5 Things That Great Structural Engineering Companies Do

A beautiful building is nothing if it cannot stand the test of time and nature. This is why we have structural engineers! These engineers are the backbone to any well-built structure, which is why it’s so critical to find a reliable and knowledgeable team to help materialize your project.

But not all structural engineering companies are created equal. Here are the top qualities of these engineers to look out for the next time you’re starting a new project.

1)   Combine Logic With Creativity

Much like architects, structural engineers need to balance logic and creativity in order to solve problems and create the best structure. Specifically, they must be able to come up with several possible solutions to fit clients’ needs that comply with design criteria and fit within construction budget and achieve desired end result.

2)   Solve Problems

If architectural design is the dream, then structural engineering is the reality by which everything is judged. No matter how wonderfully-designed a building may be, if it is not structurally sound, it won’t be around long to enjoy it.

This being said, oftentimes, projects come with their own set up problems, and it’s the engineering company’s job to provide the best possible solutions. A great team will offer multiple options for a particular situation to allow the client to choose which best fits their objectives.

3)   Pay Attention to Details

With virtually no room for error, structural engineering companies must be incredibly detail-oriented. Your engineer should be as familiar with the architecture drawings as the architect is. This will help them understand where the conflicts are likely to occur, and ways to solve them before the problem is even introduced.

4)   Act Like a Partner

Successful project relationships are treated like a partnership, with each side being honest, upfront and respectful of the other team. The structural engineering team you work with should treat you like you are their only client, with prompt communication and excellent customer service.

Successful construction is equally satisfying for the design team as it is for the project owner.

5)   Know Their Capabilities 

Great structural engineering companies know what they’re good at—and also what they’re not. It is important for the structural engineer to understand the architect’s strengths, weaknesses and preferences in order to work best together. Additionally, they should not be afraid to know their professional limits for the sake of the project and the client.

With a strong structural engineering company, your vision can become a reality. RMG offers integrated servicesthat allows us to complete entire projects in-house, making your life even easier.

If you’re looking for structural engineering help, contact us today!

Consider RMG for Your Multifamily Architecture Needs

Ever since the economic crisis in 2008, multifamily development has led the way in housing recovery. In fact, from 2012 to 2014, multifamily units increased 42%, largely due to a high demand for rental properties. If you’re looking to develop in this sector, we break down the specifics of multifamily properties and why you should consider RMG for your multifamily architectural needs.

How does multifamily architectural design differ from single-family design?

Instead of thinking and shaping space for a family, couple or an individual, the architectural designer must think about not only the micro (single occupant), but also the macro (all occupants in the group of units). How do we provide a grounded (health), inviting (welfare) and safe (safety) experience for all users?

That’s what we design.

But beyond the basic needs of a multifamily unit, RMG takes it a step further, ensuring the client is satisfied with the end result. We achieve this through the following principles.

Delight

Most single-family residence clients want something that pleases them—and rightfully so; however, multifamily architecture provides an opportunity to make a lasting design impression upon the contextual fabric for an entire populace.

Firmness

Hardiness also plays a role as many people are expected to use the product (the building). The materials and details should be at a consistently high level to take abuse over the lifespan of the building, while balancing the art of multifamily architectural design. We put ourselves into the shoes of the client and building ownership by asking: what is economical and also aesthetically pleasing?

Commodity

Higher energy demand and efficiencies are a requirement for multifamily buildings, and are stressed much more than single-family residences. We always think about how we can leverage our designs to reduce building energy consumption.

What type of multifamily projects does RMG like to work on?

RMG has the experience and expertise to design small to mid-sized multifamily structures. We relish the opportunity to successfully provide delight, firmness and commodity while meeting our clients’ and building owners’ expectations and requirements.

What does RMG do differently when it comes to multifamily architecture?

RMG is focused on the budgetary limits and requirements of all projects across the spectrum. We understand that we are not creating architectural designs for ourselves, but for our clients, and we always strive to produce thought-provoking designs when and where applicable.

What are some multifamily architecture examples RMG has worked on?

We have worked on an array of multifamily projects—ranging in size and purpose. Here are a couple examples of our work:

MULTIFAMILY ARCHITECTURE

Are you looking into multifamily development? Contact us today to speak to our team about RMG’s multifamily architecture capabilities.

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Wood Framing – RMG Engineers

Structural engineering is the reason we have so many wonderful buildings that have stood the test of time. This discipline is responsible for understanding a building’s strength and stability, and how it will react to its environment and other external stimuli. Throughout the centuries of building structures, engineers have worked with various materials, from adobe bricks to steel beams, but one material has proved to be particularly advantageous for many projects: wood. Specifically, wood framing is one of the most popular materials used to frame projects such as homes, small commercial developments and multi-family units.

Speaking with RMG’s Structural Group Manager, David Schmidt, we learned more about the basics of wood framing and all its benefits, challenges and practical applications.

Wood Framing Benefits

  1. Renewable

As the only renewable building material, wood is the smart choice for environmentally-conscious builders. It takes less energy to extract, manufacture and transport wood and releases fewer greenhouse gas emissions than both steel and concrete. Additionally, planting new trees in place of the ones used for framing helps combat climate change. This is because of the tree’s natural process of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen (photosynthesis).

With RMG’s commitment to the environment, choosing wood framing for many residential and light commercial projects just makes sense.

  1. Better Insulation

Because wood offers “higher levels of thermal resistivity versus other framing materials” (about four times more than steel or masonry), wood framing is more energy-efficient for building and the client post construction. This is due to the cellular structure of wood, which naturally has air pockets inside of it. These high levels of thermal resistance are especially helpful in Colorado’s cold winter climate.

  1. Easy-to-Use

Wood requires fewer certifications and less technical skills than other materials such as concrete and steel. Additionally, it does not need welding or other special techniques that can add to the timeline and budget of a project. Wood is also a readily available, “off the shelf” product that is easily obtained at local big box stores. Finally, Wood is easy to maintain and repair as it ages, and it can be exposed and finished, providing an aesthetically-pleasing structural system. Wood can be used in a variety of structures, from residential to clubhouses to multifamily units, as well as commercial buildings.

Wood framing benefits

Issues With Wood Framing

  1. Deterioration

Because it is a natural material, wood is considered nutritious for many insects, such as: termites, beetles, ants and even some species of bees. Additionally, wood is particularly susceptible to fungi due to its carbon and nitrogen contents. Fortunately, these issues can typically be avoided with construction techniques such as coating, drying and applying wood preservatives, as well as providing adequate weather proofing to seal the exterior of a building.

  1. Fire Hazard

Arguably the most well-known issue with wood is that it can catch on fire easily. Considering it is made mostly from organic carbon and hydrogen compounds, adding oxygen to the mix can cause the wood to burn. To prevent this risk, fire retardants are used to reduce the wood’s flammability.

Wood framing is a reliable and long-lasting solution for your structural engineering needs, which is why it is so commonly used. If you’re looking to build a residential or small- to mid-commercial project, consult with a professional. This is especially important in states like Colorado where things like snow loads need to be considered. To schedule a consultation with our experienced team, click here.

How to Find Reliable Denver Commercial Architects

denver commercial architect

Denver commercial architects have the privilege and responsibility to alter a city’s skyline for years to come, so it’s critical that they understand both the art and science of the craft. The Mile High City has shown consistent growth and exhibits no signs of slowing down, with developers from all over the country looking to build in a competitive market.

Looking for a commercial architect can be a tedious endeavor, but it’s important that you find an experienced and reliable professional who can help you make your vision a reality. In addition to helping bring your dream to life, an architect has to be aware of the plethora of logistics associated with the job, such as zoning laws, permitting, functionality of the space and more.

So how can you tell if an architect is reliable? One of our veteran architects, Keith Moore, shares his insight on the craft, using three traits from Randall Satchell’s “Qualities of an Architect.”

  1. Ready to Listen

“Listening is an endangered art form…The architect must know how to listen and facilitate productive, engaging discussions leading to successful products.”

One of the main roles of a commercial architect is to see their client’s vision through to fruition. While it is their responsibility to ultimately bring the building to life, it’s key that they understand what the client wants, which can be attained through active, attentive listening.

Attentively listening will bring to light what the client likes, and more importantly, as Moore states, doesn’t like. But a reliable architect doesn’t just listen to their client; they apply logic and reasoning as well to help bring an idea to life.

READ MORE ABOUT RMG’S ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES

  1. Logical Reasoning

“Reasoning, pattern recognition, and deduction should be both a strength and a natural pleasure [for architects].”

Denver commercial architects understand that there are a myriad of logistics that need to be sorted before a project may begin. Moore uses the example of a restaurant when he explains that an important role of an architect is to understand the functionality of the space.

With his previous experience working in a kitchen, Moore shares that there is a specific order to how restaurants are designed. For instance, he notes that a reputable architect understands that there need to be separate doors for serving and clearing plates (because the last thing a customer wants is to see their food coming out of the same door as a stack of dirty plates).

Besides the functionality of a space, commercial architects have a responsibility to abide by state and local codes and regulations. Making sure permits have been obtained and necessary paperwork has been submitted will help make your dream a reality.      

  1. Imagination

“Imagination is crucial to problem solving, which often requires creative approaches to more efficiently arrive at successful results.” 

Of course, an architect is not an architect without the ability to create what does not exist. Skilled Denver commercial architects understand the “sticks and stones” concept, as Moore describes it.

Architectural design is a puzzle that requires out-of-the-box thinking to achieve a client’s wishes, but this imagination is dictated by priorities and logistics. “How can we achieve the best with the least amount of effort and cost?” Moore asks. A qualified architect will take all of the known factors under consideration to create a space that fulfills the requirements, but also stands out from the mold of its predecessors. Which is why architecture is not just a science, but an art form as well.

No matter what commercial space you’re looking to create, RMG has a staff of highly experienced architects and engineers to get the job done at every stage of the process. Contacts us today to learn how RMG can help make your idea a reality!

5 Things to Look for in a Structural Engineering Firm

The Pyramids of Giza, the Acropolis of Greece, the Coliseum of Rome—what do all of these architectural marvels have in common? Structural engineering that has stood the test of time. No matter your building project, having a trustworthy and reliable structural engineering firm can ensure your legacy will stand tall for years.

 

Top 5 Things to Look for in a Structural Engineering Firm

Our senior commercial engineer, Mark Weidhaas, breaks down the top five qualities of a structural engineering firm you should look for:

1. Longevity

Experience, quality construction documents and competitive pricing are key for any structural engineer to stay in business. RMG has been serving the Colorado Front Range and beyond since 1986, and have over 30 years of experience in building relationships with other design professionals, general contractors and builders. A longstanding firm with great relationships will provide the quality, timeliness and fair cost required for your project.

2. Responsive

No matter the size of your project, it deserves a structural engineering firm that will respond quickly to your concerns and field comments to keep it on schedule. At RMG, our team of design professionals is led by a highly-skilled project manager who is designated as your point of contact. A responsive firm will keep you informed with regular communication, reply to questions and concerns in a timely manner and makes you feel like you are the only client.

3. Staffing

Having a talented, flexible team is essential for the building experience. Having a dynamic group of professionals all under one roof helps projects move forward faster and more efficiently. At RMG, we balance staffing to be available on both large and small projects. We currently have 85 skilled engineerstechnicians and professional staff eager to work with you, solving problems and coordinating with your team to make the project successful.

4. Experience

No two projects are alike. Because of different construction materials, building codes, geotechnical foundation restraints, contractor abilities, etc., it’s important to have a structural engineering firm with experience in many types of jobs. RMG has the experience to design and clearly convey those designs in our construction documents. Our 7 structural professional engineers have a total of 175 years of experience in solving problems between them. We know a thing or two, because we’ve seen a thing or two.

5. Licensure and Continuing Education

A successful structural engineer does not stop learning once out of school. It requires a life-long education using new technologies and ever-changing building codes. RMG’s professional engineers are licensed in 25 states, including Colorado, with the capability to become licensed in additional jurisdictions if needed. Our engineers keep their knowledge current by regularly attending continuing learning programs and are involved in the engineering community by serving on regional building department boards. They volunteer their time as leaders of engineering and technical society organizations, such as: ACEC, AISC, CRSI, SEA Colorado, ABC, NSPE and PTI. Two of our principal engineers were Colorado State Presidents of the National Society of Professional Engineers, in 2006-2007 and 2009-2010.

Having a dedicated structural engineering firm will help your project stay on schedule and under budget. We have a wide range of integrated services with offices all across the Front Range to help your dream become a reality!

Contact us today or learn more about our structural engineering services here.