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  • Writer's pictureNathan Bonham

The engineering of dreams

Often times our clients visions push the boundries of conventional residential construction. As a licensed builder I and my competition are only required to know the International Residential Building Code. However creative designs and magnificent structures often cannot be hemmed into the confines of a set of parameters that are meant to cover everything from tract housing to custom homes. Equally the conventional materials of residential construction often can't meet the challenges of space and span that a unique home may need. I thought it might be interesting to show a few examples of projects we have built for clients while using our unique knowledge of materials learned through our projects near and far.

Here we are welding an "H" frame to the rear of a home to allow for a 22' clear two story window wall. This would not be possible using conventional wood framing as it would not meet the shear requirements of the code or carry the loads of glass and roof.

Here we see a similar approach but our site was in Costa Rica where we have to build to a seismic level of 9.8. Having the web welded beam gives an enormous amount of extra strength as well as shear resistance.

Sometimes the objective is to open up interior spaces. In this project we removed a wall that was two stories and carrying roof. The client wanted an open feel to the balcony and stair tower so we welded a truss into the upper section and thus were able to support it all with just the one column.

In this example our custom build has a two story space with an adjoining large and open kitchen that required steel I beams to carry the second floor and insure an open floor plan without support walls.

Sometimes it is about details like this floating staircase. When finished it had no support on the outside edge of the treads allowing for an open feeling in a very contemporary space. Here we used a unique stress skin type panel product that when covered in concrete becomes structural.

Our unique experience in custom home building has brought us many creative challenges. At times frustrating but always rewarding. The structures remain as testimony to the visions of clients and the successful execution of unique building and engineering solutions we offer.

When building your dream home it is very important to have a builder on your side that has the capacity and knowledge to dream with you and engineer that dream.


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