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.


Concrete always comes up big when you need it to

Concrete EngineeringIf you’ve been following the news at all lately, then you’re aware of the immigration crisis currently taking place in the E.U. Germany is doing everything it can to provide adequate housing for thousands of migrants before the coldest part of the winter hits. Here’s a look at their unusual plan that just might work.

Over 938,000 immigrants have fled to Germany over the course of the last few months, which has left officials with a problem to solve: How to house all of these tired, and weary travelers. The solution? Retired German Engineer, Peter Goergen decided to start pre-fabricating easy, one-room homes out of concrete, and so far it seems to be working.

Concrete isn’t just a cost-effective building material, it also captures heat, is relatively insulated and dries up any humidity that might come from inhabitants regularly exhaling. Each structure costs less than 15-thousand dollars to make and can be erected in almost no time flat.

Metallic shipping containers are also being sought after, but so far the demand is far greater than the actual supply of these necessary housing officials. While these concrete homes aren’t especially glamorous, they can house up to eight people comfortably and will help keep these immigrants comfortable during the coldest part of the year.


We’ve got the best structural engineering team around

Construction DesignSummertime is building time, and we’re staying busy! Are you or your company considering a new project soon? The planning phase requires a lot of time and work, and without the right structural engineering team at your side, you can quickly lose time and money. Here’s how we can take your vision and make it a reality.

 

Accurate and thorough analysis. When it comes to building something, there are tons of variables involved. Are earthquakes a common problem in your area? Have you had a fire or other disaster and need to know if your building is structurally adequate? Our structural engineering team has experience analyzing factors such as constructability and seismic events and investigating structures and sites after a natural disaster or fire.

 

Repairs or upgrades. Maybe the structure you’re looking to work on is old, has incurred damage in fires or has been through a number of renovations. We do repairs, upgrades and re-reinforcements too. Not only will we make your building last longer, we’ll also stay true to its build era and the aesthetics that make it one of a kind.

 

Concrete. Do you need an economic precast concrete design? Do you need a post tensioned structure designed?  Our structural engineering have years of experience in post tensioned and precast concrete design.  We are also experts in steel, masonry and timber design, too.

 

Ready to get to work? Contact our structural engineering team today! We look forward to working with you.


Can Self-Healing Concrete Repair Its Own Cracks?

BioconcreteHave you heard of self-healing concrete? It’s been making headlines all over the place lately. But what is it, exactly?

 

While the title itself sounds like something out of a science fiction story, “living” concrete is on its way to becoming a reality. Why is it necessary though? Concrete has been around for centuries and it’s still an extremely popular building material. Does it really need to improve on itself? In a word, yes. Concrete cracks, and over time cracking means having to replace and re-pour new concrete. Which in turn, costs more money.

 

Here’s what our very own Matthew Roblez, S.E., SECB, has to say about this leap forward in concrete technology:

 

“This is an important breakthrough because cracks in concrete allow water migration.  Water migration causes damage and reduces the life of the concrete structures.   A lot of money is spent on concrete additives and post applied waterproofing to help seal cracks.  This would eliminate this cost and ultimately extend the life of the concrete structures.  Additionally it would save in repair and replacement costs.”

 

Anytime a client or company can save on costs it’s a good thing, and self healing concrete could have a huge impact on the world at large, according to Roblez.

 

“Eventually when this technology is developed, it will give our structural engineers an option to recommend to our clients that will save them thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in post applied waterproofing and replacement of deteriorated concrete structures.  For structural engineers it really opens up a new industry for consideration in the specification of construction materials.”

 

It will be interesting to see how this “self-healing” concrete evolves, and you can bet the team at McNeil Engineering will be watching the process every step of the way. Technology is pretty amazing, don’t you think?


Project feature: 21 & View

21 and ViewAt McNeil Engineering, we love highlighting work that our various departments have completed. Our structural engineering team recently finished work on a new sustainable, mixed-use apartment and commercial complex: 21 & View, part of the new Sugar House neighborhood in Salt Lake City.

 

Our landscape architecture team played a crucial role in creating a vision that could come to fruition. After surveying the area, the team decided to build on a piece of land that has a great view of the Sugar House Park below. Consisting of two buildings with 29 luxury apartments, the  21 & View project features 3,500 square feet of commercial space and an open-air walkway.

 

Not only is the location great, the structure was built with sustainable practices in mind, including a permeable parking lot, water-wise landscaping materials and an extremely efficient irrigation system. The site has bike racks, trash receptacles, raised planters and lighting that helps set a nice atmosphere once the sun goes down.

 

The view at 21 & View allows residents to get a close-up look of the beautiful Salt Lake City skyline, as well as the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountain ranges. Now that the project is completed, it’s one of the most highly sought after complexes in the metro area.

 

We’re proud of what our team accomplished at 21 & View and look forward to working with you on your next project!