Builder starting over on storm-damaged condos in Brier Creek
Posted January 13, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Backhoes were digging Monday afternoon into the collapsed heap of trusses, plywood, nails that were the building materials for a luxury condominium building under construction at Brier Creek.
The building on Bruckhaus Street blew apart Saturday during storms that produced straight-line winds, and cellphone video that documented the destruction was aired on national news outlets.
Toll Brothers, the Pennsylvania-based company that is building the project, known as the Cottages at Brier Creek, said in a statement that the building was not far enough along in its construction to withstand the extreme winds that knocked it down. Windows, metal framing and other structural supports were not yet in place in the building. By contrast, an adjacent building that did have those features is still standing.
“Structures that are in such an early phase of construction...are not capable of withstanding the extreme (80+ mph) winds that were encountered on Saturday,” the company statement said. “Although there were six other units in a different portion of the same building further along in construction which did not sustain a loss, Toll is retaining an engineer to confirm that their structural integrity was not compromised by this recent storm.”
The company said it was grateful no one was hurt.
Jeremy Longmaid lives in a condo down the street and wasn’t home during the storm. He said Monday he was relieved the building blew in the thick of the gale and not later.
“Literally an hour after the storm, I was walking (my dog) by here, and it could have actually collapsed,” he said.
Two longtime City of Raleigh building inspectors said they had not seen anything like this at a construction site before. Deputy Director for Inspections Curt Willis said it appeared crews couldn't get all the bracing and sheeting done in time for the storm.
Willis said he recalls no problems involving past projects from Toll Brothers, which builds luxury homes in 19 states.
The company said it is clearing out the mess and starting the building project from scratch. The company did not disclose how much the setback cost.