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.
DDC design and construction was performed by Farrell Design-Build Inc. for U.C. Berkeley’s Maxwell Family Field and Garage project in Berkeley, California. The site sits directly adjacent to the Cal Memorial Stadium, the Greek Theatre, and the Haas School of Business.
Traditionally, 2 options have been used to mitigate these conditions:
Both of these options have impacts on the project schedule and cost. Over-excavation requires heavy earthwork equipment, a large site for material storage and creates significant environmental conditions that must be addressed. Installing drilled piers or driven piles can be expensive, time consuming, and loud. Driven piles require traffic considerations and adequate storage, agreements with neighbors, and other environmental considerations.
A new term that has become more prevalent in soils reports and foundation design is Ground Improvement. This has become a generic term for a variety of methods that can be used to mitigate these soft soil sites without over-excavation or deep piers or piles. Ground improvement allows for a shallow foundation system to be used which will save costs and time.
Ground improvement comes in several forms, these include: deep soil mixing, drill displacement piers, and deep dynamic compaction. Deep soil mixing uses augers and other heavy equipment to pump grout and mix it into the existing soil. Deep soil mixing can be spread over a site to support a mat foundation, or can be closely spaced to support concentrated loads. These drilled elements can vary in diameter and depth and produce small amounts of spoils. Another type of deep soil mixing uses vertical blades to cut a trench in existing soil while mixing in a cement slurry. This is called cutter soil mixing with machinery that has blades that can cut through in situ soil up to 130 feet in depth. These improved trenches can be used as stiffen vertical support elements, retaining walls and to restrain liquefiable soil. Deep dynamic compaction uses rams or deep soil vibrators to consolidate and stiffen existing soil or existing soil with added aggregate. Adding grout to the existing soil increases the shear strength, lateral stiffness, and bearing capacity and allows for use of shallow foundation systems on top of the improved subsurface. Since each of these methods involves a specific type of specialized heavy machinery, the exact type of ground improvement will depend on the contractor selected. The result is that ground improvement is typically provided on a design-build basis.
Nishkian Engineers have utilized ground improvement techniques on several recent projects to provide less invasive and more cost-effective foundation solutions. One recent project is The Encore residential development in Redwood City, CA. This 6-story building of concrete and wood frame construction does not have huge foundation loads. However, approximately one third of the building footprint had a subgrade layer of soft material that had a high potential for liquefaction settlement. Ground improvement of this select area was a cost- and time-effective solution to mitigate these conditions in lieu of other, more costly options.
Nishkian worked with Regis Builders, the general contractor, and Farrell Design Build, the ground improvement contractor, to develop the system to support this building. Farrell quickly mobilized their equipment on the prepared site and utilized Drill Displacement Columns (http://www.farrellinc.com/services/foundation-systems/auger-cast-column-drill-displacement-column) up to 30 feet in length to provide support in compression for the foundation and ground floor slab in the soft zones. Farrell also installed displacement ground anchors for tensile resistance under lateral elements. After this quick process the shallow spread footing foundation system was excavated and installed.
Another relevant project is the Maxwell Family Field and Garage which sits directly adjacent to the California Memorial Stadium on the University of California Berkeley campus. 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. Although there are many ways to improve the soil, the best option for the Maxwell Family Field and Garage project was Drill Displacement Columns (DDC). DDC design and construction was performed by Farrell Design-Build Inc. as well.
Ground improvement installation by Farrell Design-Build Inc. for the Maxwell Family Field and Garage project at the University of California Berkeley campus.
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!
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/
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/
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.
Developer Kilroy Realty Corporation collaborated with design architect Pfau Long Architecture, and implementation architect Forge Architecture on the design of this new PDR development in the city’s Potrero Hill. The general contractor is DPR Construction, and Nishkian Menninger served as the structural engineer for 100 & 150 Hooper Street. For photos and more information about the project and development, please visit 100 Hooper.
IMPORTANT UPDATE – CORRECTION TO THIS BLOG POST:
The earlier version of the blog article “Cadence Apartments project in South San Francisco starts construction soon” posted on April 27, 2017 incorrectly noted Devcon Construction as the architect. This blog post has been corrected. The design architect for Cadence Apartments is TCA Architects. Our sincere apologies for this error.
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. Devcon is the architect and contractor for this project. The design architect for Cadence Apartments is TCA Architects. Devcon is the general contractor for this project.
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
We are pleased to announce the recent addition of six talented professionals to the Nishkian Menninger team in 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
San Francisco, CA – In August Nishkian Menninger moved their office from 1200 Folsom Street to 600 Harrison Street, Suite 110. The new office location is more centrally located in the San Francisco Financial District, closer to multiple forms of public transportation, many of our clients, and AT&T Ballpark. The new location provides a large conference room for project team meetings, multiple personal offices, and a large office space with an open concept layout.
The office is right off of Interstate 80 at the corner of Second and Harrison in San Francisco. Come by to visit, we would love to show you our new office.
San Francisco, CA – The existing 29 story office building in the San Francisco Civic Center neighborhood is currently undergoing significant renovation as the occupancy changes from office space to residential use. 100 Van Ness Avenue, constructed in 1972, stands at 415 feet tall and used to be clad with precast concrete panels. NREA Development Services, Emerald Fund, with Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architects, Nishkian Menninger, and Plant Construction have developed plans to convert this office building into a total of 399 residential and retail units, totaling over 400,000 square feet of livable space. The precast concrete panels are being replaced with a modern glass façade, and the entire interior has been removed to be rebuilt with high-end finishes. While demolition and construction is already underway, a normally overlooked but critical element of this renovation required careful planning and design.
San Francisco, CA – Construction of the new high-profile mixed-use market rate apartments developed by Avalon Bay Communities on Octavia Boulevard in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley is taking shape. This project has included close collaboration with the San Francisco Planning Department and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (MOEWD) to develop a design that integrates the project with the surrounding vibrant and revitalized neighborhood and responds to the Market-Octavia Area Plan. Pyatok Architects serves as the Master Architect, leading design for the entire project, collaborating with associate architects Owen Kennerly and Jon Worden, structural engineers Nishkian Menninger, and general contractor Build, Inc.
San Jose, CA – Simeon Residential Properties recently celebrated the ground breaking for Centerra, a $149 million, 21-story, 347-unit multi-housing tower to be constructed in Downtown San Jose. San Francisco-based Simeon Residential Properties worked in partnership with Barry Swenson Builder, Ankrom Moisan Architects, Webcor Builders and Nishkian Menninger to complete the permit documents and start construction. Centerra will be located on the block bounded by Almaden Avenue, Notre Dame Street, St. John Street and Carlysle Street, and will boast amenities on par with luxury development—from a game lounge and elevated dog park, to a library, gym and bike-repair shop.
For the full article, visit Silicon Valley Business Journal
Thursday, January 10, 2013, by Alex Bevk — Back in the December the New Mission Theater project got the unanimous thumbs-up from the Historic Preservation Commission, and tomorrow it’ll head before the Planning Commission to get the rest of its approvals.
Submitted on 05/23/13, 09:43 PM