Yes. Common sense is still available, but it costs extra.
I had a similar experience with a new elevator shaft cut into a 22 story,
cast-in-place concrete hotel. The contractor cut the holes, and propped
the floor above to the floor below with 4x4 posts until he could get
the steel in place. (neglecting the contract documents, as usual)
When I arrived to observe another problem, they had 18 floors of props
(all in a row) supported by the 6 inch second floor slab. I forgot the
other problem (temporarily), and bolted for an exit.
The "roadrunner effect" support the stack until additional (grounded)
supports could be installed. I wish I could have gotten a picture.
From: Jim Kestner [SMTP:jkestner(--nospam--at)somervilleinc.com]
Sent: Monday, June 28, 1999 8:33 AM
Subject: Re: Field Observations - Stupid things I've seen
Here is another crazy story.........
Last week I stopped at a job site for the 1st time at the request of the
Architect. The project is remodeling of a 4 story flat plate dormitory.
A 3' x 10' opening was cut into each floor for some laundry chutes. A
load bearing masonry wall was to be installed on each side of the
opening to support the edge of the cut slab. The load bearing walls were
to run down to the 1st floor where they were to be picked up by steel
beams in the basement.
I had just gotten to the job site when I heard one of the workers
grumbling and I went over to ask him what was wrong. He mumbled
something and I ask him to show me what he was talking about. I noticed
that the contractor had not installed any steel beams in the basement
and had cut the opening on each floor and had masonry more than half way
up on each floor (supported only by the cut edge of the flat plate).
Needless to say, we stopped this project in its tracks until this could
The Architect, Building Inspector and the General Contractor had all
been on site numerous times before this. Doesn't anyone have common
Jim Kestner, P.E.
Green Bay, Wi.