Our Orange County Residential Territory Sales Manager Joe Polder recently worked on a Strong Frame project in Seal Beach, California. Joe gives insight into what happens from the planning to the installation of a Strong Frame on the jobsite. Learn how our Strong Frame provided the perfect solution for this restaurant and helped maintain the jobsite schedule.
The Beach House restaurant in Seal Beach (Orange County, California) recently used our Strong Frame special moment frame. The Strong Frame withstands lateral forces during a seismic event. Although the building might sustain some damage from the earthquake, the Strong Frame will prevent it from collapsing. Because of its factory quality inspections and manufacturing, as well as the fast installation time, the Strong Frame provided a convenient solution.
This was a rehab of an existing building into a restaurant. The structural engineer was Phil Soma (Structures Design Group of Anaheim, California). On a sidenote, the very first Strong Frame job I worked on was the seismic retrofit of the Lamplighter Apartments in Huntington Beach, California; Phil was the engineer of that job as well. Phil has been working with us for many years. He’s a knowledgeable and loyal partner to Simpson Strong-Tie, so we’re appreciative of his support.
Our Riverside engineering team worked with Phil and the general contractor, Optima Construction, to refine the exact Strong Frame dimensions for the jobsite. The way these projects often work is that the engineer will put a Strong Frame on the plans as a placeholder. It’s usually close to the eventual size needed, but not exact. Once the project gets going, we dial in the dimensions to fit the job conditions precisely. This process is very gratifying as I get to work closely with the contractor and distributor. Once the measurements were finalized, the Strong Frame was ordered through our distributor representative, Ken Greene of White Cap (Santa Ana, CA).
When the Strong Frame was delivered, I met the with the Optima owners and foreman at the jobsite. Optima had never installed a Strong Frame before, so we went over what to expect. I always recommend that the contractor thoroughly read the instructions included with each Strong Frame, making sure to install the beam’s center bolts first. This allows for some “play” as you install the remaining four beam bolts.
The installation went very well. They installed the Strong Frame in a few hours and began framing from it at once. Compared to a site-fabricated moment frame, the time savings of the Strong Frame make up one of its best features. Typically, moment frames made by structural steel fabricators have a lot more steps to take on the jobsite, like welding, cutting, installation of lateral bracing, and deputy inspections. After these additional field steps, the contractor often needs to spend several hours installing wood nailers. All Strong Frame welding, inspections, and nailer installations are done in our factory. Also, the Strong Frame doesn’t require lateral bracing, which are diagonal steel members coming off the beam to resist twisting. Consequently, we have a lot of benefits that allow the contractor to keep their schedule and begin framing straight away.
I want to thank Structures Design Group Engineers and Optima Construction for working with us on this exciting project. I very much appreciate them using our Strong Frame and hardware on the soon-to-be-completed Beach House restaurant. I’m sure it will be a great place to grab a meal after swimming, surfing, or just hanging out at this awesome beach.