner’s representative) to compare the ‘Draw amount’ or the ‘work completed’ amount with the actual construction progress on site.

Draw documents include:
1.    Application and Certificate for Payment. AIA G702, and
2.    Description of work completed to date. AIA G703

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2008

Digging in Palo Alto?

Beware of high water table. Here is a City of Palo Alto water table map (Depth to First Water, Santa Clara County Groundwater Subbasins).

Palo Alto Flood Zone map--closer still

Palo Alto Flood Zone map--a closer look

Palo Alto Flood Zone map

City of Palo Alto does not allow basements in properties situated in the flood zone (defined as the area where heavy rain would result in water standing in the streets). The Palo Alto Flood Zone map shows the flood zone charted by FEMA (shown in blue), and actual (1998 wet season) flood zone map (shown in hatched).







Making a foundation during rains

Making basement in Palo Alto

Covered for rain

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The very important on-site portable toilet

Foundation extracted out of ground, and fence installed

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A 3-story building under-construction

Redwood rafters saved for recycling

Demolition continued

Demolition continued

The chimney is still intact.



Sunday, July 1, 2007

Another house being demolished and re-constructed

Syed Murtuza Rizvi, another builder friend of mine, is currently working on re-construction of a house in Palo Alto. I'll post pictures of various stages.

By the time I reached the house, some of the exterior panels were already gone.