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Re: underground house [gettin' pretty OT now]

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Richard, in order:

Yup, couple months ago I stumbled onto it.  Pretty impressive, although I wouldn't have wanted to be its S.E.  Why do you ask?

Actually, this is the first project of his that I've heard had problems, other than Disney's having to be de-shined because it was reflecting the sun into nearby condos.  I hear mostly raves about his work; I've loved most of his work for a long time (guess that gives it all away).  It appears that his Bilbao museum "saved" and entire region, not only becoming a major art museum, but an international tourist destination.  (I haven't seen it. :( )

I don't understand:  Are you saying (it certainly sounds like it) that "
if a structural engineer doesn't know how to detail a building so it will be waterproof he/she should stick to southern California where it hasn't rained for over two years."  But most buildings are intended to last longer than two years, aren't they? And aren't architects the prime professional on most buildings?  Okay, you're right, engineers designing industrial buildings *should* know something about that stuff, or hire someone who does, but I don't, and don't want to, and I don't do them.  Someone said "Stick to what you know."   :) 

Just askin'


In a message dated 11/29/07 2:00:12 PM, RLHess(--nospam--at) writes:
Have you seen the Stata Center?  And, do you know of anything Gehry has done recently that was not screwed up?  And if a structural engineer doesn't know how to detail a building so it will be waterproof he/she should stick to southern California where it hasn't rained for over two years.
Richard Hess (living in So. Cal. but educated elsewhere)

-----Original Message-----
From: Rhkratzse(--nospam--at) [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 9:57 AM
To: JCoombs(--nospam--at); cbanbury(--nospam--at); seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: underground house

I definitely agree with your "chiming in" comment, just so you don't take responsibility for the inevitable leaks.  (Hey, if they couldn't build a leakless Stata Center at MIT for $300M, what chance does a little house engineer have?)

What do you mean by "It's" been done a lot?  Are you referring to underground buildings, or to engineers specifying waterproofing, etc. (that I don't feel very expert in).


In a message dated 11/29/07 9:51:17 AM, JCoombs(--nospam--at) writes:

It's actually been done a lot.  And the SE should always be aware of the waterproofing used, and chime in if he believes it is insufficient.

>>> On 11/29/2007 at 9:00 AM, <Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)> wrote:
Check out some of Malcolm Wells' books; he's been doing this since the 1970s.  (I don't know if he's still active.)   I'm curious:  As an engineer why are you involved in the nonstructural aspects of the design, such as egress, waterproofing, ventilation--not to mention potential claustrophobia?  Shouldn't the architect be handling them?  I stay as far away from waterproofing design, and its potential liability issues, as I possibly can.

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Structural Engineer
Richmond CA USA

In a message dated 11/29/07 6:54:50 AM, cbanbury(--nospam--at) writes:

Hi all.
I’ve been asked to engineer a single story residence that will be built into the side of a hill and covered with earth. The walk-out front elevation will be exposed.
Can someone direct me to some resources that address issues of water proofing, ventilation, egress, etc? The exterior walls will probably be reinforced masonry but I’m not certain of the type and configuration of the roof system.
Thanks in advance.

Christopher Banbury, PE

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