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Thread: A Question about the construction of NY buildings

  1. #1

    Default A Question about the construction of NY buildings

    I honestly didn't know where to post this question, so please forgive me if it's not in the correct spot.

    You know how out in the outer boroughs there are Brownstones, Walk-ups, Apartment buildings and condos? Do they have steel within those buildings? Are they supported by brick? What about Manhattan Buildings? Are they all brcik or do they use steel too? Are they very strong? The reason I'm asking is I'm thinking of taking up engineering/architecture as a possible major. And as you can imagine, NY's archietechture is of particualr interest to me. I just wanna know how engineers build those brick buildings. They look as though they're giant walls of bricks. Are they?

  2. #2
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    It depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is individual construction decisions. Other factors include general date of construction and size of the building.

  3. #3

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    A lot of the outer boroughs came into being between 1910-1940. So much of the structure would be based of that time. I heard NY is trying to be sesmically ready, are new codes allowing for sesmic events? Is there any retorfitting (the process of making a building earthquake ready) going on on older buildings? Do you think they would withstand a earthquake, hurricane or tornado? What about fires?

    Also, What are the primary building materials being used today?

  4. #4

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    Residential towers in New York have the same post and beam construction as commercial skyscrapers, except that the material is reinforced concrete instead of steel.

    Just like a glass curtain wall, the outer brick wall is not load-bearing. The cheapest (and worst looking) type is pre-made brick veneer panels that bolt on to the frame. Another cost-cutting method is to lay brick directly on the floorplates, which leaves the plate ends exposed. In more expensive construction, L brackets are installed on the floor plates, and the brick is laid directly on the brackets, which hides the floor plates and makes the wall appear continuous.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Residential towers in New York have the same post and beam construction as commercial skyscrapers, except that the material is reinforced concrete instead of steel.

    Just like a glass curtain wall, the outer brick wall is not load-bearing. The cheapest (and worst looking) type is pre-made brick veneer panels that bolt on to the frame. Another cost-cutting method is to lay brick directly on the floorplates, which leaves the plate ends exposed. In more expensive construction, L brackets are installed on the floor plates, and the brick is laid directly on the brackets, which hides the floor plates and makes the wall appear continuous.

    Oh, I didn't know that. I always thought that when a car rams into the side of those buildings (like what happened in Queens this morning) and the wall crumbles, that's a sign that NY buildings are extremely weak.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex ballard
    Oh, I didn't know that. I always thought that when a car rams into the side of those buildings (like what happened in Queens this morning) and the wall crumbles, that's a sign that NY buildings are extremely weak.
    You said it yourself, its a car man, a couple tons of forward motion, it'll do damage to any structure, no question.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by alex ballard
    Oh, I didn't know that. I always thought that when a car rams into the side of those buildings (like what happened in Queens this morning) and the wall crumbles, that's a sign that NY buildings are extremely weak.
    What I described is modern hi-rise construction. In smaller and older masonry buildings, the outer walls are load bearing.

    In row houses, the bearing walls are usually not the front and back, because they have the windows. The floor joists are laid parallel to the front and back, and the weight is carried to the foundation by the walls between the buildings (and sometimes interior walls).

    Problems arise when the adjacent building is removed, exposing the bearing wall. Sometimes building owners add windows to these walls, and if not done correctly, the ability of the wall to transfer load is lessened. Punch a big enough hole, and the entire wall can come down.

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