Building Code

Accessible Drinking Fountain Guidelines ADA

by evstudio March 29, 2019

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires wall-mounted drinking fountain units to have a clear knee space of at least 27” high, 30” wide, and 17” to 19” deep.  They should also have a minimum clear floor space of 30” by 48”, for wheelchair accommodation. […]

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Type ‘A’ vs. Type ‘B’ in Residential Design

by EVstudio AEP March 26, 2019

Type A dwelling units are those that are required by and defined in the International Building Code. These units are referenced in Chapter 11 of the IBC and have to comprise at least 2% of the units in R-2 occupancies so long as there is […]

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Restrained versus Unrestrained Members

by EVstudio AEP January 7, 2019
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In the last several months, I’ve had many questions about what constitutes a “restrained” concrete member, and what constitutes an “unrestrained” concrete member.  The volume has been such that I’ve decided to take a break from my usual post-tensioned discussions and lay this out. This […]

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Staples or Nails? Choosing the Right Fastener for Wall and Roof Sheathing

by Dean Dalvit January 7, 2019

We are often asked by contractors if they can substitute framing staples instead of nails for their wall and roof sheathing fasteners. There is no easy universal answer to this question because the location of the project may place it in a high wind or […]

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Allowable Building Height, Story and Area Tables Updated in IBC 2015

by EVstudio AEP November 30, 2018
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Updated versions of the International Building Code are published every 3 years.  On a new project, one of the first code restrictions to determine is the allowable building height, area, and number of stories. Since 2000, the International Building Code has shown the allowable building […]

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Foundation Construction – When Frost Depth Can Not Be Met

by evstudio November 30, 2018

The 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) specifies that foundation walls, foundation piers and other permanent support of buildings and structures shall be protected from frost heave. As we know, when water freezes it increases in volume. Bearing a structure’s foundation below the frost line helps […]

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Restaurants, Bars, Bakeries and Occupant Loads

by Sean O'Hara November 30, 2018

When you are designing restaurants, bars, bakeries and other food service businesses the number of occupants is a fairly important factor. Occupant loading is not determined by the actual number of people, but rather by the number of square feet in your space. You’ll have […]

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Interpreting Truss Shop Drawing Dimensions

by evstudio November 16, 2018
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Spend any time as a structural engineer that deals with residential structures and you will no doubt be asked to review pre-engineered truss shop drawings.  For a young engineer this may be a daunting task from the look of the cut sheets (shown below). One […]

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Building Height Restrictions Vary – Always Double Check

by Sean O'Hara November 16, 2018

One of the challenges in designing a large home is conforming with the height restrictions. The most common maximum building height is 35′ but it varies greatly. I’m seen as little as 17′ for portions of a Denver lot to unlimited building height. What is […]

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Does Your Building Need 1 Exit or 2 Exits?

by EVstudio AEP November 6, 2018
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According to the IBC and almost any other sensible building code the answer regarding 1 exit or 2 exits is almost…almost always 2 exits. The one thing we as designers take more seriously than any other danger to the safety of our building occupants is fire. Fire is […]

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Denver Engineers Not Surprised by New Post-Tension Rule

by EVstudio AEP November 6, 2018
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Good day!  Your usual post–tension maniac here, with more exciting information on post-tensioning! A few months ago, I mentioned that finishing post-tension tendons was an area of special concern, since corrosion is very much the arch-enemy of post-tension tendons.  There are actually a lot of […]

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Post-Tension Elongations: How Long is Too Long?

by EVstudio AEP September 29, 2018
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Recently, we’ve had a few projects where our post-tension elongations came up longer than expected.  As you’ll recall from my post earlier this year, elongation review is a critical part of an engineer’s acceptance of a post-tension slab.  However, I mostly concentrated on short pulls […]

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