What’s Happening at MKA

09.22.2015 — MKA’s Panama Museum of Biodiversity, a project we partnered on with Frank Gehry, is this month’s featured cover story for the September 2015 issue of ASCE’s Civil Engineering magazine. The article offers an interesting and colorful review of the structural elements of the museum, described by Robert Reid as having an “eclectic aesthetic” design approach. Jay Taylor, Senior Principal at MKA and leader of the Cultural, Civic, and Education Specialist Groups, provides insight as the structural engineering Principal-in-Charge on the project, and relates how MKA worked to bring the vision of the architect alive and overcome the structural design complexities. This project, a prime example of MKA’s continued leadership in engineering, was designed entirely in 3D to achieve the intricate interior configuration and the 16 separate geometric roofs. The Museum opened to the public last fall and is considered the first museum focused on biodiversity. Click the link below to read the full article and learn more about this unique project.

More Information...

» Panama Museum of Biodiversity is Featured on the Cover of ASCE

09.02.2015 — MKA’s Matt Jones, a civil engineering Principal, will be presenting on decentralized sewage treatment at the 30th Annual WateReuse Symposium in Seattle. Along with Eric Lohan of Sustainable Water, Matt will discuss the economic and environmental issues surrounding such technology, as well as why it might be the perfect fit for urban projects around the world.

With water scarcity being at the forefront of many discussions right now, the WateReuse Symposium is the perfect opportunity to find out more about water reuse, something MKA has been developing for years on projects like the San Ysidro U.S. Land Port of Entry.

» MKA’s Matt Jones Presenting at WateReuse Symposium

07.23.2015 — With Seattle in the midst of a building boom, KIRO Radio’s Jillian Rafterty was interested to know how safe cranes are in the event of an earthquake.  She spoke to MKA’s Director of Earthquake Engineering, John Hooper, P.E., S.E., to find our more.

Listen to the interview here.

John, a who was named a fellow to the American Society of Civil Engineers, applies his specialized seismic knowledge and advanced understanding of structural vibrations to design efficient and economical facilities to extremely high performance standards.

» MKA’s Director of Earthquake Engineering Speaks to KIRO Radio

06.22.2015 — Congratulations to Peter Somers, P.E., S.E. who was recognized by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) as the 2015 Seattle Chapter Engineer of the Year. Peter was honored at the Chapter’s Annual Awards event held Monday, June 22nd. 

Peter is a Principal at MKA working on a variety of project types including office, residential and retail. He also specializes in seismic evaluations, renovations, and expansion of existing structures, including historic and landmark buildings. Peter has contributed to SEAW by serving on several committees as well as being a member of the Board of Directors and current Past President.  We congratulate Peter on such a great honor!

Photo Credit: J Mark D’Amato

» Peter Somers SEAW Structural Engineer of the Year

06.03.2015 — On June 3rd, MKA’s Jon Magnusson, Derek Beaman, Bill Christopher, and the MKA ACE Mentors were on hand at the Industry Leaders Reception, where nine local high school students were awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships.  The students, who are graduating from the ACE Program, will study architecture, engineering, or construction management next year at college.

MKA, along with LMN Architects, was pleased to present Haley Baquian from Inglemoor High School with a scholarship for her studies next year at California Polytechnic State University.

MKA is a Platinum Sponsor of the ACE Program with Jon Magnusson serving as President and Bill Christopher as Treasurer.  MKA engineering staff also served as mentors for two of the four Seattle ACE teams this year.  Congratulations to all of this year’s participants and scholarship winners!

To read more about the ACE program, please visit their website here.

» MKA ACE Platinum Sponsor and Scholarship Winner

05.27.2015 — Wednesday, May 27th was the Final Presentation Night for the ACE Mentor Program of Seattle, the culmination of eight months of hard work between high school students and their design industry mentors.

This year, the students were tasked with designing a museum for the Seattle Waterfront. The students worked with their mentors from the architecture, engineering, and construction disciplines to take their design from concept to final design considerations. As teams, they presented their work to a panel of judges comprised of professionals from the City of Seattle Office of the Waterfront, the Puget Sound Maritime, and UW Capital Projects.

MKA provided mentors for two of the four Seattle teams this year. The Tuesday Team was led by Brad Strandquist and Emily Carlip and included mentors Juliette Peyroux, Audrey Bentz, Andrew Huang, and Justin Grasse. The Thursday team included mentors Zack Stutts, Lindsay Hull, Taylor LaForge, Michael Makris, Kathryn DeBenedetto, and Noa Yates.

MKA is a Platinum sponsor of the Industry Leaders Reception Scholarship Event to be held on June 3rd.

» MKA Mentors ACE Students

05.19.2015 — MKA’s Director of Earthquake Engineering, John Hooper, was in Washington, D.C. on May 19 to testify in front of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. The hearing focused on the impacts of a major earthquake anticipated in the Pacific Northwest and how the region is preparing for those impacts. 

“We are continually improving the knowledge and the design of how we deal with earthquakes and other natural hazards, the key thing is to implement that correctly”, John said. In addition, John spoke about the how buildings codes (many of which he has helped to develop) address the region’s seismic activity. John is currently the Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s ASEC 7 Seismic Subcommittee.

The hearing can be streamed here.   And read John’s written testimony here

» John Hooper Testimony in Washington D.C.

03.25.2015 — MKA had quite a presence at the American Institute of Steel Construction’s 2015 NASCC Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  Dave Eckmann, Senior Principal, moderated two sessions at the conference, entitled “Casting Your Future” (providing updates on the use of steel castings) and “Common Business Development Challenges” (exploring what it takes to produce revenue results).  Tom Meyer, Principal, moderated a session on “BRBF Procedures for Multi-Tier Braced Frames” (educating engineers about a new preliminary procedure for member design, and how to use it in future projects).  

Matt Streid, Associate, participated in a panel discussion on “Lessons I Wish I Had Known Starting Out.”  The session featured top young designers sharing lessons they learned the hard way.  Streid is active in the Young Professionals Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.  John Hooper, Director of Earthquake Engineering, also attended the conference.

» MKA active at AISC’s 2015 NASCC Conference

03.13.2015 — The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently announced new estimates for the probability of a magnitude 8.0 or greater earthquake hitting California in the next 30 years, with an increase from 4.7% to 7.0%.  The key change is increased recognition of “fault jumping,” which occurs when a rupture on a fault triggers a simultaneous rupture on a nearby fault, resulting in a “combined” event and a potential substantial increase in magnitude. According to John Hooper, MKA’s Director of Earthquake Engineering, this research result is also being recognized in the development of USGS seismic design maps that will be used in the forthcoming seismic provisions of ASCE 7-16, “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.”  The resulting seismic design values in portions of Southern California will increase by 10-20%. You may be wondering if the same is true for earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest, a similarly active seismic region.  John says that “fault jumping” does not apply to the Pacific Northwest, as the faults in the region are not as likely to “jump.” Seismic design values for the Pacific Northwest will change in the new maps, but the changes are the result of refinements in the estimated size and location of potential earthquakes and the resulting estimation of ground shaking, rather than “fault jumping” considerations.

For more information on MKA’s Seismic Engineering Services, click here.

Image Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

» “Fault Jumping” Increases Earthquake Probability in Select Regions

03.11.2015 — The Chicago Architecture Foundation maintains a very elaborate (and famous) model of Chicago buildings, a permanent exhibit that is updated annually and grows along with the city!  A team constantly watches the Loop for new construction, then each year adds new projects and takes out demolished buildings.  Once a project begins, the team contacts the architecture firm for an exterior file of the building that can be used as a guide to 3D print the building’s model. This year, 4 of the 16 new buildings were MKA designs:  151 North Franklin Street, 200 North Michigan, 150 North Riverside, and River Point at 444 West Lake Street (MKA also did a peer review of OneEleven at 111 West Wacker).  With a Chicago office and over 50 projects in the area, MKA has made quite an impression on the city’s skyline. Check out the link to read more and see pictures of the impressive model. Can you spy any MKA projects?


Photo Credit: Kate Gardiner

» MKA Projects added to Chicago City Model

03.10.2015 — Don Davies, Senior Principal, presented “Life Cycle Analysis:  Opportunities for Structural Leadership" at the 4th Annual Vertical Cities Conference in Singapore.   Life cycle analysis is a way to capture the overall carbon footprint of a building, from material choices and origins to construction to demolition.  Don leads MKA’s Sustainability Specialist Group, and is a Lifetime Member of the Cascadia Region Green Building Council.

» Don Davies presents at Vertical Cities Conference

MKA News