Building Code

Restrained versus Unrestrained Members

by Calvin Curtis November 14, 2017
Thumbnail image for Restrained versus Unrestrained Members

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 […]

Read the full article →

Roofs: How Low (Slope) Can You Go?

by EVstudio AEP October 30, 2017
Thumbnail image for Roofs: How Low (Slope) Can You Go?

Roof slope is one of those architectural features that really can define the style and character of a project. From time to time we are asked to design projects with some really low slopes. The 2009 IRC has something to say about roof materials and […]

Read the full article →

Foundation Construction – When Frost Depth Can Not Be Met

by evstudio October 12, 2017

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 […]

Read the full article →

The Importance of Specifications and MasterFormat

by EVstudio AEP August 28, 2017

According to the Dictionary of Architecture & Construction a specification is “a written document describing in detail the scope of work, materials to be used, methods of installation, and quality of workmanship for a parcel of work to be placed under contract; usually utilized in […]

Read the full article →

Separation of Top of Foundation Wall and Adjacent Exterior Grade

by evstudio August 28, 2017

One of the most commonly asked questions to the structural department involved the required distance between the top of a foundation wall and the adjacent exterior grade. The 2009 International Residential Code requires a minimum of 6 inches of separation where brick veneer is not […]

Read the full article →

Reviewing Elongation Reports

by Calvin Curtis August 25, 2017
Thumbnail image for Reviewing Elongation Reports

At this point, I think it’s fair to say that I’m a proponent of post-tensioned structures.  I’ve found that they can be very economical, and there are many things you can only do with post-tensioned concrete.  However, there’s one point that I think all structural engineers […]

Read the full article →

The Maximum Occupant Load in the Building Code – Not a Maximum

by Sean O'Hara August 25, 2017

There is a common misconception about the “Maximum” Occupant Load table in the International Building Code. This table list the number of occupants per square foot that you are designing to rather than a true maximum. As an example, the table lists 100 gross sf […]

Read the full article →

Commercial Ramp Design – Guidelines, Criteria and Dimensions

by Sean O'Hara May 15, 2017

The 2006 International Building Code dictates the rules for ramps used in commercial buildings. The rules apply to most ramps in a building excepting ramped aisles in theaters, curb ramps and vehicle ramps in parking garages. The code also covers those conditions, but they have […]

Read the full article →

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

by Dean Dalvit May 15, 2017

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 […]

Read the full article →

Accessory Occupancies in the International Building Code

by Sean O'Hara May 15, 2017

The International Building Code provides several routes for designing buildings with more than one occupancy. Building owners who don’t want to separate occupancies with fire separations have to employ one of these. For buildings with a large primary occupancy and a small accessory occupancy, the […]

Read the full article →

Why It’s Critical To Have Correct Floating Sill Plates on Slab-On-Grade Floors in Colorado

by Jim Houlette May 15, 2017

When I’m requested to investigate a house with structural concerns one of the first things I check is proper floating sill plates on slab-on-grade floors.  I’m always amazed how so many basements are finished without a floating sill plate or some way of allowing the […]

Read the full article →

Archived Historic Denver Building Codes

by Sean O'Hara April 27, 2017

While researching code regulations for a structure that we are remodeling, I came across the page holding all of the adopted building codes and amendments for the City and County of Denver. They date as far back as 1881 and are certainly an entertaining read. […]

Read the full article →