Archive for January 2018

Seismic Evaluations

Anaheim Marriott Anaheim CA Parking Structure Evaluation Six-story structure with reinforced concrete frames for lateral load resistance in one direction and reinforced concrete shear walls for resistance in the other direction. Evaluated numerous observable cracks and spalls, but deemed the structure’s integrity had not been compromised.   304 West Elm Street Brea CA ASCE 31-03…

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Historic Landmarks

Glendora City Hall Glendora CA City of Glendora City Hall 1922 Three-story, unreinforced masonry provided challenging framework for the design of this $700,000 project, which included the addition of an elevator to facilitate access.     Pioneer Hall Brea CA City of Brea Community Clubhouse 1923 The ability of the structure to resist current seismic…

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Seismic Rehabilitations

  Glendora Library Glendora CA Strengthening of a non-ductile concrete column and masonry wall structure with carbon fiber reinforced polymer jackets.     2943 Vineyard Avenue Los Angeles CA Repair of a partially collapsed two-story wood light framed structure.   Los Angeles Pro Apartements Los Angeles CA Alpha Property Management Inc Seismic upgrade of a…

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Construction Failures

Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills CA Philadelphia Insurance Companies A shoring failure during construction led to this multi-million dollar loss. Since the policy was an all risk policy, the insurer needed to know the proximate cause of the failure. By piecing together the information provided to us and creating a finite element model of the shoring…

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Fire Damaged Structures

5th Street / Oxnard Boulevard Oxnard CA Schifrin, Gagnon & Dickey Repair of a damaged one-story unreinforced masonry wall building. Possessed a number of structural elements that were not compliant with current code. A closely coordinated effort, greatly assisted by Schifrin, Gagnon & Dickey, led to remedial recommendations and their implementation, that were agreeable to…

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Seismic Loading on a Retaining Wall

At JCSE, we continue to receive questions whether the 2007 California Building Code (CBC) requires seismic loads induced by retained soils be accounted for in the design and construction of retaining walls. The short answer is yes. There is little evidence that indicated retaining walls had failed due to seismically induced loads. Thus, the CBC…

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Structural vs. Professional Engineers

All licensed Structural Engineers (S.E.s) are also licensed Professional Engineers (P.E.s). All Professional Engineers, however, are not licensed Structural Engineers. In fact, only a small fraction of Professional Engineers go on to pass the State requirements that allow Professional Engineers to be licensed Structural Engineers. A practicing engineer is initially required to pass an examination…

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Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has developed a national standard entitled the Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings (ASCE 31-03). The value this standard provides is that a building need not be evaluated by the more stringent current building standards but rather for structural deficiencies that through the course of time have proven to…

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Checking for Termite Infestation / Dry Rot Damage

Dry rot and pest damage can have a substantial adverse effect on a wood-framed structure’s response to earthquakes. Damage to structural elements may not always be as readily apparent as in the photo above from one of our litigation support cases. In some cases, fungus or termite infestation will be found only inside the wood…

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Tilt-Up Building Retrofits

Background Older tilt-up concrete wall buildings have been categorized, based on past earthquakes, as being potentially hazardous and prone to significant damage, including possible collapse, in a moderate to major earthquake. It is highly recommended, and depending on the jurisdiction, mandatory, for such buildings designed in accordance to building codes in effect prior to 1976…

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