David and Lucile Packard HQ
New David Brower
Golden Gate Bridge Visitors Pavilion
Zynga TI
Omega Center
Van Ness Medical Office Building


Self-Centering Cores, Mode-Shaping Spines, and Base Absorption: Three Innovative Strategies for Seismic Resistance (2014-02-13)

Along with other experts on seismic engineering, such as UC Berkeley's Professor Stephen Mahin, David Mar, SE, will be speaking at "After 3.11: New Architecture and Engineering" at UCB on March 8.

David will discuss how buildings come in many shapes and sizes and how existing structures can have various seismic vulnerabilities. He will introduce three innovative strategies for seismic resistance: Vertically post-tensioned self-centering cores and walls (a Tipping Mar invention) provide a controlled rocking response and resilience for new construction. Another Tipping Mar innovation, mode-shaping spines are added to existing frame buildings with weak stories. The new spine precludes the story mechanism and forces a more stable global tilting mechanism. Lastly, base absorption is the retrofit strategy to create a ductile story mechanism for weak-story buildings. It is the strategy based on Tipping Mar's Relative-Strength Method and employed in FEMA P-807: Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Framed Buildings with Weak First Stories.

This UC Berkeley event is centered around the Tohoku earthquake of March 11th, 2011, which is among a series of recent disasters affecting urban environments around the world that created new opportunities and new challenges for the professions of architecture and engineering.

Berkeley's West Branch Library in the News (2013-12-29)

Read "Berkeley Library Branch a Zero-Net-Energy Buildling" in the San Francisco Chronicle. Tipping Mar provided structural engineering services; Edward Dean, FAIA, formerly with Harley Ellis Devereaux, pushed the green-design envelope on a project originally slated for LEED Silver.

Sustainability Treehouse in Dwell Magazine (2013-11-25)

The Boy Scouts of America's Sustainability Treehouse, just one educational site located on the 10,600-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, is highlighted with a photo slideshow in the December/January 2014 issue of Dwell. Using the Living Building Challenge as a guide, Seattle-based architecture firm Mithun spearheaded a multidisciplinary team, which included Tipping Mar, to create a tree house that would turn lessons into an adventure. BNIM Architects serves as executive architect for the project; Tipping Mar provided structrual engineering services.

680 Folsom's Novel Pivoting Core Makes the News (2013-11-04)

In Engineering News Record's October 14 issue, Tipping Mar's novel seismic solution for San Francisco's 680 Folsom is described as saving TMG Partners $4 million. Nadine Post refers to the scheme as a "back-to-the-future scenario," in that it is based on the centuries'-old design of Japanese pagodas: "The building’s 14-story pivoting spine—equivalent to a pagoda’s wooden 'shinbashira'—turned into a $4-million-plus silver lining to a recession-related hiatus for the $110-million gut renovation and expansion...."

Read "Putting a Good Spin On Value Engineering" here.

SFPUC and Hearst Greek Theatre Honored with Awards (2013-10-01)

For a small firm, founded in 1983, Tipping Mar has been regularly recognized by our peers for our excellence in structural engineering. This year brings the number of such awards to 30, with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission HQ on Golden Gate being recognized by SEAONC, SEAOC, and NCSEA, and our seismic retrofit and historic preservation of UC Berkeley's Hearst Greek Theatre garnering awards of excellence from SEAOC and NCSEA. In fact, our SFPUC entry won NCSEA's Outstanding Project Award, topping One World Trade Center!

The Greek Theatre was also recently awarded the Preservation Design Award for Preservation Technology and Craftsmanship by the California Preservation Foundation. Our concealed seismic retrofit that significantly improved the structure's performance in an earthquake figured greatly in this recognition.


SF Public Utilities Commission HQ
On this 277,000 gsf LEED Platinum building, our high-performance design contributions saved $10 million and reduced CO2 emissions by 7 million pounds.
680 Folsom Street
Our innovative scheme saves $4 million on this 566,000 gsf project while preventing single-story collapse and exceeding current code expectations.
UC Berkeley's Hearst Greek Theatre
A cost-efficient concealed bracing system delivers exceptional performance while preserving the historic fabric of this iconic structure.
David and Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters
Our rocking, restoring braced frames lend greater sustainability to this replicable NZE building by minimizing post-earthquake repairs.
Carquinez Senior Apartments
For under $1 million, we created a ground-floor retrofit that achieved life-safety performance at the DBE hazard and collapse prevention at the MCE hazard.
Rene Cazenave Apartments
Tipping Mar's post-tensioned concrete lateral system delivers unusually high performance — shelter-in-place — to an affordable housing project.
Berkeley Public Library, South Branch
A 8,700 sf, $6.5 million remodel brings new life -- and light -- to this South Berkeley institution.
SBSR Sustainability Treehouse
Designed to be a net-zero energy building within the framework of Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification, the building will function as a role model of sustainable construction.