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Purdueenginerd last won the day on April 1 2015

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About Purdueenginerd

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    I work as a Structural engineer in the construction industry. I specialize in structural engineering for remodeling, renovation, and repair projects. Work for Architects, contractors, and owners. Highrises, midrises, university, hospital, residential, commercial, industrial and heavy petrochemical; I'm all over the place. My hobbies are Cycling, Traveling, reading, PS4 video games, and food; I also enjoy large construction developments, viewing construction project progress, architecture, and urban planning... which is probably why I'm on this website.

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  1. Purdueenginerd

    Old Blueprints, do they still exist?

    Drawings at the Houston Permitting office are public, to an extent. I often have to get old building drawings from CoH. Heres how it works. From basically 1989-present, all drawings are digitized. So a call into the permitting office see if they have it, and scheduling an appointment, you'll be able to go view the drawings. To take digital copies home or printed copy normally runs a fee. I forget the price (I normally expense it, so I pay little attention to the price). Secondly, if the building drawings have a copyright on them, sometimes they will require a letter from the property owner or drawing owner releasing them -- sometimes. From 1971-1989 (roughly) they have most of the drawings on microfilm. This one requires setting an appointment and allowing the permitting office to find the drawings. Couple of things help here: The address, Name of the building, and year it was constructed. They'll email you back, telling you they found it or found something. Then you go in examine the drawings and tell them which ones you want. Some cities you can print straight from microfilm, but Not Houston. They have to send them offsite, its normally about 2-3 weeks before you can get all your drawings. Pre 1971, Records are more spotty. They've allegedly lost drawings in floods, etc... and I've had mixed results for drawings pre-1971 in Houston. A small retail building from the 1930's will be tough. Specwriter has a great point too. Because if that building has had a substantial renovation that required permitting, they might have that set, which might have enough info for you to work with. As for options if the city doesnt have the drawings. There are few archival groups in city of houston, Rice and UH have some old city drawings in storage. But I've only seen them have large public structures, or the early high rises of the city. Ive had to get a few drawings from Rice in the past. Your last option actually, is to hire someone like an architect who then hires a structural engineer (like me!) who specializes in remodeling old buildings. Ill go out there and measure every beam for the right price
  2. Purdueenginerd

    HEB at 23rd & Shepherd (Formerly Fiesta)

    Went with my wife during the superbowl and it was still quite busy. Guess everyone else thought the game was boring too.
  3. This is definitely a site where you'd want 10' sidewalks, and it sort of looks like the standard 3' sidewalks. They might be waiting towards the end of the project to redo the sidewalks perhaps? That I actually like. With on street parking on Washington(though Im not sure if this area has it), its better to have the sidewalk right up against the road. The design philosophy of Street->3' uninterrupted strip of grass--> sidewalk is a suburban technique that forces street parkers to walk onto wet/muddy grass.
  4. Im not super familiar with EDI international, but that rendering looks like standard Revit Model (which is a commonly used construction drawing software) that they plopped on a google maps satellite view. I dont think the rendering is cheap. Just their texturing and the ground come off as bland. my two cents at least.
  5. Purdueenginerd

    Aga Khan Foundation: Islamic Community Center, first in U.S

    Will be nice if the fill the block w/ good street presence. This thing still seems over 3-4 years away though.
  6. Purdueenginerd

    The Allen: Allen Pkwy/Gillette Mixed Use 6 acres

    I'm not super familiar with temporary structures but I would imagine if theres a specific duration that the building will be there, it will still have to comply with IBC 2012 CoH Amendments (building code for Houston) The slab-on-grade with grade beams is going to be more durable than cinder blocks and like you commented, will probably look nicer.
  7. Purdueenginerd

    The Allen: Allen Pkwy/Gillette Mixed Use 6 acres

    Thats a pretty light foundation actually. Grade beams and a slab on grade. Dont have any pictures showing drilled piers, but this foundation looks like something youd see for a residential building.
  8. Purdueenginerd

    Shepherd 10 Business Park @ 600 N Shepherd Dr

    I could be wrong as well as I have not seen the interior framing. But if I had to guess, I would opine that its steel frame for the center columns and beams to support the roof bar joists however the exterior perimeter appears to me to me tilt wall with a decorative finish. That tilt wall is likely supporting the other side of the bar joists. Those exposed aggregate tilt wall buildings were really popular in the 70's and 80's. Link below with some construction details on how theyre built. https://www.concreteconstruction.net/how-to/tilt-up-exposed-aggregate_o I pulled an image from 1978 from when the complex was under construction. Pretty hard to tell but it looks like the walls are up and theres no roof on the building(the Center building) yet which is consistent with tilt-wall construction.
  9. Purdueenginerd

    Shepherd 10 Business Park @ 600 N Shepherd Dr

    The architect isnt making the structural engineer's life easy on this one. Tilt Wall construction like that and it looks like theyre cutting huge holes in it and significantly altering building profiles. I get the feeling this might be scaled back significantly once it gets to the DD issue of the drawings. Neat complex though
  10. Purdueenginerd

    Australian Developer Planning Three High-Rises for Midtown

    Thats good. Guess they have weekend and late night shifts working. Might explain why this building is going up so fast.
  11. Purdueenginerd

    190 TC Jester: 4-story Office Building

    Little bit of infill sandwiched between dense residential buildings. Should be good.
  12. Purdueenginerd

    Central Bank on Milam in Midtown

    I dont get it. Is it a naughty joke?
  13. Purdueenginerd

    Montrose Gardens--20 stories w/ GFR

    In my opinion, I'm not a huge fan of 9 floor of garage space within that footprint. I get the idea that whilst looking for parking the driver will get dizzy driving up to the top.
  14. Purdueenginerd

    Dolce Living coming to Midtown Houston - West Gray at Wilson

    How I imagine the Change-order is written: Scope: Change first floor to retail Cost: half a million Schedule: 6 years, with weather days for rain chance over 10 percent.
  15. Purdueenginerd

    The Kirby Mansion: 15-Story High-Rise @Brazos/Gray

    This is unfortunate. I'm normally okay with demolition of a structure, so long as what replaces it is a economic, artistic, or public improvement over the previous structure. Should this go to a car-dealership, which no offense to car dealers, seems like a gross use of land in the midtown area. Especially since residents in this part of town are more likely to be walking, biking, and taking public transportation to their place of work.