April 24, 2020

Understanding New York City’s Green New Deal and Updated Energy Code

On 12 May 2020, the updated New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) will go into effect with several significant changes. It is important for building owners and project stakeholders to be aware of what is changing and understand what is required to meet the new code moving forward.
April 15, 2020

Understanding the City of Oakland’s Soft Story Seismic Retrofit Ordinance

In 2009, the City of Oakland passed a mandatory ordinance (No. 12966) requiring owners of certain buildings to undergo structural screening to determine if the building contains a potential “soft story” at its lowest level, typically comprised of large open areas compared to the stories above.
April 15, 2020

Step-by-Step Overview: Typical Soft Story Seismic Retrofit Ordinance Project

Several cities have passed mandatory ordinances requiring owners of certain buildings to undergo a structural screening process to determine if their building contains a potential “soft story” at its lowest level, typically...
March 24, 2020

Adjacent Structure Technical and Legal Risks

By: Scott DiFiore, Matthew Johnson, Gregory R. Meeder, James P. Chivilo

Excavation and heavy civil construction in urban environments directly impact abutters and existing adjacent structures. Noise and dust create nuisance concerns, while demolition, excavation and dewatering can cause earth movement and structural...

March 20, 2020

Rain Loads: Guide to the Rain Load Provisions of ASCE 7-16

By: Aaron Lewis, Michael O'Rourke

Rain Loads: Guide to the Rain Load Provisions of ASCE 7-16 provides the practicing structural engineer with a detailed description of the rain load provisions of Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other...

March 6, 2020

Landmark Restoration: Comprehensive Repair of Michigan University Fountain

In this article, Daniel Clark discusses the university’s desire to address water leakage concerns at the 1940s-vintage fountain, which serves as a prominent landmark on campus. SGH performed condition assessments to investigate these...

March 3, 2020

Innovating with Materials

By: Matthew Bronski, Glenn Bell
Mankind has innovated with design and construction methods and materials since Homo Habilis laid one flat stone horizontally across two upright stones to build the first dolmen around 2,000,000 BCE. Since then, our progress in building materials innovation over the millennia has been tremendous. A short list of some of the most innovative buildings and structures in history would have a great deal of overlap with a list of the most beautiful and inspirational buildings and structures of all time.
February 27, 2020

2019 NYS Code Requirements of Parking Garage Structures Inspections and Maintenance

All parking garages under the jurisdiction of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code must undergo a periodic condition assessment to help ensure structural integrity and user safety. This is a recent mandate resulting from a...

February 13, 2020

Seismic Fragility and Risk Assessment of Waterfront Structures at the Port of San Francisco

By: Gayle Johnson, Justin Pyun, Hope Seligson, Matt Wickens

A $5B program is underway at the Port of San Francisco to strengthen or replace the three mile long seawall. Part of the program is a multi-hazard risk assessment, evaluating the consequences of flooding due to sea level rise and earthquake...