Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Dilapidated Government Buildings & Their Windows

How bad is the California state building where you work? Mechanical failure has kept one building’s windows unwashed for 10 years. Some office structures lack fire sprinklers, contain hazardous materials, suffer from leak.
Fun fact: The windows on the Resources Building in downtown Sacramento haven’t been cleaned in more than a decade. “The window cleaning platform is not functional,” the California Department of General Services stated in a new report on the 51-year-old building. “The windows have not been cleaned in over ten years, and without an operable platform, the exterior tile joints cannot be maintained.”

Other problems inside and outside the building include asbestos in the walls, ceiling and floor tiles, exterior joints around windows that allow water to seep in, a “spongy” roof the verge of leaking and fire-safety systems that aren’t up to code. Those troubles and others gave the 17-story structure at 1416 Ninth St. the ignominious distinction as the most-dilapidated office building that the state owns or leases among the 29 assessed by HOK, a well-known architectural firm.

HOK figures that fixing everything, from replacing restroom exhaust fans to seismically retrofitting the Resources Building’s exterior, would cost $148.8 million. Lawmakers commissioned the first-ever survey of state properties last year. The Brown administration has said the results will guide policy for repairing or replacing government buildings. Want to check on the state building where you work? General Services has posted the results all the state building assessments by HOK. You’ll find them here.

Part of the problem is that many of the building’s 3,000 windows in the Houses of Parliament of the building on the banks of the River Thames in central London will not close properly
Deteriorating Houses of Parliament could catch fire again, warn Parliament officials: The Palace of Westminster is in such a state of disrepair that it could burn down for a second time, senior officials in charge of a major overhaul have warned. MPs are getting stuck in lifts and missing votes because of the scale refurbishment required at the Houses of Parliament, they said.

Part of the problem is that many of the building’s 3,000 windows of the building on the banks of the River Thames in central London will not close properly, further causing more damage to the fabric of the building designed by the architect Augustus Pugin. Richard Ware, the director for the Restoration and Renewal Programme at the Palace of Westminster, said the £50million a year work programme only kept the building working operationally. More fundamental work was needed to stop the building deteriorating further, referring to the last major fire in the Houses of Parliament in 1834. 

A report on the future of the Palace of Westminster concluded in 2012: “If the Palace were not a listed building of the highest heritage value, its owner would probably be advised to demolish and rebuild.” One of the major problems is that asbestos – a deadly substance which was used in the 1940s and 1950s to fireproof buildings - had been “liberally applied all around the building – not just as insulation but in light switches, toilet systems and as a sound suppressant”, Mr Barlex said.

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