Project Snapshot Series Part 2: Historic Theatre Retrofit Using FRP

Structural renovation work continues on an historic, 1920s-era theater in Hollywood, California. This major renovation will improve the structural performance of the building and help ensure that theatergoers and building occupants are safe in the event of a major earthquake. We are excited to share a second update on this project that focuses on the use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) for strengthening the theater’s roof diaphragm.  Continue Reading

Mechanical Anchors: Screw vs. Expansion: — Which Is Right for Me? 

Not all post-installed mechanical anchors are created equal. There are key differences between screw and expansion anchor types — differences that include how they gain their holding strength, installation requirements, and overall anchor performance. In the following post, field engineers Todd Hamilton, Chris Johnson and Derek Gilbert compare the two anchor types. 

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Webinar Alert: Inventing the Edge-Tie System

This fall we’re hosting a two-part webinar series on the latest innovations in designing cladding connections for structural buildings. This first webinar, to be held on October 26, will cover some of the biggest challenges that fabricators, engineers, and contractors in the structural steel industry face when designing façade attachments to a building structure. We will discuss new design methods and solutions, such as bolted connections that do not require any field-welding to help enclose buildings quickly and reduce overall project schedules and costs.

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Spotlighting Our Yield-Link® Moment Connection: Three Project Cases

Our Yield-Link connection is precision-made to meet the tough demands and increased loads of structural steel construction. From building owners to engineers, to contractors and fabricators, the Yield-Link’s state-of-the-art design saves everyone time and money — while providing a connection that keeps structural steel buildings strong and safe. 

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FRP Witness Panel Preparation and Testing – Lessons Learned and Best Practices

As a Composite Strengthening Systems™ Field Engineer at Simpson Strong-Tie, I’ve supported many composite strengthening projects from design through construction and had hands-on experience troubleshooting issues with FRP witness panels. Through these experiences, I’ve learned a few lessons and developed some best practices worth sharing with anyone in the engineering and construction communities who may encounter similar issues.

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Strategic Alliance with Structural Technologies Brings End-to-End FRP Solutions to Concrete Strengthening and Repair Industry

Simpson Strong-Tie and Structural Technologies formed a strategic alliance for Composite Strengthening Systems (CSS) products in 2021. CSS products include fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) and fabric-reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) strengthening systems. Additionally, where CSS products are not a viable solution, the alliance can also offer recommendations and design for other non-CSS or conventional strengthening solutions. This alliance allows each firm to specialize in their areas of expertise: 

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How a Top US Homebuilder Turbocharged Market Growth and Managed the Job Start Process with the Scalable LotSpec Solution from Simpson Strong-Tie

As one of the top 10 private homebuilders in the US (and one of the top 25 overall), Gehan Homes has explored its fair share of technologies promising efficiency and productivity gains. When it came to pulling home designs, plans, elevations, and options into full job start packets (JSPs), the Texas-based homebuilder managed to generate about 400 JSPs per year before the productivity cost of eight hours each began to limit growth.

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Project Profile: Reinforcing Concrete Joists to Increase Load Rating

We’re excited to share another fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) project that required both flexural and shear strengthening (photo below) of reinforced concrete joists to enable the slab floors to carry more live load. The structure is in Southern California, and appears to have been built in the 1950s or 1960s when pan joist construction was common. The EOR for this project, Structural Focus, is an experienced structural engineering firm known for seismic retrofit solutions. The FRP applicator was FD Thomas Structural Specialties, a contractor with decades of FRP installation experience.

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Project Profile: Special Moment Frame Dropped-Beam Solution Saves Day(light) by Preserving Window Openings

Simpson Strong-Tie recently had the opportunity to work with MAK Construction to come up with a rather unique solution for a residential project in Phoenix, Arizona. Our Strong Frame® Moment Frame Selector software was used by the engineer on record, L.R. Nelson Consulting Engineers, LLC, to design this truly “special” special moment frame (SMF). The challenge for this particular moment frame design was figuring out how to work around a large garage door opening on the bottom floor without obstructing the window openings on the next floor, because the standard SMF design would cause the beam to cross right through the middle of the windows as they were situated. The solution required dropping the beam below the top of the columns, something seldom seen in moment frame designs. However, our engineering services, in collaboration with L.R. Nelson Consulting Engineers, were able to determine that dropping the beam to the needed level would be quite feasible in this case, and within 24 hours a new design was sent to the EOR and to the contractor for final approvals, which were granted.

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Case Study: Gruening Middle School’s Seismic Damage Repair Solution

It can be a challenge to repair an earthquake-damaged structure.

During the 7.1-magnitude 2018 Anchorage earthquake, Gruening Middle School in Eagle River sustained more damage than any other school in the Anchorage School District. Review of the school showed the existing masonry walls suffered damage and separation from the roof. During the retrofit design, the Reid Middleton structural engineering team (Anchorage) determined the masonry walls weren’t adequately reinforced to meet current code requirements. They were seeking an easy-to-install strengthening solution that wouldn’t add significant weight to the building.

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