Since its construction in 1928, the historically significant Chapman Court structure has withstood the test of time in the heart of the densely populated Wilshire Center in Los Angeles, CA. This building is a unique example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with intricate Churrigueresque detailing, by a prominent Los Angeles architectural firm during the 1920s; Morgan, Walls & Clements. The original use, a sample of how history repeats itself, was a mix of retail and live/work spaces with the retail spaces on the ground floor and the studios and residential spaces adjoining a central corridor on the upper floors.
The entire team is looking forward to building on the substantial progress we have achieved over the past months in advancing the Yellowstone Club Core Village construction project in Big Sky, MT. Battling the Montana winter this year countless manhours and consumables have been spent towards keeping areas warm enough to install products on the exterior and interior of this 475,000 square feet (44,129 square meters) Core Village project. It takes a lot of manpower, propane and mental toughness to work in these damp, freezing conditions daily. As spring begins, frequent thawing and freezing cycles continue. Nevertheless, structural steel and structural concrete has been completed, metal roof decking on Area 4 (Spa Building) has been installed, and the roofers have battled the conditions and managed to continue to dry-in the roofs on Area 1, 2, and 5. The site concrete retaining walls are underway along with plenty of other exterior work. The exterior punchlist process began in March on Areas 1 and 5. Exterior sheathing is wrapping up on Areas 3 and 4 and windows installation is following right behind. Tower Crane #2 has been removed to allow construction crew to finish the plaza work.
By Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE
How devastating would an earthquake be to the Portland metro area? A recent report on the Earthquake Regional Impact Analysis for Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties, Oregon was published by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral industries (DOGAMI) seeks to answer that question. The report is an assessment of the damage and casualties that could result from a major earthquake in the region.
Remember the destruction that occurred in 1994 when Northridge suffered a devastating 6.7-magnitude earthquake: freeways crumbled, apartment buildings collapsed and, as a result, more than 60 people were killed, 9,000 people injured and $25 billion in damage was reported. It’s a lesser-known fact that an estimated 49,000 housing units in Northridge alone were rendered uninhabitable from the Northridge quake.
Detached from everyday routine, the Bridger Mountain Range’s alpine setting provides a superb natural environment to host a wide spectrum of team bonding and relaxation opportunities. Nishkian Monks recently held its annual company ski day at Bridger Bowl, one of the most outstanding outdoor recreation areas located just a short 20-minute drive from historic downtown Bozeman, Montana. The combination of snow sports, sunshine, fresh air, mountain scenery and après-ski activities makes a ski outing an ideal vehicle for company team-building, incentive and social program.
By Serena Gilles, P.E.
The Oregon Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP) was created to help fund seismic upgrades for educational institutions and emergency services buildings including hospitals, fire stations, and police stations. The purpose is to reduce losses in the case of a major seismic event, which has been predicted to have a 40% chance of occurring along Oregon’s Pacific coastline within the next 50 years. This program focuses on the safety of K-12 children and their educators, first responders, and hospitals that are expected to be operational following an earthquake. Higher education facilities are also eligible for funding.
Construction is underway on a number of developments for Nishkian Chamberlain in Southern California. Here’s a highlight of a few of these recent starts:
A great deal of hubbub has surrounded the luxury real estate market in Downtown San Francisco in recent months. Newly completed is La Maison, a 28-unit luxury condominium building located at 241 10th Street between Howard and Folsom. Epitomizing comfort and sophistication, this 23,570 square-foot mixed-use residential structure offers a variety of one- and two-bedroom contemporary floorplans ranging from 518 square feet to 992 square feet, each individually custom designed to offer a unique living experience. Structural design was performed by Nishkian Monks. The structure is four stories of wood framing over one story of concrete construction (Type VA over Type IA). The wood framing consists of I-joist and glulam floor/roof framing with wood shear walls. The above grade post-tensioned concrete podium separates the residential units from the office/retail and parking spaces below. The structural foundation is an at-grade mat foundation.
By Aerik Carlton
While working with private space industry clients on launch complex structures, we have found some notable structural challenges. This article is meant to share some of Nishkian Dean’s recent launch site design experience. Specifically, an atypical structural load consideration that was identified and requested to be evaluated by our client.
Recently, launch tower structures, designed by others, near one of our project sites had been found to present weld failures at circular structural member support connections. The design and construction team that completed the nearby tower believed the weld failures to be representative of “bad welds” during construction. This conclusion was drawn because there appeared to be random failure locations. The failed connections were rewelded, but the repaired welds were found to have failed at the same locations in a follow-up inspection.
Welcome to 2018 and the first blog of the year from the Southern California arm of the Nishkian companies, Nishkian Chamberlain. We are excited to have the year underway with a number of new project designs starting, several major construction projects set to begin and significant positive signs for a great year!
Nishkian Monks would like to introduce you to our newest team members: Justin Beschorner, Hannah Meyer, and Justin Jones.
A January 2018 update to our blog post from July 2017
Nishkian Dean previously reported on the URM Building Policy Committee back in July, which you can read here. This shorter post is intended to be a supplement to the original post, and to cover items not addressed in the previous article.
The URM Building Policy Committee had a final meeting on November 8, 2017 and completed a final draft of their report and recommendation in December, which the Portland City Council is likely to review in early 2018.
In summary, the Committee’s proposal is to require seismic strengthening of URM buildings using a tiered approached based on the building’s use and occupancy. The only exceptions to these recommended requirements are for one- and two-family homes and URM buildings that were previously seismically strengthened to an acceptable defined standard, as well as buildings serving religious functions or other buildings owned by non-profits that are not being used as schools. The exemption for Class 3 churches and other buildings used by non-profits would require that a placard noting the earthquake risk be placed at or near the entrances.
A new mixed-use development is underway at 1395 22nd Street in San Francisco. The location will offer residents easy access to one of San Francisco’s Caltrain stations. The project will include two structures: an eight-story residential building over a below grade parking garage adjacent to a three-story industrial building. The northern residential building will contain over 250 rental units and the industrial space will be used for Production Distribution and Repair (PDR) by the City of San Francisco. The vertical load-carrying system for these buildings consists of post-tensioned concrete slabs supported by reinforced concrete columns and concrete shear walls. The façade uses various building materials to appear as individual residential buildings along the hill. The two buildings are supported by deep foundations and are separated by a seismic joint.
The site, perched on the east side of Potrero Hill, creates an interesting construction condition. The floor plates increase in plan as the building ascends the face of the hill. Where columns and walls intersect the slope, tiebacks will be used to tie the structure into the hillside. These tiebacks were peer-reviewed as part of the entire foundation system by a peer-review panel selected by the City of San Francisco.
A serpentine stair at the north side of the construction site will connect Missouri Street at the top of Potrero Hill to Texas Street at the bottom. The stair covers an elevation gain of approximately 85 feet and allows access to the residential building on multiple landings.
With joy and gratitude we wish you a wonderful holiday season!
Set to be one of the newest mixed-use residential developments in Los Angeles, CA’s Koreatown, 700 Manhattan is well underway in construction and just completed the basement structure and is beginning to rise above grade. The seven-story, mixed-use-complex will contain 160 residential units, more than 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and several amenities including a dog run, and pool/spa deck. Located between Manhattan Place and Western Avenue and 7th Street, the building contains two levels of below grade parking, ground floor retail, parking spaces, and second floor amenity space. Then floors 3 through 7 contain residential units.
The recently completed new commercial building, The Palisade, illustrates the changing tide in the fastest growing and highest density of residential neighborhoods on the west end of Bozeman. Nishkian Monks participated in the project as the structural engineer of record, working directly with Bitnar Architects and general contractor Langlas & Associates. Developed by Paine Group, Inc., The Palisade is a 6,600-square-foot commercial building located at 630 Boardwalk Avenue. The structure is located at a gently sloping site. Above grade, the exterior and interior walls are of light-gage metal stud construction with thin set brick veneer at the exterior walls. The roof framing is accomplished with pre-engineered open web steel trusses. The building is founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings with a slab-on-grade at the ground level.
By Robert A. Aman, PE, SE
Many buildings constructed today extend one or more stories below grade level to maximize building area and provide additional spaces for parking, storage, mechanical/electrical rooms, and sometimes even office space or living units. In many cases the soil excavations required for these below-grade structures are constrained by the site’s property lines and surrounding buildings, and therefore require that a vertical excavation cut is made within the property lines and construction boundaries. Since the soil excavations are vertical, temporary excavation shoring must be installed to prevent the soil from caving. In cases where there is available space adjacent to it, the excavation typically will be laid back on a slope at a 1 ½ horizontal to 1 vertical to prevent caving and to eliminate the need for excavation shoring. In situations in which this is not possible, shoring provides a means to safely accomplish the site excavation and greatly improve the utilization of the site development.
San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood has seen much development and revitalization over the past few years. Along Market Street, between 5th Street and Van Ness Avenue, apartment buildings, cultural centers, and office spaces are popping up left and right.
Opened in 2013, NEMA, a 35-story apartment building design by Seattle’s Magnusson Klemencic Associates, was the first luxury residential building in the neighborhood. Since then, many other residential buildings, such as the development at Trinity Place, have been constructed or planned. Proper Hotel opened this year and adds to the upscale palate of the neighborhood. A historic flat-iron building, built in 1907, was renovated and retrofitted for this boutique hotel. Proper Hotel’s amenities include ground-level restaurants and a new roof-top cocktail bar.
During 2017 the Nishkian Chamberlain team in Los Angeles planned various out-of-the-office opportunities for our hard-working team of Engineers, Draftspersons and Administrative staff to enjoy time together beyond just sitting behind a computer screen and crunching numbers. Encouraging departmental integration is essential in today’s business world and out-of-the-office events help integrate our team. Simple conversations help build new professional relationships and understanding of one another’s responsibilities within our organization. And ultimately this improves what we do for you, our Clients!
A new religious retreat center and community is currently under construction in Sarpy County between Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. Cloisters on the Platte is a multi-million-dollar Ignatian retreat community dreamt up and being built by TD Ameritrade founder, Joe Ricketts. The 931-acre oasis is nestled in the rolling hills along the Platte River situated roughly between I-80 on the west and Nebraska Highway 31 on the east. The Cloisters will be comprised of a chapel, the main retreat center, and seven guest lodges. Nishkian Monks is proud to partner with some of the world’s most respected team of architects and artisans to create a tranquil atmosphere that will blend seamlessly with the natural environment along the Platte.
Three of the seven guest lodges– the Campion Lodge, the Kircher Lodge, and the De Brebeuf Lodge—are being built by general contractor Big-D Signature with architectural design by JLF & Associates, and Nishkian Monks serving as the structural engineer of record. The design of the three lodges is inspired by traditional monastic life. The forms are simple and evocative of regional vernacular; the use of reclaimed materials evokes a sense of timelessness. The composition of smaller individual spaces linked by transparent connectors keeps one in touch with their surroundings, simultaneously providing modest contemplative spaces. The lodges are built at a relative level site with some building elements either very close to the water front of a lake or spanning over water features. The buildings are standard light frame wood construction with a combination of heavy stone and reclaimed timber/wood siding at the exterior walls. Steel moment frames and pre-engineered strong walls were required in various locations due to large walls of windows. Roof framing was accomplished with a blend of pre-engineered gang-nailed trusses and stick framing. The combined net area of the Campion Lodge, the Kircher Lodge, and the De Brebeuf Lodge for Lot 5, 6, and 7 is approximately 22,600 square feet. The three lodges are founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings with bridged connections between structures.
We are honored and thrilled that the Q21 mixed-use project in NW Portland was a recent recipient of the Structural Engineers Association of Oregon (SEAO) 2017 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for a New Building Over $10M. Designed by YBA Architects and constructed by Andersen Construction Company, Nishkian Dean served as the Structural Engineer of Record on the project.
A challenge of constructing larger and larger projects in dense urban environments is placing those buildings on sites with sub-optimal soil conditions. These sites may include soft compressible layers of native or fill materials, soils that may be subject to settlement during an earthquake due to liquefaction, sites that may be subject to lateral spreading during an earthquake, or conditions that require a high capacity foundation system.
In a previous blog post, building noise and vibration mitigation was discussed as it pertains to tenant improvements (TI) in existing buildings and how the building code sometimes falls short concerning client parameters. As described in the previous post, this is often the case with fitness clubs that move into mixed-use spaces below residential or offices that are sensitive to sound and building vibrations, but the need for vibration mitigation goes well beyond fitness clubs.
By Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE
Having completed the initial designs for the innovative CoreFirst system, we at Nishkian Dean believe that it is a viable alternative to doing nothing and accepting fate when it comes to the next earthquake that may devastate Oregon buildings and put occupants in harm’s way. There is little argument that a full seismic strengthening of a building is the best solution, but for many building owners, it is simply not an expense that they can afford. If a full seismic upgrade is not a financially viable option, an alternative that would potentially provide a robust sanctuary to shelter occupants as the building around them shakes apart during a seismic event is a good one.
The CoreFirst system functions as a seismic shelter erected within an existing building, providing improved life safety during a seismic event without the need to retrofit the building to current seismic standards. Coupled with an earthquake early-warning system that can provide more than 60 seconds to evacuate, CoreFirst both alerts building occupants and provides a safe place to congregate during an earthquake.
Composed of a one or two-story steel special moment frames oriented in both principal directions, the CoreFirst system includes a steel grating plank platform at each level to provide protection from debris and existing building failure. The moment frames are isolated from the existing structure, ensuring that they only resist load generated by the seismic weight of the CoreFirst shelters. While the moment frames are not tied to the building’s existing seismic-force-resisting system, they are designed with a large reserve capacity for additional lateral load, with the added benefit of potential use as a component of a future comprehensive seismic upgrade of the building.
The shelters are designed so that their floor levels are located below the floor structure of the existing building. These floor levels are framed out with infill gravity framing supporting steel planks or channels that form a debris shield, preventing debris from falling through the floor of the existing structure into the shelter’s protective zone. The platforms are designed for a floor live load of 100 psf, a roof live load of 20 psf, and a vertical seismic load of 50 psf (representing both the dynamic load of debris falling on the platform and the static load of accumulated debris). Ultimately, all the gravity load is supported by the moment frames.
The moment frames are designed to the requirements of a Risk Category IV structure, which primarily impacts the drift limit, or the typical governing limit state for steel moment frames. Based on the seismic weight of the frames and grating platforms, seismic loads are generated for the frame per the equivalent lateral force procedure of ASCE 7. To enable the potential use of the frames as a component of a future full seismic upgrade of the building, additional seismic load is assigned at each level of the moment frames. It is not always possible to predict what shape a future seismic upgrade would take, and what loads the moment frames might need to carry, but a conservative load is estimated by assuming that a certain tributary area is assigned to the moment frames based on their location in the building. The total lateral load the frames are designed for is indicated on the construction drawings for future reference.
Footings are also designed for the additional seismic load described above. Because the frames are isolated from the main structure, they have very little dead load to resist overturning. As a result, there are three footing options:
1) Very large isolated footings with enough weight to prevent overturning
2) A mat footing designed to resist overturning
3) Small isolated footings/pile caps utilizing helical piles to resist uplift and downforce
The seismic gap required around all interfaces between the shelters and the existing structure is determined by estimating the maximum seismic drift of the building (based on the drift limits for the building’s structural system at the time it was constructed), determining the maximum seismic drift of the moment frames, and calculating the resulting maximum drift in any direction for both cases by combining the maximum drift in one direction with 30% of that drift in the orthogonal direction. The sum of the two maximum drifts is the minimum required seismic gap.
We believe that building owners could benefit from this affordable system. If you have any questions about CoreFirst, please contact us at the Nishkian Dean office or visit the CoreFirst website. We are happy to discuss this innovative system!
Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE is Vice President and Managing Principal of Nishkian Dean a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.
580 Anton | Costa Mesa
The 250-unit, luxury apartment building project in Costa Mesa, CA is nearing structural completion and set to open in the near future. Work began in February of 2016 to demolish the existing 24,000-square-foot strip mall, built in 1990.
As construction is just about complete for this luxury apartment building project, the residence offers one of the best locations in Orange County, providing immediate access to the incomparable performances at Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts as well as to a panoply of gourmet dining options and couture fashion at the South Coast Plaza.
The structure includes three stories of parking with five stories of wood framing on a concrete post-tensioned podium slab, all founded on a concrete mat foundation. Collaborative, creative engineering solutions eliminated all exterior shearwalls providing limitless design opportunities for the building’s façade.
The units themselves will feature top of the line finishes, and residents will be able to enjoy the many offered community amenities, including a landscaped courtyard with barbecues and fire pits, a spacious pool, and multiple indoor and outdoor common areas.
For more information about this project and for availability announcements, visit http://www.580anton.com/
Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel | San Gabriel
Scheduled to open in early 2018, the Sheraton San Gabriel is a 288-key hotel located on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel, CA. The hotel is adjacent to retail and dining destinations in the San Gabriel Valley, and a stone’s throw from many of SoCal’s major tourist attractions.
The main hotel structure is five stories of above-grade and three levels of below-grade parking. The lobby level offers large meeting rooms, several dining options, and banquet/conference space in the attached, 30-foot tall open by 112-foot clear span in a 11,500 square foot ballroom. The Hotel will feature an American steakhouse and Chinese restaurant, as well as high tea service in the lobby area and a full-service Starbucks café on site. A well-appointed fitness center, luxury day spa, terrace garden and recreational pool deck can be found on the second level.
The building is primarily composed of special concrete shear wall construction, and utilizes post-tensioned slabs for levels 2 thru roof. The ballroom boasts a long clear span constructed with a steel truss roof system capable of supporting operable partitions for dividing up the large ballroom area. Lateral loads are supported in the Ballroom space by buckling-restrained braced (BRB’s) frames to resist wind and earthquake forces.
Significant savings in time of construction and materials was realized by Nishkian Chamberlain, after inheriting the project from another structural engineering firm. Nishkian Chamberlain introduced post tensioned slabs, in lieu mild-steel reinforced slabs, resulting in a reduced slab thickness, building mass, reduced footings and overall shear wall reinforcement.
For more information about hotel amenities, please visit http://www.sheratonlasangabriel.com/
The building boom sweeping Bozeman is hard to miss, between giant holes in the ground and construction crews closing down streets, there is a lot of development on all fronts. Early this summer a new restaurant called Sidewinders American Grill opened on the west side of town. The building features 8,000 square feet of space with a large bar and rooftop seating. Thomas Bitnar Architects has designed the restaurant building collaborating with general contractor Langlas & Associates, and structural engineers Nishkian Monks.
The structure was built at a level site. Above grade, the exterior and interior walls are of light-framed metal stud construction with thin set brick veneer at the exterior walls. The roof framing was accomplished with pre-engineered gang-nailed trusses by Simkins-Hallin, Inc. of Bozeman. The building includes a partial basement, upper level deck, kitchen and restaurant area, and is founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings with a slab-on-grade at the ground level.
The Sidewinders building is the first commercial structure to be completed at Ferguson Farm, a 19-acre, B2 Zone development on the north side of Huffine Lane between Cottonwood Road and Ferguson Avenue. Developed by Delaney & Company, the new neighborhood commercial center will include restaurants, a bank, coffee shops, retail, professional offices and lodging.
For more information about Sidewinders, visit http://sidewinderstavern.com/home/.
Photo Credit: Zakara Photography
Nishkian Dean is proud to have served as the structural engineer on the recently opened 10 Barrel Brewing brewpub in the Maker’s Quarter district in San Diego’s East Village. The restaurant and social gathering place, situated in a converted warehouse, offers guests a chance to view many different aspects of the brewing process. Each level of the building incorporates different brewing equipment that is visible to guests, with a grain silo on the roof, brew tanks on the interior mezzanine, and fermenters on the ground floor, adding points of visual interest.
At roughly 10,000 square feet and with three separate levels, the brewpub and restaurant has ample space for dining and events. The main level incorporates a dining room and bar connected to an outdoor patio through roll-up industrial doors. The exterior mezzanine deck and rooftop patio bar provide additional space for patrons to the enjoy the sights of the surrounding bustling residential area.
This past Saturday August 12th, Nishkian Menninger employees gathered at a foggy Crissy Field in San Francisco for the summer company picnic. Having an opportunity to just relax with friends (whom you also just happen to work with) is invaluable. The Nishkian firms recognize how important this is – and we work hard to facilitate reconnection through events like these. We had a great turnout with many friends and family in attendance. Kevin and Kim Menninger orchestrated an outdoor cooking setup complete with a well-engineered wind screen. Everyone took turns stirring the pot in between games of ladder ball and frisbee.
The event also served as a baby shower for senior engineer Bethany Jones-Kent. She is expecting a baby boy in September. We wish her, and her husband Brandon, all the best!
Building codes require that buildings be classified based on the risk to human life, health, and welfare associated with their damage or failure. Minimum design loads, maximum allowable story drift criteria, and lateral force resisting system limitations are derived based on this classification. Building codes in the U.S. generally reference the ASCE 7 provisions for appropriate building classification criteria.
The idea of designing different types of buildings to different seismic force levels based on their “risk” is not new. The Building Code utilized increased Importance Factors for schools and hospitals for many years to provide a greater degree of resilience in certain structures. In the early 2000’s the first edition of ASCE 7 utilized the term “Occupancy Category” to define a buildings classification. However, the term “occupancy” is primarily used with fire/life safety issues and only implicitly defined risks associated with structural failure of a building. Consequently, the 2010 version of ASCE 7-10, introduced the term “Risk Category” in lieu of “Occupancy Category” to distinguish between the two considerations. Per commentary section C1.5.1 in the ASCE 7-10:
“The Risk Categories in Table 1.5-1 are used to relate the criteria for maximum environmental loads or distortions specified in the ASCE 7 to the consequence of the loads being exceeded for the structure and its occupants.”
Table 1.5-1 the ASCE 7 defines four distinct Risk Categories:
Risk Category I
Structures that are normally unoccupied and would result in negligible risk to the public should they fail. These include structures such as barns and storage shelters.
Risk Category II
This category contains all buildings and structures not specifically classified as conforming to another category. The majority of structures such as residential, commercial, and industrial buildings are included in this category.
Risk Category III
This category includes buildings and structures that could pose a substantial risk to human life in case of damage or failure. Structures under this category include:
Careful assessment of the Risk Category for a new project is required prior to design. Minimum design loads for snow, ice, and seismic considerations are greatly influenced by the importance factors defined in Table 1.5-2 of the ASCE 7 for different Risk Categories:
Additionally, buildings located in regions with high seismicity are particularly sensitive to Risk Category classifications. Per Chapters 11 and 12 of the ASCE 7 Risk Category selection has major impacts on:
For this reason it is important to note that changing a buildings occupancy can result in significant changes to gravity (in snowy/icy regions) and lateral designs. Careful consideration must be given to projects involving existing structures whose occupancy change triggers a bump from a lower Risk Category level to a higher one. The existing lateral and gravity systems may require retrofits to accommodate stricter structural system limitations, increased load demands and stricter allowable drift criteria.
In addition to ASCE 7, individual states have further defined and clarified Risk Categories for different buildings and each state’s Building Code should be considered and referenced when determining a buildings Risk Category. It is also helpful to work with a design professional such as an Architect when determining number of occupants in complex buildings made up of multiple occupancies and where total number of occupants may require different Risk Categories. In fact different Risk Categories can be specified within the same building structure in special conditions.
The Nishkian team has years of experience with thousands of projects across all Risk Category types. Should you have any questions on an upcoming or current project, please do not hesitate to contact any of our offices.
What once was a car wash and auto detail shop along El Camino Real off Shoreline Boulevard in the Silicon Valley is now turning into a luxury condominium community developed by Regis Homes Bay Area LLC. 1101 West, the new condominium building located at 1101 West El Camino Real in downtown Mountain View, is nearing completion and will hit the luxury property market this summer. The forthcoming 75,700-square-feet development is poised to bring 52 condominium units comprising of 6 studios, 18 one-bedroom, 17 two-bedroom, and 11 three-bedroom residences featuring spacious floor plans, refined finishes and sustainable design elements. Community amenities include an elegant lobby, landscaped courtyard with barbecues and fire pit, a bike pavilion with secure bike storage and workshop, a pet-friendly area and electrical vehicle charging stations available for every homeowner.
The structure includes a full story of below grade parking supported by continuous and spread footings with a concrete podium slab at grade creating a landscaped patio for the residents, and supporting four stories of traditional wood framing. The structure is set back from the street to promote foot and bike traffic. There is also a new bus stop in front of the building. With a Walk Score of 79 out of 100 in the Miramonte-Springer neighborhood in Mountain View, 1101 West’s location is very walkable so most errands can be accomplished on foot. Nearby parks include McKelvey Park, Eagle Park and Pioneer Park.
Regis Homes Bay Area with Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh (VTBS Architects), and Nishkian Monks of Bozeman worked together on this transit-oriented, urban-infill, luxury condominium building project to help with the Grand Boulevard Initiative, a collaboration of more than 30 different San Francisco Bay Area cities, agencies and other organizations working together to attract new development, retail, transit, employment, services and housing along the El Camino Real corridor which is one of the Bay Area’s major thoroughfares.
For availability announcements and more information about this project, visit http://www.1101w.com/
By Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE
Unreinforced masonry (URM), or the use of stone or brick masonry for structural walls, was a common approach in Portland building construction from the late 1800s to as recently as the 1950s. These buildings range in size from small one-story residences to large 10- or 12-story buildings, most with wood-framed floors with some structural steel or cast-iron components. Many of these buildings are historically registered and represent a valuable part of the City’s cultural heritage. Several are public buildings used for government operations or public schools. The characteristic of concern for this type of building construction is that they are extraordinarily vulnerable to earthquake damage, where even moderate ground shaking could result in partial collapse.
Earthquake occurrences in other West Coast cities, such as Loma Prieta in 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northridge in 1994 near Los Angeles, have demonstrated that this type of construction is susceptible to devastating collapse and associated loss of life and property damage. There were many URM buildings that were damaged in these events, including those that had been seismically strengthened. This damage represented a very significant economic cost, though fortunately not a large number of deaths and URMs did not represent the deadliest type of buildings. These cities now have URM mandates: in the Bay Area, this was largely put into place after the Loma Prieta event, and in Los Angeles it had been implemented prior to the Northridge event.
The Portland metro area has so far been spared from a major earthquake in recent history, though geoscientists believe that large damaging earthquakes are possible. Beginning in the 1980s, the building codes have progressively increased the seismic design requirements in recognition of the potential for such natural disasters. The rate at which URMs have been retrofitted to resist earthquakes on par with current code requirements has been slow.
The City of Portland’s Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Building Policy Committee (Committee) estimates that since 1995, roughly 8% of URMs have been demolished. Of those that remain, about 5% have been fully retrofitted and about 9% have been at least partially upgraded. At that rate, it could take almost another 100 years for the URM building inventory in Portland to be either strengthened or demolished. Based on the risks posed by URM buildings to public safety, the Committee is proposing a tiered retrofit approach, requiring URM upgrades to buildings over a defined period of time. See our prior blog article, Portland Poised to Mandate URM Building Seismic Strengthening, for more background information on this.
The Committee proposal to require seismic strengthening of URM buildings is a tiered approach based on the buildings’ use and occupancy. The only exceptions to these recommended requirements are for one- and two-family homes and URM buildings that were previously seismically strengthened to an acceptable defined standard.
The Committee has defined four categories or classes of URMs with differing levels of seismic strengthening requirements and time horizons to complete them. The classes range from 1 to 4 with Class 1 for Critical Buildings and Essential Facilities and Class 4 for Low-Occupancy structures. In between these, Class 2 is for Schools and High-Occupancy structures (Churches and Theaters), and Class 3 is for is the largest class of building (approximately 2/3 of all URMs) and covers every other URM building not in the other classes. The City has compiled a detailed inventory of the buildings and the classification that they would fall under. The timeframe for implementation of the seismic strengthening varies by Class, but generally requires a seismic assessment in 3 or 5 years and strengthening implementation in 10 to 20 years.
Step 1 – A seismic assessment (ASCE 41-13) with a schematic seismic upgrade strategy including detailed cost estimates must be completed within three or five years.
Step 2 – Parapets, cornices and chimneys must be braced, and the roof must be attached to walls within 10 years.
Step 3 – All floors must be attached to walls and the roof must be sheathed within 15 years.
Step 4 – A complete retrofit must be performed within 20 years.
Separately, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Bureau of Development Services commissioned Goettel & Associates, Inc. to prepare a Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Proposed Seismic Retrofit Ordinance. The report was published on November 23, 2016, and concluded, “The benefit-cost results indicate that the benefits of the URM building seismic retrofits current under consideration exceed the retrofit costs for the defined “typical building” for each URM Class of buildings.” The Committee intends to present their codified recommendations for mandatory seismic strengthening of URM to City Council for adoption. The City Councils adoption of the mandatory ordinance will start the clock and require building owners to either strengthen their URM buildings, demolish them, or face growing fines and the eventual loss of the use of their buildings.
Cost to Implement
The implementation of this mandatory ordinance will have a significant financial impact on the building owner. The objective of such an ordinance from the City’s perspective would be to reduce the life-safety risk these buildings pose to the occupants and those people who may be nearby these buildings in the event of an earthquake. The benefit-cost analysis demonstrated that there was a net benefit to the seismic strengthening; however, those benefits are not directly correlated to the financial return of the building. The Committee in its recommendations were not able to identify anything more than $5M in available Urban Renewal Area (URA) capital funds to assist building owners with the high costs of implementing the seismic strengthening. There are also possible State and Federal tax exemptions or credits and funding from the State Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP) for schools and emergency service facilities and potentially the sale of Floor Area Ration (FAR) transfers to another site. Additionally, the current Committee recommendations do not provide any material relief to buildings with “special considerations,” meaning those with occupants needing affordable housing, schools, religious or non-profit users, or historic structures. The Committee report does not identify the total cost to implement the required mandate. The cost-benefit study identifies the current costs to seismically retrofit or strengthen the four classes of building types on a square-foot basis in Table 15 of their report. Combining these square foot costs with the building areas contained in the inventory list provides the following total costs:
Table 1: Estimated Total Retrofit Costs Based on BDS Inventory
|URM Class||UPGRADE||Cost per Square Foot||No. of Buildings||AREA in Square Foot||TOTAL||AVG per Building|
|Class 1||Immediate Occupancy||$111.45||10||49,329||$5,487,717||$549,772|
|Class 2||Damage Control||$82.62||92||3,253,423||$268,797.808||$2,921,715|
|Class 3||Life Safety||$68.77||220||8,379,527||$576,260,072||$2,619,364|
|Class 4||Modified Bolts Plus||$51.00||1,339||10,915,945||$556,713,195||$415,768|
This would indicate that the cost to implement this mandate, if all the buildings are strengthened, to be on the order of $1.4 billion. However, this amount is an oversimplification. Faced with these costs, which in many cases exceeds the economic value of the property, it is reasonable to assume that many building owners will either abandon the properties or opt to have the buildings torn down until market conditions favor the cost of rebuilding. This will particularly impact buildings at the lowest economic value, such as those being used for affordable housing. The mandate will also allow the seismic assessments to be performed and permit the seismic strengthening to be implemented over a period of up to 20 years, assuming that building owners will wait as long as possible to seismically strengthen their buildings. When this is factored in, and the time-value of the construction costs at a 4% annual escalation are accounted for in the total cost to implement this regulation, the total costs rises to approximately $4.6 billion. Again, this assumes that all the recommended buildings will be strengthened and the reality is that many will not due to the financial restraint.
“total cost to implement this regulation, rises to approximately $4.6 billion”
The URM Building Policy Committee will continue meetings and prepare final recommendations. These recommendations will be taken up by the Portland City Council, possibly as soon as the fall of 2017. At that point, the Council will need to decide if it will implement the recommendations, or some aspects of the recommendations, as an ordinance mandating seismic strengthening of URM buildings, or continue with the status quo as required by Title 24.85. Nishkian Dean will continue to monitor the development of this important issue that affects many of our clients.
Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE is Vice President and Managing Principal of Nishkian Dean a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.
 City of Portland Policy Committee, DRAFT Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Building, Policy Committee Report, dated October 2016, pg. 8
 Kenneth A. Goettel, Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Proposed Seismic Retrofit Ordinance, City of Portland, November 23, 2016, pg. iv
 Religious facilities would be provided relief from completing steps 3 & 4.
 Kenneth A. Goettel, Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Proposed Seismic Retrofit Ordinance, City of Portland, November 23, 2016, Table 15, pg. 31
1201 Tennessee is a new mixed-use residential development located in the heart of San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Historically industrial, the Dogpatch district has experienced extensive residential and commercial growth since the 1990’s. 1201 Tennessee sits on land that was once a 1,500-foot long building used for production of rope by the Tubbs San Francisco Cordage Company. The industrial nature of the neighborhood is represented by a silo aesthetic along Third Street while San Francisco’s residential, Victorian architecture is represented along 23rd Street.
Developed by AGI Resmark the apartment complex offers 259 mixed-income units with ample parking and retail space on the ground floor. The project also includes 34 affordable units for families earning 55% or less of the area’s median income. The complex amenities include bicycle parking, shared work spaces, a roof deck, and a protected courtyard with green space. 1201 Tennessee is adjacent to both the MUNI rail system and Caltrain, making it accessible for people working in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. The structure of this project is five stories of wood construction over one level of concrete with a mezzanine level, all supported on a pile foundation system. Concrete and wood shear walls provide the lateral force resisting system.
Fougeron Architecture has designed the apartment complex collaborating with general contractor Devcon Construction, and structural engineers Nishkian Menninger in San Francisco and Nishkian Monks in Bozeman. Our San Francisco office designed the concrete substructure while our Bozeman office designed the wood superstructure.
For more information about the project and endorsement of the development, please visit: http://www.fougeron.com/project/tennessee and http://www.sfhac.org/project/1201-tennessee-street/
In our blog this week we will revisit the very important topic of the Structural Engineer during Construction. We discussed this subject in a previous blog The Structural Engineer’s role in Construction – From design through CA which highlighted several aspects of this step in a building’s evolution:
In this Part II Blog of the Structural Engineer’s role during construction, we examine several additional key pieces to a successful construction project. From setting up an initial kickoff meeting prior to the start of construction to providing an opportunity for younger engineers to see what they design to collaborative resolution of field issues to final visits and developing as-builts, construction is an important time for the Structural Engineer to be engaged and on site!
One item that’s extremely critical in the course of construction is getting off on the right foot. A kickoff meeting at the beginning of the project is critical to getting the entire team on the same page from the start. There should be a discussion of the RFI process and schedule of submittals and understanding of the expectation for response. And what is the process for responding? Will communication go through the Architect always? Should the General Contractor be copied on communication before official responses go out? Is there a tracking system in place where all the RFI, Submittal, meeting minutes, etc. are kept? These are often not always the same answers on each project and they should be thoroughly worked out at this kickoff meeting. Another good topic is discussing and confirming the steps at which site visits and Structural Observations are to be performed during the project. Establishing the process early with key team members involved issues is all to the benefit of the overall project and will go a long way to keeping things moving forward and on schedule.
Construction is a great learning opportunity for younger engineering staff to get on-site to “kick the tires” and see what we’re designing. As engineers, we often find ourselves behind a desk preparing calculations and running computer analysis without the opportunity to get a chance to see how things are physically built. A line drawn on a paper is often very different in appearance, shape, size, and relational context to the rest of what is being built in the field. Being able to go and see that on site is extremely important and a great time to get engineers out to interact with the elements we design and with the people who build it. It also gives us the very real understanding that drawing our plans, section, elevations and details to scale is extremely important. We’ve all seen in the field those times when the detail drawn on paper did not appear to be as intended when built in the field and this can, at times, be attributed to “not to scale” details. Site visits by younger engineers helps improve their skills for the next project!
Often times in construction there are elements that are not fully known until construction has begun. This can be site conditions after demolition, as-built plans that were relied upon, but ultimately did not match field conditions, or Owner direction changes during construction. Unforeseen conditions require a collaborative approach and typically rapid resolution process to make changes while construction is ongoing. In an unforeseen condition situation when an issue is identified as different than what was drawn on the drawings and the team needs to deal with it, collaborative coordination between Contractor, Architect, Owner, Structural Engineer and/or other disciplines, as required, is extremely important in the process of not only resolving the issue but resolving it as quickly as possible with as minimal design and cost impact to the overall project. Part of this process may involve a review of changes to the plans as well as changes to the contract where change orders are reviewed for the Owner from Contractor scope changes. A quick and collaborative approach to changing field conditions when they occur is critical to keeping projects on schedule and on budget.
And when construction is close to achieving substantial completion, the SE should have one last opportunity to visit the jobsite. Major structural work has likely been done for months. And while much of the building may be covered up at this time, this last visit provides one last look at the building for the design professional to confirm what was designed is what was built. Has anything changed since the last visit? Did any modifications happen in the field that were not communicated to the SE? Often everything is coming together as designed, but this is the last opportunity to confirm before the building goes into use.
And finally, developing a final as-built set that incorporates any updates during construction should be a part of every project. The as-built set allows Owners a snapshot of the actual construction of the building and a tool to rely on for future improvements to the building.
It should go without saying how important the Structural Engineer’s role is in construction and how important the construction period is for the Structural Engineer. The Nishkian firms nearly 100 years of Structural Engineering service includes significant achievements that could not have been realized without their critical involvement during construction. It’s an important part of the process we go through each and every time.
City of Bozeman officials recently invited the community to come out to Bogert Park and celebrate the newly restored Bozeman Creek and amenities. A ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the newly completed upgrades to Bogert Park was held on June 22, 2017.
In an effort to improve access and enhance the experience for visitors, the City of Bozeman has partnered with the State of Montana, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Friends of Parks and other groups. As part of the enhancement project that totaled a $707,000 investment into the park, the Bozeman Creek channel was reconstructed to add a meander and a secondary channel for floodwater. A floodplain was re-established to slow velocities, filter runoff, and improve safety. Banks were re-graded to sustainable slopes. Existing vegetation was augmented, widening the riparian zone and improving diversity of species and age-classes. New park amenities include a stream access site, additional gravel trails, a wider and longer clear-span pedestrian bridge leading from East Koch Street into the park, and new swing sets—all adding to the value of the creek as a community amenity.
Design work for this project was done by several firms, including Confluence Consulting, TD&H Engineering, Vaughn Environmental, Design 5, Intrinsik Architecture, and Nishkian Monks PLLC. Highland Construction Services served as the general contractor.
Renderings courtesy of Intrinsik Architecture
By Nathan J. Hoesly, PE, SE
The use of engineered wood products is an essential component of nearly all wood-framed buildings. This article will focus on two specific types of engineered wood products, structural composite lumber (SCL) and glue laminated (Glulam) timber framing. Understanding the intended uses and differences between various SCL products and glulam framing is essential for design professionals.
Structural composite lumber (SCL) is a term used to describe a family of engineered wood products created by layering wood veneers or strands and bonding them with moisture-
Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) is manufactured from flaked wood strands and resembles oriented strand board (OSB) in appearance, though the strands are arranged parallel to the longitudinal axis of the member. Members are commonly fabricated in 1 ¼”, 1 ½”, 1 ¾” and 3 ½” widths, and in 9 ¼”-16” depths to match common i-joists. Stud options are available in equivalent 2×4, 2×6, and 2×8 sizes that are stronger, straighter, and (as needed) longer than sawn lumber. LSL is typically less expensive than other engineered wood beams.
Due its high allowable shear strength, LSL beams have capacity for larger penetrations than other engineered wood beam options. While not as strong as LVL or PSL beams, LSL is generally cheaper and are ideal for short spans. LSL is also ideal for use in rim conditions due to minimal shrinkage, cupping, and high fastener holding strength when used in highly loaded diaphragms or for shear transfer at plywood shear walls.
Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL) is manufactured from veneers laid into long, parallel strands and bonded together. PSL beams are primarily used in beam and header applications where high strength is required. Common PSL beam sizes are available in widths of 3 ½, 5 ¼” and 7”, and depths matching I-joists from 9 1/2” – 24” deep. PSL columns are also available in sizes comparable with sawn wood members from 4×4 to 8×8 in size.
PSL beams are generally more expensive than glulam, LSL, or LVL beams. PSL beams can be stained or finished where an aesthetically pleasing exposed application is desired.
Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) is a commonly available engineered product that is manufactured similarly to PSL. Available sizes, strengths, and stiffnesses are similar to PSL but are generally cheaper, making it a commonly specified beam type. A benefit to LVL is that it can be fabricated in narrower beam widths (1 ½, 1 ¾”), and multiple plys can be nail-laminated together to form a larger beam. This is especially beneficial in retrofit options where lifting a wide, heavy beam into place is cumbersome or infeasible. LVL stud and columns are available as well from some manufacturers.
Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) is manufactured by face-bonding layers of kiln-dried timber members, typically 2×4 or 2×6 in size, together with waterproof adhesives to form timber section. Glulams are popular due to their engineered strength, versatility, availability, and cost. Typical stock beams widths are available in 3 1/8”, 3 ½”, 5 1/8”, 5 ½”, 6 ¾” widths and depths exceeding SCL beams. However, custom glulams can be fabricated in almost limitless widths, depths and profiles, giving glulam beams a distinct advantage over SCL beams in their versatility and architectural appeal. Glulams have a long history of being used beautifully in exposed, large open areas such as vaulted ceilings, churches, theatres and a vast array of other public spaces. Manufacturing processes for glulams allow for members to be cambered, curved, and fabricated in unique shapes, such as arches or as bridge members. Different appearance grades for exposed conditions may also be specified to increase architectural appeal.
For exterior or weather-exposed conditions, glulam beams are generally preferred over SCL beams. Weyerhaeuser, one of the few manufacturers of PSL in the U.S., has a Wolmanized PSL product that is approved for weather-exposed framing beam applications, but it is relatively expensive. Few other SCL treatment options exist. Alternatively, pressure treated or preservative treated options exist for glulam members. Additionally, several naturally durable species of glulam beams are produced in the U.S., including Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Port Orford Cedar, which provide green alternatives to chemical treatments.
Both SCL and glulam beams may be used where a fire-rated exposed member is required, subject to meeting the provisions of Chapter 16 of AWC’s National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction. Typically, only wider beam sections will meet the required fire rating due to the depth of charring of any exposed face. This often eliminates the use of LSL, and glulams are usually preferred over LVL and PSL due to cost, appearance, or available beam sizes.
Design professionals should be knowledgeable about specific product availability and costs in their areas during design as this can help drive which types of engineered wood beams are specified. Although SCL and glulam beams can be used interchangeably at times, they also have unique advantages and limitations to be aware of.
Nathan Hoesly, PE, SE is an Associate of Nishkian Dean, a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon
Located in Oakland’s Lakeside neighborhood, 250 17th Street will be five levels of wood construction over two levels of concrete. The new apartment building will be comprised of a ground-level parking garage and 74 units of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building will offer tenants many amenities such as a gym, bicycle parking and repair, charging stations for electric vehicles, and a roof deck. The roof deck will feature a garden, a barbeque area, a trellis, and a water feature. The extra weight of planting and water drive the structural design of the roof.
The concrete podium at the second level will consist of a two-way post-tensioned structural slab. The slab is supported by bearing shearwalls and concrete columns. The floor framing of the timber superstructure will consist of ¾ ply supported by timber joists, LVL, and PSL beams. The beams will be supported by stud walls and wood columns. The lateral load resisting system will consist of concrete shearwalls beneath timber shearwalls. The ground floor slab will be a slab-on-grade over spread foundations at the columns, continuous wall foundations, and a partial mat foundation under the shearwall core.
Simeon Properties collaborated with San Francisco-based architecture firm Kotas/Pantaleoni Architects and Nishkian Menninger to construct the Class A, transit-oriented multi-housing development in Oakland, California. The transit-oriented site has a WalkScore© of 99 and is convenient to the 19th Street BART station, Interstates 880 and 980, Amtrak and ferry service, connecting residents to major employment centers in downtown Oakland, San Francisco, Emeryville and Silicon Valley. With Lake Merritt and Broadway Street within a few blocks, the live-work-play property will also provide residents with access to numerous dining, nightlife and recreational options.
Kotas/Pantaleoni Architects designed a façade that will incorporate seamlessly into the residential neighborhood between Oakland’s busy Broadway Street and Lake Merritt. Rendering can be seen at their website: http://kp-architects.com/work/alice-street/
Wood is often seen in multi-family mid-rise buildings as the most economical construction material. While the purpose of joists, beams, and wood stud walls are easily understood in their role carrying the gravity loads of a building, the lateral load resisting elements and how they work can be more confusing.
Lateral Load Resisting Shear Walls
When lateral loads due to wind forces or a seismic event hit a building, the loads travel through the floor, collecting into and being resisted by wood shear walls. The top and bottom plates of the shear walls act as continuous collectors, moving the lateral loads from the diaphragm into the shear wall. Plywood sheathing, the nailing of the plywood to wood studs, and anchor bolts at the sill plate resist the shear forces. As the lateral loads move from a horizontal plane (i.e. the floor) to a vertical plane (i.e. the wall), the lateral loads also create vertical tension and compression forces, which are resisted by end posts and a hold-down system located at each end of the shear wall.
Figure 1: Components of a Shear Wall
At the beginning of a project, as unit layouts and floor plans are being set, it is important to ensure that the building will have an appropriate shear wall layout. In multi-family buildings, corridors usually afford a sufficient length of interior shear walls, but exterior shear walls must be carefully coordinated between the client, architect, and structural engineer. Façade features, window sizes, and window locations can all critically affect exterior shear wall designs.
Stacking Shear Walls
Structurally, it is always more efficient to stack shear walls from the top of the building to the foundation (or podium). This allows the components that resist the compressive and uplift forces to be continuous. When shear walls do not stack, the building code requires that components be designed for an increased load, and extra framing members and connections are required to transfer the loads.
Figure 2: Stacked Shear Walls
The shear wall design is not just determined by the number of shear walls, but also the length of each shear wall. As shear walls get shorter, the hold-down system gets loaded more heavily. The minimum length of shear wall permitted on a project depends on the floor-to-floor height – the taller a floor, the longer a shear wall must be. This aspect ratio is determined by taking the height (h) and dividing it by the shear wall length (bs). Shear walls cannot have an aspect ratio greater than 3.5 but as a rule of thumb, aspect ratios should be less than 2. Where the aspect ratio exceeds 2, the wall’s shear capacity is penalized. In other words, shear wall lengths should always aim to be greater than half the floor height.
Nishkian Chamberlain has extensive experience with multi-family construction and would be happy to help you find cost-effective solutions to your construction and development needs. Please do not hesitate to contact us at NCInfo@Nishkian.com, or give us a call at (310) 853-7180. You can also go to our Contact page to connect with any one of our offices in your region.
Figure 3: Aspect Ratio
As spring gives way to summer, construction crews are making swift progress at Yellowstone Club Core Village’s ongoing, $312 million mixed-use base village project to add more amenities for its growing list of members. Andy Sandoval, GE Johnson Construction Company’s project superintendent, sheds light on the progress being made at the largest construction project ever to take place in the Rocky Mountain region.
Aerospace is one of the most remarkable market segments in which the Nishkian firms have been privileged to contribute their engineering expertise. Nishkian Dean VP and Managing Principal, Edwin T. Dean, designed rocket launch facility infrastructure prior to founding Nishkian Dean in 1999 and, since then, this small firm in Portland, Oregon, has designed or assisted in the construction of some major aerospace projects throughout the United States. During this same time, the aerospace industry has transformed from a large institutionally-focused bureaucratic process to one that has embraced commercial innovation.
In recent years, entrepreneurial disruptors like SpaceX, headed by Elon Musk of Tesla fame, and Blue Origin, headed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, have driven the industry to commercialize space forward in ways not imagined only a few years ago. But even prior to their entrepreneurial disruption of the space industry, there had been great movement toward commercialization by the United States Air Force and NASA. With the EELV[i] program, the US Air Force, being the largest single user of launch services, pushed the industry to reduce costs through innovation and commercialization, to which Boeing and Lockheed Martin responded. NASA has promoted commercialization through its support of the ISS[ii] with the end of the Shuttle era. This cultural shift within the industry created the opportunity for firms like ours to bring a fresh way of looking at these infrastructure projects. We relish the opportunities we have had so far to help foster this transformation.
As an engineering consultant, Nishkian Dean’s success working in the recent revolution of the aerospace industry is a direct result of our being able to infuse our commercial design mindset into this transformation. Our focus on responsive functional design and constructability has made us a valuable consultant in this industry. At their core, major launch facilities are driven largely by structural requirements, which aligns with our core discipline of structural design, but they are far more complex than that. This allowed us to create a strong team and collaborate with experienced consultants to help support our efforts. We recognized the opportunity that we had to champion and organize a team of consultants and expand our role beyond our core discipline. We had to accept the expertise of our consultants to handle systems that we had no prior experience with, such as cryogenic fuel systems dealing with super-cold liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen, or, more exotically, hypergolics that fuel spacecraft. We brought in experts in electrical power, communications, including specialized GC3[iii] systems, environmental control, and specialized mechanical systems. With our cadre of consultants, we have taken on many adventurous projects.
In 2004, we had the opportunity to propose on a small portion of the structural design on the renovation of the existing SLC-3 launch complex at Vandenberg AFB for a new Atlas V. It was a small, 12-person structural consultant competing against the titans of the engineering industry, such as URS, Jacobs, and others, that won the confidence of the builder, Hensel Phelps, and the owner/operator, Lockheed Martin, to bring us on to eventually be the key design entity. In the end, our design team had committed over 50,000 man-hours in less than 16 months in supporting the incredible success of this project to meet the schedule and budget goals that it demanded. Our team helped the project meet its mission requirements and it helped establish ourselves as the team that can get this done.
We have had many continued successes following this project, both in the Western Range and at facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When disaster struck on October 24, 2005, with Hurricane Wilma destroying the 280-foot-tall door on Lockheed Martin’s Vertical Integration Facility (VIF), it put NASA’s New Horizons[iv] mission to Pluto in jeopardy. We were there the very next day to assess the damage and to work with the team to design, fabricate, install, and test new doors in 7 weeks’ time, ultimately ensuring the mission’s success. New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006, and flew by Pluto 9 years later, on July 14, 2015.
We have also been called on to assist in erecting the 600-foot-tall lightning towers at Launch Complex 39B at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, and the erection of the nearly 380-foot-tall NASA Mobile Launcher for Constellation[v] and now for use with SLS[vi]. Additionally, we have worked on the complex installation of moveable platforms within the historic NASA Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) in support of NASA’s quest to send astronauts to Mars. In a further testament to commercialization, we are now working with private entrepreneurs’ facilities on their own quests to go to Mars.
Closer to Earth, one of our latest challenges has been to support restoring America’s ability to once again launch astronauts from US soil. Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA), as a part of their $4.2 billion CCtCap award, are developing infrastructure to support manned spaceflight launches from Launch Complex 41. And how do you get astronauts from the ground into a capsule 200 feet in the air on a “clean pad”? You build a 250-foot tall access tower less than 60 feet from the launch pad with an articulating arm so that they can safely walk over and climb in, naturally. Now substantially complete, this installation provides astronauts with a state-of-the-art means to reliably and safely begin their journey to the International Space Station. Restoring manned spaceflight to American soil through the design of this complex is something we are proud to have played a part in.
Launch systems are complex and often extremely large mechanical structural systems. Buildings weighing more than 8 million pounds that need to move, be jacked up, and driven by hydraulic power systems as fast as a person can walk; an 70,000-lb arm that must be able to swing in seconds while being remotely monitored and controlled; and precision-operable platforms powered by nitrogen motors are just a few examples of the challenges we have faced in our aerospace work. To develop these designs, we bring together a diverse group of engineers with broad technical backgrounds to address the structural-mechanical-electrical challenges.
These challenges make the aerospace market uniquely exciting for us to tackle. The projects involve the integration of a multi-disciplined design team with the suppliers, fabricators, and constructors who put it all together, and the testing engineers who, along with us, validate functionality. This teamwork creates an organization that has a far-reaching expertise beyond what is done in the conventional building market. Moving parts, intricate control systems, and the requirement that these systems function every single time that they are employed is a tall order that punctuates the care and coordination that goes into each design.
Unsurprisingly, the launch environment is very extreme. In conventional design, we may deal with a 100 PSF live load, or perhaps at maximum a 250 PSF live load to accommodate a truck on a sidewalk. In the launch environment, we may see loads as high as 250 PSI – that is pounds per square inch, or 144 times the sidewalk load example, or 36,000 PSF, with a total launch load in the millions of pounds. We also work with extreme temperatures from liquid oxygen or LOX at -350°F or even colder liquid hydrogen at -425°F.
Liquid oxygen, in addition to being extremely cold, is incredibly corrosive and like hydrogen is explosive in the presence of an ignition source. The fuel for solid rocket motors is largely composed of aluminum perchlorate, which when burned leaves a hydrogen chloride residue that combines with water to create a highly-destructive, corrosive byproduct of hydrochloric acid that coats the surfaces of the structures on the launch pad. If not properly cleaned and coated, these chemicals can literally melt steel structures.
Nishkian Dean has developed over many years a unique niche where we are able to provide specialized design services for rocket launch facility infrastructure. Leading a design team of consultants, or supporting the structural design of aerospace launch facilities, has proven to be a market in which we truly enjoy working. Playing a role in helping the US space program excel is an incredible legacy to be able to look back on.
Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE is Vice President and Managing Principal of Nishkian Dean a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.
[i] Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) is an expendable launch system program of the United States Air Force (USAF), intended to assure access to space for Department of Defense and other United States government payloads. The program, which began in the 1990s with the goal of making government space launches more affordable and reliable, resulted in the development of two launch systems, Delta IV and Atlas V. These were later joined by the Falcon 9. These launch systems are the primary methods for launching U.S. military satellites. The USAF plans to use the EELV family of launch vehicles until at least 2030. (Wikipedia)
[ii] The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest man-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurized modules, external trusses, solar arrays, and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles. (Wikipedia)
[iii] Ground command, control and communications (GC3) systems used to communicate with flight vehicles and spacecraft systems.
[iv] New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA’s New Frontiers program. Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow. (Wikipedia)
[v] The Constellation Program (abbreviated CxP) was a manned spaceflight program developed by NASA, the space agency of the United States, from 2005 to 2009. The major goals of the program were “completion of the International Space Station” and a “return to the Moon no later than 2020″ with a crewed flight to the planet Mars as the ultimate goal. The program’s logo reflected the three stages of the program: the Earth (ISS), the Moon, and finally Mars—while the Mars goal also found expression in the name given to the program’s booster rockets: Ares (The Greek equivalent of the Roman god Mars). The technological aims of the program included the regaining of significant astronaut experience beyond low Earth orbit and the development of technologies necessary to enable sustained human presence on other planetary bodies. (Wikipedia)
[vi] The Space Launch System (SLS) is an American Space Shuttle-derived heavy expendable launch vehicle. It is part of NASA’s deep space exploration plans including a manned mission to Mars. SLS follows the cancellation of the Constellation program, and is to replace the retired Space Shuttle. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 envisions the transformation of the Constellation program’s Ares I and Ares V vehicle designs into a single launch vehicle usable for both crew and cargo, similar to the Ares IV. The SLS is to be the most powerful rocket ever built with a total thrust greater than that of the Saturn V, putting the SLS into the super heavy-lift launch vehicle class of rockets. (Wikipedia)
VIF courtesy of Lockheed Martin
NASA 39B Lightning courtesy of NASA
NASA ML erection courtesy of NASA
CAT Astronaut courtesy of NASA
Formerly a storage site, the 3.3-acre lot at 100 and 150 Hooper Street in San Francisco just off of 7th Street and Mission Bay Dr. is being developed into office space and manufacturing space. Zoning requirements in San Francisco’s Design District dictate that one-third of the space must remain industrial space. The ground level of each building has been designed as such. This development will be ideal for a technology company requiring production space. 100 Hooper will feature an “urban farm” and solar panels on the roof.
100 Hooper comprises the majority of the site’s area. 100 Hooper is two long buildings connected by two “skybridges” at the second and third floors. The two buildings total 427,255 square feet of leasable space. Both buildings are four stories of concrete construction, utilizing shear walls and post-tensioned slabs. The two skybridges are steel, utilizing concentric braced frames as their lateral force resisting systems. The skybridges are connected to the buildings at one end by a frictionless surface, allowing the two buildings to move independently in a seismic event.
The Los Angeles Times proclaimed the start of a “New Frontier” for earthquake safety: a phenomenon kicked off by the city of Santa Monica, which recently adopted the most comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinance in the nation.
An Owner’s desire to evaluate the seismic performance of an existing building varies. Some national, regional and local Owner’s simply have a genuine concern for knowing the seismic vulnerability of their buildings. Other reasons Owners perform evaluations can include an adopted City Ordinance, a policy trigger for analysis or modification of the building, a requirement for a financial transaction, or buildings with State employee tenants requiring special analysis, just to name a few.
We are currently performing dozens of these evaluations on projects throughout California, efficiently utilizing the ASCE standard ASCE/SEI 41-13. Copyrighted in 2014 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the standard was developed and written to combine the previously adopted standards ASCE 31 and 41 into a single document for the Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings. Whereas past retrofit designs often did not align with evaluations due to having documents with differing criteria for evaluations versus design, this single document coalesces both evaluation and design of existing building retrofits providing one coordinated methodology. Seismic evaluation is defined as an approved process or methodology of evaluating deficiencies in a building that prevent the building from achieving a selected Performance Objective. Seismic retrofit is defined as the measures taken to improve the seismic performance of a building by the correction of deficiencies identified in the evaluation relative to a selected Performance Objective.
The initial step in the process is to assist the client in establishing or selecting a Performance Objective which is a combination of a desired Structural and Non-Structural Performance Levels paired with Seismic Hazard Level(s). The chart below demonstrates the different Performance Level terminology:
Following the establishment of a Performance Level, the Seismic Hazard is established based on the seismicity at the building site determined by historical data, with consideration of proximity to known faults and their activity as well as the specified Seismic Hazard Level(s).
Evaluation procedures based upon the selected Performance Objective, level of seismicity and building type are identified in the following flowchart:
Each Tier of evaluation becomes more detailed and complex. The Tier 1, Screening Procedure, is a quick checklist of structural and non-structural components of the building. A Tier 2, Deficiency-Based Evaluation procedure, utilizes more involved checks of the building to provide a deeper understanding of the building’s design. A Tier 3, Systematic Evaluation Procedure, provides a full building review including linear and non-linear / performance based analysis and design options.
The final step in the review process is to prepare an evaluation report to communicate the results of the evaluation to the owner, local jurisdiction or agency requesting the evaluation. Depending upon the availability of information and the scope of the evaluation, the extent of the report may range from a letter to a detailed document.
If the seismic evaluation suggests that a seismic retrofit is warranted, the next step is to perform the design for the retrofit. A Seismic Retrofit design will utilize the evaluation report to identify the seismic deficiencies relative to the selected Performance Objective. One or more of the following strategies to retrofit the deficiencies may be considered:
Nishkian Chamberlain has extensive experience in seismic retrofit projects and is currently working with building owners to assist in identifying the impact that retrofitting in accordance with the City Ordinances will have on their building assets. We are currently working as part of an advisory council to evaluate over 50 buildings for one client that is proactively looking to understand the overall vulnerability of their portfolio.
Should you need the assistance of a trusted advisor to guide you through the uncertainty of the City Ordinances, evaluate an existing building or make additions/modifications to an existing building, contact us at NCInfo@Nishkian.com or give us a call at 310.853.7180 for cost effective, creative seismic retrofit solutions. You can also go to our Contact page to connect with any one of our offices in your region.
Engineering News-Record recently published a list of the largest new projects started in the Mountain States region last year. The list ranks the 60 largest projects that broke ground and real construction got under way on them between January 1 and December 31, 2016. The projects are located in the following states: Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and the Dakotas. The 2016 list of top starts is ranked in order by dollar volume, and shows the cost of the top projects in the region totaled over $4.5 billion. The list also enumerates an impressive mix of public- and private-sector work reflective of the growing economic diversity of most states in the region, with projects launched in the health care, hotels and resorts, transportation, educational facilities, office, mixed-use, and multi-family residential sectors.
At the top of this year’s regional list is our Yellowstone Club Core Village project, a 475,000 square feet mixed-use base village in which 48 ultra-luxurious residences, a spa, pool, fitness area, restaurants, and full-skier service facilities are being added to Yellowstone Club, a world-class private resort in Big Sky, Montana. With a $312-million construction cost, the Yellowstone Club Core Village is one of the largest projects in price and size in the history of Montana.
The Nishkian team is incredibly proud to be involved in the Yellowstone Club Core Village project. Credit and kudos also go to our project team: Hart Howerton, GE Johnson Construction/Jackson Contractor Group JV, Stresscon/EnCon United, Cross Harbor Capital Partners LLC, Discovery Land Co., Yellowstone Development, and everybody else involved. We are thrilled for a great start on the largest project in the Rockies!
For the full list of the top 60 projects, please visit ENR 2016 List of Top Project Starts in the Mountain States
By Aerik Carlton
Structural fire consideration has been taking some large steps recently, with several codes and standards having added or altered structural fire sections. At Nishkian Dean, we have examined these structural fire design codes and methods from a structural engineering prospective for our clients and readers below.
A summary of these structural fire design codes includes:
ASCE 7-16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures has added a new appendix to address structural fire considerations.
AISC 360-16 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings has refined and made additions to Appendix 4: Structural Design for Fire Conditions.
The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has drastically expanded the Gaithersburg, Maryland, Fire Testing Lab to include a live-fire hood capable of testing a multi-story building portion with the aim of obtaining empirical large-scale structural system data to further refine and validate their free computational fluid dynamics fire modeling software. Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Japan have all adopted performance-based methods for structural fire, and the US industry has been slow to recognize and allow this building design approach. These developments considering structural fire represent a paradigm shift for structures in a fire situation.
Prescriptive methods are the standard for structures in the US, but structural engineering codes and standards are trending toward performance-based methods. Fire Protection Engineers (FPE) have been using performance-based methods for fire for a couple of decades in the US, and Structural Engineers (SE) are beginning to develop similar methods (to be on par with our international colleagues). However, there are some marked differences in focus between FPE and SE. FPE considers smoke ventilation, egress, fire prevention systems, notification systems, and compartmentalization to restrict fire spread, while SE considers the effect fire has on the structures’ ability to remain stable and support service loadings.
Meuller et al. (2014) illustrated this difference in dramatic fashion by testing a reinforced concrete bearing wall under a single-sided heating condition. Prescriptive fire resistance methods consider the tested bearing wall as having a 2-hour rating, due to its thickness. However, the project found upon testing the wall, a complete failure occurred at approximately 42 minutes.
Building fires are rare events—the annual likelihood that a business-occupied building will experience a fire in any given year is on the order of 0.05% (Xin and Huang 2013). But just because the chances are rare does not mean we should not keep improving and refining our fire designs. We have been using prescriptive methods for building fire resistance for nearly 100 years, and yet we still don’t have a good representation of the effectiveness of these provisions.
We could potentially eliminate a lot of conservatism in our fire-resisting elements and still maintain a similar, or possibly improved, building performance at a lesser cost to building owners and developers. Through performance-based design approaches, we could eliminate prescriptively required fire resisting elements (pending jurisdictional fire official approval) such as a reduction of compartment walls thickness through polypropylene fiber addition to the concrete mix to reduce fire response spalling or by refining structural member fire resistance with intumescent paint. There is also a possibility that we could shift our designs toward structures that are more easily reparable after a fire, thus increasing the resilience and life cycle of our buildings.
If your project has structural fire requirements, or you have any questions about the updated codes, please feel free to contact Nishkian Dean.
Aerik Carlton, is an Engineering Designer with Nishkian Dean a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.
Mueller, K. A., Kurama, Y. C., and Mcginnis, M. J. (2014). “Out-of-Plane Behavior of Two Reinforced Concrete Bearing Walls under Fire: Full-Scale Experimental Investigation.” ACI Structural Journal, 111(5).
Xin, J., and Huang, C. (2013). “Fire risk analysis of residential buildings based on scenario clusters and its application in fire risk management.” Fire Safety Journal, 62, 72–78.
Construction is scheduled to start in May at an old Ford car dealership in South San Francisco that has been sitting vacant for years. The development, on Cypress Avenue, will offer 260 luxury apartment units and 12 townhouses, two of which will be affordable by the standards of the city’s Below Market Rate Inclusionary Housing Program. The development will be only one quarter mile from the South San Francisco Caltrain station, offering tenants access to downtown San Francisco to the north and Silicon Valley to the south.
The two buildings are each comprised of five levels of wood framing above two levels of concrete parking. Both buildings use wood and concrete shear walls as their primary lateral force resisting system.
Sares Regis is a major developer and property manager in Northern California. The Cadence development will add to their portfolio of over 7 million square feet of developed space. The design architect for Cadence Apartments is TCA Architects. Devcon is the general contractor for this project.
By Rachel Wong, S.E., CAPM®
With the January 1st implementation of 2016 California Building Code (CBC), there is a new Building Code in town. Much of the 2016 CBC is similar to the previous 2013 CBC with respect to Structural Engineering with minor updates scattered throughout. However, one of the more significant updates was in regards to existing buildings. The 2015 International Existing Building Code® (IEBC) was adopted with the 2016 CBC as the latest and greatest guideline for existing building repair and modifications.
Originally drafted in 2003, the IEBC has been in the International Code Council (ICC) family of codes for over a decade, but faced limited adoption due to the presence of IBC/CBC Chapter 34 for existing buildings. Previously, IBC/CBC Chapter 34 was responsible for minimum requirements in existing building modifications, but had limited content for the variety of projects it covered. In 2014, the code committee decided that Chapter 34 should be eliminated in favor of the more fully-depicted IEBC. The IEBC maintains much of the prior CBC information, while expanding and clarifying specific topics. For example, a path for compliance of relocated buildings is provided in IEBC, and was previously considered to be a design “grey area”. Within IEBC Appendix A, a series of subsections are now provided for masonry, wood, concrete, and steel design, which previously were beyond the scope of Chapter 34.
But a lot of familiar requirements are present in IEBC, too. Previous CBC Sections 3402 to 3411 can now be found incorporated into the contents of IEBC Chapter 4, and Section 3412 has been relocated to IEBC Chapter 14. The CBC retrofit/strengthening threshold of 5% gravity/10% seismic modifications to existing elements without requiring strengthening to these elements is still applicable for Level 2 alterations that impact less than 50% of the building area.
The IEBC provides options for either prescriptive compliance of a structure or performance-based compliance, and permits the use of alternate methods as well. One of the seismic retrofit documents that go hand-in hand with these provisions is the relatively new ASCE 41-13 document, which will be featured in our upcoming May article.
Viscous Damper Brace Frames in an existing Steel Building
(Performance-Based Compliance Upgrade)
Each of the Nishkian offices has extensive experience with providing cost-effective solutions in retrofit, alteration and additions to existing structures. Should you need assistance with understanding how the new code will affect your existing building project, do not hesitate to contact one of our offices to receive expert assistance with any questions you may have. We are here to help!
Construction is wrapping up on a new condominium building tucked off South 19th Avenue in southwest Bozeman. Sitting on 2.0 acres at the intersection of Graf St. and Enterprise Blvd. in Meadow Creek Subdivision, Talbach House is in a prime location close to the Oracle office campus, and within minutes to Montana State University and Downtown Main Street. The brand new three-story condominium building consists of 66 condominium units totaling 64,652 square feet (6,006 square meters). Bitnar Architects served as the master architect leading the design, collaborating with developer and builder Cadius Partners dba CP Haus, and structural engineer of record Nishkian Monks.
The condominiums at the Talbach House range in size from 625-square-foot one-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath options to two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath options with just over 1,000 square feet featuring high ceilings, open floor plans, 8-foot tall, sliding glass windows with breathtaking views, large entertaining kitchens, and higher-end interior features as well as European-inspired design elements. Talbach’s secure building includes two exercise rooms, 1G internet speeds, outdoor storage, and 112 parking spaces on-site. With Meadow Creek Subdivision’s protective covenants and architectural guidelines, the Talbach House offers spectacular views of the Bridger, Spanish Peaks, Mount Blackmore and Tobacco Mountain ranges, open-space parks, walking/hiking trails, recreation, and other amenities.
The structure is on a gently sloping site, which required some cut and fill to allow a ground level with no interior steps. Above grade, the exterior and interior walls are light-framed wood construction with wood siding at the exterior walls. The roof framing was accomplished with pre-engineered gang-nailed trusses. In addition to the residential building, the project features covered parking with storage rooms. The building is founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings with a slab-on-grade at the ground level.
With one-bedroom units starting around $173,500, the Talbach House provides home buyers a comparatively affordable option in Bozeman. As the project finally wraps-up, exterior siding panels are being installed giving Talbach House its contemporary look. These past few weeks crews have installed the lobby windows leaving an inviting space for resident mail and the lounge area. Steel staircases on the East end and the North end of the building were also installed. Talbach House also includes two elevators and a staircase in the center of the building. Installation of the steel balconies throughout the building have been completed. The balcony structure will accommodate the 5’x17’ steel and concrete balcony area on the second- and third-floor with glass railings and metal privacy screens. The first-floor suites will have a concrete patio walking right out to the grass area. Interior work is also near its end. The project is expected to be completed before the end of Q2-2017. To learn more about Talbach House Condos, click here.
Nishkian Monks is proud of its growing contribution to Bozeman’s affordable housing inventory and general amenity spread. Do not hesitate to contact any of the Nishkian offices if we can be of service to you on your next residential project.
We were thrilled to hear the news: Chad Norvell, a project engineer at Nishkian Dean in Portland, was named one of ten New Faces of Civil Engineering Professionals in 2017 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
The nationwide recognition program promotes the bold and humanitarian future of civil engineering by highlighting the achievements of the next generation of C.E. leaders. Presented annually, the recipients are chosen based on their contributions to society and their dedication to improving the quality of life for all.
Norvell was officially recognized during ASCE’s annual Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Gala on March 16, 2017, in Arlington, Virginia.
Photo 1: 2017 OPAL Awards for New Faces of Civil Engineering
At Nishkian Dean, Norvell specializes in the seismic retrofit of buildings—he has designed efficient seismic retrofits for more than a dozen schools in the greater Portland area, and he works closely with the state government to help school districts fund these projects. He also promotes the profession through his participation with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), and through his ongoing work with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) to help with earthquake relief in Haiti and Nepal.
We took a moment to speak with Chad and to learn more about his dedication to serving the public good through his work. Read on for our Q&A:
Let’s start at the beginning—what inspired you to become an engineer?
I had a fascination with architecture since childhood, and originally studied it in college with the intention of becoming a practicing architect. After two years in architecture school, I realized that while there were some things I was good at, there were more things that I just wasn’t good at. I decided to leverage my strength in math and science and switch to structural engineering, which ended up being a perfect fit.
There are so many different specialties within our field. What prompted you to focus on seismic issues specifically?
As a structural engineer educated and practicing on the West Coast, some study and understanding of seismic phenomena and loads is unavoidable. I find seismic issues interesting for two reasons: for one, it’s just more challenging and requires another level of ingenuity and creative problem-solving beyond typical structural design.
Secondly, seismic issues can have a large impact on society beyond the engineering of structures. For example, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), the federal government program that funds seismic research, supports the study of social science issues related to earthquakes, in addition to the geologic sciences and structural engineering topics that we would expect. This kind of interdisciplinary field of study is interesting to me.
Could you tell us more about your work with Engineers Without Borders in Nicaragua? What types of projects are you working on with them?
In college, I spent four years as a member of our EWB chapter, serving as chapter president for two of those years. We worked primarily in a region on the West Coast of Nicaragua to provide engineering support for community problems that the government did not have resources to address. This was valuable for the local communities, and was a great learning experience for us as engineering students.
One of the two major projects we worked on was mitigating yearly flooding at an elementary school, and our second major project aimed to help a remote coastal community produce enough potable water to serve the communities’ needs.
I’ve also worked with several other EWB chapters to provide support for their projects. Most recently, I helped establish seismic criteria and perform structural analysis for a school in Ethiopia.
Could you tell us more about your relief work with Earthquake Engineering Research Institute?
After the earthquakes in Nepal and Haiti, I worked with teams in the US that were developing rebuilding guidelines for each country. We developed a guide to earthquake-safe construction for Haiti that was later translated to Haitian Creole, and for Nepal, we provided support for the revision of their building code.
You’re also participating in EERI’s first Learning from Earthquakes field study program—what does that entail?
After major earthquakes occur around the world, EERI and other organizations send reconnaissance teams to investigate building failures. This information is studied, and eventually leads to valuable technical information that advances our seismic design procedures. But this investigation only happens in the weeks immediately after an earthquake.
The idea behind “resilience reconnaissance” is to continue doing field investigation in earthquake-affected regions periodically for years after the event, tracking changes in various critical community services like housing, business, health care, and education. By doing this, we get an understanding of a community’s resilience to earthquakes, not just a building’s, which also serves as valuable information for communities in areas of seismic risk.
Photo 2: EERI Team in Chile 2017
Today, non-profit organization DiscoverE announced that Chad Norvell is one of the winners of the 2017 class of New Faces of Engineering honorees. The announcement coincides with the second annual Global Day of the Engineer, a worldwide day of celebration and volunteerism that shines a spotlight on the work done by engineers and inspires the next generation of engineering and technology professionals. DiscoverE’s New Faces of Engineering recognizes the work of up-and-coming engineering professionals, age 30 or younger, who are making their mark on their industry. These talented individuals are honored for having dedicated themselves to using their skills and education to help engender a better world. These young engineers serve as inspirations both for their colleagues and for the next generations coming up behind them. The highly-coveted award, started in 2003, is recognized nationally by their peers as a top honor for young engineers and continues to grow in prestige. In addition to recognizing young engineering professionals, DiscoverE also honors engineering students through its New Faces of Engineering College program. This year’s class includes young professionals innovating solutions throughout a cross-section of industries, including energy, food security, infrastructure, medicine, aerospace and the environment. Previous honorees have gone on to launch global businesses and NGOs.
All four Nishkian firms join together in congratulating Chad. To learn more about the 2017 New Faces of Engineering Honorees, please visit DiscoverE at http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/awards-and-recognition
2100 University Avenue in East Palo Alto was recently featured in the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The 210,000 square-foot office building features a four-story atrium with impressive skylights – an aesthetic designed by San Francisco-based Korth Sunseri Hagey Architects (KSHA). The expansive open floor plan paired with a warehouse aesthetic and an outdoor terrace has proven attractive to tenants. It has been confirmed that tech-giant Amazon will lease the entire space and fill it with 1,300 employees. This will increase the number of jobs in the city of East Palo Alto two-fold. The project has stirred much discussion about gentrification of the small city on the Peninsula – East Palo Alto’s Mayor commented on the impact the project could have not only on the city’s revenue, but also on the cost of housing.
The four-story concrete office building is connected to a six-story parking structure by a two-story bridge suspended one story above the ground. Both the office building and the parking structure utilizes concrete shear walls.
The general contractor for University Square is Devcon Construction and the developer is The Sobrato Organization.
For more information about the project, please visit: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/03/22/amazon-scoops-up-university-square-in-east-palo.html?ana=e_sjo_bn&u=q0hFpWnjiaOOg2k6iyXpZw0cc4406e&t=1490391765&j=77722911
For a video-rendering of the project, please visit: https://vimeo.com/124629180
The demand for affordable housing in urban areas is increasing as rent prices skyrocket. Many developers are now required to include a percentage of affordable housing units to obtain approvals for their new multi-family construction projects. Additionally, affordable housing projects that wish to access alternate funding sources are often required to meet various green building requirements.
Recently, Nishkian Chamberlain began work on a new affordable housing project in Ventura, California. The project is unique in that it is entirely comprised of affordable housing apartment units. In order to receive some state and federal funding, the project is required to meet several green building targets. One such target is the use of “Advanced Framing”.
In short, Advanced Framing is energy and material-efficient wood framing. Conventional wood framing, typically used for many years, includes many structural redundancies (double top plates, three-stud corners, multiple jack studs, double or triple headers, etc.). The goal of Advanced Framing is to eliminate unnecessary redundancies and achieve savings in material usage while also taking advantage of opportunities for increased energy efficiency.
There are various techniques commonly used in Advanced Framing. Which technique(s) are used is determined on a project-to-project basis. One technique applied to a recent project was the use of engineered wood floor joists. Using engineered wood floor joists allowed larger joists spans and wider joist spacing, leading to savings in materials, increased construction efficiency, and reduced construction costs. It is critical for the structural engineer on the project to coordinate joist depths, which may be larger due to the increased spans and spacing, with the architect and MEP early on in the project to minimize conflicts and rework later on.
Additionally, for this project, the increased floor joist spacing affected the design of the floor sheathing. A larger span rating was required, and serviceability characteristics such as floor vibration were investigated. It was recommended to use a thicker floor sheathing than what we use for Conventional Framing to achieve the required span rating, reduce vibrations and increase the perceived stiffness of the floor.
In addition to using engineered wood floor joists, other Advanced Framing techniques include:
These techniques can be mixed and matched to accommodate the unique aspects of each project while still achieving the targeted green building requirements.
In conclusion, the demand for affordable housing is increasing, especially in high density urban areas where housing is in short supply and rents are high. Affordable housing projects often target green building requirements such as the use of Advanced Framing techniques to obtain State and Federal funding. Advanced Framing techniques can be used individually or in combination to achieve the desired green building criteria.
If you are interested in finding out how using Advanced Framing techniques can benefit your next project, Nishkian Chamberlain has significant experience in this technique and would be happy to discuss your construction and development needs. You may contact Craig Chamberlain at CChamberlain@nishkian.com or (310) 853-7180.
By Chad Norvell, PE
Historically, tsunamis have been poorly understood by the public. Films often show tsunamis as towering tidal waves that cast deep shadows over tall buildings on the coast before violently crashing down. Video footage from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami showed the world what tsunamis really are—a wall of water that doesn’t necessarily tower over the coast, but that moves through with unstoppable force.
In this article, we will explore important tsunami basics, review the tsunami risk in Oregon, introduce changes to structural loading standards that now include tsunami loads, and discuss essential research findings out of Chile that affect our local understanding of tsunami risk.
Tsunami Causes & Terminology
In the Pacific Northwest, we are increasingly aware of the risk of a devastating Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. This potential future earthquake is likely to be associated with a large tsunami that will strike the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and Northern California, as well as echo around the Pacific basin, reaching as far as Japan and Australia. The figure below illustrates how a subduction zone earthquake triggers a tsunami.
When discussing tsunamis, it is important to understand the terminology used. What does it mean to say that in Pulicat, India, during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the maximum runup was 3.2 m and the inundation limit was 160 m? The figure below illustrates the primary tsunami measurements.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey Tsunami Terms
RUNUP ELEVATION: The difference between the elevation of maximum tsunami inundation and the reference sea level elevation.
INUNDATION DEPTH: The depth of the tsunami relative to grade level at the point of interest (e.g., where the structure is).
INUNDATION DISTANCE or INUNDATION LIMIT: The maximum horizontal distance inland inundated by the tsunami.
Oregon’s Tsunami Risk
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Oregon has 25,000 residents, in addition to 55,000 tourists, who could be at direct tsunami risk (defined as being within the Tsunami Design Zone, or TDZ) along 300 miles of coastline subject to inundation. Two ports, a fuel depot hub, and $8.5 billion in essential facilities are located within this risk zone as well. The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) has produced a series of tsunami inundation maps covering the entire Oregon coastline, showing the areas at risk of inundation for both Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquakes [the left figure below] and Alaskan-Aleutian Subduction Zone earthquakes [the right figure below.]
Source: Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries
Analysis by Oregon Public Broadcasting in 2015 showed that “about a third of schools, hospitals, police and fire stations along the Oregon coast are within a potential tsunami zone.” In Seaside, approximately 80% of residents live at elevations of 15 feet above sea level or lower, when DOGAMI estimates that even a small Cascadia Subduction Zone tsunami would have a wave height of over 20 feet. Further development on the Oregon coast will rely on structural designs that are tsunami-resistant.
New Tsunami Structural Load Standards in ASCE 7-16
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a document called “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures,” commonly referred to as ASCE 7. This consensus-based standard specifies the minimum required design loads for all the types of load commonly encountered in the structural design of buildings, including dead, live, wind, and seismic. ASCE 7 is incorporated by reference in the International Building Code (IBC), making its provisions law in much of the United States. The recently published 2016 edition of ASCE 7 (ASCE 7-16) includes a new chapter on tsunami loads, and new regulations on when buildings must be designed with consideration of tsunami loads.
In line with current practice for earthquake loads, ASCE 7-16 defines a Maximum Considered Tsunami (MCT) as the tsunami that has a 2% probability of exceedance in 50 years, or an average return period of 2,500 years. The runup elevation associated with the MCT is designated as the Tsunami Design Zone (TDZ), and hazard maps (like Oregon’s tsunami inundation maps) are based on that elevation. TDZ maps for Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii are included in ASCE 7-16.
The provisions of ASCE 7-16 require consideration of tsunami loads only for Risk Category III and IV structures within the TDZ, generally meaning structures that could pose a great risk to human life if they failed (such as schools) or emergency services buildings (such as police and fire departments.). However, local jurisdictions have the option of designating threshold elevations under which even Risk Category II buildings (typical commercial and residential structures) would need to be designed to resist tsunami loads. In areas characterized by flat coastal planes (for example, Tillamook, Oregon), evacuation from the tsunami zone may be impossible, in which case vertical evacuation into relatively tall public or commercial buildings designed to resist tsunamis could save thousands of lives.
Designing structures to resist tsunamis requires consideration of four types of tsunami load:
ASCE 7-16 includes procedures for determining each of these loads.
Lessons Learned from Tsunami Research in Chile
Chile suffered significant tsunami damage associated with the M8.8 Maule earthquake in February 2010. Since then, observations from the tsunami, along with sophisticated research at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María and CIGIDEN (National Center for Investigation of Integrated Management of Natural Distasters) under Dr. Patricio Catalán, have yielded important and surprising lessons about tsunami behavior, two of which are summarized below.
The understanding of risk to our infrastructure from tsunamis is still not as mature as that of seismic and wind risk, but significant advances are being made, particularly via lessons learned from recent tsunamis like the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2010 Maule Tsunami in Chile, and the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami in Japan. These lessons are now being incorporated into the standards that structural engineers use to design buildings, providing us valuable tools for building more resilient communities in areas of tsunami risk. This is particularly important for us in the Pacific Northwest, where we have long coastlines and many communities at risk of inundation in a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami.
Contact Nishkian Dean for more information or to discuss your project on the Oregon coast.
Chad Norvell, PE is a Project Engineer with Nishkian Dean a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.
The Menlo Gateway Project is part of a major development in Menlo Park, CA. The development sits just off Route 101, the main thoroughfare of Silicon Valley. Spread over two sites, the development features a hotel, office buildings, parking structures, a fitness center, and retail and outdoor space. Nishkian Menninger’s role in the project was the structural engineering of the hotel. Totaling nearly 200,000 square feet, the four-plus-star hotel will include 250 guest rooms/suites, meeting space, a ballroom, an outdoor pool and spa, and will be a certified LEED Silver building. Outdoor highlights include: balconies, a large terrace at the second level, and the landscaped courtyard around the pool. The hotel façade will feature stone, exposed concrete, and floor-to-ceiling glass for panoramic views.
Menlo Gateway Hotel combines several structural systems. The 11-story hotel tower is a concrete shear-wall building with concrete post-tensioned slabs supported on a pile foundation system. The first-floor restaurant and ballroom building is steel, utilizing ordinary concentrically braced frames supported on spread footings. The combination of these two starkly different structural systems proved challenging at the second level connection between the steel and concrete structures. Many hours were spent calculating and detailing how to transfer the forces between the two structures at two discrete locations. A portion of the poolside trellis, where the aesthetic of a braced frame was not desired, uses a moment frame as the lateral force-resisting system.
The architect on this project is Minneapolis-based Cuningham Group. The general contractor is Webcor Builders. For more information about the hotel project and development, please visit: http://www.menlogateway.com/hotel.
Renderings courtesy of the Cuningham Group
Since the passing of the LA City’s Ordinance in October of 2015 to improve the seismic safety and community resilience of the City by requiring retrofit of over 15,000 soft story and non-ductile concrete buildings, the City of Santa Monica (approximately 16 miles west of LA) appears to be the next major city to adopt a similar but more expansive building type ordinance.
The Santa Monica City Council, on February 14, 2017, tentatively approved, unanimously, to adopt the nation’s most extensive seismic retrofitting effort, which could require safety improvements to as many as 2,000 earthquake-vulnerable buildings. For the ordinance to be approved, the City Council will need to pass the law a second time in the next month. If the measure receives that affirmation, the proposal will become law 30 days later.
Santa Monica’s safety rules would go beyond what Los Angeles has done by requiring not only wood-frame apartments and concrete buildings to be retrofitted, but also Concrete Tilt-Up, Unreinforced Masonry and Steel-frame structures.
To kick off its 15th Anniversary celebration, Nishkian Monks recently held a Company Ski Day at Bridger Bowl Ski Area located 16 miles outside of Bozeman. With a cloudy morning clearing to a sunny afternoon, everybody could enjoy fantastic skiing and even better company. Starting this year’s celebration with a team building activity is important to the Nishkian Monks office culture as the company stands true in its belief that a strong team is one that works hard together, but also takes time to recharge and get to know one another in a setting outside of the office walls. When the team heads out of town on Company Ski Days, laptops are left at the office to unplug for a day of spotty Wi-Fi, limited cell service, and a whole lot of team bonding. “Celebrating business milestones and achievements serve as a reminder that all of the hard work is worth it and progress is being made,” says Anchila Monks, Director of Marketing for the Nishkian firms. “What I love most about Company Ski Days is the camaraderie and discovery between one another that happens when we get our team together on a ski slope.”
Since the company’s inception in 2002, Nishkian Monks has grown, not only in size, but also in expertise and in service offerings. Last year, the company added four full-time employees and one intern. Having team members with varied skill sets make the Nishkian Monks team diverse, successful, and win awards for work accomplished as well. Celebrations will continue throughout the year to mark this significant milestone. “So much has happened here in the past 15 years,” Managing Principal Ty Monks told the team. “To have you join this celebration is especially important because it’s your achievement, your accomplishments, your dedication and all that you have done as team members. A company is nothing without its individuals, and we are lucky to have the best.”
The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma marked a turning point. The years that followed, arguably the most damaging and shocking domestic terrorism event in our nation’s history, resulted in the tightening of standards for our government buildings. These standards are not isolated to security protocols, but to the requirements for the way these buildings are design.
While, we are sure everyone can empathize with the extra effort and time it takes to pass through security check points while entering courthouses, police stations, and airports. Terrorism, unfortunately, has become a driving force in the added scrutiny we all face while traveling or entering government buildings. What most people do not see, however, is that most occupied government buildings are designed to resist the effects of explosive blast. And increasingly, architectural and engineering firms are tasked with designing buildings to minimize damage and loss of life from explosives.
The major consideration and design efforts by engineers for blast loads on buildings are focused on the exterior envelop. The window systems, exterior walls, the roof system, door systems, evaluating disproportionate progressive collapse risk, and even blast induced base shear have all become subject of blast engineering analysis. However, buildings are not the only structures that have entered this domain. Chemical processing facilities, bridges, and even rocket engine testing structures have all issued requirements to resist the effects of explosive load.
While most structural loads are defined statically, blast loading is dynamic. Unlike wind loads which are converted to static equivalent, the penalties of converting a blast load into a static equivalent can yield cost prohibitive designs. While the dynamic characterization in seismic design is like blast, the time durations very greatly. Seismic loads are defined in seconds while blast loads are measured in milliseconds.
Alfred P. Murrah Building taken April 20, 2015
Photo Credit: Tulsa District United States Army Corps of Engineers
Licensing Agreement: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Blast loads are typically defined by a peak positive pressure and associated impulse for design purposes. The negative pressure associated with suction after the passing of positive pressure waves is neglected in most building design criteria. Based upon the location of the structural element in relation to the blast origin, a simplified load shape is defined, and an equivalent duration is calculated. More complex blast time-histories can be developed from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis methods, however validation of CFD models can be difficult.
Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) analysis methods are the industry standard, however Multi-Degree of Freedom (MDOF) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) methods can, and have, also been used successfully. MDOF and FEA do not, in many blast cases, yield better or more correct results when compared with SDOF methods. The blast community has at-large, agreed upon SDOF as the standard, because of the quantity of necessary assumptions and the limited available empirical data related to modeling the complexities of detonated explosives.
SDOF evaluation is completed on an element by element basis, where the forcing function is defined by the blast time-history, a damping constant and stiffness function are defined, and the momentum effects of mass are all considered. From the SDOF results, the ductility, rotation, and demand to capacity ratios for shear and moment are derived, then compared with project specific performance limits.
Project specific requirements typically define an acceptable level of damage to defined structural element types. Damage levels are defined by accepted ductility, rotation, and demand to capacity ratio values. Because of the large forces involved in blast loads, it is typical for elements to be pushed into the plastic range, and large deformations can be expected.
Contact Nishkian Dean if your project has blast design considerations.
Aerik Carlton, is an Engineering Designer with Nishkian Dean a structural engineering consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.
Biggs, J. M. (1964). Introduction to Structural Dynamics. McGraw-Hill, New York.
Unified Facilities Criteria (2008). UFC 3-340-02: Structures to Resist the Effects of Accidental Explosions. Change 2 dated 1 September 2014, Department of Defense.
Our Los Angeles area office is happy to announce we’re growing to serve the needs of our community. Please join us in welcoming five new additions to the Nishkian Chamberlain team– Jason Gray, Kiki Okaly, Ivan Canete, Bethany MacDuff and David Brisco.
In our dedicated effort to provide top quality service to our clients and the community we serve, we are continuously looking for talented people to join our team of professional consulting and structural engineers. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the opportunities to advance your career, please feel free to email Craig Chamberlain, Managing Principal of Nishkian Chamberlain at email@example.com.
NeBo Lofts, the recently completed new residential infill development project, illustrates the changing tide on the Northeast Edge of Downtown Bozeman. Nishkian Monks participated in the project as the structural engineer of record, working directly with Intrinsik Architecture and general contractor Langlas & Associates. Developed by Cottonwood Partners LLC, this 27,000 sq.ft. project consists of two identical, mirrored 4-story condominium buildings which share a common driveway on one property. Each building comprises six 4-story condominium units, or a total of 12 vertical condominiums all together. The end-units have similar design and floor plans, and the eight interior units were designed to be identical. These condominiums range from 2,200 sq.ft. to 2,400 sq.ft., and features 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, indoor and outdoor rooftop space with premier views, 2-car garage, and numerous storage spaces. The ground level, which is mostly garage space, small entry and mechanical rooms, are slab on grade with traditional spread footing and stem wall. The levels above are of wood-frame construction with separated shared walls between units. In addition to providing the design of the structural system and construction administration services, Nishkian Monks also served as the primary special inspection agency for this project to help ensure a high level of quality throughout the construction process.
With so many new construction being developed around Bozeman our design team believes that it is imperative to minimally build up. NeBo Lofts certainly does a great job of leaving a small footprint while bringing much needed housing to the downtown area. Anchored by a vibrant Main Street, NeBo Lofts offer easy access to Bozeman’s businesses, culture, entertainment, and community activities. It is strategically located in the midst of resurgence stemming from Bozeman’s downtown core where a wave of reinvestment continues to take place well into 2017—a growing appeal as an inviting place to live, work, learn and play.
Above feature image courtesy of Zakara Photography
Renderings courtesy of Intrinsik Architecture
By Robert A. Aman, PE, SE
This 7-Story, 202,200 square feet project with 162 living units located adjacent to the Conway District at NW 21st & Quimby in downtown Portland will be ready to rent out units starting next month. Nishkian Dean proudly worked with YBA Architects and Andersen Construction Company on this unique and challenging project. The project is highlighted by three-story tapered steel columns at the main entrance that form an “XXI” shape to symbolize the project name and street number location. These specialty columns were constructed with two tapered 12-sided steel sections welded together at the column midpoint to form a double-tapered member. A cantilevered post-tensioned concrete beam spans across the tops of the tapered steel columns to support four stories of structure above.
Construction of the new $312 million Central & Wolfe project and future Apple Campus 3 in Silicon Valley is making significant progress well into 2017. The 18-acre Central & Wolfe campus—so named because of the roads that border it in Sunnyvale—contains 883,000 square feet of Class A office space, and is just 5 miles north of the Apple Campus 2. Nishkian Menninger has been collaborating closely with Level 10 Construction, and architects HOK and Korth Sunseri Hagey (KSH) to ensure the construction proceeds smoothly. With a target of LEED Platinum certification, the team explored various options that would move the campus closer to net zero energy use. This project is expected to be completed by November 2017. Check out these flyover videos by Al Diaz – Above It All showing progress made to the Apple Campus 3 building, and the land surrounding it:
Video Credit: Al Diaz – Above It All
We wish you comfort and joy in the spirit of the season!
The Silicon Valley Business Journal recently announced the winners of its 2016 Structures Awards competition, and seven Nishkian Menninger projects were recognized. Our Central and Wolfe project in Sunnyvale won the Deal of the Year award. 1400 Page Mill project in Palo Alto won the Green Project of the Year. Centerra Apartments and Indigo Apartments both won in the Market-Rate Residential Project category. The Menlo Gateway project and the University Square project both won in the Speculative Project category. Splunk at 500 Santana Row won in the Office Deal category. Nishkian Menninger is proud to team up with the various project teams for these seven projects.
The Academy Square project is a new $300 million mixed used project being developed by Kilroy Realty Corp. and is located in the heart of Hollywood. The project has a 150,000+ square-foot footprint, the size of an entire city block, and over one million square-feet of office space. It is being designed with House & Robertson Architects, Inc. serving as the Executive Architect for the commercial portion, GBD Architects serving as the architect for the residential portion and Shimoda Design Group serving as the design and landscape architect.
Construction continues at the Yellowstone Club Core Village in Big Sky, Montana. Situated next to the Warren Miller Lodge at the base of the private ski mountain, this new 475,000 square feet Club Core Village project expands and redefines the heart of the Yellowstone Club. Beginning with dirt work and grading the construction of the Village Core is moving full steam ahead as the project begins to transition from mud season to winter. The first lift of the parking ramp walls and the first slab on grade placement were also completed. New pieces for the precast floors and walls system are continuing to be erected every day. Work is progressing on the foundation elements, which includes spread footings, mat foundations, and grade beams supported by micropiles driven into the bedrock. Underground MEP work is moving quickly right behind the concrete crews. Nishkian Menninger headquartered in San Francisco is the structural engineer of record, and local office Nishkian Monks performed site observations as the project progressed. Check out this fun flyover video captured by a drone showing the status of the Club Core Village project as “moving on up” and “to the east side.”
Stay tuned for further updates on construction progress in the weeks ahead as both Nishkian offices continue to work with Hart Howerton, GE Johnson, FDG and Terracon on this exciting project.
Our Bozeman office is happy to announce we’re growing to serve your needs. Please join us in welcoming five new additions to the Nishkian Monks team– Alfred Larsen, Sean Kirby, Daniel Nolan, Devinka Edirrisinghe, and Justin Beschorner.
Kevin L. Menninger, Vice President and Managing Principal of our San Francisco office, was recently honored with the 2016 Special Honor Award by the Building Industry Conference Board (BICB) at the 66th Annual Awards Banquet held in San Francisco, California on November 10, 2016. This award is made annually by the Building Industry Construction Board to celebrate and honor the most outstanding design and construction professional who outshines the rest as having contributed exceptionally to the construction industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last Thursday’s event was well attended with more than 200 attendees from across the spectrum of Bay Area construction —from owners and developers, to general contractors, to sub-consultants and insurance and A/E professionals.
By Dave Beh
Structural engineers design the primary structure to withstand seismic forces, as a minimum, as outlined by the design code. However, during an earthquake people can be injured and costly damage can result by falling non-structural components such as; kitchen hoods, bookcases or mechanical/electrical equipment. The code also requires seismic anchorage for certain non-structural components but these can sometimes get overlooked by designers/owners/plans examiners that simply don’t yet have the information or are unaware of the requirements.
Mack Conachen SE AIA, comes with 16 years of industry experience. With previous tenures at Nabih Youssef Associates and HDR he has a wide range in experience with various building types including seismic retrofits, Hospitals, Water Treatment Facilities, Data Centers with projects both nationally and abroad. Mack started his career in architecture, and against his better judgment maintains an architectural license in his home state of Wisconsin.
With project architect CSDA Design Group, Nishkian Chamberlain is working on two replacement buildings for the Olive Vista Middle School campus within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Originally designated for evaluation in accordance with AB 300 – a bill passed in 1999 to assess K thru 12 school buildings for seismic safety – the gymnasium and multi-purpose buildings were eventually determined to be replaced. Nishkian Chamberlain assisted with a seismic study and full site analysis of both structures in order to obtain Proposition 1D funding to provide a cost benefit for replacement of the two buildings.
Nishkian Monks is proud of its involvement with the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation’s main lodge renovation project in southwest Montana. The rolling hills of Belgrade’s farm country is the new home to local nonprofit Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation (WQW). Nestled on 112 acres of grass and wetland at the foot of the Bridger Mountains, the Quiet Waters Ranch is in its first year of operation as a therapeutic fishing ranch for injured post-9/11 combat veterans. Nishkian Monks’ engineers provided an in-kind donation of structural design services for the renovation of the Barnard Lodge– a 10,000 square foot, six bedroom main house where participants stay to rest, relax, and fly fish. Completed in May 2016, the renovation and modifications included making the property completely handicap accessible. Showers and bathrooms were renovated, a small elevator that goes between the basement rooms and the main levels of the house was added, and where necessary– paths and ramps were built. A buffet accessible by wheelchair was also added, and two ponds were constructed out front where visitors can practice their casting. Nishkian Monks worked closely with Vaniman Architects and Locati Architects to modify the existing structure to accommodate the planned remodel. Existing bearing walls were removed and replaced with new structural systems. A new large, feature stone fire place and chimney was installed on the existing main floor which required strengthening measures for the floor to minimize new foundation elements beneath the chimney.
Since 2007, WQW provides meaningful reintegration program for our nation’s combat veterans returning from the battlefield with unique challenges. In the past, the organization has rented vacation homes around southwest Montana to facilitate the fishing experience. With the new lodge up and running, WQW can now focus its efforts on hosting more warriors and expanding upon the current Fishing Experience (FX) program. To keep up to date with the WQW organization’s programs and goals, or to donate or volunteer, we encourage you to visit Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, Inc. Ten fishing experiences took place in 2016, running from May to October. This year alone, WQW served 84 combat veterans and their spouses/caregivers bringing the total number served to 545 veterans since the foundation’s inception. Also in 2016, 127 volunteers donated more than 6,701 hours of their time to support WQW therapeutic programs. Check out this video footage about volunteers sharing how the therapeutic fly fishing programs have impacted their lives and the lives of warrior participants: https://vimeo.com/172526523
“Nishkian Monks is thrilled to provide structural design services that will have long-term positive impact on our wounded veterans and their families,” says Ty Monks, Vice-President, Managing Principal, and one of the founders of Nishkian Monks PLLC. “This renovation project also served to promote collaboration, and to strengthen our firm’s teamwork philosophy.”
Each year Nishkian Monks commit to assisting on a number of pro bono projects to recognize non-profit organizations and individuals requiring our structural engineering services. Nearly 80% of our community investment is in Bozeman and southwest Montana because of our utmost commitment to this region. Our firm is deeply invested in helping to make the Bozeman area a robust, dynamic place to live, work, and raise families in.
Mid-rise construction continues to see a steady demand throughout many parts of the U.S. Common mid-rise occupancies include apartments, condominiums, assisted living facilities, hotels, dormitories, office and various other uses, and are often mixed with other occupancies such as retail, restaurants, office, and parking. These “mixed-use” buildings, named due to their mix of occupancy types, have been popular for decades but surged during the current economic recovery. While mid-rise construction is utilized for all types of building occupancies, this article will be focusing on residential and mixed-use commercial/residential developments due to their prevalence in today’s market.
The grand opening of the new 3 story Class-A office building located at 3025 Clearview Way in San Mateo was in late September 2016. The new building provides spectacular views of the bay area from its elevated bluff located just off highway 92 in San Mateo. The hilltop site provided many construction challenges for general contractor Build Group, but they were up to the task. Build Group constructed both the new office building and a 5-story precast parking garage on the same site at the same time while the campus was occupied. This complex site requires a unique building foundation which employs a unique combination of micro-piles and spread footings. The building is a steel frame and utilizes a Nippon Unbonded Braced Framed (buckling restrained brace frame) lateral system.
Construction on the 250-unit luxury apartment building project at the 580 Anton site began in the spring of 2016 and has been steadily progressing all summer long.
Bozeman is in a housing boom as developers rush to flood the market with new subdivisions. Phase 1 of Four Points Subdivision, which recently opened for occupancy, is one of the latest additions developed by Four Points MT LLC. This brand new multi-family residential community is located in the northwest side of Bozeman which has become very popular due to the decent prices of homes in that area coupled with its solid infrastructure and transportation. The West Village consists of 72 units in six 3-story buildings totaling 73,500 square feet (22,403 sq.m). Studio H Design, Inc. served as the master architect leading the design, collaborating with general contractor Rotherham Construction, and structural engineers Nishkian Monks.
Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE
Wood frame is an economical construction type and if properly detailed durable and fire-safe. The level of fire resistance required of a building is established by the building code and is a function of the size, use and occupancy of the building. The fire rating is driven by the need to provide ample time for occupants to exit the facility, retain structural stability long enough for fire-fighting personnel to combat the fire and for the protection of the contents of the building and adjacent structures.
The Rowan, located at 346 Potrero in San Francisco in the Potrero Hill neighborhood will complete construction by the end of 2016. Designed by Handel Architects for Trumark Urban, and constructed by Build Group, the Rowan includes a mid-rise residential building that will house parking, retail areas and residential units. The building stands 9 stories above grade with one level of both storage and utility space. The building will open with 70 residential condominium units, 5,000 square feet of open space and 41 parking spaces, with a basement level for parking, storage, and utility space. The total building area is approximately 88,000 square feet. There are also two outdoor common areas, one on the second floor and one on the ninth floor.
Nishkian Chamberlain has recently been involved in a number of exciting education projects throughout the Southern California area. The projects below highlight the variety of work being done by Nishkian Chamberlain in this market sector.
Meadowlark Elementary School is a 71,700 square foot, single story elementary school building located in northwest Bozeman. It is Bozeman’s 8th elementary school and was designed to be similar to previous elementary schools in the district. The Bozeman School District elected to work with the same team that designed and built Hyalite Elementary School in 2009—Prugh & Lenon Architects, general contractor and construction manager Langlas & Associates, and structural engineers Nishkian Monks, PLLC. Meadowlark Elementary School’s floor plan builds on the previous elementary school plans with changes suggested by the staff such as additional storage space, a separate cafeteria, and a separate section for kindergarten classrooms.
The City of Portland is laced with seismic faults and is vulnerable to the looming Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, which could have a magnitude as high as 9.0. Despite this risk, Portland has one of the highest concentration of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings in the Pacific Northwest. URM buildings are particularly vulnerable to potential catastrophic collapse in earthquakes. To alleviate this risk, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) convened a series of committees to propose new URM seismic retrofit standards, which are currently under deliberation with the goal of passing the new standards in the City Council in 2017.
Originally designed in 1968 by celebrated Los Angeles based modernist architect Craig Ellwood, 777 Aviation is now being renovated into a 309,000 square foot glass and steel building in the heart of El Segundo’s new creative office hub. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) led the design as the architect, with Nishkian Chamberlain as the structural engineer and WL Butler as the general contractor. Joint venture partners Embarcadero Capital Partners and Westbrook Partners have already signed a lease with the U.S. General Services Administration for 154,000 square feet – just under half the building footprint.
There is a new wave of “baby boomers” who are looking for housing solutions that allow them to age in place while maintaining an active lifestyle in Montana. According to the current data from the Population Reference Bureau report and the U.S. Census Bureau, the youngest of the 76 million boomers have begun turning 50 in 2014 and 10,000 boomers per day will turn 65 from now through 2030. These demographics alone are driving the increased demand for 55-plus communities. The concept has gotten an even bigger boost in recent years as more boomers find themselves sitting on an empty nest in an active housing market.
Greenhouse Village is a new 55-plus community bringing 10 single-family condominiums that are approximately 2,300 square feet in size to the Southside neighborhood in Bozeman. Prugh & Lenon Architects took on the role as lead designers and project managers for this redevelopment project. Nishkian Monks served as the structural design consultant providing development and design of the structural system, construction administration, and special inspection of the building design collaborating with general contractor Tim Dean Construction.
By Edwin T. Dean, PE, SE
The start of construction brings new demands on the designers to respond to questions from the field and review submittals for the products being installed. The designer’s participation in the construction process is critical to the success of the project being built and to provide a high level of confidence that it is being built consistent with the design intent. This article discusses some of the management procedures used to provide engineering support for our projects as they are being built.
The Pierce is a new landmark structure bringing 232 luxury apartment and 8,730 square feet of retail space to San Jose’s South of First Area (SoFA) district. Project owner, Sares Regis, together with Steinberg Architects envision that this project will help to revitalize the area and become the gateway to downtown San Jose. In 2014, The Silicon Valley Business Journal awarded The Pierce “Best Mixed-Use Project.”
Standing seven stories tall – five stories of wood framing over a two-story concrete podium – The Pierce is an exceptional project from an engineering standpoint, as well. In order to maximize exterior window openings and allow for offset exterior walls, the wood frame portion of the building was designed using rigid diaphragm analysis. Traditional wood frame design uses flexible diaphragm analysis where lateral forces are distributed evenly between the short exterior shear walls and the long interior corridor walls. Using a rigid diaphragm approach, however, Nishkian Menninger was able to eliminate the need for exterior shear walls, instead distributing the lateral forces to the longer and more effective corridor and unit separation walls. Having been approved by the San Jose building department, the Nishkian offices are now applying this technique to other multi-unit residential buildings throughout the Bay Area.
Originally constructed as a medical office building, this four-story, semi-circular structure will be the new home to Nova Academy located in Santa Ana, California. In order to meet the increased design criteria required to convert the existing building to a school building, a series of fluid viscous dampers were installed into the structure to supplement the existing pre-Northridge steel moment frame system.
Balanced above a bend by the Gallatin River in Montana, the Geode House is a one story, single family residence located in a mature deciduous forest of oak, hickory, and birch. Designed as a Geode, the building’s façade blocks out Gallatin Canyon’s highway traffic noise to create a private retreat that the whole house can open up to. ThinkTank Design Group served as the master architect leading the design, collaborating with general contractor Highline Partners and structural engineers Nishkian Monks PLLC.
By Serena Gilles, PE
Pouring concrete in hot and cold weather conditions requires special attention in order to achieve desirable strength and quality.
Once again, volunteers from Nishkian Menninger set out to help a family in need for National Rebuilding Day. On April 23rd, Rebuilding Together held their yearly National Rebuilding Day where the largest nationwide group of volunteers provides a multitude of services to homes and other facilities around the country. Every project is different; the work could include cleanup, painting, repairs, and remodels.
We plan a quarterly out-of-the-office opportunity for our hard working team of Engineers, Draftspersons and Administrative staff to enjoy time together beyond just crunching numbers. While some of the other reasons might come to mind first, encouraging departmental integration is essential in today’s business world and out-of-the-office events help integrate our team. Simple conversations help respect various people’s responsibilities and roles within our organization.
Before he joined Nishkian Dean as Project Engineer, Chad Norvell spent three years in India directing the engineering department of a social enterprise building affordable housing for some of the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the Indian population. Recently, Chad was invited to present on his experiences to Architects Without Borders Oregon, based in Portland, OR.
Construction on the Landbank development at Central and Wolfe is continuing at a rapid pace. The first elevated concrete slabs are currently being formed and poured. General contractor Level 10 is working quickly to deliver the 777,000 square foot office campus to Apple, who has leased the entire campus. More information on the project can be found here: http://www.nishkian.com/nishkian-engineers-help-add-to-iconic-headquarters-in-south-bay/
Sheraton San Gabriel is located in the heart of historic San Gabriel, home to roughly 40,000 people, and within a short drive of multiple attractions, including Santa Anita Race Track, the Rose Bowl Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, Disneyland, and Knott’s Berry Farm. The hotel will also be steps away from the San Gabriel Square Mall, which has been dubbed the “Great Mall of China,” housing Chinese specialty shops within its 220,000 square feet of retail space.
Over the past few months, major earthquakes have shaken areas around the world. The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Ecuador on April 16 has killed at least 659 people, and more than 27,732 others were injured. The quake, Ecuador’s worst in decades, destroyed or damaged about 1,500 buildings, triggered mudslides and left some 20,500 people sleeping in shelters, according to the government. Japan was also hit with a series of earthquakes last month killing at least 49 people and injured about 3,000 others in total. Severe damage occurred in Kumamoto and Ōita Prefectures, with numerous toppled buildings, collapsed bridges and shredded structures into pile of debris.
Reinforced concrete slabs have been used in buildings from the middle of the 19th century. Post-tensioned concrete slabs have been used since the 1930’s, and have become commonplace in the last 30 years.
Architects like concrete slabs because the designs can allow for longer spans and thinner slabs. Longer spans give more column-free space and more available square footage. Thinner slabs allow for higher floor-to-floor heights.
The Orange County Fairground is host to many events each year and one of the biggest venues there is the Pacific Amphitheater. Nishkian Chamberlain is proud to be part of the design team that was tasked to bring a new entrance structure and entryway plaza to the venue.
The Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana has much to cheer about this year with record skier days and booming construction to build homes, renovate lodges, and breaking ground on new projects. Recently completed at the Yellowstone Club is The Village Lakeside condominiums, which partnered the Yellowstone Club, Locati Architects, Martel Construction, and Nishkian Monks to bring the project from conception through construction. Through thoughtful and timely phased development expanding the central core of the base area to include new amenities, expanded member services and offer a range of residential opportunities.
Critical Lift Cranes are used to handle “critical” hardware. In the aerospace industry this could include high-value components, like spacecraft or satellites (in excess of $100 millions) or components that contain hazardous or highly toxic materials (like hypergolic fuels). This is an overview of some of the key considerations that go into specifying critical lift cranes. The procurement, installation and operation of critical lift cranes requires the definition of additional requirements above and beyond the national consensus standards (i.e. OSHA 1910.179, ASME B30 series, CMAA 70/74) typically specified for a standard commercial crane. It is imperative that these additional requirements be addressed in the initial procurement documentation prior to initiating a contract, since it will be difficult or impossible to incorporate them at a later date into a typical commercial crane without substantial modifications and significant cost. What follows is a summary of the more significant recommended requirements that must be specified for all critical lift cranes.
Engineering News Record magazine (ENR), the leading engineering industry publication released its national “Best of the Best Projects” winners for 2015, designed to identify the pinnacle of design and construction achievements in the U.S. among projects completed between June 2014 and June 2015. Nishkian Menninger’s 100 Van Ness project won the “Best of the Best” in the Residential/Hospitality category in the nation, and is one of 20 “Best of the Best” projects profiled in the March 14 issue of the magazine.
The reconstruction of the F&H Building on 211 East Main Street was a major contribution to the revitalization of downtown Bozeman, its place in the community and local economy. The process of rebuilding also played a major part of the healing process for downtown Bozeman. Seven years ago in the morning of March 5, 2009, a gas main explosion and fire rocked the snow-covered downtown Bozeman, destroyed five historic buildings and businesses on the north side of the 200 block of East Main Street, and killed one young woman. Eleven months after the explosion, two Bozeman businessmen submitted plans to build a new three-story structure, which would fill more than fifty percent of the gaping hole and rebuild. Rockin R Bar owners, Ralph Ferraro and Mike Hope, named the new building the “F&H Building.”
Post tensioned concrete is a method of casting sheathed steel cables inside of the concrete. The concrete is allowed to cure for a period usually between two and seven days, and afterward the cables are tensioned using hydraulic jacks. The application of tension provides internal stresses in the concrete to counteract forces that the concrete member is subjected to during the life of the structure. A post-tensioned concrete member can be a reduced member size compared to a conventionally reinforced concrete member subject to the same forces thus making post tensioning an attractive option for owners, architects and engineers. Post tensioning can also reduce the potential for cracking and the amount of conventional steel reinforcing. Using post tensioned concrete construction can improve the quality and durability of the structure often also saving on the cost of the construction.
Construction has come a long way for the NVidia Headquarters in Santa Clara, California. The Gensler designed structure will certainly be a one-of-a-kind structure when completed. Triangular in shape, the structure will include 500,000 square feet of underground parking with approximately 500,000 square feet of general office space above. The office spaced will be capped off with a massive undulating roof structure that is formed be equilateral triangles, creating a shape that mimics the basic structure of computer graphics.
The 2015 economy and projected construction projects has resulted in an incredibly strong start in 2016 for Nishkian Chamberlain! As our company portfolio grows so does our need to find good quality talented team members.
Nishkian Chamberlain has been an active participant in the SEAOSC job fair, typically held the first week of February, which is an opportunity to provide funding for scholarships for those students who are pursuing structural engineering majors in college. The SEAOSC event also gives students the chance to talk with industry professionals and to make introductions for future internships and job placement opportunities. This year’s turnout was a tremendous success with over 35 prospective team members stopping by our booth to discuss their future.
During the past 18 years, Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames (BRBFs) have been used extensively in the United States as part of the seismic force-resisting system for buildings in regions of high seismicity. One of the first new construction projects in Montana that employed BRBFs was the Mill Street Lofts building located in north of downtown Bozeman. The Mill Street Lofts building construction was the first phase of a multi-phase urban renewal projects to revitalize an older, industrial sector of the city. The vision that the owner/developer, Mill District Partners, LLC had for the greater project was a main street lined with buildings, which paid tribute to the industrial sector while creating the look and feel of a downtown main street. Comma-Q Architecture, Inc. took on the role as lead designers and project managers for this project. Nishkian Monks served as the structural design consultant providing development and design of the structural system, construction administration, and special inspection of the building design collaborating with general contractor Martel Construction, Inc.
Finding the information necessary to understand the current coding requirements for tilt-up wall panels within the ACI Standard and Report can be frustrating and confusing for new engineers as the information seems to be scattered among multiple sections. The current ACI318 forces designers to seek out information contained in different sections and have a deep understanding of the current code to meet necessary requirements. The new code organization and simplified design process eases the process and makes design procedures more accessible.
ACI318, Building Code Requirements for Concrete and Commentary, is updated every three years. These code updates and changes stem from comments submitted to the American Concrete Institute (ACI) from professors, practicing professionals, and industry users about the modernization, common practices, industry consistency, and engineering accuracy. ACI 318-14* will completely change the format of the code from previous versions to a more user friendly and logical focus for designers.
Over the past two weeks, the foundation has been poured for two office buildings at The Village at San Antonio Center in Mountain View, CA. The 6 story offices will provide 448,000 square feet of office space and will stand above a common underground parking garage. Devcon Incorporated is the architect and general contractor for this project, with the Nishkian Menninger team providing the structural designs.
Renters and apartment owners must equally share the financial burden of earthquake retrofitting, the Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday, January 13, 2016, capping a more than year-long debate that allows the city to begin implementing the most comprehensive mandatory seismic laws in the nation.
Following many housing studies and heated meetings with landlord and tenant groups, city staff proposed a compromise that the City Council unanimously voted to move forward: Owners can pass half the retrofit costs to tenants through rent increases over a 10-year period, with a maximum increase of $38 per month.
Located at the corner of Cottonwood and Fallon in Bozeman, the West Edge Condominiums are a development of the Human Resource Development Council of District IX, Inc. or HRDC, a non-profit community action agency, as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funded by the Montana Department of Commerce. Funds were awarded to the HRDC in partnership with Gallatin County to purchase foreclosed properties, make necessary improvements, and construct additional units. The units are then sold to households living and working in the community who were formerly priced out of the market.
We are pleased to announce the recent addition of six talented professionals to the Nishkian Menninger team in 2015.
Aging and historic structures bring a style of their own into the skyline as they mesh with the sleek lines and polished surfaces of modern construction. Old age, poor or nonexistent drawings, past renovations, and other unknown conditions mean bringing these structures up to current code represents a unique challenge. The design team should be aware of the most up to date code standards and how they can be utilized in the project jurisdiction. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 41-13 is one such code that deserves attention.
Our Bozeman office is pleased to announce and welcome three recent additions to our team– Tucker Haunt, Ben Young, and Christina Smith.
How safe is the fire escape attached to your building? The City of Portland currently has more than 600 fire escapes that are attached to older buildings and are part of the required emergency egress system or serve as firefighting platforms. Often they are neglected and deterioration can result in these fire escapes becoming unsafe for use by occupants or firefighters during an emergency.
Administrative Rule ARB-FIR-2.08 was adopted by the City of Portland in 2008. The main purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the inspection, evaluation and testing of fire escapes, and to provide information pertaining to the acceptable methods of repair when needed.
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has just awarded the structural and construction awards for 2015 to the Centerra project in San Jose. Nishkian Menninger, and Webcor Builders were recognized for constructing approximately 615,000 square feet of concrete floors in 9 ½ months. The ACI described this achievement as a great example of what the design build process can bring to a structure of this magnitude. The 22 story apartment complex is located near the SAP Center in San Jose and is almost ready for its first residents to move in.
Each year, an earthquake preparedness event known as the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill takes place around the globe. The event provides an opportunity for people in homes, schools, businesses and other organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes. Earthquake articles like the one from The New Yorker also remind us how important it is to retrofit homes and buildings and to make sure homes, businesses, families, and coworkers are prepared.
The transformation of a former pea cannery in Bozeman’s Cannery District on the northeast end of town into a four-story office/mixed-use facility is almost complete. Construction crews are hard at work throughout the site, finishing details and completing those areas not yet ready for public access. The developers, Cannery District Partners LLC, with Comma-Q Architecture, Langlas & Associates, and Nishkian Monks, hope to provide a new mixed-use and commercial/retail space to an up and coming live-work neighborhood.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) continues to receive more attention nationally and locally as an innovative and economical solution for utilizing wood construction in taller buildings. While multi-story CLT buildings have been constructed in Europe, Canada, and Australia over the past 20 years, its use as a primary building material in the United States is still in the early stages of development.
CLT may also be classified as mass timber construction, which is building construction that uses large prefabricated wood panel members such as CLT and engineered wood for wall, floor, and roof construction. Glulam material may also be used in beam and column applications.
As accomplished professionals in a highly specialized field it is easy to forget the hard work and effort required along the path to our careers. For many of us, our careers are not an accomplishment that could be achieved without guidance from more experienced individuals. In recognition of the importance the role of mentors have played in achieving success, several engineers in the Nishkian Chamberlain office are involved in a variety of youth mentoring programs. Our roles in the programs vary, but the prevailing theme is to enlighten, motivate, and encourage students to find happiness in excelling academically, socially, and professionally.
The Solar Decathlon 2015 will take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California from October 8-18, 2015, and a total of 16 teams from 30 different colleges around the world nearly 800 students studying architecture, engineering, city planning and other subjects have arrived at the build site on September 28 to construct and assemble their respective solar houses. South Carolina’s Clemson University is one of the participants in this extremely competitive design contest. The Clemson team includes more than 100 students, faculty and professional consultants collaborating on the design, construction and promotion of a prototypical, three-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot, low environmental-impact solar house that is cost-effective in today’s market and comfortable in South Carolina’s climate. Corporate and business partnerships have helped in the team’s preparations for this design competition. Along with South Carolina Electric & Gas, North Carolina’s UFP, and Georgia Pacific, Montana’s Nishkian Monks engineers joined as project partners providing structural engineering consultation for Clemson’s entry—a solar-powered and carbon neutral home, called “Indigo Pine.”
In addition to the SRGP funding put in place late last year to support seismic rehabilitation towards safety in schools (see previous blog post), the state recently passed House Bill 5005 which includes $125M in bonds for grant matching and $175M for seismic upgrading and retrofitting in local K-12 and higher education buildings.
Senate Bill 447 represented the $125M in local bond matching and would run from 2015-2017. It requires that each district provide matching funds from local bonds with minimum matching amounts of $4M or a GO bond amount. The lesser of the two will be used for the match and the maximum amount is $8M.
A new iconic tech campus has been approved for the city of Sunnyvale. A clover leaf-like structure is currently in the design phase to be built at 222 North Wolfe Road in Sunnyvale, California. In the heart of Silicon Valley, this structure will bring approximately 777,000 square feet of new Class A office space, replacing the old nine building office park that currently exists.
Landbank is redeveloping the 18 acre site with Vance Brown as the lead contractor, and Nishkian Menninger as structural engineers. The four level office buildings will sit above parking garages and is anticipated to become certified as LEED Platinum. A separate parking structure will sit on the back of the lot, next to a separate amenity building. The overall design will promote the plentiful open space, with large central atriums in each building and eliminating the need for surface parking.
The design has been worked on for months, perhaps years. The engineers have completed their extensive analysis on the structure. The drawings have reached 100% CD’s. The building department has completed their review and is now ready to issue a permit for construction. The SE’s role is done, right? On to the next project!
In reality, only design work is essentially complete while the enormous task of actually constructing the project is just beginning. The Structural Engineer plays a vital part to the successful completion of a project through construction and their involvement during construction with the Owner, Architect, other design consultants, and contractor is critical.
A Structural Engineer provides a key link for the Contractor during construction, but the SE’s role and connection with construction of the project starts well before the first shovel hits dirt. Coordination of a well-planned and detailed set of construction documents is a critical first step. Unforeseen site conditions are costly enough, however, without this first step, a project can get lost in request for information (RFI’s) or confusing drawings. A well-coordinated set of documents includes coordination among the many design disciplines. This involves checks between different consultant drawings and collaboration of design team members during meetings to resolve challenges during design and before construction.
The new Ophir Elementary School in Big Sky, Montana opened its doors to new students on August 31, 2015. Designed by Prugh & Lenon Architects, the new 50,000 square foot school was constructed by Martel Construction. The new elementary school was the third project since 2007 in which, Nishkian Monks had teamed with Prugh & Lenon Architects and Martel Construction to successfully complete a project on the Ophir School grounds.
First it is very difficult to determine a specific relationship between bolt tension and torque. Tension is the application of force that causes stretching whereas torque causes twisting and tightening of the bolt and is an indirect indication of tension. In other words, tension is the stretch or elongation of a bolt that provides the clamping force of a joint where torque is a measure of the twisting force required to spin the nut up along the threads of a bolt.
High-strength bolts are designed to stretch slightly, and this elongation is what clamps the joint being connected together. Torque is best viewed as a very indirect indication of tension, as many factors can affect this relationship, such as, temperature, tolerance, surface texture, rust, oil, debris, thread series and material type just to name a few. This variability can be on the order of +/- 40% or more. The relationship between Torque and tension based on the following formula:
As structural engineers, and with the recent large earthquakes around the world, the latest earthquake disaster movie moving out of theaters–and yesterday’s 4.0 magnitude earthquake that jolted East Bay residents awake, we get a lot of questions about what to do during an earthquake. We have gotten this question from family members and friends, and even a stranger at a bar who overheard our conversations. Surprisingly, I have been able to use a scene in the movie San Andreas to better illustrate the answer this question: duck, cover, and hold.
It has been shown that the number one cause of harm during an earthquake in the U.S. is falling objects. These are items like lights, signs, ceiling tiles, and broken glass. To avoid getting hurt by these objects, it is the consensus of the engineering society to duck, cover, and hold. Specifically, get under a surface, cover your head, and hold on to the legs of the surface. This way you will be well hidden from falling objects, and the surface won’t roll or slide away from you in the event of large shaking.
Collaborating with CSDA Design Group, the Nishkian Chamberlain team is designing replacement buildings, a gym and a multi-purpose room, for Olive Vista Middle School located within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The existing buildings were remaining from a 2003 Building Vulnerability Chart that required seismic strengthening or replacement due to their vulnerability during a major seismic event. Nishkian Chamberlain, assisted with a seismic study and a full site analysis of both structures to obtain Proposition 1D funding. Completion of the study determined two new buildings was the best and most economical solution.
Projects located within LAUSD, go through an arduous approval process by both LAUSD and Division of the State Architect (DSA). While DSA provides design and construction oversight, discussed in a previous blog post, LAUSD evaluates the design for constructability, project execution, and various other departments/services including maintenance and operations, sustainability, estimating, etc.
After an extensive 16-month renovation and seismic retrofit the Joseph Phelps Vineyards Guest Center re-opened its original winery building to visitors this summer. Originally designed by renowned architect John Marsh Davis in 1973 the majority of the historic building’s interior was removed, an interior floor was added, and the old building seismically upgraded. The Phelps family and the executive team collaborated with Baldauf Catton Van Eckartsberg (BCV Architects), Brandenburger Associates AIA, Cello & Maudro Construction Company (General Contractor), and Nishkian Monks to repurpose the interior winery spaces, enhancing the guest experience, while maintaining the building’s existing redwood exterior design.
Timing and logistics were key challenges as work occurred with hundreds of guests visiting the winery campus located in California’s Napa Valley. The architects focused on creating lighter spaces and installing modern utilities, while preserving the classic character of the structure. One of the primary challenges of the project was the seismic reinforcement and safety of the 40 year old structure.
A recent article in The New Yorker entitled “The Really Big One: An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when.” has caused a media storm with outlets across the country now talking about, what was for many, a previously little-known fault line, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and its anticipated impact on the Pacific Northwest.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone refers to a fault line just off the Oregon/California/Washington coastlines, paralleling a series of volcanic mountains called the Cascade Range, where the North American and Juan De Fuca tectonic plates meet in the Pacific Ocean. These tectonic plates are so tightly wedged against one another and the pressure is so intense that when they eventually slip along its length, scientists are anticipating a 9.0, or higher, magnitude earthquake accompanied by a potentially 45-foot tall tsunami that will batter the north Pacific coastline from California to Canada. And, according to those same scientists, we are 315 years into a 243-year recurrence cycle.
As the economy continues to grow, the next construction boom is underway. Currently, the Nishkian teams are designing multiple hotel projects in the bay area and in popular vacation destinations. Three ski lodges, three Silicon Valley hotels, and one adjacent to AT&T park are in various stages of development in the Nishkian offices.
At 144 King Street in San Francisco, a 12 story, 132 room boutique hotel is currently under construction. The site is directly across the street from the home of the world champion Giants. Tourism in San Francisco has steadily increased over the last few years, and this hotel will provide much needed rooms to the part of the city that has seen the most development.
Whether it’s for work or pleasure, Hospitality building projects need to accommodate a myriad of different travelers.
The Nishkian Chamberlain team is currently working on a numerous Hospitality projects of which we highlight two this blog. One project, pending permits from the building department, is the Courtyard by Marriott project in Santa Cruz, California conveniently located less than a quarter-mile from the beach and will provide over 160,000 sq. ft. of comfort and convenience for vacationing families, busy businessmen, and fun-loving jetsetters. Another project is the construction of a new swimming pool and bar area at the Terranea Resort, located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California.
This summer the Nishkian offices will try to add two more Ironman finisher titles to their office leadership. In the past our Los Angeles Managing Principal Craig Chamberlain competed and finished two Full Ironman Triathlon races– the Florida Ironman in 2004 and the Arizona Ironman in 2006. Our Bozeman Principal Partner Nathan McBride has also managed to complete the Lake Placid New York Ironman in 2004 and Coeur d’Alene Idaho Ironman in 2005.
These are simple questions that require a complex answer. Reshoring is the process of utilizing multiple levels of shores below the story being cast to distribute the applied construction loads to multiple stories. Concrete is heavy and without a sufficient number of levels to support the weight the slabs can become overloaded.
The multi-tower residence complex under construction in Redwood City, California has topped off after only 9 months of construction. The apartment building, called Indigo, stands 11 stories tall with three towers over a shared podium. The Pauls Corporation developers, BDE Architecture, Cahill Contractors, Pacific Structures, and Nishkian Menninger worked together to get this structure built quickly in order to provide 471 units adjacent to the fast growing downtown section of Redwood City.
The first concrete was poured on September 15, 2014, as part of the mat foundation was installed. On June 11, 2015, concrete was poured on the last roof, signaling the end of the major structural construction. The quick construction process can be attributed to a simplified structural design, ample collaboration across all design trades, and utilizing the best construction methods.
Planned tenant improvements (TI) and a review of building code requirements were discussed in a previous blog post, but… what happens when structural requirements of a new tenant space may need considerations different from what the “Building Code” specifies for strength and stiffness? We commonly experience specific client parameters beyond what the Building Code addresses for our fitness club clients who are commonly moving into new mixed-use spaces below residences or into repurposed, previously designed, office space. While there are alterations that we often think of as standard structural tenant improvement modifications, such as new openings for staircases, or new MEP units for ventilation, some of the upgrades to the existing structure require investigation beyond typical Building Code issues.
Owners of new and existing mixed-use buildings typically have two main concerns when considering leasing space to a new fitness club tenant, the transmission of noise and vibration into sensitive adjacent tenant areas. The comfort of office and residential tenants, which typically share tenancy in the mixed–use building development, is a great concern. Careful measures and criterion must be developed to mitigate that the noise and vibrations from the fitness club tenant from propagating into more sensitive areas of the structure and disturbing the other building tenants. In collaboration with an acoustic/vibration consultant, recommendations for the comfort level of all the building tenants will typically determine what treatments need to be made, but the structure itself must be prepared to receive the treatment.
The Big Timber Riverside Residence is one of the most unique, luxurious, and modern residences in Montana. This private residence is so captivating in its artistic design and structure that it was featured in the May/June 2015 issue of Mountain Living magazine. Big Timber Riverside Residence is a 3,800 square feet single-family home on a 2,000 acre ranch located in southwest Montana. The structural systems and primary components of this building consists of steel frame cantilevered column design, concrete foundation, metal roofing, native planted sod roof, re-adapted barn siding, ipe decking, locally quarried limestone floors, Duratherm mahogany windows, geothermal heating and cooling, led light fixtures, and a Bulthaup kitchen. One of the structural challenges was installing the fireplace which is located at the intersection of the main floor’s two axes. The fireplace hood hangs from the ceiling to make the fire accessible from all four sides.
Hughes Umbanhowar Architects served as the master architect leading the design, collaborating with general contractor Highline Partners, structural engineers Nishkian Monks PLLC in Bozeman, and various design consultants outside Montana. Because the building site is located in a flood plain the architects devised a creative solution—a building that sits on a 30-inch tall porous plinth elevating the finished floors. The house presents two distinct and separate facades on arrival, revealing itself after the visitor enters as two interlocking objects– one, a two-level glass wedge; the other a one story wooden bar. Joined together these interlocking objects form a “T” shape. A glass enclosed hall along the western side of the residence adds to the width of the wooden structure and recalls the scale and function of the shed covered walkways in former frontier towns.
Construction was recently completed on Fire Station 76 for Multnomah County Rural Fire Protection District No. 10, located in Gresham, OR. Nishkian Dean participated in the project as the structural engineer of record, working directly with Hennebery Eddy Architects and Bremik Construction. The station is operated by The City of Gresham fire department.
The new 11,600 square foot facility replaces a smaller facility located across the street near 302nd Avenue and SE Dodge Park Blvd. A new station was required to serve the increasing demands caused by growth of the surrounding areas.
The Nishkian Menninger team has participated in the 25th National Rebuilding Day, sponsored by Rebuilding Together. On April 25, Rebuilding Together coordinates with the largest nationwide group of volunteers in order to provide a multitude of services to homes and other facilities around the country. While every project is different, the work could include cleanup, painting, repairs, and remodels. It is the goal of Rebuilding Together to positively impact the community through community rehabilitation, education, and engagement.
Koreatown, a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles centered near Eighth Street and Western Avenue, is the most densely populated and diverse district by population in Los Angeles County, with some 120,000 residents in 2.7 square miles. The neighborhood lies near mass transit hubs including the Red Line and new Purple Line, 3 miles west of downtown Los Angeles, 4 miles south-east of Hollywood, 12 miles from Santa Monica Beach and 16 miles from Los Angeles International Airport. The boundary for Koreatown is approximately from Beverly Boulevard to the north to Olympic Boulevard to the south and S. Wilton Place from the west to S. Virgil Avenue to the east. And development is booming!
The surrounding areas are also actively growing; there is a resurgence of activity in residential, retail, and office in Downtown LA, the Westside is as strong as ever, and Miracle Mile is realizing huge growth in entertainment clients. Koreatown is the hub of all of these areas and begs new development as urbanization moves people from the suburbs closer to where they actually work. The population is looking to cut down their commuting time and carbon footprint and live somewhere with more infrastructure and amenities.
A temperate spring day set the stage for Montana State University’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9th. The ceremony took place at MSU’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman. Friends and family flocked to the campus from near and far to celebrate the graduates’ achievement. Robert Benjamin Young of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Tucker Haunt of Madison, Wisconsin– interns in our Bozeman office–received their Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Structural Engineering.
Chad Norvell, a recent addition to the Nishkian Dean team, has enjoyed a very interesting and challenging career thus far, including work in Nicaragua and India with Engineers Without Borders and later with WorldHaus. He took some time out of his busy day to share some details of his experience and explain how his journey brought him to Nishkian Dean.
How did you get started on your international adventure?
In 2008, I joined Engineers Without Borders. They were running humanitarian projects in Nicaragua and I was able to join the team. Over a five-year period, I worked on teams that were focused on managing the water supply, flood remediation, the creation of water tanks, and capturing solar energy to benefit local communities. I was fortunate to travel there five times and see the work in person.
A new office building is soon to break ground on the edge of East Palo Alto. The University Square development will bring a classic San Francisco warehouse feel to the new 209,000 square foot office space. The Sobrato Organization, with Korth Sunseri Hagey Architects, Devcon Construction, and Nishkian Menninger, hope to provide a new space to an often looked over part of the San Francisco Peninsula.
University Square will be located at 2100 University Avenue, along highway 101. Sobrato is confident the convenient access to the highway and central peninsula location will have bring high demand for this office space and more like it in the future.
The structure will be four stories above one basement level. Each floor is around 55,000 square feet and features a 4,200 square foot atrium centered in the building. The atrium is one of the key features of the office space, by allowing for natural light to flood all areas of the workspace. Parking for will be provided in the basement as well as in an adjacent parking structure, which will be connected to the office by a three level bridge. Construction is slated to finish in late 2016.
The SCU Arts and Art History building is a new three story structure with classrooms and studios for faculty and staff at Santa Clara University located in Santa Clara, California. The architectural design was completed by Form4 Architecture Inc. The structure is a traditional steel framed building with buckling restrained braced frames serving as the lateral force resisting system. Notable features include the domed/mansard roof clad in Spanish tile and a custom designed Chihuly sculpture hung over the entrance lobby. The SCU Arts building is one of a several projects where we serve as the structural consultants for Santa Clara University.
Construction on the project has recently begun with Devcon Inc. serving as the contractor. The preconstruction phase began in December 2014 with an emphasis on reducing construction costs with value engineering and coordinating subtle detailing items between architect, contractor, and structural engineering disciplines.
Bozeman’s newest motel, the LARK, at historic downtown’s Main Street and Grand Avenue welcomed its first guests last April 2nd after years of planning, challenges, and construction. Designed by ThinkTank Design Group, Inc. and engineered by Nishkian Monks PLLC, this 13,000 sq.ft. building remodel is a two-story “L” shaped motel with a footprint of approximately 6,500 sq.ft. The type of construction is reflective of the early 1960’s. The ground floor consists of a slab on grade with continuous spread footing below bearing walls. Above the street level, the perimeter support of the building is constructed of load bearing skipped grouted concrete masonry blocks. The floor framing consists of 2×10 joists at 16 inches on center with an approximate 12 foot span. The building has a flat roof, consisting of 2×8 joists at 16 inches on center which mirror the spanning direction of the floor joists. While the hotel room framing was essentially kept as existing, the front lobby was entirely reconfigured, seismically improved, and reframed.
There are many things to take into account when designing and operating cryogenic systems. Possibly the most important consideration is the extreme temperature ranges involved. Two of the most commonly used propellants (rocket fuels) are liquid oxygen (LO2) and liquid hydrogen (LH2). The boiling point of LO2 is 297 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, while LH2 boils at -423 degrees Fahrenheit. Moving these super-cold liquids from Point A (likely, a storage tank) to Point B (a rocket or shuttle) requires a great deal of careful engineering.
For example, a 100 foot-long section of stainless steel pipe, exposed to super-cold LO2 temperatures, will shrink about four inches in length. Although this may not seem like much of a difference, it equates to thousands of pounds per square inch of stress on the piping. If the pipe section is rigidly restrained, the stress forces could cause pipe supports to fail, welds to crack, and rocket fuel to leak from the piping.
The solution is to design cryogenic systems with enough flexibility that the piping is allowed to contract and expand as necessary. This is commonly accomplished through the use of expansion loops (see Figure 1). These loops are essentially U-shaped pipe sections that allow for cryogenic piping to move and flex when necessary.
The Tannery Arts Center, located along a river in Santa Cruz, California is a hub for artists of all types. The center provides live/work housing, digital media and creative arts centers, and a performing arts center. Nishkian Menninger has been working with Devcon Construction through multiple phases of the arts center. The next addition, the Hide House Theater will be the new home of the Santa Cruz Ballet, and is currently under construction.
Building owners and architectural consultants lose many a night’s sleep wondering how much they can alter the existing building space and structure to accommodate and attract new tenants before they are slammed with the Department of Building and Safety’s request to have the “Existing Structure Reviewed or Upgraded.” In a previous blog post, a review of the requirements for upgrading existing structures was discussed with a focus on repair due to unexpected building damage. In this post we focus on planned tenant improvements, a quick review of Code requirements, and a short project example.
Tenant improvements (TI’s) are one of the most common projects in construction today. Often renovations, upgrades, or even additions to existing structures are more enticing for Owners than building from the ground up. With limited budgets and tight timelines, sometimes tenant improvements are the only answer for “new” space. TI’s can work within tight budgets by reusing much of the existing structure or at a minimum within the framework of the original building. They also save time by eliminating some of the overall building construction as well as simplifying the permitting process with fewer permits not to mention fewer fees to be paid.
San Francisco is in a housing boom as developers rush to flood the market with new condominiums and apartments. Avalon Hayes Valley Apartments, which recently opened for occupancy, is one of the latest additions developed by Avalon Bay Communities. Located in the heart of the prime Hayes Valley district of San Francisco with convenient access to restaurants, shopping and public transportation this brand new apartment building offers 180 new rental units including studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and townhomes. The rental units feature gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances and quartz stone countertops, spacious walk-in closets, and in-unit washer and dryer. Community amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, on-site restaurant, free WIFI access, and landscaped rooftop terraces with barbecues for residents to enjoy, as well as a pet spa, outdoor flat-screen televisions, on-site secured bike parking and bike rentals. Avalon Hayes Valley is convenient to downtown, Civic Center, the Mission, SOMA and the Castro, and boasts a Walk Score of 98, a Bike Score of 95, and a Transit Score of 100.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone, an area where tectonic plates off the coast of Oregon typically grind and slip to relieve pressure, have become “locked.” All of this pressure building along the fault line must be released at some point, which has significant implications for risk of major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.
In response to this, Oregon’s Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP) was initiated by Oregon Emergency Management to fund earthquake retrofitting and seismic upgrade efforts for schools, higher-education institutions, and emergency services buildings.
In the new age of the tech office, efficiency and adaptability are necessary for any office space. Offices in the past were heavy with furniture, file cabinets and full partitions, and the spaces were designed as such. Now, as offices are moving toward all computerized files, the designs are becoming completely different from their predecessors. Less partitions, fewer heavy filing systems, and lighter computer equipment, combined with the desire to fit more people in less space have created design challenges for the structural engineer.
Actual live loads for offices are difficult to estimate. The California Building Code (CB) requires a 50 pound per square foot (psf) load for the typical office floor, with some additional load required in corridors or other high use areas, and a 15 psf load for partitions. This load can be reduced by a code equation that takes into account the fact that an office floor will not see the maximum load applied to the entire space at once.
The renovation of the old Harrington and Story warehouse at 212 South Wallace Avenue in Bozeman has been no ordinary task. In the 1900s the property used to be the Chicago, Milwaukee Co. East Main Depot where asbestos ore was stored for milling prior to being transported elsewhere. Since then, anthophyllite asbestos contaminants have been found in the soils on the site and on surrounding private property where asbestos ore was spread or used as fill. Extensive abatement and clean-up of the soils along South Wallace was performed in 2003 and 2009. Further clean-up was performed in 2014 prior to the demolition of the old warehouse and remodeling of the site. Although the process of removing the asbestos took longer than originally planned, the transformation was worth it.
The old historic structure was a combination of heavy timber beam and column floor construction to hold large commercial loading at the ground level, and light-frame wood stud construction at the upper levels. The roof trusses span 60 feet, and have no interior supports. The total building area of the remodel is approximately 18,600 square feet (1,723 square meters). The renovation project was built by general contractor Langlas & Associates with architectural design by Intrinsik Architecture and Nishkian Monks serving as structural engineers of record. Since the building went through a complete renovation from top to bottom, the City of Bozeman Building Department required that the structure be analyzed and proven to meet the performance requirement of the current building code. The structural scope of services, as performed by Nishkian Monks, included engineering of new window openings in exterior walls; analyzing and strengthening of existing lateral system to meet current code requirements; removing 1/3 of existing structural columns and introducing new load path to remaining or new columns to provide increased flexibility for future tenants; analyzing existing roof trusses for new loads and fixing damaged truss web members; adding a new elevator shaft and two new stair towers; and adding concrete exterior light-well, patio, and ramps.
What used to be a dilapidated warehouse which has seen many uses and occupants over time obscuring the building’s historical character and significance is now a contemporary, high-performance and sustainable commercial building that is home to Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Wildlife Conservation Society, and other non-profits. Just two blocks from Main Street, the site is optimally located at the corner of South Wallace Avenue and Olive Street, next to the Bozeman Public Library and Greater Yellowstone Coalition, premiere green spaces, and the central hub of the Bozeman’s extensive trail system. Neighboring parks include Lindley, Bogert, Peets Hill, and the Bozeman Sculpture Garden. Olive and Wallace is another exciting addition to the ongoing revitalization of Bozeman’s downtown core.
Before and After photographs of the renovation
As 2015 began, the New Horizons spacecraft awoke from an extended hibernation period on its journey to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft, currently in the ninth year of its trip, is nearing the outer fringe of our solar system and is documenting this previously unexplored area. It has flown over 3 billion miles so far and will conclude its planned mission after completing approximately 135 million more, sending images of Pluto and its’ moons 4.67 billion miles back to Earth. This monumental undertaking would have been postponed for years if not for the rapid response of support firms, including Nishkian Dean, in the late Fall of 2005.
On October 24, 2005, Hurricane Wilma, part of that year’s record breaking hurricane season, moved through the Yucatan Peninsula, into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually making first landfall on US soil in Cape Romano, Florida. The storm devastated the coast and blew through Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and SLC-41, causing catastrophic failure of a major potion of the 40’ wide by 280’ tall folding fabric door (Megadoor) on the vertical integration facility (VIF), which housed the launch vehicle for the New Horizons mission. This nearly resulted in an estimated three-year delay of NASA’s planned New Horizon’s launch.
The San Francisco Apartment Association has awarded Green Building of the Year to Etta Apartments, at 1285 Sutter St. in San Francisco. The 13 story, 107 unit apartment building was opened in early 2014 and is LEED Gold Certified. The sustainable features create apartments that are estimated up to 25% more efficient than standard apartments. Some notable features of Etta are the high efficiency façade system, rainwater collection, and high efficiency lights and HVAC systems. Located at the corner of two prominent and transit filled streets, 1285 Sutter St. has a perfect walk score of 100.
The most obvious threat from earthquakes is physical damage to vulnerable buildings. Buildings can be built to withstand strong earthquake shaking, but because of the increased costs associated with such enhancements, most are not. Many people believe that modern Building Codes ensures that our buildings will not be severely damaged in earthquakes. Current Building Codes, however, are designed to maximize life-safety, and not to minimize building damage. These standards mean that while buildings are designed to remain standing and protect occupants from collapse, they are not designed to necessarily remain usable or prevent damage after strong earthquakes. A strong earthquake in Los Angeles could cause some older buildings to collapse, but would leave many more standing but unusable or in need of repairs, which would close businesses, deny residents access to goods and services, and devastate our economy.
“Resilience by Design” presents the recommendations of the Mayoral Seismic Safety Task Force (headed by Dr. Lucy Jones of the United States Geological Survey as his Science Advisor for Seismic Safety). These recommendations address the city’s greatest vulnerabilities from earthquakes with significant and attainable solutions to:
Drew Thigpen, E.I.T., graduated in 2010 from Clemson University in South Carolina with a Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Clemson, Drew accepted a position in Chicago Bridge & Iron’s Engineer-in-Training program. This highly selective global program exposes its participants to a wide range of fields and sectors. During this program Drew worked as a structural engineer in Chicago, IL, a fabrication engineer in Houston, TX, a field engineer on a BP expansion in Whiting, IN, and spent time in their Marketing & Sales department in The Woodlands, TX. After working with CB&I for three years, including one year in Perth, Australia on the Gorgon LNG Project, Drew moved to Bozeman, Montana. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Drew has an enthusiastic passion for structural design, and is always happy to give advice to aspiring engineers.
Please join us in welcoming the newest member of our team!
The planning and design process for private or public building construction is a critical component for a successful project. Every building project faces its own unique set of challenges, including finances, site location, schedule, public approval, environmental impacts, owner satisfaction, and meeting building code requirements. While the decision or need to construct a building typically determines its use and function, the size, shape, height, construction materials, and structural systems utilized tend to develop during the process. The building code plays a role in defining and shaping the building’s aspects by requiring adherence to a method of classification. The current 2012 International Building Code (IBC) requires that all buildings and structures, both existing and new, be classified under two categories:
Here’s to a season filled with warmth, comfort and good cheer!
The Nishkian Chamberlain group of Consulting and Structural Engineers are currently collaborating with developers and architects on several new Multi-Family and Mixed-Use development projects. Here is a sample of a few projects we are currently working on:
Bryant Street Development in San Francisco, CA
The Bryant Street development, currently under design, is a collaboration with the owner, Nick Podell Company and the architect, BDE Architecture. The development consists of razing the majority of an entire Mission District block and constructing nearly 300,000 square feet of Mixed-Use development. The new building consists of a six-stories with two distinct architectural styles, 274 apartments, 4,300 square foot ground floor retail space and underground parking for 160 cars and 145 bikes all fronting Bryant, 18th, and Florida Streets. Special structural considerations include: a creative analysis approach of the structures lateral force resisting system to reduce the cost of construction by eliminating the need for exterior shearwalls; a post–tensioned concrete podium first floor slab – supporting first floor park- like landscaped setting with large trees and planted areas; a “Mat Foundation” system to eliminate the use of extremely large spread footings and minimize differential settlement due to varied soil conditions across the site; the design of an accessible roof top dining lounge area, BBQs, large wood arbors and trellises, and planting areas. The project is currently in design with construction slated to begin in 2015.
The ending of the Shuttle program in 2011 meant that the US would no longer possess the capability to put men and women into space, making us completely reliant on other nations for transit to the International Space Station and destinations beyond. Although our team has the opportunity to work on many exciting projects every day, no challenge has been as exciting as our role in restoring US capabilities to support human space flight. On December 4, 2014, NASA’s Orion Exploration Flight Test 1 is scheduled to launch aboard a Delta IV Heavy off of Launch Complex 37 (LC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. During the planning process for the upcoming launch, Orion’s preparations hit some complications that Nishkian Dean was excited to have a hand in repairing.
Orion is assembled in the Neil Armstrong, Operations and Checkout Building, commonly known as the O&C. Recently renamed after astronaut Neil Armstrong, the facilities heritage goes back to processing Apollo missions when it was first built in 1964. In 2012 the O&C was totally re-outfitted and restored to operational condition in order to support the assembly and future refurbishment of the Orion space capsule and Crew Service Module (CSM). Nishkian Dean took on an important role in the restoration when the Orion tooling and test fixtures proved to be far heavier than what the O&C floor was capable of supporting. Our team worked with Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Hensel Phelps to install an innovative pile underpinning system to permanently shore up the floor. The 140 piles were installed through the floor and bear on the heel of the basement retaining wall below, leaving only a 20-inch hole to patch in the clean-room environment of the O&C. The need to shore the floor was realized only late in the construction process so it was critical that a method be developed that wouldn’t damage existing construction, disrupt ongoing work, or contaminate the clean environment of the O&C. The solution proved to be efficient, keeping the O&C project on schedule, and Orion was successfully assembled and tested in the O&C then shipped out for the next step on its journey into space.
Nishkian Monks is proud to be a part of Bozeman’s thriving community, and giving back is highly important to our team. As part of our commitment to providing structural design of enduring value, we offer pro bono engineering services to non-profits, schools and other community organizations. Throughout the year, we support by volunteering our time, giving charitable donations, and providing sponsorships and pro bono services to various organizations. Volunteering through the following programs allows us to be devoted to causes that are close to our hearts while spreading that passion to others: the Bozeman Public Schools, the Bozeman School Foundation, Bozeman SEPTA, City of Bozeman, Bozeman Film Society, Montana State University, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and the Museum of the Rockies. In addition to these academic institutions and various organizations, we also commit to assisting on a number of pro bono projects each year to recognized non-profit agencies and individuals requiring our structural engineering services.
One of our most recent pro bono efforts involves the structural design for the individual guest cabins, community center and swimming pool house at Erik’s Ranch Montana. Erik’s Ranch Montana is a 230-acre property located in Paradise Valley which when completed will be a home and work place for adults with autism. Erik’s Ranch & Retreats is a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation with two locations, one in Edina, MN; the other near Bozeman, MT. This non-profit provides safe and unequaled living, working, social and recreational environments for adults with autism, using its guiding principles of lifelong learning, individual community building, and bidirectional integration through voluntourism.
Nishkian Menninger is proud to have welcomed many new employees this year!
- Robert Norton, E.I.T., graduated from the Architectural Engineering program at Cal Poly in late 2013. As a bay area native, he always knew he would want to return home to start his professional career. Robert has been working on multiple renovation projects as well as a new office building. He hopes to get involved in non-linear analysis, while also leaving time to enjoy the outdoors and, of course, the 49ers.
- Ock Eng, S.E., has 40 years of structural engineering experience. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Ock has worked in San Francisco for his entire career, and has designed many prevalent buildings in the bay area. We are so happy to have him return to Nishkian Menninger, where he worked for over 20 years starting in 1986.
Almost everywhere we look, it seems an older, outdated shopping mall is undergoing a substantial commercial construction renovation. In the Los Angeles area alone, there are probably close to a dozen local and regional shopping malls in the middle of a shopping center renovation project, or slated to begin one in the very near future.
Del Amo Fashion Center located in Torrance, California is in the midst of a major redevelopment which includes the construction of brand new Patio Cafes in the heart of the shopping center, near the central Macy’s store.
Earthquakes versus hurricanes…which natural disaster proves to be more damaging to buildings? This is an interesting question to compare and contrast. Each event affects buildings in fundamentally different ways, yet there are some striking similarities, as well. Let’s examine them.
Earthquakes are strong ground movements that result from ruptured crustal faults. And although regions that are seismically active and prone to earthquakes are largely known and geoscientists have mapped at least the potential for strong ground motions throughout the United States, earthquakes are unpredictable. The strength of the ground shaking below a particular building is a function of the distance from the rupture (both depth and distance along the surface), the type of soil the building sits on, and, of course, the size of the rupture/the extent to which the fault fractures during the event. The ground accelerations manifest themselves in forces within the building (remember from science class, F = ma where “m” is the mass of the building and “a” is the ground accelerations). Some of the strongest ground accelerations mapped by the USGS can be found in:
Nishkian Monks, located in Bozeman, a town nestled in the midst of Montana’s Rocky Mountains, has been attracting highly qualified employees who are interested in a balanced lifestyle between indoor work and outdoor play. Bozeman provides opportunities to enjoy a myriad of parks, miles of trails, and countless river access points for fishing while surrounded by natural beauty. The surrounding mountains include Bridger, Gallatin and the Tobacco Root Range and these peaks provide some of the finest skiing and mountain trails in all of North America.
Hence, for the past few years, the principals at Nishkian Monks have been working on an office wellness program which actively supports and promotes its employees’ active lifestyle. The program started within the office by providing sit-stand workstations for each employee. Every workstation is accompanied by windows offering panoramic views to relax one’s eyes while gazing into the horizon. Future changes to the office under the wellness program will include an upper story outside deck with outside seating to enjoy lunch breaks under the sun and exercise equipment.
In the lot where the Bay Meadows race track once stood, a large mixed-use community is being built. On 83 acres of land, over 1,100 residential units, 18 acres of parks, a private high school, and a community garden have opened over the past few months. As more residential units continue to finish construction, and demand for space remains high, the developers decided now is the right time to start construction of the office buildings.
Station 4 is to be the largest of the multiple office buildings that will line Delaware Street in this new development located in San Mateo, California. Directly adjacent to the Hillsdale Caltrain station, developer Wilson Meany is confident that the location will bring many tenants. Designed by HOK Architects and engineered by Nishkian Menninger, the 210,000 square foot office building will be the first completed office building, with other buildings ready for construction as soon as possible. All together, the offices will bring 750,000 square feet of rentable office space to the community.
More and more discussions these days are focusing around the resiliency of our communities. How well are the cities in which we live prepared to react to emergencies? In the Structural Engineering community here on the West coast, we tend to think of these related to our response to earthquakes, but this can also related to hurricanes, flooding, tsunamis, fires or other significant events. Community resilience has to do with many different things from our building structure survival to emergency response teams to communication lines to water distribution and other lifeline critical elements.
One major aspect to the community resiliency discussion is the ability of our existing building stock to survive a disaster. An effort is underway to better track and categorize how safe each and every building is that we live, work and play in every day. A relatively new organization, The U.S. Resiliency Council (http://www.usrc.org/) is working to address this topic. This group is developing a system to measure the risk and resiliency of our existing building stock. Ratings will benefit Owners, Lenders, tenants and government jurisdictions by increasing the value of well-designed buildings and providing a means for quantifying risk. See the chart below of an example of how these ratings could be posted on a building.
The most recent building Code changes in the 2012 International Building Code included what seem to be increases in the design wind speeds used throughout the country. Is it getting windier? The answer is no. But there have been changes in the determination and application of wind speed and their use in designing buildings and their components.
October 1, 2014 may mark the 25th year anniversary of Nishkian & Associates, Inc. but it also marks the Nishkian Engineering Firm’s 95 years in the structural engineering business. With more than 90 years of history, the Nishkian firms is today one of the most recognized structural engineering practices operating in the greater west region.
The Nishkian family established the San Francisco, CA based Nishkian Engineering Firm in 1919. Levon Nishkian joined the firm in 1974 and later became the owner. In 1989 co-founders Levon Nishkian and Kevin Menninger set out with a vision to provide quality structural designs that are cost effective, efficiently constructed, and tailored to the specific project. Since 1989, the firm has weathered three earthquakes, three recessions, a company name change to Nishkian Menninger in 1998, and added three partner offices in three cities. The Nishkian Menninger partnership soon expanded to add Nishkian Dean in 1999 with new partner, Edwin T. Dean. This branch office is located in Portland, Oregon. In 2002 Levon Nishkian and Kevin Menninger partnered with Ty Monks to open the third office in Bozeman, Montana. The Bozeman office provides services from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwestern region and beyond. In 2007 the Nishkian Chamberlain office was formed in Los Angeles, California to serve the Southwest region. Craig Chamberlain is the managing partner of the Culver City branch office.
On Wednesday, August 30th, the concrete foundation of 101 Polk was poured. The foundation was the first structural element constructed at the future 13 story residential building located at a central San Francisco location of 101 Polk St. Located just one block away from City Hall, as well as the recently renovated tower at 100 Van Ness, the building continues the revival of the Civic Center area. The project is funded by The Emerald Fund, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz architects, and engineered by Nishkian Menninger.
Like many of the surrounding structures, 101 Polk is to be supported on a mat foundation. Mat foundations are essentially very thick floors that act rigidly in order to spread out the gravity and seismic loads on the building. With this type of foundation, large structures can be built directly on soft soil without the need for piles or other deep, costly foundations. While some mats can be as thick as 12 feet, for a project of this size, a three foot deep mat was selected.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities estimated in 2007 that there is a 63% probability of at least one magnitude 6.7 or greater quake, capable of causing widespread damage, striking the San Francisco Bay region before 2030. There is a 67% probability of a similarly sized earthquake striking the Southern California region within the same period (http://www.scec.org/ucerf2/).
Seismic retrofitting a building in California is a great way to reinforce the long term durability of a building before the next earthquake hits. It also makes the structure safer by protecting the occupants from potential loss of life. A retrofitted structure can generally withstand more movement than a non-retrofitted structure and this will help business owners protect their assets, reduce liability and lower the risk of catastrophic loss.
In the spring of 1999, Edwin T. Dean had a chance meeting while attending an Applied Technology Council board meeting in New York. That connection led to an introduction to Levon Nishkian.
The Nishkian family established the San Francisco, CA based Nishkian Engineering Firm in 1919. Levon Nishkian joined the firm in 1974 and later became the owner. The firm became Nishkian & Associates in 1989 with Kevin Menninger and later the Nishkian Menninger. Several conversations after meeting, Levon, Kevin and Ed partnered to form Nishkian Dean. Since then, the Association has grown, adding affiliate offices Nishkian Monks, located in Bozeman, MT, and Nishkian Chamberlain, in Los Angeles, CA.
Nestling high in the foothills of Mount Everest lies the village of Phortse, a community of Sherpas working together to develop their village. One of the ongoing community project work is the Khumbu Climbing Center, a project of the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation. In 2003 the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation launched the Khumbu Climbing Center to teach basic mountaineering and climbing skills to Sherpas who often make their living guiding on Mount Everest with little or no climbing experience. The climbing center project is being built in honor of Alex Lowe who was widely considered one of the finest all-around mountaineers when he was killed by an avalanche in Pakistan in 1999. The building will be the first structure in this region to be engineered professionally to reduce structural damage from an earthquake and prevent roof collapse due to heavy snow load. Also unique to the region is the building’s passive solar design considerations. The building will be heated entirely by passive heating techniques. The Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation collaborated with the community of Phortse, Montana State University, architect and MSU professor Michael Everts, and structural engineer Ty Monks, P.E., LEED A.P. of Nishkian Monks PLLC in Bozeman, Montana to design and build this new school located in the rural hillsides of Nepal. Once completed, the 3,000-square-foot (279 square meters) building will house classrooms for teaching technical climbing and rescue skills, an indoor training wall, a library, storage room for gears, solar showers, and community center.
The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck at 3:20 am on Sunday, August 24, 2014 near American Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area has once again brought attention to earthquake preparedness. According to various local reports, the earthquake injured about 200 people and caused at least $1 billion in damage and losses. San Francisco Business Times’ Chris Rauber reported that overall damages could hit as high as $4 billion.
The Napa Valley earthquake was the first significant test of the Bay Area’s preparedness since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In the 25-years since the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake, great strides have been made in encouraging seismic retrofitting. However, there are still far too many vulnerable buildings in our seismically active regions. If you’re a long-time resident in California or the Pacific Northwest chances are that you’ve seen firsthand the dangers that older “soft story” type structures and unreinforced masonry buildings pose. We cannot stress enough that retrofitting older structures is crucial to saving lives before the next “big one” hits. Nishkian engineers have extensive experience in seismic upgrades and retrofitting, and keep up to date with ever changing building codes and state-of-the-art solutions to address these challenges. If you have any questions about seismic upgrades and your building, please contact any of our offices.
Nishkian Chamberlain, Inc. is pleased to announce that we are expanding. It’s only been a year since we’ve moved into our office in Culver City. With the addition of new engineers and our busy work load, we are breaking through walls and adding needed floor space. Come by and take a look as we add new furniture and staff. We are located conveniently just off the 10 Freeway on Robertson Boulevard and just east of downtown Culver City.
Earlier this year we wrote about several cities across the state of California that were in the process of enacting new legislation regarding retrofit of certain types of older buildings. While San Francisco passed legislation specifically for soft-story structures, Los Angeles and Santa Monica have been working to put new legislation in place. Here we’ll discuss the latest progress in the City of Santa Monica.
On February 11th, 2014 the City of Santa Monica put their latest Seismic Retrofit Plan in motion. At this council meeting the Department of Planning and Community Development was allocated $105,000 to launch the first of three phases of a comprehensive seismic safety program that will address building vulnerabilities within the City of Santa Monica.
By Ken Oliphant, MSCE, PE, SE
The Nishkian firms are often consulted at the onset of a renovation, tenant improvement, or building addition or following unexpected building damage caused by wind, earthquake, flood, fire, or vehicle strike. In these cases, our Client – the architect, contractor, developer, insurance company, or building owner want to know the structural implications of the building addition, alteration, or repair and what upgrades, if any, the building code and building official will require. Questions that often arise include:
- Will the entire structure need to be analyzed?
- What forces will the building be required to resist?
- Are there any code-triggered upgrades?
- Is a complete seismic upgrade required?
These questions are of critical importance to our clients as they play a pivotal role in shaping both the project scope and budget.
Following a record rainfall coupled with a freak storm in July 2013 there was vast damage to the South Carolina Botanical Gardens on the campus of Clemson University. In the middle of the clean-up Clemson architecture professor Daniel Harding got on the phone with Nishkian Monks whom the professor had an established collaborative working relationship. Together with Clemson staff they worked out a plan to begin the restoration. Nishkian Monks helped a large force of local volunteers and students rebuild the bridges in the Botanical Gardens after last summer’s torrential flood. Rain fell on the area virtually every day after mid-June 2013. In the 10 days prior to the 13th of July, Clemson received more than 20 inches of rain. On the night of July 12th, into the morning of the 13th, the gardens saw an additional eight inches of rain. That was enough to open the floodgates, specifically on the garden’s Duck Pond, which unleashed more than 100 million gallons of water on the Hunt Cabin and the nature trails just beyond it. The flood wiped away almost all pedestrian bridges, eroded topsoil from some sections and dumped silt in others, causing at least $200,000 in damage. Managing Partner, Ty Monks, P.E. of Nishkian Monks PLLC in Bozeman, MT was part of the team led by Professors Daniel Harding and Paul Russell which spent the last twelve months rebuilding bridges, trails, and signage. While there is still more work to be done, in a year the South Carolina Botanical Garden has come a long way. Officials say the Botanical Garden is now fully operational and back to normal.
The renovation of the tower at 100 Van Ness has been no ordinary task. The existing building in the San Francisco Civic Center neighborhood stands at 415 feet tall, and was once home to 29 stories of offices. Constructed in 1972, the building featured a steel moment frame structure and was clad with heavy precast concrete exterior panels. National Real Estate Advisors, Emerald Fund, with Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects, Nishkian Menninger, and Plant Construction Company are close to completing the conversion of this office building into a total of 418 residential and retail units, totaling over 400,000 square feet of livable space, including a rooftop garden with stunning 360 degree views.
Since the building is undergoing a complete renovation from top to bottom as well as an occupancy change, the San Francisco Building Code requires that the structure be analyzed and proven to meet the performance requirement of the current building code. Nishkian Menninger utilized performance based design to evaluate and analyze the existing structure. Working with the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, and an independent 3rd party peer reviewer, Nishkian Menninger developed the following four-part system to evaluate the existing structure:
Nishkian Chamberlain is proud to be working with Kollin Altomare Architects on a new mixed-use development along the Valley Boulevard Corridor in San Gabriel, California.
The need for parking grows as the number of cars on the road increases and as local ordinances mandate more and more parking for new developments. Structured parking is no doubt a growth “industry”. Parking structures designed and built to efficiently use the space provided in a safe and appealing way is key to architectural success; while a durable, cost effective structural system is key to structural success. Combined they deliver a functional design that provide for a parking environment that will serve the users and owner well for many years. There are many choices when it comes to building materials, structural systems and even aesthetic styles to consider when building a parking structure.
Six years ago ten countries from around the globe have been invited to participate in the Future House International Sustainable Energy Community Project Exposition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing as part of China’s effort to promote energy-saving strategies and construction that will have a minimal impact on the global environment. In order to address their role as the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, China’s Ministry of Construction, PRC, commissioned a demonstration project titled Future House Community Expo aimed at integrating a number of concepts including the use of new and renewable energy sources, energy conservation technologies, environmental compatibility, pollution reduction and the use of modern digital technologies to create a housing design for China’s future. As part of this project, the Ministry authorized the construction of ten demonstration homes located in the Changping district of Beijing, just 8 kilometers north of the Master Stadium for the Olympic Games. Each of the homes was to be built by a different country, demonstrating the most modern and environmentally sustainable housing construction practices and technologies available from each country—Canada, China, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, UK, USA and Italy. The Future House USA project was a consortium established to undertake construction of the entry from the United States. Nishkian Monks is proud to be a part of Future House USA, and this international green building exposition which will be closing next month.
The Marlow, located at 1800 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco is the newest addition to the Van Ness corridor. With 98 units, all of which were sold before the building was opened, The Marlow is bringing new residents to a once predominantly commercial area. See pictures of the final product at the link below:
Public education in the State of California consists of two systems. One system provides education from kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) with current enrollment of approximately 6.3 million students. The other system, commonly referred to as “higher education” includes California Community Colleges, California State Universities and the University of California with enrollment of approximately, 2.1 million students. Many of these schools have buildings that were built up to 80 years ago which are still in service and badly in need of modernization and/or repair. Over the years, Nishkian firms have been involved in both new and retrofit construction of California schools throughout the state as well as across the West coast.
The Prescott Apartments placed in the top three in the outstanding Private Buildings category at the Daily Journal of Commerce’s TopProjects 2014 awards show last May 15th.
This mixed-use project is comprised of 155 apartments and six commercial spaces surrounding a beautiful courtyard. It is in a prime location in the Interstate Corridor of North Portland. Since it is adjacent to the light rail line and has easy freeway access, it’s a great building for commuters in a growing community. The impressive rows of windows were made possible in the structural design by using rigid wood frames, moving all of the plywood shearwalls into the interior of the building. Nishkian Dean is proud to be part of the team that contributed so much time and energy into making this a TopProject award winner!
The Nishkian firms have recently worked on more than a dozen Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar across California and Washington State, teaming up to work on both new construction and tenant improvements. With our offices located throughout the west, we were able to efficiently support multiple sites from Washington to California. Buffalo Wild Wings is an expanding retail restaurant chain that caters to anyone from sports enthusiasts to families and welcomes them in with cheery colors and an inviting feel. Although each building sports the distinctive yellow color, every location is different, as we learned throughout the course of these projects.
Valley West Subdivision is a 309-acre master planned community on the west side of Bozeman, Montana featuring a variety of beautiful homes with lovely front porches, tree-lined streets, parks and green spaces reminiscent of Bozeman neighborhoods of past generations. The Valley West vision was founded on a desire to transform the unique setting of the land into a place with truly exceptional quality of living while still preserving the area’s peaceful beauty. In conjunction with the City of Bozeman, Phoenix-based developer, The Aspen Group collaborated early on with Intrinsik Architecture, Nishkian Monks PLLC, and other consultants to incorporate Meyers Park–a dedicated public land, which is defined by a five-acre lake, streams, wetlands and open acreage into the neighborhood landscape maintaining the integrity of the land and the region. A comprehensive package of park amenities were designed to provide greater access and safety while accentuating this neighborhood’s extensive trail system including two covered bridges, an entry pavilion/bridge, and a central community pavilion located on the banks of Meyers Lake, a large man-made lake offering scenic views and community recreation.
With more than 60 locations in the United States, Equinox Fitness Clubs are creating an integrated approach to the well-balanced life – from personal training to group fitness to rejuvenating wellness treatments in major metropolitan locations. Nishkian Chamberlain has engineered a large number of these locations in the Southern California area and across the country.
Currently, in the City and County of San Francisco, there are over 24,000 children attending private K-12 schools. These schools play a vital role in San Francisco communities and in the education of future generations. As such, the buildings that make up these schools play an important role in protecting students. Private schools in general are held to a lower building code standard than public schools. Plans for public school are required to be reviewed by the Division of State Architect and designed by a licensed structural engineer, while private schools are only designed by a licensed professional engineer. The inspection and material testing requirements are also much more lenient in private school building construction than in public schools. These requirements, coupled with an aging building population, can result in lower seismic safety of private school building.
The Private Schools Earthquake Safety Working Group started meeting in late 2012 to discuss and explore the current state of private school’s building seismic safety. The Working Group was made up of parents, school faculty, engineers, city officials, and concerned citizens who met for over a year to assess the best course of action in regards to the seismic safety of buildings. The Working Group’s recommendation to the City of San Francisco is to implement a mandatory seismic evaluation ordinance for all private schools within the City and County of San Francisco.
Building Information Modeling is the process of creating and managing building data through a three-dimensional model. BIM software, such as Autodesk REVIT, creates a database of building components complete with properties and attributes in a single building model. The workflow and thought process differs from AutoCAD since the software handles more than just graphics. The BIM process also produces construction documents, reports, and detailed simulations.
There are many benefits to both the owner and design team when using BIM, as highlighted below. The intuitive interface combined with the technology behind the program allows people across many disciplines and offices to create, share, manage and maintain building information efficiently throughout the entire life of a building.
Construction crews keep plowing on at Block M, a 1-acre residential infill development that is bordered by East Lamme Street, North Black Avenue, East Beall Street and North Tracy Avenue in Bozeman, Montana. Developer HomeBase worked in partnership with Rotherham Construction, Intrinsik Architecture and Nishkian Monks, PLLC to complete the permit documents and start construction last fall on the multi-family housing development designed to contain two rows of brownstone-inspired vertical duplexes with 36 residences on the twenty lots just steps from the historic downtown core. The duplexes will have a shared, central driveway that accesses enclosed parking for each home. This townhome community will offer three unique designs of single family housing units, which are mirrored or slightly modified as they are being built to fill Block M. The building units are three-story single residence buildings with roof top access. Homebuyers can choose from three different home sizes, ranging from 2,500 square feet to 3,700 square feet with six floor plans allowing as many as four bedrooms. These buildings will be constructed utilizing wood frame construction and be founded on conventional concrete strip/spread footings. The homes will include two-car attached garages, laundry on the same level as the bedrooms, and the option to include an elevator. In addition to the central driveway a pocket park in the middle of the housing development will be added on the north side along Beall Street.
The most important asset in the community and for our future is our children. Every parent has a natural apprehension when sending their children off to school each morning. Worrying about their safety in the classroom should not be one those concerns.
The 1933 Long Beach Earthquake was the turning point for seismic design and construction oversight for California public schools. The early evening earthquake in which 120 lives were lost and many school buildings suffered significant damage clearly demonstrated the need for more to be done for our children’s safety in their school buildings. Had the earthquake occurred during school hours it’s thought the fatalities would have been significantly higher! Out of the earthquake though, the California State Legislature passed the Field Act to prevent such scenarios from happening in our schools and provide a framework for designing and constructing better school buildings.
On the U.C. Berkeley campus, directly adjacent to the California Memorial Stadium, sits Maxwell Family Field. The existing multi-use playing field has been temporarily removed in order to build a two story parking structure and new elevated field in its place. The project will provide an updated sports field and 450 much needed parking spaces to the UC Berkeley campus. Pacific Union Development Company, with architect Gould Evans, contractor Build Group, and Nishkian Menninger, has created plans that allow this structure to be built on this challenging site.
Long ago, the site was once a creek bed. During the development of the campus, the creek was turned into a set of large culverts, and filled in to provide a flat surface. This type of loose fill makes building a seismically safe structure more difficult. Similar to the challenges of building on bay mud in San Francisco, the ground could liquefy during an earthquake, resulting in amplified forces on the structure. This condition is exacerbated by the presence of the Hayward fault, which runs just a few hundred feet away from the site.
Basics of Lateral Load Resisting Systems in Wood Frame Buildings
Buildings resist wind and seismic forces through a combination of horizontal and vertical lateral force resisting systems. The lateral forces are first transferred through the horizontal elements at each floor which then act as deep beams to distribute the loads to the vertical elements. In wood frame construction, the horizontal elements are typically floor and roof diaphragms consisting of plywood sheathing nailed to wood framing members, such as joists, beams, and blocking. The vertical elements are typically shear walls consisting of plywood sheathing nailed to studs and blocking. Shear walls are anchored to the building foundation or an elevated concrete podium slab, both of which are designed to resist lateral loads and uplift forces.
Located in the Crow’s Nest development at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in Tahoe, California this 5,600-square-foot, three-story, unique ski-in/ski-out chalet is truly a one-of-a-kind custom home. Nishkian Monks PLLC participated in the project as the structural engineer of record, working directly with San Francisco-based architectural firm Baldauf Catton Von Eckartsberg/BCV Architects, and general contractor Mt. Lincoln Construction of Truckee, California. Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountain range where maximum expected design snow depth is 16 feet – equating to 380 pounds per sq.ft. of snow weight, construction of this luxury residential building posed challenges due to the site and program constraints. Additionally, the site is located at one of Sugar Bowl’s highest reaches – higher than many of the resort’s ski lifts, and situated in a region of high seismicity. BCV Architects challenged Nishkian Monks with designing a multi-folded, double sloping plane roof with oversized overhangs out of wood framing that could support the extreme roof snow loads. Through numerous design iterations and collaboration with BCV, Nishkian Monks successfully achieved a structural design for BCV’s striking exposed wood purlin roof. The roof purlins were arranged in such a fashion so as to emanate from the center of the chalet when viewing the house from any side.
Bolts, washers and other types of fasteners might be small, but they are a fundamental part of a structure. That is why having the right corrosion protection for the bolts that hold together a structure and knowing the environment it is exposed to is crucial to the safety and strength of the structure.
There are many types of metal high-strength carbon steel fastener assemblies available offered with different coatings, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some coatings are highly resistant to chipping, high heat, or certain chemicals. The specifications that cover the performance of coatings are covered by various ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) committees who investigate and review what fastener requirements currently are and specify how there are to manufactured, applied and used. These committees continue to develop coating standards specifically for metal fasteners.
Crossing 900 is the largest office project planned for Redwood City’s downtown area. The 300,000 square foot development boasts a planned LEED Gold rating, views of the bay and peninsula hillside, parking for over 900, and 5,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space. All will be located a short walk away from the Redwood City Caltrain Station, on a 2.3-acre site formerly occupied by a parking lot. The project developers, Kilroy Realty and Hunter/Storm Properties anticipate the office space for over 1,000 employees will be desirable and fill up fast when construction is completed in 2015.
Redwood City officials hope to bring new businesses and employees to the downtown area, and to be as environmentally friendly as possibly when doing it. With over 1,000 new residential units also planned for the downtown Redwood City area, the hope is for people to live and work in the growing area.
After the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, seismic retrofit was on the minds of many Californians. Within several years of that event, the Santa Monica City Council introduced new Retrofit Ordinances to address and mitigate vulnerabilities of these existing, older buildings. The City Council ordered its staff to locate potentially vulnerable types of wood, concrete, masonry or steel framed buildings and require the owners to strengthen or demolish them.
At nearly the same time, the Los Angeles City Council discussed mandatory retrofitting for soft-story apartments as well. Hal Bernson, the city councilman who proposed the measure back then, said in an interview that property owners fought him “tooth and nail.” In the end, the proposal never passed.
With the recent 20th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake, retrofitting of these at-risk structures is again being discussed. At the forefront of these discussions are cities such as Santa Monica, Los Angeles and San Francisco. And requirements for retrofitting are beginning to be passed this time around.
Five years ago in the morning of March 5, 2009, a gas main explosion and fire rocked the snow-covered Downtown Bozeman, destroyed five historic buildings and businesses on the north side of the 200 block of East Main Street, and killed one young woman. City building officials immediately worked with Nishkian Monks engineers to set up two-person evaluation teams to assess over 50 buildings in the six blocks affected by the blast, and cleared most of them for limited occupancy allowing the people whose homes and livelihoods were affected to start cleaning up and moving forward. Five years later, a lot has been accomplished in reconstructing the area and Nishkian Monks continues to work with the revitalization efforts.
Concrete formwork is the temporary structure built to support and confine concrete until it hardens and it is commonly broken into two categories: formwork and shoring. Formwork refers to vertical forms used to form walls and columns whereas shoring refers to horizontal formwork to support slabs and beams.
Forms must be designed to resist all vertical and lateral loads exposed onto the formwork during transport and in-use. Forms can be either pre-engineered panels or custom-built for the job. The advantage of pre-engineered panels is the speed of assembly and the ease of reconfiguring the forms to cycle to multiple pour locations. The disadvantages are fixed panel and tie dimensions that limit their architectural applications and allowable design loads that may limit their use for certain applications. Custom-built forms are designed to maximize the efficiency for each application but they are not as easy to reconfigure for other pour locations. Custom forms can be built to accommodate any architectural consideration or loading condition.
Dropbox has signed a lease for 333 Brannan, making it just one of many Nishkian Menninger buildings that have been pre-leased to expanding tech companies in the Bay Area. The office building, which broke ground in December 2013, will be 187,000 square feet in six stories and will house a rooftop garden.
The Kilroy Realty project was designed by William McDonough and Partners. Located central to both BART and Caltrain, 333 Brannan hopes to achieve LEED Platinum Certification. A rain water collection system, photovoltaic system, as well as natural air and lighting will make this office space a sustainable addition to the growing SoMa district of San Francisco.
In 2005, an amendment to the Los Angles Municipal code called “Small Lot Subdivision” was passed. This amendment provides new options for the housing market in LA County. Individuals or developers can now subdivide commercial or multi-family zoned lots into much smaller lots. The previous minimum size for a single family lot was 5,000 square feet, but now has been reduced to just 600 sq.ft. with a minimum width of 16 feet These smaller lots have little to no setback requirements and are fee-simple parcels. Unlike condo owners, resident of the small-lot homes own a plot of land and a home that is built on a separate foundation. These homes rarely have adjoining walls and are usually just inches apart from their neighbor. There is no Home Owners Associations or HOA fees with these subdivisions with only a small fee for maintenance of the common areas. The money saving benefits are for both the developer and the homeowner with each unit sold. There is less liability and insurance costs for the developer in building single and multi-family units versus condos while the homeowner can afford small-lot homes in prime locations where the costs have continued to skyrocket in recent years. Each project can triple the density of an existing parcel while maintaining design and functionality of the area. Guidelines have been established for roof lines, parking, driveway spacing, circulation walkways and primary entryways.
Nishkian Monks recently had the awesome opportunity to visit the classroom of Ms. Jenny Cade at Hyalite Elementary School in Bozeman, Montana. During the classroom discussions, Nishkian engineers talked to the students about the work structural engineers do on a daily basis. Matt Miller, Tyler Hessler, and Ben Young explained the challenges of structural engineering, including requirements for lateral and gravity design, continuous load path concept, and accommodating architectural features.
A new exhibit is coming soon to Portland Children’s Museum. The Outdoor Adventure exhibit will transform a 1.3-acre education-based play space behind Portland Children’s Museum. The Observation Deck and Pavilion will provide both parents and children with a place to play, create, and grow together year-round all while experiencing the outdoors!
The construction is progressing quickly on the new corporate campus for Samsung R&D in Mountain View, CA. The project, located off Highway 101, bordering the Sunnyvale Golf Course is being built by TMG Partners with design by Studios Architecture, structural design by Nishkian Menninger, and Devcon Construction acting as the general contractor. The project totals 385,000 square feet of office space in two six story buildings. Two parking garages, one with five stories and one with six stories sit adjacent to the office buildings.