Sustained rainfall over the summer is being blamed for the recent demolition of two three-story buildings under construction in the Floridian Club of Sarasota.
The sprawling residential rental complex is located across from Publix on Jacaranda Boulevard near the roundabout.
One of the stick-built structures was reduced to a pile of two-by-fours and -sixes on Thursday afternoon. A second three-story building was demolished by Friday.
Fred Starling, contractor and part owner of the subdivision, said sustained rains in April, May and June caused oriented strand board (OSB) decking on the second and third floors of the buildings to weaken. The remaining 22 buildings are all single story constructed on a concrete pad are were not affected.
OSB is engineered wood similar to particle board, formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands or flakes in specific orientations. It’s used in subflooring, walls and roofs. OSB can withstand some rain, but needs to be dried reasonably quickly. Sustained moisture can cause the wood to swell and weaken.
Starling said after he was made aware of the issue the OSB manufacturer was brought onto the site. They determined the OSB had been exposed to moisture too long and had lost its strength.
Starling then brought in experts to see if the building could be re-braced and new decking inserted.
“It was going to be about the same money to rebrace as it would to replace. We wanted to make sure it was going be done right. It made sense to start over,” Starling said.
“In my 37 years in construction, this is the first time this has happened,” he added. “We’re doing the right thing.”
The Floridian Club is a new resort complex, owned in part and operated by The Starling Group in Sarasota. It includes 261 single- story attached villas. Three-story bungalows will house another 48 units. The complex includes pools, four man-made lakes and amenities like a coffee cafe and fitness center — without the hassles of homeownership.
Rentals range from $1,415 for a one bedroom unit to $1,795 for a two bedroom unit, with leases from two to 10 years. There’s a one-time club entry amount of $1,800 and monthly expenses of $192 to cover water, sewer, pest control, landscaping and events.