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CurbedWire: Palms Condo Proposed, Downtown's Evo On TV

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PALMS: Via the Palms Village Sun: "A 150-to-170-unit condominum and mixed-use project may replace the Shoe Pavilion store on Sepulveda Blvd. south of National (the old Circuit City), according to a communication from the Mar Vista Community Council." We believe a meeting was held this morning about the project. And that sounds like a big project. [Curbed InBox]

DOWNTOWN: It's Hollywood so everyone gets to be on TV, including under-construction building Evo (pictured). "L.A. Hard Hats" premieres next month on the National Geographic channel. What it is: "A dramatic new series that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and triumphs faced by the men and women responsible for creating Evo, a 23-story eco-friendly high-rise structure in earthquake-prone Los Angeles." Each segment follows around a different worker, be it a glass installer or electrician. Full and totally amazing press release after the jump. [Curbed InBox]

L.A. Hard Hats Premieres Sunday, August 3, 2008, with Back-to-Back Episodes at 9 and 10 p.m. ET/PT; Airs Regularly Monday Nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT Starting August 4

(Washington, D.C., -- JULY 1, 2008) It's taken 94 million pounds of concrete; 7 million pounds of steel; 20,000 outlets, receptacles and light fixtures; 907 sinks; 515 toilets; and countless hours of blood, sweat and teamwork. And now an eco-friendly 23-story building has taken its place in the Los Angeles skyline. But erecting any high rise is no easy task, let alone in an earthquake zone. It is fraught with challenges, from rough winds to equipment malfunctions to crew walk-outs. Any setback or miscalculation can cost time and money or risk life-threatening injuries, and fracture the teamwork necessary to make it happen.

From the producers of Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers comes L.A. Hard Hats, a dramatic new series that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and triumphs faced by the men and women responsible for creating Evo, a 23-story eco-friendly high-rise structure in earthquake-prone Los Angeles. In a unique approach, each of the first five one-hour episodes of L.A. Hard Hats follows a specific trade from the first day on the job until completion of that phase of the project. The sixth and last episode recaps the finishing touches and gives viewers a first buyer's look at the (as of yet) unopened and uninhabited building.

Filmed over a two-year period, this six-part series tells the story from the point of view of the tradesmen -- ironworkers, concrete crews, electricians, plumbers and glaziers. Each episode follows one particular trade from start to finish -- and the pressures, rivalries and setbacks the crews experience as they translate paper specs and blueprints to real-time logistics and real-life daily work. Learn the tricks of the trade while discovering the hidden structure of a modern-day high-rise built to uphold one of the world's toughest earthquake and fire safety codes.

"Anything can happen, no matter how much you engineer something," said Doug Will, construction supervisor on the project. "One thing cracks and breaks, and the whole thing comes down."
The six L.A. Hard Hats episodes are:

L.A. Hard Hats: Rodbusters
Series Premiere: Sunday, August 3, 2008, at 9 p.m. ET/PT

A crew of ironworkers carries and painstakingly sets more than 7 million pounds of steel rebar over 400 days. They are led by first-time foreman Julio Sandoval and his salty supervisor, Ed Collier. From day one, it's a challenge for the new guy. Julio and his team fall a month behind and he becomes the target of his fellow foremen's furor over the slipping schedule. The ironworkers battle design flaws, architectural changes, irate subcontractors and the occasionally uncooperative weather. Plus, a building boom in L.A. leaves them understaffed and constantly initiating new batches of "punk" apprentices.

L.A. Hard Hats: Mud Men
Premiere: Sunday, August 3, 2008, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

How do you pour and shape the 94 million pounds of liquid stone that go into making Evo? On this job the "Prince of the Pour" is Lynn Call, who shows us tricks of the mud men trade including vibrating poles and double-bladed riders that skim over the finished decks like mini Zambonis. Working a step ahead of the concrete crew are the form carpenters, whose job it is to build the deck and wall forms that support and shape thousands of pounds of wet concrete. The carpenter crew includes foreman Steve Siglar; his supervisor Doug Will, a bulldog of a boss; Robin Esquiro, a veteran form carpenter; and Robbie, Robin's 22-year-old son.

L.A. Hard Hats: Pipe Pullers
Premiere: Monday, August 4, 2008, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

A small army of plumbers installs more than 170,000 feet of iron and copper pipe, and builds the immensely complex system that will bring hot and cold water to more than 3,000 faucets, showers, toilets and appliances. We are with them from their first day on the job, as they begin to nail down precise locations for hundreds of pipes that run inside walls that haven't yet been built. We follow them as they assemble a "thousand-piece puzzle of pipe," and we tag along with the inspector who has to give his blessing to each piece of this mind-boggling maze. We also follow crews from other trades building parallel systems: sprinkler fitters, methane barrier riggers and "tinknockers" who put together Evo's HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning) ducts.

L.A. Hard Hats: Sparkies
Premiere: Monday, August 11, 2008, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

A team of electricians led by the jovial Bob Mutt runs more than 2 million feet of wire to power up 20,000 outlets, receptacles and light fixtures. They spend their first few months laying down junction boxes and "smurf" tube conduit that will be imbedded in Evo's concrete decks. Then a core team rigs each floor with switchgear -- high-tech control units that serve as both main breakers and electronic power meters. After the interior framing goes up, a six-person "rough-in" crew blasts through each floor, "boxing" (attaching wall boxes to the framing), "roping" (running wire through the walls), running "home runs" (wires that connect to a unit's subpanel) and "stabbing" (inserting the conduit into each electrical box). A data crew runs cable for Internet, phone and TV. Once it's all installed, tested and inspected, a crew unlocks the vault -- an underground bunker where 34,500 volts of electricity is harnessed, bringing Evo the 4,000 amps it will consume when fully inhabited.

L.A. Hard Hats: House of Glass
Premiere: Monday, August 18, 2008, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

The crew installing Evo's 3,425-piece glass and aluminum "curtain wall" exterior must overcome all sorts of setbacks from design failures to exploding concrete pumps. As can be expected, the exterior of a high rise presents daunting design requirements that will enable it to withstand earthquakes and 75 mph wind-driven rain. In this episode, go to a secret testing facility where a 3-story Evo mock-up is built solely to see if it can be broken. But then the real disasters begin. With the job half done, one of the units fails a critical water test. Then a concrete pump bursts. But Rick Morris, the self-described Rodney Dangerfield of construction, leads the installation crew, and he and his team take each setback in stride as they transform a concrete skeleton into a spectacular cutting-edge high rise.

L.A. Hard Hats: Race to the Finish
Premiere: Monday, August 25, 2008, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

The series finale captures the mad race by a dozen different subcontractors to finish Evo in time for the grand opening. Will everything be completed and will the crews' work pass inspection? Join the workers for a "topping out" party on the roof celebrating their team challenges and triumphs. Then get a first-time buyer's tour and see how it all came together.