Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer (RJDCE) understands that design does not develop in a vacuum. The design phase is relatively short and design fees are typically a small proportion of construction costs and are minuscule compared to life-cycle costs. Yet the decisions made during the design process and the means by which the design intent is conveyed to the constructor have a disproportional impact on project outcomes. Each project has a particular site to which it must interface, presenting specific constraints and risks. Programmatic criteria may vary considerably, leading to different solutions, even among similar projects. A thoughtful, collaborative and thorough approach to the design phase is most likely to optimally balance performance, cost and risk.
As a small niche practice, RJDCE can offer flexibility to tailor a scope of services as broadly or as narrowly as the project demands. RJDCE’s design services can range from consulting on concepts or preparation of a single specification to serving as engineer-of-record for foundations or structural systems and preparation of construction documents.
Design Assistance Consulting
The design of foundations and below-ground construction, particularly in the urban environment, require compatibility of the demands of the proposed structure with feasible construction methods, the subsurface conditions and adjacent facilities. Letting the construction contractor “figure it out” does not always lead to optimal solutions and tolerable risks. RJDCE is familiar with a variety of foundation systems and structure types, as well as the constraints of urban construction, and can assist the design team to develop concepts that are cost-effective and constructible.
Analysis and Design
RJDCE performs analysis and design of shallow and deep foundation systems, temporary and permanent earth-retaining systems, geostructural systems, temporary structures for construction, below-ground structures and civil structures, with particular specialization in applications of these structure types to the urban environment. RJDCE presents knowledge and experience with these systems that allow RJDCE to select analysis and design methods that are appropriate for the available information, performance requirements and risks of each project. In addition, RJDCE maintains analysis and design capabilities for steel, wood, concrete and masonry structural elements.
In certain circumstances, an owner, agency having jurisdiction or another third party may require the submission of design calculation before proceeding with some facet of the project. RJDCE has experience preparing calculation submittals and understands how to justify design assumptions and code interpretations so as to document and communicate a design.
As part of a consulting or design engagement, RJDCE can contribute to the preparation of construction contract documents. RJDCE can provide conceptual or detailed sketches, review and comment on other design professional’s or prepare drawings and specifications entirely in-house for foundation systems, civil structures, temporary works, below-ground waterproofing, and other structural systems.
Temporary Systems and Construction Staging
Most owners and design professionals are inclined to defer consideration of temporary systems used for construction and construction staging to the contractor. However, this is not always an optimal approach, particularly in the urban environment, where temporary work may be disproportionately important and can expose all project stakeholders to risk. Some cities and agencies require that plans for temporary systems be submitted to obtain permits. In addition, certain types of construction, such foundations walls used for excavation support, require analysis of construction staging for design. RJDCE can provide concept development, performance specification, construction staging analysis, design and review monitoring of a variety of temporary structural systems used in construction.
See also: Temporary Structures for Construction
A peer review is an independent evaluation of some aspect of a project by a professional with knowledge and experience relevant to that aspect of the project. While there are circumstances in which a peer review may be required by a regulator, they can also be used to improve the performance or reduce the cost or risk associated with the project. In these cases, performing a peer review may yield a high return on investment. RJDCE can peer review design concepts, exploratory work reports, construction documents, assess risks and assist the design team to allocate risk, prior to solicitation of bids.