Award Winning Shoring Key to Success

In recognition for the successful collaboration and the innovative shoring design, this project was awarded the 2020 Scaffolding & Access Industry Association (SAIA) Shoring Project of the Year.

Originally built in 1962, Climate Pledge Arena (originally known as Key Arena) is located in the heart of the historic Queen Anne district of Seattle. To take advantage of its prime but densely populated location, the arena was built down into the ground, with a pavilion-like sloping roof that has become a staple of the Seattle skyline. As part of a $700 million remodel, the Seattle Center Arena would get entirely new facilities, meaning the entire interior structure of the arena would be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up. With the majority of the arena built underground, this meant the existing concrete retaining walls would no longer have the concrete floors to support them and would require soil anchors be installed for support. In order to install those new soil anchors, an 18,000 lb micro pile drilling machine had to be driven on the existing slabs. However, the drill rig was a load the slab was never designed to support.

Due to the rapid pace of construction, it was immediately clear that coordination and clear communication would be required for the project to succeed. DHC was met on site by scaffolding contractor Performance Contracting, Inc.,  as well as representatives of both the general contractor and the structural engineer (SEOR) for the structure. The site to be shored was walked extensively, with each party noting critical locations that either needed to be shored, to be left open for access, or obstructions that needed to be worked around. The area of highest concern was over the Event Level ramp. The SEOR made it clear the Main Concourse slab above the ramp need to be shored to support the drill rig. At the same time, the general contractor was adamant that the ramp had to stay open and unimpeded in order for construction to stay on schedule. With demolition well underway, the ramp saw a constant stream of dump trucks as material was moved out of the stadium. The scope was to design a shoring system that fully supported the upper slab while taking up no space on the floor below.

After exploring some initial options, it was eventually determined that the most feasible way to adequately support the Main Concourse slab while simultaneously leaving the ramp open would be to essentially build a “tunnel” in the shoring; the slab itself would be shored up using modular cuplok scaffolding, which would then be set onto large steel beams spanning the width of the access ramp. After confirming the type of drill rig that would be used, DHC performed a detailed moving load analysis of the drill rig to model the loading that would be applied to the shoring. This drastically reduced the load on any one shoring beam, allowing for the use of lighter, more easily erectable beams.

Due to the slab above the ramp dropping as the ramp descended, as well as the presence of concrete beams at awkward angles, the modular, flexible nature of cuplock scaffold was used to its fullest as the main support of the Main Concourse slab. To support the steel beams on either side of the ramp, RMD Kwikform Super Slims were used as vertical post shores. While originally designed for use in falsework and concrete wall pouring applications, the Super Slims had high axial capacity and DHC had experience in using them in shoring applications. By bracing them to each other, as well as anchoring them to concrete wall and ramp for stability, a stabile base for the shoring tunnel was created that took up less than a foot of width. Once fully installed, the tunnel shoring allowed for the tie back installation to successfully move forward without any hinderance to the demolition work.

Mark Palmatier, PE – Branch Manager – (425) 559-9775

Jasper Calcara, PE – President – (760) 436-9756

Chicago Office Opening

 

D.H. Charles Engineering, Inc. has a long-standing tradition of servicing clients in the State of Illinois since obtaining our IL SE license, and has developed close relationships with contractors, IDOT and CDOT OUC over the past twenty years working in the area.  Even though we’ve felt confident we could continue to meet the needs of our customers, as had been proven with the hundreds of projects completed, we knew a local presence would provide the extra level of support we wished to offer.  Therefore, after many years of looking for the right opportunity we are thrilled to announce the opening of our newest office in Chicago.

Andrew Schwarz, PE, SE, was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and continues to call the area home. He has over twenty years of experience in the structural and geotechnical engineering discipline, including starting out in the bridge design industry while also working in the building design industry.  For the last 10+ years, he has been working in the underground shoring and temporary works industry expanding his close relationships with contractors in the area.   Andy is excited to be joining the DHC team and looks forward to growing the Chicago and Midwest operations for the company while assisting the company nationwide.

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The success of the Seattle, Portland and New York offices has proven that although our resources are now spread throughout the Country, we can effectively work as a team and can be depended upon to share our wealth of design experience and knowledge regardless of location.  Our customers have come to expect collaboration and support from all our team members in developing state of the art and cost-effective solutions for their construction engineering needs.

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Andy and the entire DHC team look forward to servicing an expanded customer base and providing more on-site support to projects in the area.  Please contact any of our team members to discuss how we can be of assistance on your jobs or bids.

Andrew Schwarz, SE, PE – Branch Manager/Sr. Engineer – (872) 240-8033

Jasper Calcara, PE – President – (760) 436-9756

Luke Griffis, SE, PE – Vice President – (707) 537-8282

 

East Coast Office Opening

 

After successfully servicing clients on the East Coast for over 20 years, D.H. Charles Engineering, Inc. is excited to announce the opening of its newest office in New York City.  Although originally founded and headquartered on the West Coast, DHC has worked tirelessly to prove to its customers that regardless of location or time-zone, excellent service can be counted on day after day.  A culture of immediate response to all calls, and expert support by experienced engineers, has resulted in long and valued relationships with our national accounts.

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Branch Manager and Sr. Design Engineer Chong Kim, P.E., has developed personal relationships with contractors throughout the greater NY, NJ and New England areas for over a decade.  His experience in design of complex excavation shoring systems, along with many other temporary works designs, made him an excellent fit for heading DHC’s expansion East.  He’s passionate about what he does, and brings innovative design ideas to his projects, with a positive and creative attitude.

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New NY Bridge – Photo By: New York State Thruway Authority

The success of the recently opened Seattle office has proven that although DHC resources are now spread throughout the Country, they can effectively work as a team and be depended upon to share their wealth of design experience and knowledge regardless of location. Their customers have come to expect collaboration and support from all team members in developing state of the art and cost-effective solutions.

DHC looks forward to servicing an expanded customer base and providing more on-site support to projects in the area.  Please contact any of our team members  to discuss how we can be of assistance on your jobs or bids.

Chong Kim, PE – Branch Manager/Sr. Engineer – (914) 292-4337

Jasper Calcara, PE – President – (760) 436-9756

Luke Griffis, SE, PE – General Manager – (707) 537-8282

 

DHC Expands to Seattle Area

After much planning and the steady encouragement of many of our customers, DHC is proud to announce the opening of an office in the greater Seattle area.  With main branches in Santa Rosa & San Diego, and satellite offices in Oakland & Sacramento, the Seattle location becomes the 5th for DHC.

This new office is being managed by John Meissner, PE, who is a native of the Pacific Northwest and is excited about the opportunity to meet with many customers personally in coming months.

Even without local branches, DHC has maintained a tradition of effectively servicing contractors throughout the US and Canada, and has developed long-lasting relationships with many of them.  Nonetheless, we look forward to the opportunity to meet many new and existing customers in person, and plan to host various training programs and introductory meetings in the coming months and years.

If you would like to learn more about DHC, or to meet in person, please do not hesitate to contact John Meissner, President Jasper Calcara, or General Manager Luke Griffis.

Partial List of Engineering Services Provided:

  • Excavation Shoring/Safety
  • Tunneling and Boring
  • Scaffold Structures
  • Bridge Jacking and Support
  • Suspended Platforms
  • Crane and Rigging
  • False/Formwork
  • Structural Shoring
  • Re-shore
  • Fall Protection
  • Rebar Cage Stabilization
  • Containment Design

 

 

 

 

Industry Leader – Guest Lecturer – UCSD

D.H. Charles Engineering, Inc. (DHC) was invited to be a guest lecturer for roughly 120 graduating seniors of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Structural Engineering department.  With an established passion for educating the construction industry in engineering challenges and safety, DHC was more than happy to accept the invitation, and had the perfect candidate to send to the classroom.

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Chong Kim, P.E., a senior engineer and alumni of the same program at UCSD, has worked on thousands of construction engineering designs throughout the US and Canada in his career at DHC.  He took that experience on a wide variety of projects, and developed a presentation titled Temporary Structures and Construction Engineering Industry, to present to students taking the SE140 course.

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SE140: Structures and Materials Laboratory, introduces students to real world challenges and applications of structure design, including: Problem formulation, concept design, configuration design, project management, team working, ethics, and human factors.  –UCSD Course Curriculum

The variety of situations and challenges faced on a construction site can be overwhelming, with many codes and design approaches never discussed at the University.  Therefore, the presentation narrowed the field of construction engineering and focused in on the following key areas:

  • Excavation Shoring
  • Construction Slopes
  • and Slope Stability Analysis
  • Tunneling and Boring
  • Scaffold Structures
  • Bridge Jacking and Support
  • Suspended Platforms
  • Crane and Rigging
  • False/Formwork
  • Structural Shoring
  • Re-shore
  • Fall Protection
  • Rebar Cage Stabilization

Most students do not have the real-world experiences that come with time and that are hard to find in text books, so it was important to illustrate each subject area with as much photographs, colorful anecdotes, and challenges that were faced on particular projects.

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It was important to Chong that he connected with the students on a personal level, as he could clearly recall sitting in their position all those years ago.  He focused on the challenges and fears all young professional faces when starting their first jobs, as well as how to evolve as the their careers take them in different directions.  But most importantly, he wanted to exemplify how important it is to continue to take on challenges and overcome their professional and personal fears.  Presenting in front of peers was a first for Chong, and something he was very proud of accomplishing.

There were many insightful questions from students throughout the presentation, showing that they were truly interested in and engrossed with the subject matter.  The open discussions covered many aspects of construction engineering, codes, loads, workplace environment, as well as general challenges facing engineers in today’s world.

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Evoking passion for what we do as engineers is the most important thing an educator can do, and based on the enthusiasm and response of the students, we are hopeful we were able to accomplish this.  We want to extend a special thank you to Professor Lelli Van Den Einde, Ph.D. for bringing us into her classroom and organizing the guest lecturer opportunity, and wish the best of luck to the class of 2016!

 

Gaining Knowledge – Trench & Shoring Safety

The excavation shoring industry is consistently faced with the age-old challenges of working in unstable & changing soil conditions, managing groundwater, and protecting adjacent structures/utilities, while attempting to complete their work in a safe manner and remaining profitable.  With projects getting progressively larger and more complicated, coupled with laws and specifications outlining very strict design, safety and submittal requirements, it takes extremely educated and experienced contractors to compete in today’s world.

DHC has always balanced their quest to provide excellent design services with being proactive in educating their customer base.  With essentially every shoring project bringing a new set of conditions to the table, it presents an opportunity for our experienced engineers to discuss the potential challenges and shoring options available.  It is critical that contractors at the front line of bidding, planning and performing this work, understand the risks and benefits of various approaches, as well as associated costs.

Over the years, DHC has educated thousands of contractors and engineers in the efficient solutions and newest technologies available in the shoring industry, as well as taught the basics of understanding borelogs, OSHA standards, railroad loading, surcharges, dewatering, deflection issues, and much more.

We’ve enjoyed taking our knowledge from designing shoring products, such as slide rail and trench shields for manufacturers, coupled with our experience preparing thousands of site specific plans, to develop cutting edge and complicated solutions to shoring project.  Some examples include: standing trench shields vertical and designing removable spreaders to construct a 40’ x 40’ x 24’-deep pit, providing clearances necessary to construct a large cast in place concrete structure, or mixing hydraulic bracing systems with slide rail, in order to provide a hybrid solution for many projects.

Although we will always maintain our quest to spread knowledge throughout the industry in efforts to ensure safety and productivity advancements are made, please feel free to contact us directly to discuss any specific project you may have.  If more detailed or extensive training is desired, we can discuss remote or in-person sessions.  We are happy to provide support during the bid phase, or to answer clarification questions on tab data, project specs or anything else related to your job, free of charge.  We look forward to helping the industry recognize shoring as a critical component of a successful project, worthy of careful planning and consideration, vs. the last min obstacle it has been traditionally viewed as.