Thursday, January 3, 2013
DOB asleep at Barclays Center
From the NY Times:
Their vision called for an edgy, urban design that would stand apart from the clamshell look of arenas elsewhere.
The weathered steel panels and swooping canopy of the Barclays Center, the new home for the Brooklyn Nets, have served notice that brawny, once-industrial Brooklyn is back in the big leagues.
But with innovation has also come headaches.
The fabricator for the 12,000 steel panels — no two alike — abruptly shut down midway through the job.
The panels have occasionally dripped rusty orange blossoms onto the sidewalk.
And lately, iron workers have replaced hundreds of bolts that anchor the panels to the building’s structure. Engineers determined that weaker ones were originally installed, raising concerns about the structure’s integrity.
The incorrect bolts were discovered only a month before the Barclays Center was scheduled to open on Sept. 28. The arena ultimately opened on time and it survived Hurricane Sandy’s winds a month later.
After examining every joint, engineers determined that only 8 percent of the 23,351 weaker bolts needed to be replaced.
But the issue has led to questions about communications between regulators and the arena’s developer, Forest City Ratner.
The New York City Buildings Department said its inspectors had not been told about the problem with the bolts.
“The department was not made aware of this issue,” said Anthony Sclafani, a Buildings Department spokesman. “We would expect to be notified in a case like this.”