Our Mission and Philosophy at USCC, LLC
When traveling around the world, you will soon notice that in many countries, there are no consistent building codes or safe building standards. Although some of these inconsistencies are only cosmetic flaws, most are structural flaws originating from poor architectural and engineering design, as well as poor workmanship in the construction process. Some of these design flaws are insignificant, however most can be extremely dangerous.
Unfortunately, these buildings are occupied by innocent, unsuspecting people, who have put their trust in their government, building contractors, and landlords, to provide structures that at least have a certain level of safety in design, craftsmanship, and function.
Our Mission is : When a client asks for "American and Western Standards", to deliver those standards, complete with design and engineering that complies with our highest standards.
Massive building collapse and failure is so easy and inexpensive to address in the interest of avoiding tragic situations such as the aftermath of earthquakes in Mexico City (1985), Pakistan (2005), and Haiti (2010) when hundreds of thousands of people were killed.
Being originally from the State of California, USA, we have even higher standards than the rest of the United States, Asia, and Europe, being in an Earthquake Zone, and having very strict Structural Engineering Codes.
Many of our team also live in Arizona, USA, so can handle "Extreme Heat" conditions, so can easily handle the hot conditions of The Middle East, Africa, and Central America. So "Extreme Heat" conditions is not an excuse for us as to "cutting corners" or mediocre workmanship, unlike many contractors from "The West" who aren't accustomed to those conditions.
We build 5 Star hotels and residences in the heat of Arizona, and have done so around the world as well, so there is no excuse for substandard construction due to heat exhaustion, such has been the case of many foreign contractors building around the world, including the Middle East, and more specifically, in Dubai. Dubai is plagued with building problems which is outline below with photos of faulty and substandard construction.
It is no mystery why when major Earthquakes hit California, they only result in minor damage, and minimal loss of life, being counted in the dozens, rather the tens of thousands dead, such as in Haiti, Pakistan, and Mexico City, as well as other catastrophes around the world.
A good example is the Northridge, California Earthquake of 1994 which was considered a strong Earthquake at a magnitude of 6.7, and was almost as strong as the Haiti earthquake at a magnitude of 7.
Although it caused over $20 Billion dollars of damage, it only killed 57 people in such a highly populated area of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley at a population of 1,800,000 people. Of the 57 people killed, only 33 were killed as a direct result of the earthquake. The other 24 people died of Cardiac Arrest from Heart Attacks due to panic, not of faulty building failures.
Having built a manufacturing plant near Mexico City during the time of the 1985 earthquake, I was a witness to that disaster.
Having visited the location dozens of times before the Earthquake, it was quite sobering seeing the aftermath of the disaster only weeks after that unfortunate event.
So clear in my mind were the sights of buildings that were completely undamaged right next to buildings that were completely destroyed, killing all occupants inside. In looking at the wreckage, it was obvious that design flaws and building "short cuts" were what caused such loss of life.
Our manufacturing plant was completely undamaged, while some of the neighboring buildings weren't so fortunate. It's a life changing event seeing such loss of life "first hand", knowing that it was completely unnecessary.
The smell of dead bodies under the rubble is a memory that you can never forget, nor would you want to forget it. These memories are what motivates us to want to build to better standards, knowing that someday, that safe and strong building that you built may save lives in the future.
There are too many individual structural failure disasters that that don't make the news, that happen in these countries that kill many occupants in these unsafe buildings, but because these disasters are not "Spectacular" or not natural disasters, such as an "Earthquake", so they don't make it on CNN, MS/NBC, or any other news reports.
These structural failures can be the result of simple foundation settlement, which happens in all new buildings, yet these design flaws can result in partial or total collapse of the structure. Such is the problem of over 400 "New" buildings in Dubai that have been condemned to be demolished, even before being occupied. (See photos below.) There will no doubt be hundreds more buildings being condemned in Dubai once all the buildings have been re-inspected for safety. If you don't believe it, then "Google It" ! Google : "400 buildings to be demolished in Dubai". Shocking, but true !
Other structural failures that have happened in these countries are from weight overload, such as having a small party in an apartment in a highrise building with the typical "unsupported" cement cinder block ceilings (and floors). When these ceilings collapse, it kills all the people below, with an impact that can cause a chain reaction, or "Domino Effect" causing the collapse of all the floors below, such as the weight overload that caused the twin towers of the "World Trade Center" in New York to collapse under it's own weight. Once the "Domino Effect" has started, the floors below will collapse, killing all inhabitants below. (See photos below.)
These are just a couple examples of the substandard engineering flaws that we see everyday, but there are many more problems to address as well. (See the photos below.)
Our Mission is to raise the standards of building practices worldwide, so tragedies like what happened in Haiti, Pakistan, and Mexico City doesn't happen again with the newer buildings being built, and to "retrofit" existing buildings by adding support where possible, making these buildings safe for all occupants in the future.
Needless deaths and property damage can be avoided with proper care during the design process, with building costs only going up by a fraction, making it affordable to all.
It's as simple as that !
Without it, we will continue to dig through the rubble of collapsed buildings after these disasters, confronted with high body counts, requiring all the massive humanitarian efforts necessary to save lives and rebuild.
There are also additional problems of all the displaced lives of the survivors who must wait sometimes many years, before there are new structures to live in, perhaps just as dangerous as the previous structures, living in "Tent Cities" during this rebuilding period. Sometimes these cities never get rebuilt.
These survivors suffer from psychological and emotional trauma from loved ones lost, in addition to the physical trauma such as diseases, shortages of food and water, as well as contaminated water, while living in tents, with little, or no hygiene issues being addressed, such as running water to wash with or toilets, causing additional health hazards to add to their misery.
Such human suffering is completely unnecessary, if only care was taken in the building design process.
What is worse is that we can't really blame the local builders who don't know any better.
What is the real tragedy is that many of these buildings have been built by "Western" and Asian contractors.
When I ask local officials about these flawed buildings that were built by European, Asian, and American contractors, I'll typically ask, "Didn't any of them tell you that these designs are unsafe" ?
The answers to this day, has always been "No" !
These "Mercenary" profiteering builders don't care, and don't want to delay their profits by redesigning the buildings, yet most of the redesigns only require adding "Rebar" to the structure, and no more use of "Cinder Block" ceilings. They just want to start building, take their profit, and move on to the next project as quickly as possible.
Our Mission is to encourage an International Building Code Standard enforceable worldwide.
In this case, the city of Dubai and the Royal Family who invested there would have been well served by such International Building Codes, as would all the other cities around the world who are victims of these design flaws.
Those 400 buildings in Dubai wouldn't have to be demolished with such International Building Codes.
Our Mission is to make buildings around the world as safe as the buildings that that we enjoy here in California, USA, and make it the International Standard, not just a California Building Code Standard.
Our Mission is to make such tragedies that happened in Haiti, Pakistan, and Mexico City become a lesson for future generations as something that should never be acceptable, and never let it happen again.
Let us hope for better worldwide building standards in the future.
Mexico City - 1985
Pakistan - 2005
This building was a hospital,,,
Haiti - 2010
Note : There is absolutely no "Rebar" in the load bearing walls.
Dubai - 2011 - (When they fall under there own weight is anybody's guess.)- This "New" building has already started major structural cracking. The lower left side is ready to collapse at any time, causing this building to fall over to the left like a logger cutting down a tree. Seeing that there is no Rebar in those load bearing walls, this building will fall under it's own weight, even without an Earthquake. This type of structural failure is called a "Pancake Collapse" which is same as what happened with the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York. Yes, this really is a "New" building, complete with advertising for the "Last Few Units" available.
There are at least 400 more "New" buildings like this in Dubai.
This Cinder Block Ceiling below has no Rebar and no mortar between the blocks to add any support ! A disaster just waiting to happen !
There isn't even any mortar between these blocks, as if the the design concept wasn't bad enough. What were they thinking?! This won't even take an Earthquake to kill people, but being such a small incident when it kills the inhabitants, it won't make the CNN News, so it goes unnoticed to the rest of the world. Ceilings in buildings like this collapse every year around the world, killing everyone below !
This is another typical design flaw that we see. There is very little vertical pillar support, and "no" Rebar support for the Load Bearing walls. These temporary metal bars are all that is holding the building up during construction, while they prepare to add cinder block walls.
Then they add the un-reinforced Cinder Block exterior walls, which are now "load bearing". When the walls without Rebar support crack, the whole building falls like a "House of Cards", killing all the occupants below. Another typical setup for a "Pancake Collapse" disaster !
Some of the worst construction that we've seen in the world is here in Dubai, which is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It's absolutely no different than the problems with Haiti construction design !
All that is required is to add some metal Rebar to the walls, costing minimal in additional expenses, but it will make the difference between these buildings being safe havens during Earthquakes, or becoming dangerous "Death Traps" that just add to the body count.
The cement blocks we use are hollow, and have Rebar vertical support. Cement is then poured into the hollow blocks, making it one solid, metal reinforced wall.
This cut away (below) shows how the Rebar and Cement becomes a solid unit with the wall, giving it 10x the support of just cement blocks alone. In addition, the walls at worst will buckle or bend, but they won't totally crack away like a "House of Cards" that collapses on the occupants below, avoiding the "Pancake Collapse" effect.
This is the proper way to Earthquake proof a "Cinder Block" load bearing wall as we do in California. It should be done worldwide.
Our Mission: at U.S. Contractors Consortium, is to put a stop to the inferior and dangerous construction that is all too common, so when Earthquakes hit, they don't require massive life saving resources just to count the thousands of dead bodies.
Our Philosophy: is, "Life Saving" should begin in the design and construction phase of the process, where it really counts. Not after the fact, when it's too late. It will also save all the rebuilding efforts and costs afterwards, when damage is held to a minimum.
It's nice to know that here in California, we build so safely that after earthquakes, we are more concerned about casualties from heart attacks because of older people with fear, than we are about building failures.
Prevention is the answer,,,
In the interest of saving innocent lives, may we all pray for change, and better building standards worldwide,,,