Structural Implications of a Construction Shutdown

A construction project may be shut down for a variety of reasons, such as the loss of financing, stop-work orders, labor or supply disruptions or disasters. The duration of the shutdown can vary from days to years, depending on the circumstances. Some of the implications of a shutdown are obvious. There are considerations for security […]

Specialty Foundation Contractors

Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer offers a holistic approach to specialty foundation engineering and can assist specialty foundation contractors to solve a variety of construction problems.

When to Use Soil-Structure Interaction for Excavation Support Design

When structural systems are used to retain in-situ soil during excavation, the resulting soil pressures are difficult to accurately predict. In addition to the uncertainty inherent to soil materials, and the inability to fully measure those properties, the pressures on an excavation support system or permanent foundation elements that similarly retain in-situ soil and any […]

The Perils of Seal Renting and Permission Slips

I was once contacted by a marketing official of renewable energy firm looking for help with a small solar array project. His company had a solar installation designed offshore but needed an engineer licensed in the proper jurisdiction to seal the drawings…that afternoon. I balked at the request. I could not possibly perform a sufficient […]

Site-Structural Engineering for the Urban Environment

Having projects in the urban environment representing a large proportion of my career experience, I am always a little surprised when I encounter design professionals and contractors who do not fully appreciate the challenges and constraints associated with building on urban sites. While a lot of design professionals, contractors and other stakeholders have urban project […]

Should Temporary Structures be Designed with Higher Allowable Stresses?

Traditionally, designers of temporary structures for use in construction had little guidance binding on their designs. Some owners, particularly infrastructure operators, provided standards and guidelines that permitted increased allowable stresses for certain temporary conditions. Sometimes the increased allowable stresses were limited to new materials or were subject to other stipulations. However, this practice came from […]

What Project Owners and Developers Should Know About Temporary Structures

Construction projects often require the design, construction and use of temporary structures to provide access or protection to workers or the public, to protect adjacent structures or to support temporary loads during construction. Examples of temporary structures include excavation support systems, underpinning, scaffolds, shoring, formwork, falsework, roadway decking, roof protection and on-site contractor facilities. Ordinarily, […]