D.H. Charles Engineering, Inc. strives to be the premier source for construction engineering solutions throughout North America. Our professional engineering licensure in all 50 states and much of Canada, as well as expertise in the following design services, allows us to be a full-service engineering firm for contractors’ needs on projects big and small.
Specializing in temporary structures, we don’t get to be the engineering firm of record for designing the longest new bridge or trendiest new skyscraper. But we do get to be a part of the construction or maintenance process for some of the most iconic structures in the country. This is especially true in the scaffold industry since almost every construction project utilizes scaffold in some way. From the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz on the West Coast to the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building and Harry S. Truman State Department Building on the East Coast, and hundreds of others in between, DHC is proud of the work we do on these remarkable structures. DHC is also an active member of the Scaffold and Access Industry Association (SAIA) which focuses on the promotion of safety in the scaffold and access industries.
One of the favorite lines of work for many engineers at DHC, our team never shies away from a challenging shoring or bridge jacking project. Whether it’s a historic building or damaged bridge, no two shoring projects are ever the same. DHC was nationally recognized in 2022 for our work on the Historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge Restoration Project, the longest covered wooden bridge in the United States. Previous award-winning temporary shoring projects completed by DHC include the Paseo Colorado building in Pasadena, CA and the Seattle Center Arena demolition.
Every year workers are severely injured or die in unsupported excavation collapses that could have easily been prevented with the use of a shoring system. OSHA outlines specific requirements for trench safety and excavation support, and many times that requires the knowledge and involvement of a professional engineer. DHC specializes in the design and certification of temporary earth retention systems. While the majority of our work focuses on “site specific” engineered plans for particular locations on projects, we are also involved in the design of the trench safety equipment with the manufacturers of trench shields, hydraulic trench jacks, and slide rail system. We are a proud member of the North American Excavation Shoring Association (NAXSA), with DHC president Jasper Calcara acting as the chairperson for the engineering committee.
DHC has been supporting the suspended platform industry for over 20 years. Suspended platforms hang from an existing structure using cables, chains, scaffolding components, or other similar structural items that have the strength to support the design loading. DHC has experience designing these systems using scaffolding components, Safespan cable & pan-decking, Safespan Fastrak, BrandSafway Quikdeck, as well as custom fabricated platforms. Suspended platforms are used to support workers while they provide maintenance to the existing structure, serve as debris decks while concrete is demolished above, or provide access for other scopes of work requiring temporary elevated walking surfaces. DHC has won awards for our suspended platform designs from the Society of Protective Coatings (SSPC) and the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA). We are ready to develop platform and containment plans for your next project!
Rebar cage stabilization can be as simple as securing a cage to concrete anchor blocks using rigid braces, but it can also be extremely complicated and involve the use of internal reinforcement, external steel support frames, multiple levels of guy wires, and even full analysis of the rebar itself. DHC has tackled projects large and small. Over the years, the theory of how rebar cages behave and the best practices on how to brace them has evolved dramatically. DHC senior engineer Robin Ko worked closely with the ASCE CI Temporary Structures Committee...
Tower cranes. Mobile cranes. Cranes on barges. Cranes on construction trestles. Cranes on existing bridges. Cranes come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the engineering challenges that accompany them. With the massive loads that cranes are routinely asked to lift, ensuring your company has a sound game plan regarding the cranes and rigging systems is paramount to jobsite safety. DHC designs tower crane foundations, bearing pads for mobile cranes, and trestles, as well as evaluates existing bridges and other structures to support construction cranes and equipment.
Concrete structures can be very economical to construct in comparison to other materials and have the added benefits of being long lasting and low maintenance. Pouring the concrete requires a support structure (falsework) and forms to support the wet concrete until it cures. DHC has extensive experience designing temporary falsework and formwork systems for concrete bridges and overpasses. Similarly, the construction of multi-story buildings with repetitive concrete floors requires reshoring to support the newly poured floors until the concrete can gain strength and support itself. Determining the number of floors that need to be reshored, and the density of that reshoring, is one of DHC’s specialties. We aim to provide the most economical reshore plan while maintaining safety and the integrity of the new structure. And not all concrete structures requiring falsework are above eye level. DHC has completed many falsework designs for underground concrete structures such as wastewater treatment plants and culverts.
If you ever find yourself suspended from the side of a building or working next to a fall hazard where one misstep can lead to you plummeting, you will want to know that the equipment you are secured to will keep you safe. DHC has an extensive background in engineering exterior building maintenance equipment, fall protection equipment, and the buildings that support that equipment. Whether we are signing off on building maintenance units (BMUs) with 100+ foot reaches on top of a skyscraper or engineering fall arrest systems on top of a warehouse roof to keep workers safe, we can handle it.
Whether it’s a music festival, sporting event, or art exhibit, DHC jumps at the opportunity to provide engineering support for the temporary structures and inspections required for these events to go off without a hitch. Why? Because public safety is at the core of our mission as engineers. Not to mention these projects are unique and fun and we just might wrangle some free tickets out of the gig. Some notable examples include Burning Man, Nocturnal Wonderland, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the US Open at the Olympic Club, the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour...
DHC has always strived to be the one-stop-shop engineering consulting firm for contractors. This sometimes means taking on odd ball engineering tasks or problems and finding creative solutions. It also means we often bridge the gap between the project engineer of record and the contractor, handling deferred submittal for contractors when project plans do not specifically detail out a structural component such as equipment anchorage or guardrails. If you are unsure if your engineering need is something DHC is experienced with, just ask. You may be pleasantly surprised by the answer.