Meeting Tipping Mar

David Mar, SE

Since having been named principal and lead designer in 2000, David Mar has continued in Tipping Mar’s long-standing tradition of well-crafted engineering solutions, while introducing an emphasis on creativity and exploration supported by practical, project-specific research. 

David advocates early collaboration with architects and contractors to provide clients with the most cost-effective design solutions possible. Moreover, his focus on high-performance seismic and sustainable design has positioned Tipping Mar at the forefront of the green-building movement. David has a keen interest in lean design and construction and in set-based design and actively applies those principles in all his work. His enthusiasm for innovation has fueled the expansion of his design repertoire from traditional steel, concrete, and wood construction to such materials as rammed earth, bamboo, straw bale, timber frame, and structural insulated panels.

David was project technical director for FEMA P-807: Guidelines for the Seismic Retrofit of Weak-Story Multiunit Wood-Frame Structures. His penchant for questioning and for seeking nuanced, elegant solutions outside of conventional engineering drove the team to produce a finely tuned and effective approach (the “relative-strength method”) to retrofitting weak-story buildings. This revolutionary method allows any engineer to gain access to a huge database of sophisticated probabilistic analyses and to a targeted, reliable, and economical retrofit solution for any given structure within this class.

David has practiced structural engineering for more than twenty years, having received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from UC Berkeley. He has lectured at the engineering departments of UC Berkeley and Stanford University, and at the Lean Construction Institute. In 1998 David was honored with SEAONC’s H.J. Brunier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Structural Design for his retrofit design of San Francisco’s Pacific Place.