Collaboration, Not Conflict

We have to take exception to the characterization of the relationship between the University of California and Turner Construction Company on UC Berkeley’s Hearst Memorial Mining Building in the story "Dispute Mars Historic Renovation" (ENR 3/4 p. 10). In particular, your fanciful cover illustration distorts not only the building, but also the conduct of both parties.

In over three years of working together on this project, UC Berkeley and Turner have consistently resolved technical, construction, and commercial challenges through teamwork, guided by the best interests of the project. Virtually every aspect of the replacement of the existing foundation, which we have called "load transfer," was the subject of extensive collaboration made possible by the strong commitment of the lead participants working within the framework of the contract.

The project is equal in complexity and challenge with any building renovation project known to us, anywhere. That there are commercial challenges associated with a project of this kind should come as no surprise to ENR’s sophisticated readers. The university’s enterprise in evolving toward better project delivery models and the industry’s favorable response, as measured by participation in projects ranging from under $2 million to well over $100 million, is the headline news from here.

UC Berkeley is proud of this project, and of the accomplishments of the many who have contributed to its successful completion.

Everyone Did Not Vote

I read with interest your article "Carpenters Take Center Stage" (ENR 3/18 p. 10). It was very informative on the broad new stance being taken by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. As a member of this union, I know and am aware of the many new active directions this is taking us.

While I respect and congratulate Mr. McCarron on many of his initiatives, I must correct one piece of information. This article stated that McCarron won re-election with 91% of the vote. While this is probably correct, it must be stated that this in not an election with the participation of the rank and file workers. He is elected at the convention by representatives, many of whom are very much removed from the average work scene. There are many who would like to see this vote returned to a direct election from the workers.

Unlucky 13

Your magazine recently carried a story on the steel collapse at the Pittsburgh Convention Center, the 13th cantilevered bow truss to be erected (ENR 2/25 p. 13). Two years ago, attending the ORESUND Crossing Construction Conference in Copenhagen, we were told that the 13th tunnel element, of 18 built, sank, without fatality, during the floating element positioning. It was salvaged and repaired.

The number 13 is commonly associated with bad luck–maybe your office building doesn’t have a thirteenth floor elevator button. What other construction-related 13 stories are out there to make possibly a different type of ENR article?

Professional Quantity Surveyor
Heavy Civil Construction Consultant
Montreal, Quebec, Canada