Posts Tagged ‘project disaster’

White Paper on a Project Disaster

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

The Harmon Hotel was to change the Las Vegas skyline forever. The forty-nine story, elliptical masterpiece with a highly reflective exterior was designed by Norman Foster, renowned designer and owner of Lord Norman Foster & Partners.  The non-gaming boutique hotel was to be operated by Andrew Sasson’s The Light Group at CityCenter Las Vegas, right at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue.  The 400 hotel rooms and 207 condominium residences located inside of the Harmon Hotel were to become a home-away-from-home for vacationers, a crash pad for celebrities, and a beloved abode for residents.  The building: one of the tallest Las Vegas had ever seen.

In 2008, however, work on the Harmon Hotel was stopped.  Inspectors had uncovered numerous construction defects including improper installation of critical steel reinforcements (also known as rebar) after fifteen stories of the Harmon had already been erected.  After investigation, it was found that Harmon’s third-party inspection firm, Monrovia, California-based Conserve Consultants, falsified sixty-two daily reports between March and July of 2008.  Other Harmon construction workers reportedly moved rebar without approval from the project’s structural engineer, Halcrow Yolles, which immediately broke the AEC chain of command.

This rebar installation error played a domino effect on the entire building process, requiring element upon element to be redesigned, modified and reconstructed.  The final consensus among designers, architects, engineers and general contractors was to reduce the Harmon Hotel from forty-nine stories to twenty-eight and completely remove the condominium portion.

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