Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)
Diverse applications incorporating CLT wood panels into structural design
As sustainability has become an increasing focus in many aspects of our lives in recent years, construction industry professionals have been working to address sustainability concerns by finding ways to expand the use of renewable resources in the built environment. The challenge is to do this without ...
Photogrammetry of Sculptures
Creating a structural analysis model from a small-scale physical model
Construction of irregular, undulating, or three-dimensional art is a challenge all its own, but before an artist can build a large-scale piece, structural analysis is often needed to assist with design of the materials, their connections, and their foundations. Unlike a building, sculpture is ...
Small-Scale Base Isolation
Preserving a century-old religious sculpture for use in a seismic region with an inventive base isolation technique
When the Cathedral Parish of Saint Eugene’s in Santa Rosa, California purchased an antique Baldacchino sculpture in early 2014, they didn’t fully realize the implications of installing an 80,000-pound, unreinforced, brittle marble structure in an earthquake-prone area. Besides the challenge of holding the structure’s 500 marble pieces together ...
Disaster Response to the 2014 Napa Earthquake
When disaster strikes a community, the community steps up
In the early morning hours of August 24, 2014, the earth beneath the Napa Valley began to tremble. In 20 seconds, hundreds of buildings and other structures were vigorously shaken, many of them sustaining extensive damage in the 6.0 magnitude quake. With many businesses and schools shut down ...
The First-Ever Eccentric BRB
Design of the first-ever eccentric buckling-restrained brace frame to meet the new Visa building’s architectural and structural performance goals
In seismic country, there are a number of well-known and accepted methods to resist earthquake forces in a building, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. For Palo Alto’s new Visa building ...
Enhanced Performance in Berkeley
When the goal of enhanced performance and resilience leads to the first installation of a DamperFrame™
It began with a candid conversation with the client to discuss what code-minimum structural design means for a building after a large earthquake. ...
Resilient Design at 85 Bluxome
When the goal of maximizing leasable space also yields resilience; the story of San Francisco’s first USRC-rated building
With San Francisco office space hitting record high prices, maximizing leasable area is one of the top priorities of commercial developers after the safety and comfort of occupants. 85 Bluxome was no exception ...
A Full Seismic Retrofit with Limited Tenant Disruption
Limiting one new tenant’s impact on the whole building with an out-of-the-box solution…literally
When a new tenant moves into a warehouse building, it’s common for them to make small changes to the space, including adding new partition walls or digging up the ground floor slab to add new utilities. However, when a private high school wanted to move in ...
Proof Load Testing of Historic Wood Framing
An unconventional approach helps preserve the historic materials in a century-old Naval building
Knowing that the strength of the historic wood likely far exceeded the conservative code minimums, ZFA set out to prove the strength of the existing framing to minimize the strengthening required and preserve the beauty ...
Designing to Withstand a Landslide
When a landslide plane was discovered on site, a carefully calibrated foundation solution allowed the client to build their dream home
The discovery of a dormant landslide, in combination with the close proximity to the San Andreas fault, meant that the hillside was poised to overtake any structure built on it—literally—if the earth were to shake with enough force. ...