Services

Code Consulting

Service Overview

Multidisciplinary engineering services to assess code compliance for buildings and other structures.

Multidisciplinary engineering services to assess code compliance for buildings and other structures.

Building codes are intended to protect the public’s health and safety and are an important aspect of owning buildings and undertaking construction projects. SGH helps clients by evaluating code requirements and developing solutions for structures, building enclosures, fire life safety and accessibility, energy use, and other aspects of building performance. When innovative and complex projects fall beyond the bounds of prescriptive requirements, we conduct engineering evaluations and apply performance-based design approaches to help the project team demonstrate compliance or resilience. When local ordinances or evolving hazards require owners to evaluate their buildings’ existing conditions and vulnerability, SGH conducts assessments, prepares reports for the governing jurisdictions, and designs repairs, if necessary.

Project solutions to make our communities safer and more resilient.

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New Construction

Fire life safety engineering to achieve a code-compliant design.

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Failure Investigation

Analyzing the structure’s response to fire helps the industry learn about tall building behavior.

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Repair & Rehabilitation

Seismic retrofit for non-ductile concrete structure improves resilience while preserving the historic character.

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Preservation

Facade inspections help keep the public safe.

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Photo by iStock/Jon-Paul Dominic Cunningham

Specialized Capabilities

Advancing the meaning of what’s possible.

Fire Life Safety & Accessibility

Fire life safety and accessibility is a critical consideration for building owners, managers, designers, and construction teams. SGH helps these groups by evaluating building use, occupancy, accessibility, and egress; analyzing the effects of fire and smoke on the building’s occupants and systems; and developing solutions to demonstrate code compliance. When fires occur, we investigate building systems, assess structural adequacy, and identify the causes of unexpected performance. Highlights of our fire life safety and accessibility services include:

Code review and strategy | Fire protection system design | Structural fire engineering | Investigations | Fire and smoke effects modeling | Egress and emergency movement modeling

Fire Life Safety & Accessibility

Risk & Resilience

The built world relies on networks of critical infrastructure. Understanding vulnerabilities of individual components and how they affect a system’s performance helps owners and operators better manage their assets. SGH uses reliability theory, probabilistic methods, fragility evaluation, logic modeling, and engineering mechanics to perform risk assessments ranging from equipment and structures to networks of systems subject to hazards (e.g., earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, fires, blasts, and floods), environmental deterioration and degradation, material defects, obsolescence, and life extension. These risk assessments help our clients prioritize repairs and upgrades, minimize service interruption and recovery time, maximize resilience, and plan for the future.

Risk & Resilience

Energy & Sustainability

While most building projects must comply with energy code and sustainability requirements, the project team must balance these requirements with many other design factors. SGH helps the design team by determining applicable energy code and building enclosure performance requirements, identifying exemptions, and evaluating the proposed design to help demonstrate code compliance and predict performance. We approach energy code compliance reviews as a collaborative and iterative process to help the project team as they incorporate design decisions and work toward achieving the project’s goals. Our services can range from applying a prescriptive approach, to performing trade-off analyses, to evaluating total building performance.

Energy & Sustainability

Facade Inspection Ordinances

Many large cities have enacted facade ordinances requiring regular inspections to identify potential hazards and keep the public safe. The ordinances often require reports to be filed with the local jurisdictions to maintain a certificate of occupancy. With an established history designing, investigating, and rehabilitating building enclosures and structures, SGH applies a multidisciplinary approach to façade inspections with our building enclosure, structural, and industrial rope access capabilities to help building owners and managers maintain reliable, safe, and code compliant facades.

Facade Inspection Ordinances

Seismic Retrofit Ordinances

As the industry learns more about structural performance during an earthquake, jurisdictions enact mandatory seismic retrofit ordinances to address vulnerabilities, such as soft stories in wood-framed buildings, nonductile detailing in concrete buildings, and welded moment-resisting connections in steel-framed buildings. With experience in structural and seismic engineering, and engineers leading the development of industry guidelines, SGH helps building owners and managers understand the vulnerabilities of their structures and design seismic retrofits, when necessary.

Seismic Retrofit Ordinances