Tools and Methods

Software tools in the construction industry have been developed so rapidly that often times there are professionals doing tasks by hand while software tools for doing that task are already in third generation of development. We are familiar with a broad range of tools and traditional methods allowing us to work with documents provided by clients and other professionals.

We develop drawing sets with computer aided drafting and design (CADD) tools, which allow revising and editing much easier than hand drafting. This also allow multiple professionals, such as architects, draftsmen, structural engineers, and mechanical engineers, to share information more efficiently and at earlier project stages.  Some modelling tools are catered to 3D modelling on a computer without much consideration given to easily preparing complete information on paper. We prefer those tools that facilitate the production of drawings sets in traditional formats.  We are familiar with and can recommend the following CADD software tools for drafting, which are largely compatible with each other:

  * Draftsight

  * AutoCAD

We also can use the two industry leaders for 3D architectural modelling to make preliminary drawing sets:

  * Archicad

  * Revit

Additionally, Adobe Bluebeam PDF editor is useful for communicating simple markups.

For similar reasons, we also use Mathcad for calculations. Mathcad is a software program that formats calculations similar to calculations by hand, explicitly showing equations used, so anybody reading it can check or verify it. However, changes can be made and the program carries through the arithmetic and logic changes, allowing revisions to be made more quickly. If more sophisticated methods of analysis are required, we are careful to choose the right program for the particular job.

Below are some of the services that we currently provide:

Comprehensive structural design for new buildings or building renovations. We can also provide architectural drafting for residential buildings, if needed.

Architectural drafting for residential buildings, if needed.

Site visits. James Turpin may be able to provide site visits to the Portland metro area on short notice. Site visits elsewhere in Oregon or Washington require scheduling in advance. Engineering reports or as-built drawings can be made catered to the client's needs.

Design of emergency repairs for fire damaged or water damaged home, buildings, or other structures, including splicing of roof trusses.

Comprehensive structural design for decks and carports, whether free standing or attached to a building.

Design of additional dwelling unit (ADU) basement conversion.

Partial engineering, where allowed by the International Residential Code and International Building Code, where residential structures almost meet prescriptive method except for one or more minor issues that must be analyzed by an engineer.

Structural rehabilitation of existing structures to bring structure into compliance with current building code. This is often required when a project impacts areas totaling more than 50% of existing building's floor area with additions or modifications.

Design of retaining walls

Design of retaining walls

Design of seismic and wind damping systems. Some damping systems require nonlinear dynamic analysis procedures to accurately assess their effects on the entire building. Using a finite element analysis software package, such as Perform-3D, we can determine how a building is expected to perform in various types of earthquakes or wind storms. If interested, please contact Jame Turpin directly.

Seismic assessment of buildings. This is a procedure developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the actuarial value of various improvement options, so that building owners and other stake holders may make informed decisions about seismic retrofit options. FEMA has developed a software tool, PACT, that takes information provided by a structural engineer and performs thousands of Monte Carlo runs to determine the actuarial value of each alternative. The questions that may be addressed by this methodology are far ranging, from how to avoid damage to valuable artwork, to how to ensure essential infrastructure is fully operational immediately after an earthquake.  If interested in this, please contact James Turpin directly.

@2015 by Turpin & Associates | Structural Engineers, Licensed in Washington and Oregon

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