Embodied carbon reducing design strategies have always been a core design principle at Forell Elsesser. We work with our clients early in design to make strategic decisions to reduce the impact a building’s structural system has on the environment. Over the years, we have consistently tracked the environmental impact of our designs using Life Cycle Assessments. We have completed LCAs on a wide range of projects – from office and residential spaces to multi storied life science and academic buildings.
Soil improvement can play a huge role in reducing embodied carbon in structures. Investing in soil improvement will have a positive impact on the site class, which in turn can reduce the seismic design category and seismic demands. Seismic design category can be a better indicator than site class alone because it accounts for risk category, which may increase the seismic demands. Across our projects, a lower seismic design category trends towards a lower embodied carbon. Where possible, the strategy of improving site class (and with it, reducing seismic design category) can achieve a 20-60% carbon reduction.
F|E recently suggested this soil improvement strategy for a new life science building in Northern California. Our team recommended and proceeded with revising from a Site Class F to a Site Class C. The shift in site class reduced the seismic demands by 60% which helped achieve aggressive sustainability goals from the owner.
From Fragile to Resilient: Implementing Seismic Isolation for the Historic Oregon Supreme Court Structure.
Forell Elsesser is thrilled to announce that the Oregon Supreme Court won an Excellence in Design award, the top prize in Seismic Retrofit Category for this year’s 2023 SEAONC Structural Engineering Excellence (SEE) Awards Program. The Oregon Supreme Court Building, which utilized base isolation, was successfully re-opened in 2022 and is now one of Oregon’s most seismically resilient historic buildings!
Constructed in 1914, the Supreme Court Building of Oregon is one of the state’s oldest continuously operating government buildings. To preserve the historic structure and its unique features, the Oregon Judicial Department embarked on a $55M retrofit project to protect the structure for the future. The retrofit design, which utilized seismic isolation instead of conventional fixed-base seismic strengthening, proved to be the most effective solution for simultaneously improving seismic resilience and minimizing the impact of the structural strengthening on the historic fabric of the building.
(2021-10-16) Fantastic opening ceremony for the CSU Sacramento WELL Expansion building opening! A win for the University, the design and construction team and most importantly, the students!
F|E’s team was led by Steve Marusich, Arthur Cao, Chris Tung and Simin Naaseh.
The new WELL Expansion project added 29,000 GSF and renovated over 26,000 GSF to the original 230,000 GSF building. These updates included expanded locker room space and capacity, additional strength and free-weight fitness space, additional group fitness studios, dedicated spin studio, expanded lounge space, health- and wellness-education rooms, health-cooking demonstration kitchen and group counseling rooms and offices.
(2021-10-15) Forell|Elsesser Engineers has sponsored the Bike to Hope event since its inception in 2012. Organized by the Northern California Real Estate & Construction Council (NCREC), Bike to Hope is a fundraising event to support the lifesaving treatment and compassionate care of City of Hope.
As an active sponsor, F|E led last year’s 2020 virtual ride event, which was a huge success, but this year, it was time to get back on the open road and ride together! Over 150 riders of all levels participated in the in-person ride and over $180,000 was raised!
(2021-10-05) The new George and Judy Marcus Hall for the Liberal and Creative Arts Building, which is home to SFSU’s Broadcast and Electronic Communications Arts (BECA) program, opened its doors this year on October 5th.
Project Team: AOR: Mark Cavagnero GC: McCarthy Building Companies SEOR: Forell | Elsesser MEP + Sustainability: WSP USA Civil: CSW Landscape: SWA
Forell | Elsesser is proud to announce the promotion of six key personnel! Lindsey Maclise, Principal; Lori Jue, Associate; Andrew Salber, Senior Engineer; Steve Earl, Senior Engineer; Amelia Lin, BIM Coordinator; and Jonah Canalin, Marketing Manager.
Lindsey Maclise is named a Principal, from Senior Associate. Lindsey is a 15-year Forell Elsesser employee and has worked on projects including Stanford University Bass Biology Building, Cañada College Kinesiology & Wellness and UC Berkeley Student Athlete High Performance Center. A University of California at Berkeley Master’s program graduate, she is active with the UC Berkeley CEE Advisory Board as well as the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute where she has been named a Housner Fellow.
Lori Jue is promoted to Associate. Lori, who received a BS and master’s from the University of California at San Diego, has worked on projects such as the new South San Francisco Civic Campus and Lick-Wilmerding High School, Expansion & Renovation in San Francisco.
Andrew Salber, promoted to Senior Engineer, has worked on projects including the BioEnginuity Hub at UC Berkeley and the UCSF Clinical Science Building. He has a BS from Tufts University and a master’s from the University of California at Berkeley.
Steve Earl is named Senior Engineer. His notable projects include the Oregon Supreme Court Historic Renovation and the SFSU Marcus Hall for the Liberal and Creative Arts. Steve has a BS from Northeastern University and a master’s from Stanford University.
Amelia Lin is named BIM Coordinator. A graduate of University of Southern California, Amelia provides BIM support on all Forell Elsesser projects. Her recent projects include UC Berkeley BioEnginuity Hub and LinkedIn Middlefield Campus.
Jonah Canalin is promoted to Marketing Manager. A graduate of San Jose State University, he supports the firm’s business development efforts and oversees internal and external marketing.
David Friedman marked December 31, 2020 as the date to transition from his 40- year career at Forell | Elsesser Engineers, and to focus more on his active leadership in the areas of civic engagement and social advocacy, while enjoying more time with his family – including the new addition, “RBG” the yellow Lab!
“Retirement” is hardly an appropriate word to describe David’s transition plans, as he seems to be more involved than ever in key roles with a multitude of professional and community organizations. He does say he wants to “slow down a bit”, as he continues to explore, learn, play golf, and travel
David started his career with Forell | Elsesser in 1980, working closely with both Nick Forell and Eric Elsesser, the firm’s founding Principals. He developed an appreciation for elegant architecture early in his career. While enjoying his career as a structural engineer, he became increasingly interested in Forell | Elsesser’s practice and what made it so successful. The founding Principals recognized David’s innate leadership attributes and financial acumen, which led to his growth as an Associate and a Principal / Shareholder of the firm, ultimately taking on the firm’s leadership as its CEO in 1998.
David’s leadership role at Forell | Elsesser has been transformative for the firm. During his tenure as the CEO, he cultivated a culture of collaboration and teamwork, both internally and with clients, always emphasizing the “we” and not the” I”. His inclusive leadership style, his quest for equity and diversity, his genuine caring for the staff, and his thoughtful and comprehensive approach to decision making have been inspirational, and have permeated the firm’s culture, leaving a long-lasting impression that is certain to endure for generations to come. His methodical transition planning has also left a framework for healthy leadership transitions to future generations.
In 2007, David stepped aside from his CEO role to focus more of his time and energy on his life-long passion for supporting not-for-profit professional and community organizations, and to create opportunities for the next generation to lead Forell | Elsesser, while he continued to be involved and engaged with the firm as Senior Principal and Chair of the Board for another decade. In more recent years, David has divided his time between his role with the firm, and his leadership roles on the boards of LS&Co., Jewish Home & Senior Living Foundation, SPUR, EERI, Geohazards International, as well as involvement with UC Berkeley Design Review Committee, UCB Chancellor’s Capital Strategies Committee, UCB CEE Advisory Council, UCB CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni Board, and Stanford Seismic Advisory Committee; in addition to numerous others. David is a role model for giving back to his profession and to the society at large by generously supporting these organizations with his time and resources.
David has contributed to many of our firm’s notable projects. His approach to structural engineering reflects several factors: his respect for elegant architecture, his belief in the power of a great team, and his embodiment of three principles: a comprehensive view of the “problem” and what surrounds it, a drive to develop technically elegant yet buildable solutions, and great business sense. He leveraged the collective talent that existed in the firm to better serve our clients, by challenging his engineering teams, soliciting their best work and ideas, and assembling those ideas into a harmonious solution.
A strong advocate for seismic safety, he has been able to communicate seismic risk to clients in terms that are meaningful to them, guiding them towards a seismic risk mitigation strategy. The most prominent example of David’s engineering M.O. is his decade-long leadership of the seismic renovation of the UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium, which presented unprecedented engineering challenges. David proactively engaged the interests of the owner to obtain a full understanding of their goals and the potential obstacles, assembled the most capable technical team, brainstormed and presented multiple solutions, and – in so doing – orchestrated the completion of perhaps the most innovative seismic design solution ever developed.
His other notable projects include Seismic Retrofit of San Francisco City Hall, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Jewish Community Center, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the new Berkeley Art Museum, and Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life.
While David marked December 2020 as his “retirement”, he will continue to be a friend of the firm, as we value his leadership legacy, and cherish his friendship, mentorship, sense of humor, the seemingly endless supply of his good wine, and his contributions to our celebrations as the firm’s first “Poet Laureate”.
With best wishes for David in transitioning to the next chapter of his life,