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Forensic architect investigates glass failure


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Decorative glass panels fall from building

Forensic architect examines windows to find the cause.

By Edgar Sanchez -- Bee Staff Writer

Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, September 29, 2005

Story appeared in Metro section, Page B4

The State Board of Equalization building in downtown Sacramento is losing parts of its glass skin.

Two 5-by-7-foot glass panels have fallen from the 24-story home of the Board of Equalization since January, with the latest crashing down on Sept. 20.

Although no one has been hurt - both panels toppled at night onto the roof of the building's four-story parking lot - state officials are taking no chances.

Working from a scaffold, a forensic architect began his examination Wednesday of the building's 6,000 windows - tapping each with a gloved hand before taking a close look.

"We want to determine what caused the pieces of glass to fall and what we need to do to prevent this from happening again," said Matt Bender, a spokesman for the Department of General Services, which manages the building at 450 N St.

"At this point, we're not certain what caused the cracking of the glass," he said.

The forensic architect from a Bay Area firm will continue his probe for a few days before making recommendations.

Both panels fell from the building's south side, which absorbs the most heat from the sun, said Anita Gore, spokeswoman for the Board of Equalization. Two other panels have developed serious cracks.

"The building has two kinds of glass - exterior-vision glass that you can see through and spandrel glass, a decorative glass between floors," she said. "The problem has been with the decorative glass."

For the nearly 3,000 board employees who work in the building, the impact has been negligible, she said.

"The work schedule has not been modified," Gore said. "Employees are coming to work and completing tasks."

As a precaution, parts of the sidewalk surrounding the building have been closed to pedestrians.

"We're doing our part to ensure the safety of our employees and the public to the best of our ability," Gore said. "We don't believe there's an imminent danger."

During a smoking break in front of the building, board employee Coby Walker said the situation is no big deal - at least not for him.

"I work on the 19th floor, and it's not affecting my floor at all," said Walker, 24. "But if they need to test the building to ensure safety, I'm all for it."

The building, known as Capitol Square Plaza, was completed in December 1992.

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At least the corporate media didn't call the spandrel glass "tinted windows" to further damage our biz.

Sometimes they seem to add tinted glass to stories where it does not need mention.

Example, how many times have you seen a story about someone being hit with a "lead"pipe.

Try and find one at Home Depot.

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At least the corporate media didn't call the spandrel glass "tinted windows" to further damage our biz.

Sometimes they seem to add tinted glass to stories where it does not need mention.

Example, how many times have you seen a story about someone being hit with a "lead"pipe.

Try and find one at Home Depot.

[*]323085

yea, this is interesting, now they dont have a film install company to blame......curious what finally happens..

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Guest windoworx

I can't quite remember but I was watching "Modern Marvels" on History Chanel or something to that effect. Windows were popping out of a high rise building. They determined that it was the framing that was at fault. Everyone had to be replaced. I hope they had a "contractors license" and insurance.

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maybe this forensic architectural investigator will come to the conclusion that glass breaks....... even without the help of window film and that maybe a decent security film with an anchoring system would have held those windows in.

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Guest tint rookie

that building has been popping out panes of glass from day one.

they blamed it on poor architecture, and design on the frames, not allowing room for expansion. factory tinted glass, green in color.....quite impressive when it rains down.

when I was in sac, we tried to get in on the solution. they are so affraid to do anything that might make the problem worse. even if it could hold the glass together enough to prevent it from raining down on their next lawsuit.

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that building has been popping out panes of glass from day one.

they blamed it on poor architecture, and design on the frames, not allowing room for expansion.  factory tinted glass, green in color.....quite impressive when it rains down.

when I was in sac, we tried to get in on the solution. they are so affraid to do anything that might make the problem worse. even if it could hold the glass together enough to prevent it from raining down on their next lawsuit.

[*]323202

:bingo

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