San Francisco's Millennium Tower Is Tilting and Sinking. Here's What Went Wrong

The $350-million tower has already sunk 18 inches in a decade.
Derya Ozdemir

The 58-story, 645-foot-tall (197 m) Millennium Tower, which was designed by Handel Architects, is the tallest residential building in San Francisco, but it's unlike any other skyscraper. Since its completion in 2009, the tower has caused a slew of issues for both inhabitants and building owners. In fact, it has been sinking and tilting for some time now, making it the center of engineering and architecture debates and stirring up controversy. In addition to all that its foundations don't extend to bedrock, and it’s fantastically expensive.

The building's tilt is now about 22 inches (55.88 cm) to the west due to the northwest corner sinking about 18 inches (45.72 cm). In this video by the Practical Engineering, you can learn how geology affects the construction and design of skyscraper foundations, and what is being done to repair this structure. If you want to learn more, make sure you watch the video embedded above, and as always, enjoy!

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