A Case for Professional Design Input

By John Turner, P.E. | July 2, 2020

My Dad is an amazing man.  Ask those that know Charles Turner, and they will tell you that he is a great guy.  Growing up with Dad was awesome.  He was the classic Dad – went to work faithfully at Sanders (now BAE) every day on Canal Street in Nashua.  He would come home to great home cooking by Mom and tackle his project list.  Dad could do everything.  His father was a plumbing instructor so he could do plumbing.  His degree was in Electrical Engineering, so he knew a lot about electricity.  I remember Dad “redesigning” and installing our new combination oil/wood fired boiler, complete with five electric controlled heating zones.  The boiler has since been replaced by a propane one, but the distribution that Dad designed and installed remains working today.


Dad is a quintessential Yankee.  He “Design Built” everything from the new roof system for the barn to the new bathrooms in his summer house.  The strategy works well until there are multiple trades and multiple contractors involved, then the “design-build-yourself” starts to fail.

I experienced a dramatic example of this recently.  Kurt Lauer, AIA, Goffstown has created another super architectural design for a restaurant renovation.  Demolition began and the various subs (Lloyd Chipman of LRC Fire, Paul Bewersdorf of J. Lawrence Hall, etc.) began evaluating the situation.  It was quickly apparent that there were significant conflicts between the HVAC and kitchen venting systems.  Resolution would require not only good MEP design to best allocate the small flat-roof real estate, but structural modifications were also needed to allow the hoods to vent “straight up” through the roof for best installation practice and to ease long term maintenance.

At a jobsite meeting with critical players present, all agreed that a small investment in some good structural and MEP engineering would pay big dividends to provide clear solutions to the challenges at this site.  Ultimately, it is a great example that the best construction projects need all of the following ingredients:

  1. An owner/developer committed to doing the job right;
  2. A super architect;
  3. Engineering for Civil, Structural and MEP;
  4. Great contractors.

Let us help you by providing great engineering for your next project!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.