Friday, September 9, 2011

Gooooooooood Morning Ian Hanomansing (CBC Vancouver) September 9th, 2011

I greeted Ian Hanomansing this morning as he was leaving his downtown office building.   I was on my way into the building because I wanted to know the size of the Plaza where the 2011 Vancouver Riot was born.  I had this great presequel to go along with the riot that he covered.

For those of us who hung around to see the fireworks, at home, we got it all, in living colour.  There they were, up on the battlements atop the CBC castle, the CBC crews were recording everything, probably in high definition too.   That was then.

Today there wasn't a whiff of tear gas, or black smoke from burning tires, nor was there an unruly mob to contend with, but as I took a walk around the CBC Plaza, the outdoor Stage in fact, something caught my attention, a sign, a big blue sign way off in the far corner.   Blue background, White foreground. Sign.

  Maximum weight of  100 pounds per square foot!

Lucky for me there were two workers  resetting some of the concrete slabs (approx. weight 7 lbs each), nothing to do with the riot, just normal wear and tear, especially where the concrete tiles meet the solid concrete border.  After seeing the above sign I was trying to determine how much the concrete tiles weighed, overall.  The Answer:  3,400 pounds per 100 square feet, in other words 34 pounds per square foot of paving stones.  That's Five tiles per square foot.   (Total area of plaza, close to 11,000 square feet.)

Mix in one rioter,  average build, weighing in at 180 pounds, strong enough, apparently, to take the Vancouver City Police barricades apart and use them for smashing the windows of the surrounding stores.  A rioter able enough to repeatedly bounce off the roofs of Vancouver Police Cruisers.  A rioter, Crammed into his space on the CBC Plaza of one square foot (normal is 1.5 square feet in an elevator) and the weight becomes a whopping 214 pounds, well over twice as much as the allowable amount permitted, on one square foot of real estate space ........according to the sign.

Then there is all the material that supports the paving stones to be accounted for, but I'm quite sure the Engineers who Redeveloped the CBC for $65 million, took that all into account, but did they allow for a riot, complete with police officers on horseback?

When CBC agreed to hold this event, and surely they were involved in the process, it was their private property, their liability issues to contend with, their television monitors (hauled up from California), and their insurance, did anyone at City Hall check their records of just how many people are permitted to be on the Plaza, which is over top of an underground CBC parking lot?

Did CBC in fact, get an Engineer to sign on the dotted line that everything was copacetic?

You see, if the plaza "underpinning" had failed, it wouldn't be CBC being held financially accountable, nor would it be the Insurance company, that responsibility, lies solely with the Engineer...... but if there wasn't an Engineer signature on the dotted line then who would be held accountable........ if Hell opened up, and swallowed every one whole.  There is one answer, regarding the Engineer, he may have stipulated that only 100 lbs could be on a TWO foot square space.


6-acre 'green roof' atop Vancouver Convention Centre in B.C.

by Associated Press / KATIE ZEMTSEFF - The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

".......The roof has 400,000 indigenous plants, 120 kilograms of seed and 80,000 planted bulbs. Grass gets cut once a year in the fall.

Layers of material form the green roof. Above the roof deck is a fluid applied hot rubber membrane, a protection layer, a drain mat layer allowing water to be directed to a drain, followed by four meters of rigid insulation, another drainage layer to keep air moving above preventing insulation degradation, and six to eight inches of growing medium.   (Note:  Not clear if that's really Four meters of rigid insulation or not.....12 feet!!)

The growing medium is made from sand dredged from the Fraser River, garden waste and lava rock. It has an exact weight of 39.6 pounds per square foot when soaking wet, to make sure the team could control the load of the roof. The irrigation system is inside this layer.

In addition to creating habitat and treating stormwater, the roof also helps to insulate the convention center. ....."   (Note: Still looking for the Environmental savings by using so much rigid insulation.)


Anonymous said...

Darn that's good thinkin'
Guess the factor of safety kicked in.

North Van's Grumps said...

I'm quite sure the engineering that went into the building is right on the mark.

Maybe the sign has a safety margin of ten to one.

I would appreciate it though if the reality of the true strength of the building was upgraded to be more reflective of the weight that the structure can support rather than setting a limit of a 100 lbs per square foot which sure sounds lean to me.

Then again, with 9/11 just around the corner..... it was an Engineer in the USA, on television no less, who set the parameters of what would be required to take down the World Trade Centre in New York..... a fully fueled passenger jet and then the BAD guys did exactly that.

Anonymous said...

Instead of the sign saying Maximum weight on plaza: 100 pounds per square foot, it should be reading maximum of one point five people per square foot, or would that be tempting fate like the engineer who contributed to the downfall of the World Trade Centre?