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Texas bans fire codes in 70% of its counties

Texas bans fire codes in 70% of its counties - Dallas News, Sports, Weather and Traffic from The Dallas Morning News

Despite fears that a fire code would force businesses to spend big sums on compliance, many problems can be fixed for little or no money, with the inspector serving as an adviser, Bliss said. Codes tend to teach more than punish.

“The application of a fire code is 95 percent educational,” Bliss said.

Bruce Johnson, director of fire-service activities for the International Code Council, said codes have been proved to save lives and property for a fraction of the cost of disasters.

In addition to those killed or hurt, the West blast may have caused $100 million in damage. The investigation cost $1 million more.

Experts have estimated that $40,000 worth of sprinklers might have prevented it.

via Texas bans fire codes in 70% of its counties – Dallas News, Sports, Weather and Traffic from The Dallas Morning News.

Photo of building destroyed by West, Texas explosion – by State Farm

Birmingham Airport Sign Collapse

Click through for this long-form article about the events leading up to the installation of an airport video display that collapsed and killed a 10 year old boy. For those of us in the design/engineering profession, it is always important to thoroughly check and comment on shop drawings that come through.

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Fish used the architect’s design drawings to create the shop drawings. Shop drawings obtained through the records request show that they were completed Aug. 15, 2012. An employee of Brasfield & Gorrie approved the drawings on Aug. 17, 2012, and an architect with KPS approved them on Aug. 19, 2012.

In a change from earlier designs, the Fish shop drawings called for MDF to be used for the front of the display. Instead of a three-quarter-inch sheet of MDF as the core of the display panel’s front, the new design used three layers which together were 1.75 inches thick.

The change as drawn added more weight to the front. Some of the heaviest materials in the display were now to hang over open space.

via Birmingham airport sign collapse: The making of a tragedy | al.com.

Aeronautical Software Completes A 130-Year-Old Architectural Puzzle

Aeronautical Software Completes A 130-Year-Old Architectural Puzzle | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

Rising 566 feet into the air, Barcelona’s Sagrada Família is the tallest church on Earth. To walk through its cathedral is to walk through a forest sculpted in stone. Thin pillars reach into the heavens, supporting the sky with delicate branches. It’s considered more of a sculpture of scripture than a traditional building.

The church, which broke ground in 1886, is the vision of architect Antoni Gaudí. Understanding his was the only genius that could craft it, yet knowing it couldn’t possibly be completed before his death, Gaudí created elaborate plaster models detailing the work. But following his death in the 1930s, war demolished his 3-D blueprints to bits. By the 1970s, progress on the cathedral had come to a stopping point because, nearly 100 years later, no one knew how to finish it.

via Aeronautical Software Completes A 130-Year-Old Architectural Puzzle | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

Blast at JJ’s Restaurant opens dispute over permits

As long as a permit application was on file, it was assumed that work could proceed, Russell said. He declined to comment when asked whether someone at City Hall had confirmed that arrangement, saying only:

“To our knowledge, we’ve never been fined, sent a formal notice or heard a complaint from the city before Feb. 19, 2013, regarding the practice of initiating work as long as an application was on file when the work was initiated.”

Although officials with companies in the same line of work as Heartland were reluctant to comment for the record, one said it wasn’t unusual to begin work without a permit because of delays at City Hall.

via Blast at JJ’s restaurant opens dispute over permits – KansasCity.com.

You’ve got to read the whole article, but here it is in a nutshell: When Google started installing fiber throughout the city, the city began to waive the $143 permit fee for telecommunications work. Before, when there was a fee, the permit wasn’t issued (and subsequently work wasn’t started) until the fee was collected. Now that there is no fee, Heartland Midwest began working once the permit application was sent to the city.

Anyways, that’s just my interpretation of this article. Check it out for yourself.

What happened to Design – Bid – Build?

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Here’s half of the workflow process I’m documenting in order to design and install fiber between buildings on campus.

What happened to the good old days of Design – Bid – Build?

Google Reincarnates Dead Paper Mill as Data Center of Future

Google’s Finland data center is the ultimate metaphor for the Internet Age (Photos: Google)

Joe Kava found himself on the southern coast of Finland, sending robotic cameras down an underground tunnel that stretched into the Baltic Sea. It???s not quite what he expected when he joined Google to run its data centers.

In February of 2009, Google paid about $52 million for an abandoned paper mill in Hamina, Finland, after deciding that the 56-year-old building was the ideal place to build one of the massive computing facilities that serve up its myriad online services. Part of the appeal was that the Hamina mill included an underground tunnel once used to pull water from the Gulf of Finland. Originally, that frigid Baltic water cooled a steam generation plant at the mill, but Google saw it as a way to cool its servers.

Cool repurposing of an old building.