Another building under renovation partially collapses, this time in the Back Bay

Beacon Street collapse scene

Firefighters on scene. Photo by Kyle Stratis.

Hours after a wrecking crew tore down a partially collapsed building in East Boston, the chimney of a building under renovation at 361 Beacon St. in the Back Bay collapsed and plunged to the first floor.

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World Class Crumbling

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World Class Crumbling Shithole TM since 1636!

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Burning down the town

A lot of buildings didn't get to the crumbling phase of their existence before large areas of the city would experience urban renewal by fire.

Or, lacking that, individual conflagration and rebuild.

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First stone building in

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First stone building in Boston wasn't built until 1636

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2 in 2 days

Between collapses and wood construction the time has come for contractors to be scrutinized better.
We could wait for serious injury or death.

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Concrete Is Better

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Besides with the current ecological issues on the planet, we really need to reserve wood for toilet paper production only, lest we need to switch to bidets.

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Backwards

Concrete isn't really a renewable resource due to the kind of sand needed and the energy needed.

It should be saved for infrastructure type things.

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Doesn't have to be

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Concrete last forever so there is no need to recycle. Special sand? You're kidding. Spoken like a true carpenter.

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Nope

https://www.wired.com/2015/03/illegal-sand-mining/

"Though the supply might seem endless, sand is a finite resource like any other. The worldwide construction boom of recent years—all those mushrooming megacities, from Lagos to Beijing—is devouring unprecedented quantities; extracting it is a $70 billion industry. In Dubai enormous land-reclamation projects and breakneck skyscraper-building have exhausted all the nearby sources. Exporters in Australia are literally selling sand to Arabs."

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=11911

"The industrial sector, which encompasses manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and construction, accounted for almost a third of total U.S. energy use in 2012. Energy-intensive manufacturing accounted for a little more than half of total industrial energy use. Although the cement industry used only one-quarter of one percent of total U.S. energy, it is the most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries, with a share of national energy use roughly 10 times its share of the nation's gross output of goods and services. On average, other energy intensive industries' share of energy use is roughly twice their share of gross output. Cement is also unique in its heavy reliance on coal and petroleum coke."

Roman style cement made with volcanic ash lasts for millennium. The stuff we use around here, not so much.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/why-modern-mortar-crumbles-roman-...

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Not so

Concrete last forever

Concrete is not permanent.

Many people think of concrete as a durable, long-lasting material; however, the past 40 years has shown it might be otherwise. Governments in Canada, the U.S. and Europe have spent billions of dollars repairing and restoring aging structures built in the mid-20th century that have not met their service life expectations. Engineers have warned this is only the beginning.

Owners and designers are now paying more attention to service life expectations during the design phase of projects. Service life expectations are being stated in defined terms, typically of 75 to 100 years.

Also, concrete can be recycled.

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earthquake resistance

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That requires steel.

Concrete isn't a very good material for residential construction.

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Masonry

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Concrete is the material for high rise residential--thinnrr floor plate mean the developer can fit more floors in and it provides great acoustic separation. Which is something wood is really not good at unless you build expensive and wide walls. Masonry (block) is great for residential but required skilled labor and isn't the cheapest option. Stick built is low skill and super cheap.

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What?

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In a multi unit building concrete floors are a MUST. Otherwise you better hope you're living on the top floor. Because wooden joists will make you think that you neighbors are all into recreating Flashdance.

But even single family homes built with concrete are so sleek and nice looking. Just check out virtually any issue of Dwell magazine for an example.

Also to note, concrete in buildings is almost universally reinforced with metal rebar and/or steel framing. This gives the building additional structural integrity.

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It might be surprising,

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It might be surprising, especially if you grew up in the 80s and 90s and saw heavy messaging about preserving forests, but wood construction can be ecologically friendly. It's a trade-off -- it's a way to sequester carbon, as long as you're planting replacement trees, and responsible harvesting practices minimize run-off and habitat loss issues. (It's not a done deal, you have to actually be responsible about it, but it definitely can work out to a net positive.)

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Also

Curing concrete and steel production introduce new carbon into the atmosphere, that would not otherwise be there. Most of the carbon inside wood will be released into the atmosphere whether or not we use it to build things first.

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This is an historic building

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This is an historic building in the Back Bay that was being remodeled into apartments. The developer, 361 Beacon LLC (Ty Gupta, manager of record, purchased it in September for $7.2 million. There is no reason for an accident like this to happen if the developer is acting responsibly. A thorough investigation by the city is clearly needed.

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Location