Apple says Chicago store's snow problems are result of software issue

Posted:
in General Discussion
Troubles with snow and ice at Apple's North Michigan store in Chicago were attributable to glitches in a rooftop warming system, rather than any inherently bad architecture, according to the company.




The warming system "needed some fine-tuning," and was reprogrammed on Friday, Apple spokesman Nick Leahy told the Chicago Tribune. "It's hopefully a temporary problem."

Leahy added that while the roof lacks gutters to catch melting snow, it does drain water, passing it through internal support columns instead.

Apple endured criticism and ridicule last week when it was forced to rope off surrounding areas to cope with falling material. The store sports an unusual flat roof with rounded edges, reminiscent of a MacBook lid. As usual, Apple's design help came from London's Foster & Partners.

Apple is often accused of prioritizing aesthetics over practical concerns. For years, for instance, the company made the thinness of iPhones a key selling point, even as some people complained they were becoming hard to hold and that they would rather have more battery life.
tallest skil
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,610member
    "Hey Siri: make the store safe."

    "I'm sorry, Dave. I can't do that."

    sdw2001dacharmarkacetomavemufcMacsplosionmazda 3suktechietallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 48
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,138member
    So Apple and the architects they hire aren't as dumb as people thought...
    StrangeDaystmaySolipscooter63macguijony0
  • Reply 3 of 48
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,421member
    "For years, for instance, the company made the thinness of iPhones a key selling point, even as some people complained they were becoming hard to hold and that they would rather have more battery life."


    What?  
    StrangeDayspscooter63randominternetpersontallest skiljony0
  • Reply 4 of 48
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 259member
    This makes me so happy. 
  • Reply 5 of 48
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,009member

    Apple is often accused of prioritizing aesthetics over practical concerns. 
    Right on! We want our beige plastic boxes back, keyboards that make lots of noise, and LEDs, lots of LEDs inside that turn on and off all the time. And oh, criticism and ridicule come with the territory when you’re the top alpha male of the tech world.
    edited January 2018 StrangeDaysmacxpresstmaychristopher126pscooter63sdw2001jony0
  • Reply 6 of 48
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,154member
    sdw2001 said:
    "For years, for instance, the company made the thinness of iPhones a key selling point, even as some people complained they were becoming hard to hold and that they would rather have more battery life."


    What?  
    Yeah that was an odd non-sequitur. Making technology thinner and smaller isn't aesthetics, it's in fact practical. Smaller, lighter...this is how we advance the state of the art and get our tech into new form factors with new solutions and innovations. There would be no Watch without what was learned in miniaturizing the phone and tablet. Making them weigh less is a plus. 

    It's funny, people love their sci-fi devices of impossibly-thin (and clear!) tech in the future, but meanwhile in the present the whiners say "Stop making improvements!" and suggest all technology be frozen with today's norms and comfort levels. Odd.
    edited January 2018 pscooter63sdw2001randominternetpersonjony0
  • Reply 7 of 48
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,689member
    sdw2001 said:
    "For years, for instance, the company made the thinness of iPhones a key selling point, even as some people complained they were becoming hard to hold and that they would rather have more battery life."


    What?  
    Yeah that was an odd non-sequitur. Making technology thinner and smaller isn't aesthetics, it's in fact practical. Smaller, lighter...this is how we advance the state of the art and get our tech into new form factors with new solutions and innovations. There would be no Watch without what was learned in miniaturizing the phone and tablet. Making them weigh less is a plus. 

    It's funny, people love their sci-fi devices of impossibly-thin (and clear!) tech in the future, but meanwhile in the present the whiners say "Stop making improvements!" and suggest all technology be frozen with today's norms and comfort levels. Odd.
    Smaller and lighter runs both ways. There are pros and contras. It isn't such a clear cut thing. That's precisely one reason why the Plus phones exist. There was demand for bigger phones. The same applies for weight. No one would want an ultra light phone that could be moved by wind. There's also a pyschological angle. People like phones to feel solid and comfortable in the hand. And of course, battery size can only be reduced to a point, after which, things become inconvenient for the user.

    It's not about stopping making improvements. A bigger battery could be an improvement. The key is to not go too far in the other direction.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 48
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,533member
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    markacetoanton zuykov
  • Reply 9 of 48
    macxpress said:
    So Apple and the architects they hire aren't as dumb as people thought...
    We bought our first house in 1968 in the Chicago suburb of Fox River Grove.

    It had a heated eaves on the roof and a heated driveway.

    The roof worked great -- no snow dams or icicles...

    The driveway -- not so much -- the streets weren't heated  :/ 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 48
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,154member
    dewme said:
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    Does Apple have a reputation for not using environmentally friendly energy policies? Everything I know about them says they do.

    If there were some exceptional power outage to the store resulting in unsafe roof conditions, do you really think people would be shopping under it? Knowing what we know about the other Michigan Avenue stores and similar cones and warnings, I simply cannot fathom what makes people "concerned" about Apple and its roof. It's hand-wringing of the first order.
    chasmsennen
  • Reply 11 of 48
    dewme said:
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    It need not be expensive or inefficient:

    WELCOME TO HEATED ROOF SYSTEMS

    RADIANT ROOF MELTING SYSTEM

    hrs-close-up

    HEATED ROOF SYSTEMS offers you our exclusive patented technology that provides  a concealed snow melt mat, placed under roofing material to eliminate Ice Dams. These "Roof Rescue Mats", can be placed under asphalt shingles, synthetic slate and shake, and both standing seam and pro-panel roofing, giving you the continuous look to the roof edge. Shown to the left is our 10" heater being applied on the edge of the roof. Our heaters have a 3M self adhesive backing, and in this picture, the installer is using a heat gun on a cold day to help adhere the heater.

    Our competition still offers the same repetitive version of a single strand or two of heat tape under a horizontal metal band. Most extreme Ice Dam problems require a wider band of heat. We offer a 14" heat band with a single row. More importantly, "metal shrouded heat tape" is a poor choice for valley applications. Again, a single strand or two of heat tape placed under a narrow metal band, on the outside of a valley has marginal results at best.

    We offer the ONLY solution for Flat Roofs. By placing our heaters in an X fashion around the roof drains, under the rubber membrane. Or to prevent snow and ice buildup, by placing our heaters around roof top equipment.

    Our " Roof Rescue Mats" are very efficient, by being connected to a timer or moisture sensor, they are only on for a few hours a day. I'm confident you will find our roof ice melt system to meet your needs the best .  Dave@heatedroofsystems.com (President)

    https://heatedroofsystems.com/


    philboogiefastasleepStrangeDaysSpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 48
    dewme said:
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    Does Apple have a reputation for not using environmentally friendly energy policies? Everything I know about them says they do.

    If there were some exceptional power outage to the store resulting in unsafe roof conditions, do you really think people would be shopping under it? Knowing what we know about the other Michigan Avenue stores and similar cones and warnings, I simply cannot fathom what makes people "concerned" about Apple and its roof. It's hand-wringing of the first order.
    Well said!

    I suspect Apple has backup power to keep the basic store systems operational -- not necessarily open for shopping, but for basic heating, lighting, security, etc.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    LukeCageLukeCage Posts: 166member
    macxpress said:
    So Apple and the architects they hire aren't as dumb as people thought...

    I know right it's like people were jumping to conclusion with out having the whole story.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 48
    stanhopestanhope Posts: 157member
    macxpress said:
    So Apple and the architects they hire aren't as dumb as people thought...
    We bought our first house in 1968 in the Chicago suburb of Fox River Grove.

    It had a heated eaves on the roof and a heated driveway.

    The roof worked great -- no snow dams or icicles...

    The driveway -- not so much -- the streets weren't heated  :/ 
    The heated driveways and roofs work in Lake Forest and Winnetka.  🤪
  • Reply 15 of 48
    sdw2001 said:
    "For years, for instance, the company made the thinness of iPhones a key selling point, even as some people complained they were becoming hard to hold and that they would rather have more battery life."


    What?  
    Remember, they aren't journalists or professional writers, so give the blog posters a break when you see stuff like that.
    philboogie
  • Reply 16 of 48
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,027member
    You're hotting it wrong.
    philboogie
  • Reply 17 of 48
    dewme said:
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    Um... in the days of modern man... we have these devices called generators. Both gas and battery powered. 

    theyre actually fairly commonplace. 

    Also, not sure if you've heard,  but Apple is pretty big on renewable energy. 
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 18 of 48
    Very appreciative of Apples advances in architectural implementation. Very smart way to eliminate snow and ice build up. And to route the melted liquid INTERNALLY... Perfect! Just because the weather is harsh doesn't mean you have to see "gutters" and water running all over the place. Apple advancing the neatness of things once again. It's these kinds of bold moves that see others following their lead and making the world a better place a little at a time. Sure nothing's perfect. That's why there is plan B. But they're gunning for it. As we all should. 
    patchythepiratefastasleepsennen
  • Reply 19 of 48
    dewme said:
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    "doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment " Is that your opinion, or do you have facts that they are not using a renewable energy source?

    "warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power" From previous experience, they are low power consumption, typically DC, systems that have sensors and cycle times to keep costs low.

    "they could have been much more environmentally considerate"  It seems that you just have uninformed/non-factual opinion and guesses here? Or do you have some source you are not mentioning?

    On a factual basis, one could argue that none of Apple's stores are energy efficient with their mostly glass exteriors.  Even multi pane glass with non-conductive gases do not have the R value of a well insulated wall



    patchythepirate
  • Reply 20 of 48
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,533member
    dewme said:
    I'm a bit disappointed that they would design a building that doesn't accommodate and coexist in its environment in a more natural and passive way. An active roof warming system in a cold and snowy climate must be quite expensive to power and could potentially fail during a prolonged power outage, like an outage caused by excessive snowfall. I hope they at least use waste heat or an environmentally friendly energy source to power the roof heaters. It's not as bad as building an igloo store in the Arizona desert, but they could have been much more environmentally considerate like they've been with their spaceship campus. 
    Does Apple have a reputation for not using environmentally friendly energy policies? Everything I know about them says they do.

    If there were some exceptional power outage to the store resulting in unsafe roof conditions, do you really think people would be shopping under it? Knowing what we know about the other Michigan Avenue stores and similar cones and warnings, I simply cannot fathom what makes people "concerned" about Apple and its roof. It's hand-wringing of the first order.
    Well said!

    I suspect Apple has backup power to keep the basic store systems operational -- not necessarily open for shopping, but for basic heating, lighting, security, etc.
    I'm sure Apple can afford the added expense no matter the cost. But as we've seen with the spaceship Apple is always pushing the envelope on finding new ways to make its facilities fit more naturally into their surroundings, as a design challenge if nothing more. I'm very familiar with roof heating systems and the added expense of running them, which I seem to recall as being somewhere around $50-$80 extra hit on the monthly electrical bill for moderately sized home in the northern US. This of course is a small fraction of what the cost of repairs would be for ice dam related damage to your home. I've lived in some of the snowiest cities in North America and I have seen many homes with heated roofs and such electricity intensive features. In fact, I've seen all-electric homes in places that get close to 200 inches of snowfall per year.  The one thing that they all had in common was they were being built at a time when the local nuclear power plant, still under construction, was going to deliver unlimited electricity at incredibly dirt-cheap inexpensive rates once it was completed. The problem was that once the plants were finished (if they were ever finished at all) the construction costs ballooned by a couple of orders of magnitude and people were paying $400-$500 a month in the winter just to keep the lights and heating going - before adding in more for heat cables and such. That was in the mid 1980s so I can only imagine what they are paying today. It was always easy to know when you were walking into an all-electric home back then because the first thing you smelled when you walked in the door was kerosene heater fumes. 
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