A construction worker died when a building under construction collapsed on Tuesday, November 8. The 14 unit condominium building was also the subject of neighbourhood complaints about working at night. The owner of the property stated that he was unaware of the complaints and did not know why the building collapsed.
The city’s commissioner of buildings noted that the collapse may have been caused by improper concrete pouring techniques. Apparently the workers were pouring concrete from the top down, possibly creating an imbalance that could have caused the collapse. Standard technique is to pour concrete from the bottom so that lower stories can support the upper stories. Some have speculated that the contractor was trying to save time.
The building, which now has a stop work order pending investigation of the accident, was designed by the architectural firm of Bricolage Architecture and Design. Owners of the firm, Douglas Pulaski and Henry Radusky are known to have ignored building regulations in the past, according to assemblyman James Brennan (D-Park Slope). According to the Daily News, Brennan requested some years ago that the buildings department review all projects undertaken by the firm.
The city has issued violation notices to the construction company, SP&K Construction, with more expected as investigation of the collapse continues.
Source: The New York Daily News, “Architects of Brighton Beach condo in deadly collapse had history of flouting regulations“, Nov. 10l 2011.