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Old 03-06-2013, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,442 posts, read 21,278,178 times
Reputation: 24286

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You've seen them under construction! First floor retail, then tack on 3-4-5 floors of wooden construction!

On SkyscraperPage.com I've seen photo's of these in just about every city in the country now, and I wonder, wonder, wonder, what these structures will be like even 10 years from now!!! Are they nothing more than temporary tents? And to call these luxury apartment buildings?

I'd rather live on the streets than live in one of these! At least it would be safer?

What do you make of these? Like them? Are they built better and safer than what I'm seeing?
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:13 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,113,707 times
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What are you talking about? Can you present an example?
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,949,267 times
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I don't understand your concern. I live in a wood-frame 3-story building built over 100 years ago, and I know of 4-5 story buildings of the same construction and age. It sits on a (crummy) fieldstone foundation and has weathered dozens of hurricanes and even a small earthquake. Yes, it's a firetrap, the plumbing and electrical need work, and it leaks heat like a sieve, but it's still standing. Why do you think modern wood construction won't last 10 years?

I really like mixed-use apartments/condos. I would love to own, or at least live in, a building where we ran a shop on the ground floor and lived above. This is very common in Taipei, and it makes it easy and convenient for the owners to keep their shops open as early/late as they please. Of course, due to the earthquakes and typhoons of Taiwan, most buildings are steel-reinforced concrete and could probably withstand a near-miss from a 2000lb bomb! This is nice for safety's sake, but it makes insulating, repairing, and updating the structure very difficult.

US wood-based construction is convenient in that it isn't meant to last forever. As the technology/style changes, wood-and-foam structures are easier to tear down and replace or refurbish. This makes it less sturdy in case of major disasters, but the overall effect is increased convenience. If you want to change the layout of a Taiwan tenament, you pretty much need jackhammers and explosives.

In all, I'm of a mixed mind about wood/drywall construction vs. brick/concrete/steel, but I certainly like the idea of living in a mixed-use building. In many places around the world it is very common. Even if I didn't run the shop downstairs, it would be nice to have a coffee shop, resturant, grocery, or some other useful or fun interest just a few stairs down below.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:04 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,719,859 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
You've seen them under construction! First floor retail, then tack on 3-4-5 floors of wooden construction!

On SkyscraperPage.com I've seen photo's of these in just about every city in the country now, and I wonder, wonder, wonder, what these structures will be like even 10 years from now!!! Are they nothing more than temporary tents? And to call these luxury apartment buildings?

I'd rather live on the streets than live in one of these! At least it would be safer?

What do you make of these? Like them? Are they built better and safer than what I'm seeing?
? What in the world are you talking about? Timber construction is time tested and perfectly safe if built correctly. In no way would you be safer on the street unless it were badly engineered.

If you have evidence if badly engineered buildings going up everywhere then please come forward with that. But I suspect in today's building codes that's not feasible as a general rule.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:48 AM
 
5,712 posts, read 8,778,005 times
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I suspect the biggest concern if fire, but I believe these buildings require sprinkler systems.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,129,089 times
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These are pretty common in LA and have been for quite some time (though the retail at the base is a new feature) and while some of them are ugly, they are all in pretty great shape.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,448 posts, read 11,955,665 times
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Outside of steel-reinforced skyscrapers and the like, wood frame construction has been the norm nearly everywhere in the U.S. since the 1950s. No one makes, for example, brick buildings where the brick provides structural support anymore. Even if the brick wraps around the whole building, it's just a facade layer applied to the underlying frame construction, and doesn't hold anything up but itself.

The only city where frame construction is not predominant in newer construction is Washington DC. The strict height requirements there led to concrete (which is more commonly used in the rest of the world) being used instead of frame, as concrete allows for more floors to be packed into a limited height.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,583,313 times
Reputation: 10299
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
You've seen them under construction! First floor retail, then tack on 3-4-5 floors of wooden construction!

On SkyscraperPage.com I've seen photo's of these in just about every city in the country now, and I wonder, wonder, wonder, what these structures will be like even 10 years from now!!! Are they nothing more than temporary tents? And to call these luxury apartment buildings?

I'd rather live on the streets than live in one of these! At least it would be safer?

What do you make of these? Like them? Are they built better and safer than what I'm seeing?
I have no issue with them.

[if the building complies with all applicable Building and Fire Codes then they will be safe]
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,442 posts, read 21,278,178 times
Reputation: 24286
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
I suspect the biggest concern if fire, but I believe these buildings require sprinkler systems.
I've always had, let's say, an irrational, perhaps unreasonable, fear of fire! And when I see them tack 4-5 floors of wood atop a concrete platform I'm horror-stricken! Just the thought of being on the top floor of that buidling and a fire breaks out!

I've read enough of apartment building fires here in Las Vegas, over the years, tenants being displaced in the middle of the night (one fire recently displaced 50 people) and that's something I hope never to go through in my lifetime, being rudely awakened at 2am, ordering me to leave the building with my pets!

The times I've lived in apartment buildings, they've been in high-rises, lessening the fear of fires. For years, in one of those older high-rises with concrete walls separating the units.

So that probably puts me in a tiny minority of those that wouldn't consider renting a unit in one of these buildings ever! Also the potential displacement factor!

Where I live now, a unit in my townhouse complex went up in flames, and being there's concrete walls separating the units, there was no displacements on either side of the unit that burned! Whereas I can sleep better at night!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:15 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,719,859 times
Reputation: 2538
They have to build to code; not to nutty paranoiacs.
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