An excerpt on the Seahaus condo development in La Jolla, a Barratt American project:
Instead of sawn wood or steel beams, Seahaus’s skeleton is made of “parallel strand lumber” beams — long strands of wood from small trees glued together to make beams. The homeowners’ lawsuits allege that the developers knew the rainy winter of 2005 was exposing the buildings’ frames to rain, that they knew the beams could become an unglued mushy mess.
“They told me everything was going to be top-of-the-line, it was going to be nice, it was going to be great,” Alkasabi said. “But this place is full of nightmares.”
Alkasabi said he was told before he bought that the structure would be framed with steel beams, not the strand lumber. The condos would be soundproof and top-of-the-line, he said.
Alkasabi said he’s seen mushrooms grow out of stucco because of moisture inside. He refuses to walk under certain corridors. Inspectors found three colors of mold growing in his living room wall, he said. When he complained about a construction issue in one of his units, he said, the developers quickly planted a palm tree squarely in front of his view.
After reviewing a few beams in 2005, an engineer found some of the beams had expanded due to the rain and were “delaminated” — bending and splintering. The engineer recommended a few beams be replaced in a March 2005 memo, according to documents filed in court.
But the homeowners want to know: What about the rest of the beams the engineer didn’t look at?
“They came out, reviewed a few, but they did not look and inspect the hundreds that were out there,” said Mia Severson, attorney with Aguirre, Morris and Severson, which is representing the homeowners on the more recent suit. “The question becomes now, how structurally intact are the beams now?”
Read Kelly Bennett’s entire article here: