The future of building permits?

Building PermitAccording to Bizjournals.com, The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs issues over 50,000 building permits every year, but the process isn’t exactly cut and dry.

Thanks to a variety of checks-and-balances, hundreds of sheets worth of paperwork, and agency bureaucracy wait times and the process, in general, were just getting to be too much.

The same article states that help is being offered in a variety of ways, “Online appointments are available for assistance with permitting, licensing, and records requests, including with the Office of the Surveyor. At this time, online scheduling is limited to one pending appointment per person.”

In addition to these services, the DCRA has also added a program called deck guide, which provides step-by-step instructions to help homeowners and contractors prepare a deck-related application, with special attention on areas such as zoning requirements and relevant construction codes.”

As an engineering or contracting professional, what do you think of these changes? Do you like how technology is being used to benefit surveyors and licensees or do you think that bringing the process online presents challenges?

Since the program is brand new it will be a while before any real data is gathered, but it definitely gives us a view of where things are probably headed. Technology is always marching forward, and it’s always fascinating to see where it will infiltrate and evolve next.


“Listening” for structural integrity

19940468 – man trying to hear with a huge ear

A recent article at Engineering.com covers one of the newer, more creative trends in structural engineering.

According to the article, “A group of Clarkson University mathematicians and a civil engineer have developed a passive and non-invasive approach to “listen” to a collection of relevant signals from bridges and other mechanical structures to diagnose changes or damage.

While listening to the sound of massive, man-made structures might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, this new technology has some really impressive potential applications.

In fact, our very own Structural Engineering manager, Matt Roblez already sees huge potential for the technology.

“I think this is great,” Roblez said. “Any non-destructive tool that can be used will help the industry tremendously.”

Without super powers like x-ray vision or the ability to see through objects this discovery can help solve a variety of problems.

“A key element to structural engineering is to identify problems or issues without compromising the integrity of the structure. Technology like this also makes it easier to evaluate structures so the frequency of evaluations go up and life safety issues are identified much quicker than with traditional methods,” said Roblez.

We still have a ways to go before this tool is used in everyday projects, but the potential is there to do something great.


Fashion Place Mall East Plaza

Here at McNeil Engineering, we’re always hard at work.

Whether we’re 3D-scanning, preparing an intensive land survey, or assisting an architecture team on their latest project, our various departments are always running here and there, ensuring our customers are completely satisfied with the work we’re providing them, all the while ensuring Utah stays structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.

Fashion Place Mall East PlazaOne of our latest undertakings was the Fashion Place Mall East Plaza project. This piece of work is truly an example of teamwork, featuring an unprecedented collaboration between our landscape architecture and civil engineering divisions.

The design team was led by Principal Landscape Architect Schott Schoonover, PLA, ASLA and he was assisted by our very own Jacob Hendrickson, PLA, ASLA.

On the civil engineering side, Ted Didas, PE, led the team. Construction was handled by CRC Construction, and Intermountain Plantings alongside MC Greene Concrete and Hawk Electric.

General Growth Properties owns the plot of land, and the job was completed on budget and in time for Thanksgiving weekend, including the annual Black Friday shopping sprees.

We couldn’t be prouder of this addition to our portfolio, and if you are in the area we encourage you to go check out the completed piece of work.

Ready to get started on your own project? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We look forward to both assisting, and serving you.


Committed to safety

SafetyWhen it comes to working on a new project, there’s a lot to think about.

In addition to costs, supplies, and selecting the right team to partner with, there’s also the looming threat of accidents, safety hazards and potential lawsuits.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could feel confident knowing that the team you’re working with is going to follow all “best” practices, adhering to the latest safety regulations and guidelines?

Here at McNeil Engineering, we’re 100% committed to the safety and well being of our staff and crew members.

We follow all of OSHA’s recommended safety practices, ensuring peace of mind, and the ability to focus on other, more important aspects of your day-to-day operations.

Our team will work hand-in-hand with you to both stay on budget and meet all of your project’s time constraints.

With a passion for creativity and ingenuity, you can expect a final project unlike anything you’ve ever expected, and you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to deal with any common headaches like worker’s compensation claims, injuries forms, fines or other issues arising from less experienced crews or teams that aren’t committed to safety.

If you’re ready to get to work, contact our team today. At McNeil Engineering, we do things differently.


Don’t make any building plans without an expert at your side

EngineeringPlanning a new construction project is both stressful and intimidating, especially if you don’t come from an architecture or engineering background. Even the best plans can go wrong without a trustworthy, dependable and proven contracting team at your side.

That’s why we recommend doing your due diligence, and trusting your next project to the friendly, knowledgeable and professional team right here at McNeil Engineering.

Whether you are planning a new structure, need help re-designing your parking lot or landscaping, are looking to refortify an older building, or just want assistance with laser scanning and surveying, we do it all.

It’s not just about offering multiple services, though. We take great pride in everything that we do, which is why so many businesses all over the United States have trusted our team to make their dreams come to fruition.

We treat each and every one of our projects with great care,, and if you aren’t satisfied with the end results than neither are we. Regardless of the size of your project, or your budget, we’ll be happy to work with you and find a plan of attack that suits your needs and desires.

Your next project deserves the best. To find out more about the services we offer, or how we can assist you, give us a call at (801) 255 – 7700. Let’s get to work!


Solar power, the next revolution

Solar PowerAccording to a recent report via Engineering.com, solar panel technology is getting smaller and more efficient than ever before.

While the term ‘solar panel’ may conjure of up visions of giant mirror farms in the middle of nowhere, or rooftops covered with hi-tech glass, the reality is that solar technology is on the verge of hitting the big time, with applications for everything, from personal electronics to LED embossed clothes.

Shrinking solar panels isn’t the only reason this new tech is about to take off. The key to the next generation of solar panels is their ability to tilt sideways, a factor that sets them apart from generic solar cells that require being stacked on top of one another.

How efficient are these new “sideway” solar panels in comparison to traditional ones? According to Engineering.com, “the best existing lateral cells converts 1.8 percent of sunlight into useable electricity. Jiang’s team achieved an efficiency almost three times better, maxing out at 5.2 percent.”

That’s a significant increase, and various scientists and engineers are working on getting solar cells even smaller and more efficient.

There’s no telling where solar panel technology will end up, but these new developments are sure to take some strain off of major power grids, and provide future generations with some easier ways to give back to planet Earth.


Let your green save you green

SprinklerSummer is quickly approaching, and that means it’s going to get harder and harder to keep your lawn looking nice and green — unless you regularly start watering it.

Unfortunately, with drought season getting worse every year, and the cost of water going up, it might take some extra effort to see the results you are looking for.

The quickest, most efficient solution to this common problem is to contact our landscape architecture team. While they specialize in a variety of different work, their knowledge of planting and irrigation design, water-wise xeriscape design and water management services are sure to come in handy while you are trying to find out how to save on utility costs.

Sometimes the solution to your watering problem is a whole lot easier than you might think. Whether we need to make improvements to your irrigation system, or need to install an entirely new one, there are options and your initial investment can pay off big down the road.

Stop wasting water on inefficient or faulty sprinklers. Let’s work together to find a solution that keeps both your yard and bank account looking nice. It’s possible — we’ll show you how.

Have us out to take a look at your residential or commercial property as soon as possible. Before you know it, there’s sure to be a waiting list.


McNeil Engineering scans the Mormon Battalion Monument

Mormon BattalionSalt Lake City, and the state of Utah as a whole, is home to a wealth of unique and interesting history. One of the most interesting chapters in the early history of our state is the story of the Mormon Battalion, the first (and only) religious-based unit in U.S. Military History.

 

Formed in 1846, the Mormon Battalion served during the Mexican-American War and was composed of between 500 and 600 men. The company officers were of the Mormon faith, but regular U.S. army officers also made decisions for the unit.

 

The group is most well-known for a record-breaking march that started in Council Bluffs, Iowa ultimately ending in San Diego, California. The journey spanned over 2000 miles, but is attributed with assisting in spreading the LDS faith to all corners of the American west and southwest.

 

3D ScanIf you have visited the Utah State Capitol, then you are familiar with the Mormon Battalion Monument that honors this amazing, and harrowing journey. Our survey team was recently tasked with 3D scanning the monument in preparation for an upcoming restoration project.

 

The data was used to create a 3D model of the entire capitol plaza, and will be used during the course of the remodel. We couldn’t be more proud of working on this project, and look forward to seeing the final product.

 

Preserving this amazing piece of Utah and LDS history is an honor we do not take lightly.


Go green this spring with our help

Eco-friendlyApril is the month where spring really kicks into high gear. The flowers start blooming, the trees are regaining their leaves and we just finished celebrating Earth Day.

If you haven’t already considered doing so, now might be a great time to invest in some more energy efficient, environmentally friendly construction.

Not only does it benefit the world around us, it could also save you big bucks when it comes to energy bills or potential fines later on.

Our team of professional architects and engineers are familiar with all of the latest technology in this space, and work regularly with clients all over the western United States looking to to make their operations more eco-friendly.

Are you completely new to the subject? No problem. We can walk you through the various options available to you, and can also assist you in making changes that save the most money and make the most sense.

Green building is nowhere near as expensive or difficult to complete as it used to be. The technology has come a long way, and the monetary benefits gained from transitioning can’t be beat.

To get started on making these “green” changes to your own office or property, call us today. We look forward to working with you, and know you will be satisfied with the results.


We make project management your friend

Project ManagementAs a property manager, you have a lot to worry about. There are vacancies to fill, updates and repairs to be made and countless other managerial duties and responsibilities to take care of. In addition, you have to worry about the well-being of your tenants — talk about pressure.

That only covers regular duties though. If you are currently working on expanding your property portfolio, you can add construction projects, consultant meetings and countless other tasks to your ‘to do’ list.

This is exactly where our project management team comes in. Here at McNeil Engineering we have decades of experience seeing projects through. From the blueprint phase all the way to the day of the ribbon cutting, our expert staff can provide whatever services you require.

Whether you need assistance on bidding and oversight, want to ensure your next project has the proper construction observation and reports, or you just want to make sure there is an apparatus in regards to quality control and assurance — we can help.

The peace of mind you gain from working with us makes a major difference in your stress levels. Suddenly your day-to-day property management tasks become painless endeavors. With us, your next property will be ready to roll (and accepting new residents) in no time flat.

Call us today, we look forward to working with you.