Building on the Past

All structural engineers learn about new construction in school, but training in the execution of thoughtful renovations comes through apprenticeship. At Siegel Associates, Steve teaches his staff the technical skills associated with melding new with original. More importantly, he teaches them that a successful renovation project requires sensitive communication, collaboration, and iteration. Siegel Associates’ best projects, like this one, draw input from the owner, architect, builder, and engineer.

Using the core and footprint of an existing mid-century ranch, LDa Architects saw an opportunity to create a new modern home. They reached out to Steve and the team to help them navigate the structural challenges inherent in this type of project.

The existing foundations were evaluated for reuse within the new design. Steve and his team developed details for underpinning them to allow for a deeper lower level and designed footings where there were none. Some areas of the existing floor decks, roof decks, ceilings, and walls were to be replaced to accommodate the open features of a modern house. Where original pieces of lumber were to remain, Steve and his team evaluated their structural capacities and designed reinforced or new elements as necessary.

While this building could have taken many forms, it’s mid-century heritage and the painstaking process the design team followed to honor it resulted in a uniquely beautiful product.