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Cracking High-Rise Windows Alarm San Francisco


By Naomi Millán Windows & Exterior Walls
A skyward view of Salesforce Tower in San Francisco

San Francisco is on alert for cracking high-rise windows. Salesforce Tower in the city’s South of Market district suffered two cracked windows due to unknown causes. The cracks occurred on the interior panes of double-paned units on the 12th and 14th floors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The building management company is aware of the issue and will repair the windows shortly.

Normally, the cracks might not make the news. But the building's high-profile neighbor, Millenium Tower, is a residential high-rise that suffered a cracked pane in the 36th floor of its curtain wall in September 2018. The Millenium Tower has sunk 18 inches since its opening in 2009 and is tilting, creating suspicion these problems caused the curtainwall crack. The crack likely was caused by an unknown external impact.

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection saw no indications that the window cracks at Salesforce Tower were caused by issues with the structure. The heightened attention to the windows also might be influenced by another high-profile structure failure at the Salesforce Transit Center, which is directly adjacent Salesforce Tower and where defects during fabrication caused two structural beams to crack six weeks after the center opened in the summer 2018.

Naomi Millán is senior editor of Building Operating Management.

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