Category: Educational Training

Window Wells

The International Residential Code (IRC), section 310 specifies requirements for basement egress and rescue openings. (IRC) 310.1 Emergency escape and rescue opening required Basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have not less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue… Read More »

Energy Charette

A charette is an intense period of planning or design effort. Don’t let the obscure vocabulary scare you off. It really just means a collaborative design process. A group brainstorming session. A time when all parties can come together to discuss big-picture goals, design criteria, and other critical aspects of the process. I remember brainstorming… Read More »

Simpson Strong-Rod ATS in mid-rise wood building

Due to its cost-effectiveness, material-use efficiency, sustainability, and availability of labor and materials, wood light-frame construction is the go-to framing choice for single-family or multifamily homes and commercial buildings. Multi-story wood light-frame buildings have become more common in the construction industry up to mid-rise buildings. One of the structural design challenges for mid-rise wood light-frame… Read More »


Most people have heard of fireproofing, but what about firestopping, and what is the difference between the two? Fireproofing commonly focuses on protecting the structural components of a building that could result in collapse due to a fire. Firestopping prevents fire spreading and the harmful byproducts of combustion (smoke, carbon monoxide, etc.) to building occupants.… Read More »

Steel Flitch Beams

A flitch beam is a composite beam made of steel plate(s), sandwiched between multiple plies of wood members, and then bolted together to create a single beam. Flitch beams are very versatile and can often be tacked onto the sides of an existing beam. These beams are often used in historic renovations projects to structurally… Read More »

The Benefits of Continuous Insulation

It’s so much fun to provide Architectural Engineering services and watching the industry gradually adopt new materials and methods.  Continuous Insulation has been one of my favorites for the past few years, and it’s really taking off. From our perspective, the number one reason for this trend is the popularity of spray foam insulation and the… Read More »

Lowering a Basement Floor

Have you ever considered making living space in your unfinished basement?  It’s a possibility if the ceiling height is high enough.  The International Residential Code requires a minimum 7 ft. ceiling clearance except under beams, girders and the like, which can be not less than 6 ft. 4 in.  What if your ceiling is currently… Read More »