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4 DIMENSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

DECEMBER 1, 2012

Glass Towers
Farah Jhuman

NEWSLETTER
PLEKS
Architectural Services
At Pleks Architectural services, be assured that we are committed to providing you with the best experience as our valued customer. Our team of industry professionals do the job right. Our company specializes in project drawings, 3D modeling, custom designs, project management, supervising and sustainable designs. Serving the community of Toronto since 2005, we have the knowledge in new construction that you want and need. Call us today for a free consultation.

Is the Toronto skyline compromising quality for quantity?

Figure 1: Shattering glass at One Bedford, downtown, Toronto

-Sergei Plehhanov

The ever-changing skyline of Toronto is riddled with glass towers. In recent years, the intrigue with these sleek and modern high rises has created a boom in the construction industry. A phenomena that has developers swarming to build the tallest, the largest, and the one with

cranes and concrete pumps redesigning our skyline overnight; or so it seems. With the quantity of buildings being constructed in such short periods of time it leaves us to ask, is the integrity of these buildings being compromised? [Continued on P2]

4 DIMENSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS Committed to providing you with the most current information about construction in your city. Look to us for the latest news affecting construction professionals in the GTA. Identifying the most recent innovative technologies, issues of concern to construction managers and breaking news affecting the industry in Toronto.

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4 DIMENSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
Within the past few years, nearly thirty panes of glass have shattered on t h e s t r e e t s o f To r o n t o . T h e s e prestigious buildings such as the Trump Tower most recently, One Bedford, and the Murano Towers, are all being questioned as to what has gone wrong. De velopers in the constr uction industr y such as Lanterra, are now facing lawsuits. The two most prevalent answers are poor workmanship and a lack of building science application. According to Alexander Ewing, Director of Safety at Aceis Group, it is a lack of knowledge, supervision and training on the glazier’s part that needs to be accounted for. Although the glaziers may have obtained their Red Seal licensing, it does not the job. The installation of glass in a high-rise differs drastically from the application in a residential or substantially smaller building. Therefore, the workers may not have h a d t h e n e ce s s a r y e x p o s u r e o r experience to perform the task safely.

DECEMBER 1, 2012

Figure 2: Shattered balcony glass in the Distillery District

It becomes a question then, when dealing with such a huge contract, why would a developer compromise the performance of a building with an uneducated trade? Ryan Froude, Project Manager at Explore One says, “It’s value engineering! Ever yone wants the lowest price for the job, so contractors cut corners. It saves m o n e y, b u t c o m p r o m i s e s t h e functionality of the building.” Value engineering is a technique used by the architects and owners when they

approach a third party contractor for advice on alternative materials, techniques, and suppliers that can pressure pushing on the windows u l t i m a t e l y r e d u c e t h e o v e r a l l from the outside opposed to the construction cost. As Froude states, inside. If the glass is not strong enough, it can lead to breakage. Mickiewicz further explains that it is compromise the reputation of the intrinsic for the glass, aluminum company in the long run. casing and gasket to all have similar properties. If the glass is expanding at The installation of the glass is critical a different rate than the casing, it can in its performance. Ultimately, the cause pressure along the sides of the installers need to be educated on the glass. When the glass cannot freely application and the subsequent e x...
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