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US Bank Tower, Los Angeles, Seismic Expansion Joint Restoration


Location:  Los Angeles
Size:   1.4 Million Sq. Ft
Cost: $50 Million Renovation
Completion Date:  June 2016

Building Owner: OUE

Architect/Parking Engineer: N/A

General Contractor/Builder: Dinwiddie

Installer: Century Building Solutions

Expansion Joint Manufacturer/Supplier: Encore Building Products


Originally called the Library Tower,  OUE purchased the iconic US Bank Tower in Downtown LA – in 2013, and since then has invested nearly $100 million in renovation and improvements.

When completed, U.S. Bank Tower was the first supertall building not just in Los Angeles, but also in the entire western United States to the west of Chicago and Houston. Originally known as Library Tower, it was constructed across the street from the historic Central Library of Los Angeles and was developed utilizing air rights purchased from the city, preserving the historic open setting of the low-rise building. U.S. Bank Tower pays homage to its adjacent neighbor by having a curving façade turning away from the library and allowing it to remain the primary feature of the view corridor along Hope Street.

When built, U.S. Bank Tower was the tallest structure to be located in a seismically active area. Designers based the layout of the tower plan on a concept of overlapping geometries, a circular form superimposed onto a rectilinear matrix, a shape that is translated to the outside of the building and extruded upward into a series of upper level setbacks and a textured façade made up of triangular window bays. The triangular bays are repeated in the crown with more pronounced angles providing greater visual distinction between it and the tower below.

At ground level, development of the tower incorporated the creation of the Bunker Hill steps, a pedestrian link ascending the topographical change between the modern downtown towers built in the Bunker Hill area primarily in the mid to late 20th century and the shorter early 20th century buildings of the historic downtown core.

U.S. Bank Tower has dominated the Los Angeles skyline as its tallest building for 27 years and has been seen in the backdrop of numerous films produced by Hollywood studios. Its presence will remain a key feature of the skyline even after its title of the city’s tallest has since passed on to Wilshire Grand Center and as other changes occur to downtown Los Angeles in the in the years to come.

Expansion Joint Systems: Custom Fabricated Stainless Steel Plates

As a part of the nearly $100 Million renovation of the building by OUE and the addition of a 78th floor observation deck, the US Bank Tower’s ground floor, 2nd level plaza mezzanine and the upper street level entrance along  Hope Street, went through major plaza deck and expansion joint restoration.

Built over and near several active earthquake faults, the original structure was designed with an 8″-24″ seismic moat that encircled the entire foundation and steel building structure. These original expansion joint covers were mounted to the structural concrete with non-galvanized miscellaneous iron channels and angles which had over the years corroded and became brittle. As a consequence the bladder system that was also attached to the structure had washed out and provide little to no water protection to the interior parking spaces below the expansion joint.

Century Building Solutions of Los Angeles, California was called in to restore and replace the old expansion joint covers and moisture barriers as well as provided waterproofing and caulking and sealant solutions on the project.

Working with Encore Building Products, Century extracted the old steel and brass expansion joint covers and replaced the covers with new custom fabricated stainless steel expansion joints and moisture barriers.

“I have to admit, when the original concrete topping slab and walls were pulled away and I saw a 24″ wide gaping hole where the old 8″ wide expansion joints were…, ” said Brian Carrillo, from Encore Building Products, “I was not sure how to approach this project. With very little guidance from the engineering and build team, the Century Building Solutions’ team and I had to improvise for most of the job.  We dealt with extremely wide joint openings, terrible concrete conditions, varying height topping slabs, concrete stairs and a joint layout that was cut in a hexagon shape on both the lower and upper levels. What’s more the client wanted brushed stainless steel plates which meant that most of the job had to be fabricated and finished off-site.”

“This was one of those projects that you just could not plan for until the old systems were removed and you had a look at what was “under the hood”.

Encore Building Products is very proud to be part of this multi-million dollar project renovation and expansion joint restoration, and to have had the opportunity to work with the building owners and Century Building Solutions.

Let Encore Building Products be part of your next expansion joint project!

“Making America Great Again” One Structure at a Time!

To learn more about expansion joint systems, visit our expansion joint resource page.


Coming Up Resources and Library




Lady Who?

If 524268_10151132219959574_2112484074_nyou listened to her sing the night of the Oscars then you know this girls has talent. Lady Gaga also has talent when it comes to transformation. Does she do all this on her own or does she have help? It does not matter. After all, we are all the net sum of all we do and if it doing it with the aid of others helps us transform then so be it.  Hats off (I mean, shirts off) to this awesome woman of change and transformation.

This is the first post of a brand new direction for this website. I am changing the name to “Coming Up Magazine” (Formerly “Coming Up”). Coming Up Magazine , or C.U.M. for short, is about the people, places and things that are shaping our world , particularly about the artist, musicians, writers, magazines, what ever it might be, that is on the Up Swing. A sort of reflection and review of aspiring new bands, talent, brands, that are raising the bar and rising to the new occasion to inspire and motivate the next generation of humans. I doubt if politicians will be found here, but who knows.

This generation needs change masters and innovators. Individuals who sacrifice all to be better humans and the best at what they do.

Truth behind Thanksgiving

After the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth in 1620 on the Mayflower,they almost starved to death. Members of a local tribe, the Wampanoag, helped the newcomers, showing them how to plant corn and other local foods. In the fall of 1621 the Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest with a three-day feast with the Wampanoag.

The friendliness of the Wampanoag was extraordinary, because they had recently been ravaged by diseases caught from previous European explorers. Europeans had also killed, kidnapped and enslaved Native Americans in the region. The Plymouth settlers, during their desperate first year, had even stolen grain and other goods from the Wampanoag, according to Wikipedia’s entry on Plymouth Colony.

The good vibes of that 1621 feast soon dissipated. As more English settlers arrived in New England, they seized more and more land from the Wampanoag and other tribes, who eventually resisted with violence—in vain. We all know how this story ended. “The Indian population of 10 million that lived north of Mexico when Columbus came would ultimately be reduced to less than a million,”.

Let us all be thankful that the Native Americans did not kill our forfathers the minute they stepped off their boats and that the Wampanoag Indians where here to help us through our very first winter in the new world.

Robot Car Drones

 It does not take you too long to figure out the many uses for this cool new remote control military vehicle. Riot control, border patrol, parking lot monitoring, school sentry, the potential uses for these smart cars on steroids is endless.

The Guardian shown here was used in the recent middle east conflict along the border of Israel and Gaza Strip

The Guardium is an unmanned armored car that carries more than 660-pounds of cameras, electronic sensors and weapons, according to the Israel Defense Forces’ blog. The killer go-kart can be operated in real time by a driver sitting in distant command center — similar to the way armed drones are flown by far-off pilots — or they can be programmed to “run patrol on predetermined routes without human intervention,”.

The Guardium is fully operational, according to the IDF.

Unlike the Army’s robot jeeps, which are pretty much serving as pack mules that accompany infantry units, the Guardiums are being used in a similar manner as UAVs, running patrols by themselves and using their sensors, equipped with “auto-target acquisition, to look for the enemy and their weapons and…well, we’ll see. The IDF says the little robo-cars can use various forceful methods to eliminate threats.

I say we use these futuristic robot cars to patrol the beaches.  Who knows, maybe they can offer paid subscriptions to view  live video feeds to help offset the cost?

Weird Bumps in the Night

Along with Bigfoot, the abomnibal snowman, UFO’s and poltergeist, “strange sounds” is also an interesting topic to search out on the internet.

If you are not familiar with this very strange phenomenom, check this video out and then do some of your own “armchair” research on the subject. It’s some very freaky shit.

Have fun!

Space-Time Cloak Possible, Could Make Events Disappear?

It’s no illusion: Science has found a way to make not just objects but entire events disappear, experts say.

According to new research by British physicists, it’s theoretically possible to create a material that can hide an entire bank heist from human eyes and surveillance cameras.

“The concepts are basically quite simple,” said Paul Kinsler, a physicist at Imperial College London, who created the idea with colleagues Martin McCall and Alberto Favaro.

Unlike invisibility cloaks—some of which have been made to work at very small scales—the event cloak would do more than bend light around an object.

Instead this cloak would use special materials filled with metallic arrays designed to adjust the speed of light passing through.

In theory, the cloak would slow down light coming into the robbery scene while the safecracker is at work. When the robbery is complete, the process would be reversed, with the slowed light now racing to catch back up.

If the “before” and “after” visions are seamlessly stitched together, there should be no visible trace that anything untoward has happened. One second there’s a closed safe, and the next second the safe has been emptied.

Event Cloak “Fun” but Challenging

The concept of an event cloak “is definitely an interesting idea and great fun,” said invisibility researcher Ulf Leonhardt, a physicist at the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. who wasn’t part of the study team.

Steve Cummer, a cloaking specialist at Duke University, calls the concept “interesting and exciting,” but he thinks that actually making such a cloak would be “really, really challenging.”

“All of the material parameters need to be time-varying in a very specific way,” Cummer said by email.

Currently, nobody knows how to do that except in fiber optics, in which the speed of a signal can be varied by a few percent by changing the intensity of the light.

“You can use an intense control beam to slow a signal down,” Kinsler said. In that way, an event occurring inside a fiber optic cable—such as an electrical signal moving from “on” to “off”—could be hidden from view.

“You would see the fiber, but some event occurring in the fiber could be cloaked,” he said. Such a proof of concept, he added, could be possible within a few years.

Powerful Laser Key to Cloaking?

There are still a few hitches to address, though, before attempting such an experiment, according to the University of St. Andrews’s Leonhardt.

For instance, being able to cloak an event lasting more than a few femtoseconds—one-millionth of a nanosecond—would require light from an immensely powerful laser, he said.

“The experiment is not entirely impossible, but it is at the limit of what one can do with present technology in an ordinary university laboratory,” Leonhardt said.

Study co-author Kinsler agrees that the fiber optics experiment is a technological stretch, but he counters that the problem can be eliminated by using a miles-long cable, as is routinely done in telecommunications.

“You can reduce the required power by using a longer fiber,” he said. That’s because the duration of the event you can hide depends on how long you can delay the light. A longer cable would allow you to get a longer delay from the same percentage slowdown, which would take less power.

Still, it may be a long while before police have anything to worry about—the materials needed for speeding and slowing light precisely enough for a bank heist have yet to be invented.

The event-cloak story and an accompanying article by Leonhardt appear in a special issue of Physics World magazine published June 30

This story was lifted from the cool National Geographic Website

by Richard A. Lovett

for National Geographic News

Live – Learn and Love

Home is where I Am

I moved this passed weekend. Can’t say it was fun, but it is nice that I am out of that dusty old apartment.  I think I sneezed a zillion times. My new place is dust free thanks to my wonderful girlfriend. She loves a spotless place and has worked hard to make her house comfortable and tidy.

Sometimes it is a good idea to clean house. Now I am speaking allegorically now. Cleaning house allows us to evaluate what we have, what we want, what we can do without and what we really need.  Without cleaning up a bit and getting rid of the old junk, i.e., ideas, misconceptions, prejudices, baggage, etc., we can not move forward. It is also extremely difficult for us to self evaluate and adjust our thought processes to allow us to improve and move forward.

Our happiness and contentment depends on what we know we have and what we know we need in order to live productive, healthy loving lives.

Self reflection is critical to this process. Standing – or sitting  back looking at ourselves gives us a chance to get to know ourselves and to become more intimate with our inner person. It’s the inner-self who decides what we do, where we go, how we treat others and what we expect to see and achieve each day. This person could be trying to sabotage us, or challenge us. They could be trying to lift us up or tear us down. You will never know, until you take a moment and get to know them. Are they your friend or are they your enemy?  Strange huh? When you look at this inner-self as something or someone separate from yourself you can begin to hear what they saying or not saying better. Consider it someone who is ‘for you” or “against you”.  If they are for you, well, great, you can move up. If they are against you, well, watch out. You have lot’s of work to to get them over to your side, and as long as they are against you and not on your side, they will be trying to block you and stop you from moving ahead.

Thought of Today: Today I am here and in the moment. I am not in yesterday and I am not in tomorrow, but now. I will live my today one moment at a time and with one purpose, To be where I am.