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Recent Blog Posts

Pressure Beyond Limits

You may be familiar with the consequences of applying too much air pressure to an item such as a balloon or a tire. Most people intuitively understand that there is only so much air that can be added to your car tires before they burst. Items that are designed to contain pressurized gases or liquids...

Why Is My Building Cracking?

The design and analysis of the foundation system are equally important to provide support to the building. However, more often than not, an adequate investigation, design, and preparation of the ground where the structure and its supporting foundation system are to be built are not taken into...

When the Curtain Falls

portrait photo of Rod

Rod Turk, P.E., CFEI

As the pandemic has resulted in the shuttering of public venues, many owners of properties have turned off the lights and left the spaces conditioned with an eye toward energy (cost) savings. This has left the spaces dark, and unobserved for long periods of time, such as a large movie theater...

Not So Good Vibrations (Part II)

EDT

In our previous blog post, Not So Good Vibrations (Part I), we discussed waves related to blasting type applications as well as why we perceive vibrations from blasting inside our home and not outside. In this blog post we will discuss the question, can vibration responses from nearby blasting...

Not So Good Vibrations (Part I)

EDT

If your home is located in the general vicinity of blasting type activities being conducted for mining, quarrying, or construction; chances are you or your neighbors have sensed vibrations within your home. It can be an uneasy feeling, the shaking and rattling of items on the walls can cause fear...

Does this Balcony Guard Meet Code?

I am often asked, “does this balcony guard meet the building code?” This question often arises in response to an injury or when a renovation is being contemplated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of nonfatal unintentional emergency...

Oxford Dining Hall Beam

When learning about scheduling in college, one of the best examples of construction management and scheduling involved the repair of timber beams in a very old building in England - the Oxford Dining Hall in New College, a constituent college to Oxford University.

Fire on the Move

Some mining operations install large-scale conveyors, called overland conveyors, as a cost-effective alternative to trucks for the movement of aggregates over long distances, with lengths measured in miles rather than feet. The typical overland conveyor travels at speeds around 1,000 feet per minute...

Laser Scanning

EDT

When used, a laser scan results in accurate and efficient data collection, true as- built documentation, and improved project visualization. Cost and time savings are achieved through fewer hours on site, minimal disruptions and reduced down time.

Hazardous Operations Analysis (HAZOP)

Industrial fires, facility explosions and equipment breakdowns that result in large loss insurance claims often require engineering investigations to determine the cause of the loss. These investigations may also determine the value of the loss, the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment and...

Paper Production

Even in today’s world of electronic communications and the “paperless office”, paper and paper products are a significant material in all of our lives. The value of paper products, such as bathroom tissue and paper towels was evident to anyone looking to find these products during the course of the...

Sour Grapes

Here in Northern California, we find ourselves fortunate to live in the middle of Wine Country. Within a few miles of our homes, we find ourselves among rolling hillside vineyards and a multitude of wineries and tasting rooms. This proximity has resulted in our involvement with losses in the wine...

Gensets

Chris Spies

Chris S. Spies, P.E.

While the term generator often refers to a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, more often than not what we refer to as generators are actually a combination of an internal combustion engine and an alternator.