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Building Construction on Bay Mud

Many structures in the San Francisco Bay Area are constructed on bay mud. The San Francisco Bay Area is one of many areas in the United States which has structures supported on bay mud. Bay mud is the result of alluvial, sand deposited by streams flowing out to the bay. The material deposited is...

Circuit Breakers

Circuit Breakers. Most everyone has heard the term. Any residence built after 1960 has them, power plants have them, commercial buildings have them. But what are they, how do they work, and why do we need them? Wikipedia defines a circuit breaker as "an automatically operated electrical switch...

Why Utilize an Engineering Technician - What Can They Do?


By: James R. Grey Jr., Engineering Technician (EDT) An engineering technician is, by definition, a professional trained in skills and techniques related to a specific branch of technology, with a practical understanding of relevant engineering concepts. An engineering technician’s duties vary...


During the winter months, we see a number of malfunctions of the boilers and furnaces used to heat our homes and buildings. A common malfunction is a phenomenon known as a puffback. A puffback is the result of the ignition of a large amount of vaporized oil or gas vapors in the firebox, thereby...

Dezinci – What??? What Is Dezincification?

portrait photo of Richard

Richard L. Ellsworth, P.E.

As a result of changes in the regulations and restrictions for potable water systems by the NSF Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components Health Effects, the use of lead in brass alloy fittings, faucets, and components was eliminated. It should be noted that lead was used in brass alloys to...

Unsealed Shingle Corners

portrait photo of Kurt

Kurt D. Mulder, P.E.

Wear and tear, it happens to everything as it ages, including roofing. During the examination of roofing, wear and tear need to be taken into account by the examiner for it can be mistaken for damage resulting from wind uplift. A common form of wear and tear observed to asphalt shingles is granular...