Category Archives: Berkeley deck collapse

Exterior Elevated Elements Working Group Agenda for 5/25/17 is Announced

 

9e0e3-0216001100The deck waterproofing industry needs to speak up!

From the California Building Standards Commission-

Notice is hereby given that the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), Exterior Elevated Element (EEE) Subcommittee will solicit technical expertise on the items listed in the attached agenda and the link below.  The public is invited to attend and provide their input or comments.  For questions on this notice, please contact CBSC at (916) 263-0916.

http://www.bsc.ca.gov/calendar/othermtgs.aspx Website www.bsc.ca.gov

 

Continue reading Exterior Elevated Elements Working Group Agenda for 5/25/17 is Announced

Common Interest Developments Could Benefit From SB 721 Inspection of Deck’s -The Law Is Being Debated in Sacramento

Let’s make balconies safe by building them right with the best materials and skill available.

Why Associations Should Embrace SB 721

Requiring Deck Inspections

Opinion by Bill Leys

I would like to provide a different look at SB 721 Contractors-Inspections of Decks & Balconies that the Community Legislative Action Committee (CLAC), the lobbying arm of Community Associations Institute, is now mustering its members to oppose and why this bill may actually benefit multi-family housing, including CID’s.

You may, or may not know that this bill has come about because of the parents of the six dead and seven seriously injured Irish students who were on a balcony in an apartment building when it collapsed. At the time of this opinion, the builder has settled claims with the families and while the settlement is confidential, experts estimate the payouts by insurance carriers was around twenty million dollars. Now imagine if a deck at your Association fell and what the costs of settling that might be vs the costs of an inspection of your decks.

Continue reading Common Interest Developments Could Benefit From SB 721 Inspection of Deck’s -The Law Is Being Debated in Sacramento

 SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections?

DeckExpert.com supports the inspection bill for decks. The Berkeley tragedy, the lives lost and the survivors who are left with serious life long injuries, has brought us all to realize the need to implement an inspection & repair program on a statewide level. This “accident” was no accident. 

The collapse at Berkeley was on a path to occur somewhere-the building industry in California and beyond will argue against my points, but this tragedy was years in the making. There are many reasons for this-from architecture schools that don’t teach it’s students the basics of waterproofing.  For example, right here at Cal Poly SLO, many courses, not one on waterproofing. I’ve offered to give a lecture at Cal Poly; my offers have been meet with silence.

http://www.catalog.calpoly.edu/collegesandprograms/collegeofarchitectureandenvironmentaldesign/architecture/#courseinventory

The architect who designed the balcony in Berkeley designed it poorly. Continue reading  SB 721 Will Force the Inspections of Decks-Who Should Perform the Inspections?

CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection

DeckExpert.com Supports Requiring Deck Inspections

Bill Duplicates Berkeley Bill Langauge in Who Can Perform Inspections

Should structural pest control operators, general contractors, architects or engineers inspect deck inspections as the state of CA is proposing?

They will be if the consulting and inspection industry doesn’t act quickly and object. Senator Hill has just introduced a bill that uses much the same language Berkeley’s city ordinance does.

“The inspection shall be performed by a licensed general contractor, structural pest control licensee, licensed architect, licensed engineer, or other licensee as approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that all of the balconies and other elevated walking surfaces covered by this section are in generally safe condition, adequate working order, and free from hazardous dry rot, fungus, deterioration, decay, or improper alteration to the extent that the life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or the occupants is not endangered.”

My thoughts-

Structural Pest Control Licensee-pest control licensee’s inspect buildings for termites/wood destroying organisms. They do not test roofs (or balconies) for water tightness, nor are they qualified to do so. Roof contractors can do so, but generally exclude themselves from inspecting decks. Pest control licensee’s do not know about waterproof coated decks, how they are installed, what problems to look for when doing an inspection and even if they do see a problem, don’t understand what caused it, what degree of a problems it is or how to repair it. Continue reading CA Senator Jerry Hill Introduces SB-721 Contractors: decks and balconies: inspection

Property Management Company KNEW DECK WAS FLAWED, DID NOTHING! Students Injured as a Result Get 1.6 Million Settlement.

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Dry-rotted Framing Where Deck Attached to Building.                                                                            Photo courtesy of Robert Clayton Attorney

Wolfe & Associates Property Management Co paid a settlement of $1,600,000.00 to students injured when a deck they were on or under collapsed at a party during Deltopia in Santa Barbara CA. The reason Wolfe paid this settlement in my opinion? They knew the deck was flawed after getting a termite report that called out dry-rot, fungus and loose materials on the deck, yet they opted to do nothing.

Let me say it again, they opted to do nothing, no repairs, no notice to the occupants, nothing. They deliberately and IMO maliciously decided to not repair the deck. What scum does that? This goes towards proving my theory that property managers and management companies won’t fix something until someone dies!

Read the story here and read the termite report that led to the settlement. Similar to Berkeley, one of the POS defense lawyers wanted to blame the victims, saying there were to many people on the deck. Excuse me, but f you lawyer. It was your clients fault and you know it.

Lets hope that this case and the upcoming Berkeley lawsuit will teach these management companies a costly lesson. Hell it’s only money, soaked in blood.

 

These Words Should Send a Chill Down The Building Industries Back!

Maybe you didn’t feel it, but on November 12th, the building industry was shaken up. Hard, like they got punched, and punched and punched. The law firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is representing Aoife Beary and another party who are suing for damages from the result of the balcony collapsing on June 16th of this year.  

The suit asks for damages, enough to make an example out of the defendants, enough so THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN! Every person involved in building decks, especially cantilevered, are now on notice that it better be done perfectly and correctly. OR YOU WILL PAY. Remember to, the DA’s office is investigating this too and criminal charges may still come!

BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID! 

NO OSB SHOULD BE EVER USED! THIS LIST OF ALLEGATIONS IS A LIST
OF EVERY DECK PROBLEM I SEE ALL THE TIME
So here you are building industry, property management industry, design industry etc; start designing, building, sequencing and use the right materials cause the deaths of these poor kids WILL NOT BE IN VAIN! READ THIS LIST, IT’S JUST A WHO’S WHO OF THE SINS I SEE DURING INSPECTIONS AND WHEN I WAS WATERPROOFING DECKS! 
LESSON-IF YOU SCREW UP AND PEOPLE DIE, YOU PROBABLY WILL GO TO JAIL AND PAYA WHOLE LOT OF MONEY, AND HAVE TO LIVE WITH THOSE THAT DIED ON YOUR CONSCIENCE. 
NOT WORTH IT, DO IT RIGHT, IT ONLY COSTS A LITTLE MORE THAN DOING IT WRONG.