Blog – Structural Engineering

Thoughts on Cast Stone and Concrete

By Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB The changes in the composition of concrete are somewhat like the change in rock structure.  Rocks have been with us since the beginning of time and the ingredients in concrete have been with us …

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Do Structures Really Fail?

By Eric R. Kizak, P.E. Often when investigating a building with structural deterioration I am asked “If it is so bad, why hasn’t it fallen down?”  This question highlights a general misunderstanding of how structures work and fail.  Modern design …

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Sidewalk Vaults

By Stephen McDermott In Boston, Massachusetts and other older established cities, some vintage structures were built with basement spaces that extended below public sidewalks.  These basement vaults, or typically described as hollow sidewalks, were used to store goods and receive …

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The Snow is Gone, but Not Forgotten

By Keith M. Bouchard, E.I.T. After a long winter spring is coming to New England.  The weather will soon be warm, construction season will be in full swing, and you’ll be making weekend plans for the beach, mountains, or Fenway …

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Repairs to Steel Framed Transition Building

By Stephen McDermott Steel framed and masonry transition buildings were constructed between 1890 and 1950.  They are called transition buildings due to the introduction of steel columns and beams into mass masonry construction that was popular prior to this period. …

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Revitalization of the Copley Headhouse

By Keith M. Bouchard, E.I.T. Traveling on the Green Line, the oldest and most-maligned of Boston’s color-coded subway lines, is rarely a pleasurable experience.  The mere mention of it usually conjures images of above-ground trolleys creeping through traffic and jammed …

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Reinforced Soil Raft Foundations

By Eric R. Kizak, P.E. At first glance the replacement of a slab-on-grade appears to be a straight forward process, and in many cases it is.  The replacement of the apparatus slab at the Woodlawn Street Fire Station in Lynn, Massachusetts …

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Trimbloid X and COR-TEN Steel

by Keith M. Bouchard, E.I.T. If you have ever walked, ran, biked, roller-bladed, or spent any time at all on Boston’s Charles River Esplanade, it’s likely you have come across the sculpture Trimbloid X.  The sculpture, which was created by …

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