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New Tower's Steel May Be Cracking

Monday, August 28, 2017

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Some steel components of a new Comcast tech tower has shown signs of cracking, according to reports, and an investigation is underway.

Comcast’s future Innovation & Technology Center has shown between 35 and 40 possible “indications” of cracking in the steel being used for the lighting and mechanical systems housing, which will sit atop what has already been built. An investigation into the issue has begun, pausing construction.

Tower Cracks

John Gattsuo, the regional director for Liberty Property Trust, the firm handling construction of the tower, detailed that the signs of cracking in the two-story-tall housing frame were not exceedinly rare, but also not common.

What cracking that has occurred likely happened during the steel’s galvanization process, Gattuso told the Inquirer. He says the issue is easily repaired.

While the inspection began a few weeks ago, it is set to continue for another month in order to accommodate examining all of the 5,200 welds, which bind the 621 pieces of steel that comprise the frame, Gattsuo noted. The problem areas that have been spotted so far may just be markings on the surface, but any actual cracks in the steel can be repaired by drilling a hole into the base of the problem area to stop it from growing.

The cost of the inspection will be footed by SteelFab Inc. (Charlotte, North Carolina), the company that supplied the metal.

Comcast Tech Tower

The new Comcast tech tower, which costs $1.5 billion, according to the Inquirer, will be home to more than just Comcast. Offices and labs will be in place for the company’s engineers and other technical staff, along with studios for local affiliates such as Telemundo and NBC.

The building will also serve as a literal home—a Four Seasons hotel will also find a place within the tower, and Comcast’s chief executive, Brian Roberts, along with his wife, Aileen, have a floor of the building that has been converted into a condo unit.

Outside of Chicago or New York, the tower is set to be one of the tallest in the United States, with total floor space of 1.33 million feet, according to Philly Mag

Despite the cracks that have been found in the upper portion of the tower, completion is still slated for spring 2018. Other work on the structure is still expected to continue while the investigation occurs.


Tagged categories: Commercial Buildings; Commercial Construction; Construction; Health and safety; Steel

Comment from Jesse Melton, (8/28/2017, 7:22 AM)

If it turns out that the cracks are actually just surface marks does the metal company get reimbursed for the costs of the inspection?

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