Damage is a feature not a bug

Disaster porn for engineers:

This seemed like a good opportunity to point out that while that video makes the damage look pretty bad and cause youtube commenters to call for the designers heads, this is an example of a building behaving well. The concrete outside the wall rebar cage spalled off, which looks like failure, […]

Thank you RISA

Because of you, when the boss catches us having rubber band fights we can always just say: “I’m iterating for p-delta.”

Similar to coders really.

Update: It’s embarrassing when you misspell the punchline.

Grade Beams FTW

They are just really fucking awesome at reducing moment frame deflection.

That is all.

Column Drop Caps Done Right

A beautiful way to limiting punching shear problems. Radial control joints along the bottom of the drop are a nice accent.

National Technical Library Prague photo by vtr do

You can’t change gridlines in midspan

While I agree with Archidose that this video is a wonderful way of presenting the design concept and understand that this house is just a study in the use of wood structural panels and not intended for construction, the engineer in me groaned at the way in which the walls were completely discontinuous across […]

Martian Wordle

So, despite my general tendency to find all internet traditions lame, I think these wordles are pretty awesome and I made one for my Mars structural design project (and lo and behold, those are amongst the most common words). Impressively, the script processed my 100+ page paper in a scant few seconds. I am overwhelmed […]

this is really what I do every day

No joke: this is Joe living my life. (h/t: Lewism)

Add Another to the Black List

See Ezra try to take food out of my (hypothetical) child’s mouth by downplaying the very real danger of the earthquake menace with his “Robots! Robots!” flimflam. In reality these things are not competitive, as the worst robots are brought by quake.

But really: setting most of the snark aside, unless you live or work […]

Architectural Bling

Even though I was told recently that real engineers design buildings not bridges (the view a side effect of the long standing structures vs. civil schism) — and I have a strong disdain for Dubai’s nouveau riche gaudiness — it would be a fun to work on one of these super-bridges. Long-span structures make it […]

The Swiss Seismic System

Not Switzerland, as that country is known for its superior engineering*, and they’d probably scoff at this kind of patchwork, but Swiss Cheese. Below you see a beautiful concrete shear wall, essential for taking wind and earthquake loads from one level of a building to the next — helpful for people not dying! — punched […]

Maillart Rocks

Thought you should know.

Art of Construction

Because Verco W3 deck produces cool lighting:

Photo by an undisclosed engineer working on an undisclosed project.

Letting the Monkeys Go

This post kicks off a new series that breaks open the dark underbelly of structural engineering. Full of facts, figures, & fatal catastrophes (!), you won’t want to miss these posts. So grab your slide rule, red pencil, and lack of social skills and come along!

In one of the famous engineering disasters that they […]

In Space, no one wants your Domes

Photo from Docent X. Thanks!

i-eclectica brings news of the RMF radio station in Poland, which, though terrestrial, perfectly represents the space colony archtype: modular construction, domes, shiny steel, glass, and concrete, airlock-like entrances, exposed mechanical systems, etc. It makes the Trekkie in me squeal. However, I’m thankful they built it on Earth because […]


I found an excerpt from this graphic story (is “comic” an insult?) called 976 sq ft. at Life Without Buildings, which “tells the tale of a modern residential tower rising in a quickly gentrifying neighborhood” and it’s detrimental psychological impact on a couple across the street, and I felt a little guilty. Half of my […]

Awake to Iberia

Work has been kicking my ass, and I’ve neglected my pontification. So sad. Instead, I offer you Spain boosterism:

Photo by tigrejones. Thanks!

I’m not a fan of the weird column capital detailing at La Sagrada Familia, but these tree columns are pretty cool. I’m not really clear on how one designs them — […]