We are excited to announce that this year the Nishkian firm is turning 100 years old! The Nishkian family established the San Francisco-based Nishkian engineering firm in 1919.
Downtown Bozeman’s The LARK boutique hotel recently completed its new 17,600-square-feet, 4-story addition which the hotel is calling its West Building. The LARK hotel is located at the corner of Main Street and Grand Avenue and the addition is adjacent to the current LARK hotel building, a remodel of a traditional motor inn that was featured in our previous article. The new addition expands the hotel to include an additional 29 guest rooms and a ground floor event gallery and commercial space which is currently occupied by Treeline Coffee Roasters.
Operated by Columbia Hospitality, The LARK hotel has now close to 70 guest rooms available, an increase from about 40 rooms prior to the expansion. Designed by ThinkTank Design Group, the 4-story addition is the first hotel building project that employed cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction in Montana. North Fork Builders is the general contractor. Nishkian Monks served as the Structural Engineer of Record on this CLT project.
What used to be a full-service auto shop which has seen many uses and occupants over time– including an electrical supply business–obscuring the building’s character is now a newly renovated delicatessen market and eatery building at 326 East Mendenhall Street in Bozeman, Montana. This adaptive reuse project transformed the longstanding building at the corner of Mendenhall Street and Rouse Avenue into Montana Provisions Deli Market and Eatery which opened its doors early this year. The renovation work included adding openings to existing masonry walls, a new canopy, and additional roof-top equipment that required a retrofit to the wooden roof joist and beam framing.
Voted as Bozeman’s Best Coffee and Coffeehouse four years straight, Cold Smoke Coffeehouse continues to grow and has opened its second location at Woodland Park Subdivision in 2017. Designed by Intrinsik Architecture in collaboration with owners Caleb and Laura Walker, and constructed by Walker Construction the 7,750-square-feet commercial building is located at 64 Willow Peak Drive just off of Huffine Lane. Nishkian Monks served as the Structural Engineer of Record. The new coffeehouse is predominantly a single-story structure with partial second story loft spaces utilized for offices and storage. The structure is built at a relatively level site with a concrete slab on grade ground floor. The majority of the structure is built using standard light frame wood construction with board siding at the exterior walls. Roof framing is accomplished with pre-engineered gang-nailed trusses and stick framing beam/rafter (vaulted) as required. The building net area is approximately 6,300 square feet at the ground level and 1,450 square feet at the loft level and is founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings. Cold Smoke Coffeehouse Woodland has occupancy for 215 people and features a full bakery, kitchen, on-site roasting facility, and a warehouse. Other amenities include a conference rooms, easy drive-through and ample parking.
Nishkian Monks has participated in the 3rd Annual Summer Trails Challenge sponsored by Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT). The summer trails challenge is a collaborative effort between area residents, the City of Bozeman, local businesses, and several public and private organizations in the Bozeman area. The event has emerged out of an effort to celebrate GVLT trail-building efforts and raise funds for future “Main Street to the Mountains” trail system projects which are used by commuters, runners, bikers and dog walkers.
Construction was recently completed on the new two-story, 9,000-square-foot commercial building for Excel Physical Therapy, located at 1823 West College Street in 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 Excel Physical Therapy partners, the project gross area is approximately 6,000 square feet at ground level, and 3,000 square feet on the upper level. Architect Thomas Bitnar designed a façade that incorporates seamlessly into the neighborhood of Bozeman’s busy 19th and College gateway. The two-story windows on the southwest facade provides glimpses of the climbing wall and other activities taking place inside, while filling the interior with natural light. The structure is built at a level site and is founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings with a slab-on-grade at the ground level. Above grade, the exterior and interior walls are of light-framed wood construction with thin set brick veneer and metal corrugated panels at the exterior walls. The roof framing was accomplished with pre-engineered gang-nailed trusses.
Built in 1908, and unused since 2005, the Rialto Theater has been given new life as a cultural resource and entertainment venue in the heart of downtown Bozeman. After an extensive two-year remodel and seismic retrofit the Rialto re-opened its doors to patrons early this year. The majority of the historic building’s interior was removed to fit the new architectural program. Developers including ThinkTank Design Group collaborated with general contractor North Fork Builders and structural engineers Nishkian Monks to repurpose the interior spaces, enhancing the patron’s experience, while maintaining the building’s existing exterior design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.