Insights from Site-Structural Desk Studies for Urban Construction

The planning for a construction project in the urban environment is typically more complicated than in other areas. With greater density of construction comes traffic congestion, buildings and other structures in close proximity to the work and increased subsurface risk from utilities, underground structures and past land use. In addition, site-related factors can constrain design […]

Five Construction Consideration for Urban Projects

Building in the urban environment is more complicated than in other settings. Consequently, it is important to think about construction consideration from project inception and in some cases coordinate the design with the realities of working on an urban site rather than the other way around. Five common construction considerations that should be considered by […]

Missing Pieces of the Scope for Urban Construction Projects

Much of the design and construction community is focused on new construction on greenfield sites. Or at the very least they primarily take on projects on isolated or generously-sized sites with adequate space for logistics and construction activities and have relatively little potential for direct impact on abutters and the public. Projects like these are […]

Site-Structural LinkedIn Group

Are you on LinkedIn? There is now a LinkedIn group for Site-Structural Engineering that is intended as a forum for discussing problems, solutions and best practices for interfacing new construction to congested sites in the urban environment. If you are new to urban construction, it is a good place to ask questions, tap into the […]

What’s Wrong with Your Monitoring Plan

Construction, particularly in the urban environment, often exposes nearby structures and facilities to hazards, some of which are difficult to predict precisely and manifest as the work progresses. Impacts of this nature are associated with excavations, tunneling and foundation construction methods, and often require monitoring of potentially impacted structures and facilities. A monitoring program may […]

Site-Structural Engineering for the Urban Environment

Having projects in the urban environment representing a large proportion of my career experience, I am always a little surprised when I encounter design professionals and contractors who do not fully appreciate the challenges and constraints associated with building on urban sites. While a lot of design professionals, contractors and other stakeholders have urban project […]

Why the Design Team for Urban Projects Should Consider Support of Excavation

A while back, I looked at a small support of excavation project in a major city that illustrated some of the issues that can arise when excavation support and¬†underpinning are not considered during the design process of an urban project, especially a small urban project.The project involved a horizontal addition to an attached single-family dwelling: […]

Engineering Like a Historian

One of the fundamental ways that construction in the urban environment is different from building elsewhere is the potential to damage adjacent structures. This risk becomes significant when adjacent structures are older and abut the lot lines, especially if those structures shared party walls with demolished buildings formerly on the project site. This scenario often […]