Built in 1925 by the retail giant, Montgomery Ward, this 8-story reinforced concrete structure is one of the most iconic Art Deco buildings in Baltimore City. Morabito Consultants (MC) served as structural and remediation engineer for the restoration of the Washington Boulevard entrance façade. MC is proud to work with our local concrete and façade restoration contractors to bring life back to these aging historic landmarks.  

Client:  Himmelrich Associates

Repair Contractor:  CA Lindman, Inc.

This Five Star Platinum private golf club, located just minutes inland from Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, is giving their Jeffersonian-style Clubhouse a modern touch with this 4,877 square foot addition. Berkeley Hall’s new veranda expansion can function as an enclosed gathering space for events and formal dining while overlooking the golf course. Yet, by opening the folding glass walls around the perimeter, the space can be transformed into a shaded patio for lounging and relaxation. These sophisticated finishes conceal the rigid structural steel framing that supports wood roof trusses and provides the necessary stiffness for structures in this seismic hazard zone.  

Architect:  Peacock + Lewis Architects and Planners

MEP Engineer:  Dulohery Weeks Engineers

Civil Engineer:  Thomas & Hutton

Graphic credit – STRUCTURE Magazine

While developments in BIM technology over the past couple of decades have vastly improved coordination efficiency for certain aspects of most building projects, BIM has also created some new challenges for structural engineers.  As a result, regular design team communication regarding design intent, priorities, changes, and status are more critical than ever before.  STRUCTURE Magazine recently published an article which takes a deeper dive into this topic and discusses multiple ways in which BIM has changed and challenged the structural engineering profession including:

 

-For structural engineers, BIM is not yet the fully integrated design tool that it has become for some other disciplines. BIM is not the structural design platform, or in other words the structural design process still take place outside of the BIM process and requires additional time and effort to incorporate into BIM models.

 

-Misperceptions about BIM’s efficiency for all design team members have led to shortened design cycles and a tendency to push design uncertainties much farther into the design process than was common in the past. BIM does very little if anything to relieve these added pressures on structural engineers.

 

-The BIM model is rarely the main deliverable, but structural engineers are forced to spend more and more time focused on BIM modeling rather than studying drawings and producing a complete set of construction documents. There is an increased possibility that critical details not reflected in models will be missed.

 

-BIM models do not always accurately reflect design status. Modeling that is very preliminary in nature and subject to change can appear to be much more finalized and prompt structural design and coordination that eventually becomes virtually useless.

 

-BIM models do not adequately communicate design intent, priorities, or changes. With model sharing increasing in frequency (now evolved to live models), structural engineers are often required to put significant time and effort into identifying, tracking, and reacting to changes without adequate context.    

 

For STRUCTURE Magazine’s recent article on BIM’s impact on structural engineers and design team communication, please follow this link.   

Communicating in a BIM World – STRUCTURE Magazine

MC is proud to team with Rhett Roy Landscape Architecture, Thomas Henz, Tantillo Architecture LLC, and DSS Condo for this unique restoration project involving the repair and beautification to this 3-level parking garage including a 49,500 square foot landscaping and pool deck roof in Aventura, Florida. Morabito Consultants is serving as structural engineer of record, waterproofing remediation consultant, and special inspector. The project involves removal and reconstruction of landscaping and hardscape features, structural concrete repairs, and waterproofing replacement. Bengoa Construction began working in March 2021 and is expected to be completed in Summer 2022. Stayed tuned for future updates during construction!

With the utilization of mass timber structures on the rise, Simpson Strong-Tie has launched a line of code-approved hardware and adhesives to aid in the design, detailing, fabrication, and installation of various mass timber members and connections.

For more from Simpson Strong-Tie, including their new mass timber catalog, please visit the Strong-Tie Newsroom and Mass Timber Page in the following links.   

Strong-Tie Newsroom

Simpson Strong-Tie Mass Timber

Ground has been broken for a new high school in Jessup, Howard County, MD.  MC teamed with TCA Architects, LLC and James Posey & Associates, Inc. (MEP Engineers) to design a state of the art 3-story classroom wing and a 1 story structure that includes two gymnasiums and an auditorium.  Oak Contracting (GC) has begun foundation work on this 250,000 square foot structure.  We are excited to see this project underway.  Stay tuned for updates throughout the construction process!

In addition to having over 35-years of structural engineering experience, Morabito Consultants (MC) is trusted as an experienced building restoration consultant. Restoring the watertightness of below-grade elevator pit foundations can be a challenging undertaking; however, MC has the design knowledge and construction inspection experience to tackle these situations. MC worked with Consolidated Waterproofing Contractors to provide a value-engineered solution to this condominium’s flooded elevator pit. The amount of water infiltrating the pit was damaging steel components, creating a mold hazard, and was tripping the elevator fire alarm. MC’s solution involved highly specialized polyurethane soil “curtainwall” grouting, hydro-active wall injection, and interior-side crystalline waterproofing. Unlike what was previously proposed to the condominium owners, this solution avoids costly and time-consuming structural demolition and construction of sump pumps, trench drains, and piping to the building exterior. After two brief weeks of construction, the owners now have a maintenance-free 10-year warranted waterproofed elevator pit.

SidePlate has been developing their trademark moment connections for 25 years as a means of producing safer, more economical structures with a reduced need for field welding.  SidePlate recently released an all-bolted version of the moment connection for use in wind governed or low-seismic projects.  The elimination of shop welds in the connection results in drastic reductions in shop labor time and better accommodates shops that utilize different forms of automation. 

For more information, please visit SidePlate’s website and see their press release linked below.

SidePlate Website

All-Bolted SidePlate Connection Press Release

The Rosenberg Building, located on the campus of Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital, was originally built in 1999. Morabito Consultants (MC) served as structural engineer for the expansion and required modifications to the existing structure for the two-story addition constructed in 2020. The addition will help Mount Washington meet the growing pediatric needs of the Baltimore community. MC is proud to work with Hord Coplan Macht and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company on the expansion and improvements to our local healthcare facilities.

MC is proud to have served as structural engineer of record working alongside Penza Bailey Architects, EBA Engineering, Inc. and Johnson Consulting Engineers, Inc. to design Roberta’s House, a Grief Support Center in downtown Baltimore. Whiting-Turner is putting the finishing touches on the building as it is set to open to the public in February 2021. Structurally, the building consists of slab on grade with a large depressed assembly area, plus 2 floors and a roof, all framed with structural steel beams & columns and composite Hambro joists. This grief center will provide a much needed service to the Baltimore community as a safe space to receive support and companionship while dealing with difficult personal situations.

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