Critique of Milstein Hall: Revisions

Jonathan Ochshorn

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Revision log


24 May 2017: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added updated information about status of green roof repair in the caption of Figure 12.


10 February 2016: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added updated information about new drain and fascia repair above gallery during the summer of 2015.


3 December 2015: Nonstructural failure (3. Sloppy or dysfunctional details). Added discussion of new glass door between the Milstein Hall auditorium and crit room causing acoustical problems.


22 July 2015: Sustainability (2. Sustainable Sites). Image of roof plan no longer linked to Cornell's Milstein website; changed link to another site showing the roof.


22 July 2015: Sustainability (3. Water Efficiency). Image of restroom plan no longer linked to Cornell's Milstein website; changed link to another site showing the peculiar design.


19 May 2015: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Replaced Figure 12 image (see May 1, 2015 revision) showing new leak through skylight with a video shot May, 2015.


18 May 2015: Nonstructural failure (6. Cracks). Removed Figure 8, which showed a possible mode of failure at the cantilevered concrete slab near the loading dock, and replaced it with a new Figure 8 (video) with a more plausible explanation for the shattering of a glass guard rail and the spalling of concrete in the wall below. Added additional text to introduce Figure 8.


1 May 2015: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added new image below video (Figure 12) showing new leak through skylight requiring removal of a section of the "green" roof above.


21 March 2015: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added note 3 to the discussion of possible efflorescence in the concrete slab, and added the word "secondary" to efflorescence.


13 March 2015: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added follow-up photos for Figure 10 (leaks through glass wall) and Figure 11 (problem with water in gallery).


27 February 2015: Sustainability (7. Innovation & Design Process). Added photos of food cart in winter (Figure 3) along with explanatory text.


6 February 2015: Nonstructural failure (3. Sloppy or dysfunctional details). Added item #8 (and Figure 10) showing delamination of metal veneer at interior 2nd-floor curtain wall..


11 December 2014: Nonstructural failure (4. Dangerous details). Added updated animation.gif showing protruding snow drift (Figure 1b).


11 December 2014: Sustainability (8. Cornell's Sustainable Vision for Milstein Hall). Added update to footnote #9, describing new herbicide used by Cornell.


11 December 2014: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added new item (#8) showing heat loss through insulated skylight curbs.


4 November 2014: Nonstructural failure (4. Dangerous details). Added updated photo showing permanent fix for dangerous curbs.


18 September 2014: Nonstructural failure (4. Dangerous details). Added updated photo showing yellow tape placed at dangerous curbs.


17 April 2014: Fire safety (8. Conclusions). Added link to another Cornell fire.


14 January 2014: Nonstructural failure (1. Introduction). Added additional link to NY Times article on nonstructural failure in the works of Calatrava — see note 9.


13 December 2013: Sustainability (4. Energy and Atmosphere). Added a new note #1 about additional problems in energy modeling; adjusted all the other sequential note numbers.


12 December 2013: Nonstructural failure (1. Introduction). Added link to NY Times article on nonstructural failure in the works of Calatrava.


10 December 2013: Fire safety (8. Conclusions). Added "update" for recent Cornell fires with link to Cornell Daily Sun article on Goldwin Smith Hall fire.


8 December 2013: Sustainability (8. Cornell's Sustainable Vision for Milstein Hall). Changed link to Material Safety Data Sheet [MSDS] for herbicide used by Cornell; original link (PDF accessed 8 Dec. 2011) no longer works; found this new link (PDF accessed 8 Dec. 2013).


23 November 2013: Fire safety (10. Comments on Cornell's Application for a Variance). Added link to blog post containing comments on the Syracuse Board of Review's granting of Cornell's request for a variance.


18 November 2013: Sustainability (2. Sustainable Sites). Added additional documentation about negative impacts of cool roofs (heat island effect; energy savings) to footnote 18, based on a Nov. 2013 article in the Construction Specifier.


1 November 2013: Fire Safety (9. Summary and appeal — results). Added link to actual transcript of hearing.


17 September 2013: Fire Safety (9. Summary and appeal — results). Added link to notice to reopen hearing.


9 September 2013: Nonstructural failure (1. Introduction). Improved formatting, and clarified a points.


2 September 2013: Nonstructural failure (1. Introduction). Added "Building It Twice" (5 minutes long) video as Figure 1.


1 September 2013: Nonstructural failure (2. Water and thermal control). Added "dome waterproofing" and "automated entry door" videos.


1 September 2013: Nonstructural failure (3. Sloppy or dysfunctional details). Added "lighting issues" video; added video showing staining of concrete walls and slabs.


1 September 2013: Nonstructural failure (4. Dangerous details). Added "Unprotected ledges" video.


1 September 2013: Nonstructural failure (5. Maintenance issues). Added "column waterproofing video to replace animation.gif"; added photo credits for Figure 1.


29 August 2013: Fire Safety (9. Summary and appeal — results). Replaced Review Board findings transcribed according to my notes with official, verbatim, findings of the Review Board, dated 20 August, 2013 and added link to the actual "Decision" document (PDF).


8 August 2013: Fire Safety (9. Summary and appeal — results). Added blog update and background reading links.


4 June 2013: Sustainability (1. Introduction). Replaced link to June 14, 2012 LEED for New Construction report in note 7 (the original link to www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/buildings/milstein.cfm no longer works).


22 March 2013: Sustainability (4. Energy and Atmosphere). Added Figure 1 which shows thermal bridging through metal bollards; changed embedded video from Figure 1 to Figure 2.


4 January 2013: Sustainability (7. Innovation & Design Process). Added Figure 2 with embedded skateboarding video.


2 October 2012: Sustainability (1. Introduction). Added embedded video (critique of Milstein Hall and LEED)


24 July 2012: Sustainability (2. Sustainable Sites). Added note 15 to clarify my claim that LEED certification stays with the building forever, even if the building no longer satisfies LEED prerequisites and credits. The revocation of LEED certification can only happen when the building's original submitted documentation for certification was flawed, or when a technical submission requirement was not met. Certification is not revoked if a building, after it is certified, no longer meets the requirements that justified its initial certification.


24 July 2012: Sustainability (4. Energy and Atmosphere). Added Note 4 which links to Note 15 in Part 2. Sustainable Sites. See revision above, also dated 24 July 2012.