In college professors never explained how building codes work. Supervisors never explained Codes to me anyplace I worked. I’m going to save you trouble and layout how Building Codes work here in the US. This is of crucial importance to us as designers. This should help if you are working from another country, or just…

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Shipping Container Building

This is a project we are wrapping up on. It should begin construction around October 2021. It’s a combination container structure and structural steel, with a concrete deck for the second floor. It’s a creative combination of different types of structure (concrete, masonry, steel, containers) to provide an attractive design. The containers from my standpoint…

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failing subwall

I have this nightmare that repeats itself over and over again. It is slightly different, but the theme is the same for each one, and I wake up shaking. It’s not about my time in the Middle East, or any of the horrific things I’ve seen, it’s more mundane that makes it so terrifying. The dream is about an awful house that I can’t get out of, and the worst thing is it can really happen.

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Exterior Cladding

Our client, Seco Architectural Systems, Inc, was to provide aluminum screens for the parking garage exterior. Here is a typical elevation view of the panels: To develop this, we designed a system of aluminum sheets supported on aluminum tubes. Then, in the design process, we developed the wind and dead loads. Using those loads, we…

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Underground Detention Excavation

The Project: This project was an underground detention pond that we designed with reinforced concrete. I have seen large underground detention ponds, but never one this large made from concrete. With this one, the desire by the developer was burying the basin, with soil cover and planting. The Challenges of an Underground Detention Pond: Loading:…

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Surprisingly, it’s not necessary or advisable to repair every defect in a house. Normally what I will do in that case is give a number of alternatives in my report and layout the pluses and minuses of each alternative. Many times it is flamingly obvious that repairing the house defect will cause more problems than…

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Abandoned Terminal

This past week Governor Gavin Newsom stated that California would ban gas powered cars in 15 years. Also, an article appeared in Forbes magazine on September 26. It is predicting that Tesla’s proposed $25,000 electric car would mean “Game Over” for gas and oil. That made me think. What happens when cars go electric to the…

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