Implosion of Harmon Hotel
Legal Battles: When Everybody Looses
MGM Resorts International is trying to get approval from county to implode the Harmon Hotel Tower on las Vegas. The Hotel has been the center of a large and controversial dispute due to its structural defects that prevent it from being used. Forensic analysis from structural engineers determine that the building will not withstand a significant earthquake. The city county has some concerns about the public safety and it is asking the developer to submit a safety plan.
The information submitted to the city county scheduled a six month implosion process and four months of clean up tasks. MGM Resorts officials have argue that more than a year of engineering analysis and studies are required to complete the assessment to fix the tower and more than two years will be required to rebuild the hotel.
The Harmon Hotel is part of an $8.5 billion development, planned as a boutique hotel, that faced construction problems throughout its development and was topped off at half its design height. MGM and Tutor Perini Corp are in a legal dispute over the construction bills, more than $200 million in disputes. However, a city judge has order MGM to hold off plans for the building's if they want to implode the structure, designed by renowned architect Norman Foster.
The Harmon Hotel Legal Battle
MGM Properties have argued that construction problems are due to unskilled workmanship and that the building was not constructed per design drawings. The MGM engineering forensic representative has informed that problems with reinforcement spacing could adversely affect the structural integrity of the Harmon Hotel. The MGM forensic report, prepared by Weidlinger Associates, states that 'In a code-level earthquake, using either the permitted or current code specified loads, it is likely that critical structural members in the tower will fail and become incapable of supporting gravity loads, leading to a partial or complete collapse of the tower.' This report was made by performing various destructive and non-destructive testing, plans, documents and reviewing the City's engineering assessment report.
Meanwhile, Perini officials have declared that the only problem the building has is the inability of MGM to sell or fill the hotel rooms, after the tourist crash in other Vegas Hotels following economic instability and finishing the hotel will leave MGM with an empty rooms hotel. The county has also reported that upon their engineering assessment, by Walter P Moore, the tower is structurally sound "as designed." The Walter P. Moore report was issued upon documents and evidence submitted and limited visual observations. Furthermore, Perini states that the Moore Report presents evidence that the problems are part of a defective design of the hotel tower. Perini's structural engineers are willing to design the repair and take over as the structural engineer of record so the Harmon can be completed.
Harmon Hotel: The Reports
Here we present the most significant findings of this three party problem, including MGM's, Clark County and Perini Corp assessment reports.
Walter P Moore- Clark County Representative
Install permanent podium dragline fix.
Major stability issues on podium design.
Level 4 diaphragm does not transfer actual loads properly.
Four link beams on level 15 are overstressed.
Column tie spacing inadequate.
Shear-wall reinforcement ratio deficiencies.
Repair elevator lobby beams
Weidlinger Associates Summary- MGM Consultant's
In a code-level earthquake critical structural members will fail.
Missing or misplaced reinforcement throughout the building's structure.
Inadequate or insufficient concrete cover on reinforcing steel.
John A Martin & Associates - Perini Consultant's
After ETABS and STAAD analysis, JAMA concludes that the building as it is now presents no threat to life or property damage.
The Building can be repaired to code-compliant.
John A Martin & Associates disagree that the building could collapse under a seismic movement.
The Harmon Hotel is not code compliant due to design defects.
JAMA offers to re-design the building bringing it to code-compliant level, and accept the responsibility as the Engineer of Record.
Evaluate for yourself and be the judge. And now the question is, based on this facts, who is liable? What kind of solutions do you recommend?Photos by Dan 4th and Vrysxy