Our Featured Work

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University of California Irvine

Campus Structural Consultant

Chris Smith has provided structural consulting services to the University for over twenty years. The purpose of the Campus Structural Consultant is to provide structural engineering services to the campus on an as-needed basis. Services include, but are not limited to, building evaluations, structural engineering design, and review services along with post-earthquake building assessment and earthquake response and recovery training.

The purpose of the structural engineering review is to assure quality and provide a measure of additional assurance to the University regarding seismic performance and safety of a completed building project. We have performed structural engineering reviews for over 100 building projects.

UC Irvine utilizes a Design-Build delivery process for their building projects. It is fast paced and collaborative, heavily relying on the right information being available at the right time. The typical building project is usually phased, sometimes involving multiple phases of structural review.

The structural engineering review is an objective technical review to verify that seismic response characteristics of the structural design are well considered, appropriate, and acceptable, ensuring each building’s design reaches its prescribed level of seismic performance while at the same time controlling construction costs. The “over-the-shoulder” review of the structural design provides feedback to the Design-Build project team as the design is being developed, ensuring limited rework.

Project Name Construction Cost ($ M) Size (S.F.) Year
Mesa Court Housing $96.71 M 250,000 2016
Humanities Gateway $29.98 M 76,207 2009
Engineering Unit 3 $52.35 M 122,000 2009
Bren Hall $40.87 M 148,000 2007
UCI, University Extension $52.25 M 76,000 2016
UCI Classroom and Office Building $46.18 M 70,000 2018
Gavin Herbert Eye Institute $39.00 M 64,000 2013
Middle Earth Housing $98.00 M 215,000 2019

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Los Angeles World Airports

Earthquake Assessment and Business Interruption Loss Control Program

The goal of this project is to support Los Angeles World Airports in reducing property damage and minimizing business interruption following the next major earthquake.

The likely performance of structures, operations, and vital on-site and off-site infrastructure at LAX and Van Nuys Airport was assessed and evaluated for the development of loss or damage estimates and business restoration durations.

The project Summary Report provides high level guidance for earthquake risk management, response and recovery planning, and recommendations for prioritized earthquake risk reduction.

High-Priority Improvements and Long-Term Improvements were identified. High-Priority Improvements are those with the greatest benefit to LAWA, that can and should be completed during a five-year period to dramatically improve business interruption and response. Long-Term Improvements will optimize the long-term risk management objectives of LAWA, primarily affecting the strengthening of buildings and other activities that will take 5 to 25 years to accomplish.

Nova Academy

Seismic Retrofit

Nova Academy, a private charter school with an anticipated enrollment of up to 400 students, acquired an existing four-story office building located at 500 West Santa Ana Boulevard in Santa Ana, California.

A change in the building’s occupancy along with a change in the building’s Structural Risk Category triggered a seismic improvement.

Constructed in the early 1980s, the building has a quarter of a circle footprint and is approximately 45,500 sf in size. The roof and floor systems consist of composite concrete over metal deck floors supported by steel beams, girders, and columns. The lateral force resisting system utilizes pre-Northridge non-ductile welded steel moment resisting frames. The foundations consist of deep cast-in-place piles with interconnecting grade beams.

Project Goal

The project goal was to complete the design and construction of the retrofit in less than one year. A retrofit strategy using 35 fluid viscous dampers distributed throughout the building was used to:

  1. Meet the demanding project schedule.
  2. Reduce the seismic demand on the existing pre-Northridge moment frame beam-column joints to within acceptable limits.
  3. Limit the retrofit to the addition of the damping devices as diagonal braces.
  4. Reduce the building floor accelerations experienced from earthquake ground motions by over 50%.
  5. Eliminate any construction work associated with the existing foundations.
The retrofit construction was completed in seven months with a final project construction cost of $44.00/S.F.

The project was a 2017 Structural Engineers Association of Southern California “Engineering in Structural Engineering” Award of Merit winner.

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