The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

San Francisco is ready to make significant modifications in order to reduce its buildings environmental impact.

Monday, 15 April 2019 08:45

World's most expensive city to build

San Francisco has recently turned into the most expensive city to build in the world.

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The 58-story Millennium Tower and the new-built Salesforce Transit Center developed severe issues and could be inadequate in case of a massive earthquake.

Huge cracks spreading in the building's basement force its residents to sell their high-priced apartments at a loss

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A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley (Berkeley Lab)  and Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) national laboratories, as well as from the University of California at Davis, have developed the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to precisely capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and how the shaking impacts buildings. The code will take advantage of exascale supercomputers, the future supercomputers that will be 50 times faster than the US’s most powerful system today. Their work is part of the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP), a collaborative effort between the DOE’s Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Agency and was recently published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society’s Computers in Science and Engineering. 


The Millennium Tower is a high-rise luxurious building and a landmark of San Francisco. The impressive structure stands out and is the tallest residential building in San Francisco, but recently, structural problems have been reported. The tower has been sinking into the ground and there is concern for even more serious damage.

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was completed in 2013, took 12 years to build and cost $6.4 billion. It is the largest and most ambitious public works project in California history, in large part because it is designed to withstand a massive earthquake. Since shortly before its completion, however, the bridge has been plagued with questions about its sturdiness.

Last week Caltrans revealed that 120 of the 400 galvanized steel rods that anchor the bridges tower to its foundation are in leaky sleeves flooded with saltwater.   This presents a key vulnerability in the event of a large earthquake.

Additional Info

  • Date occured Friday, 12 June 2015
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 00:00

New SFO Control Tower is State-of-the-Art

This week San Francisco International Airport turns over its new control tower to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA will spend a year outfitting the 221-foot, torch-like, flared cylinder with its systems, testing them and training controllers. The concrete spine of the tower is tied, with steel cables, to a 7-foot thick mat foundation, which is supported by 140-foot deep piers that reach the bedrock below. The tower contains two dampers, each 37,400 pounds, which help the shaft to remain still in high winds and to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. The FAA provided the majority of the $120 million dollars needed for project.

Additional Info

  • Date occured Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The most complex public works project in California history - the Bay Bridge's new eastern span - will be finally declared complete in a few weeks. The area's landmark was based on a bold design that had never been tried on that scale and will now pass under the control of state and local authorities after 16 years of construction. 

The creators of the Bay Bridge’s “Bay Lights” have until the end of the year to raise $4 million to keep their changing light display from coming to an end. The Bay Lights have been around since March of 2013 and are operating on a two-year permit. The system was privately funded and cost $8 million to install. They are made up of 25,000 LED lights that are attached to 300 cables on one side of the bridge’s western span. Artist Leo Villareal programmed the lights to constantly change patterns from dusk until dawn each night.

Additional Info

  • Date occured Friday, 24 October 2014
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