Check Out What’s New | Winter 2023

(2023-12-23) New mass timber building begins construction, construction continues for the historic renovation of the Oregon State Capitol building, South San Francisco Civic building opens. SFMTA Central Subway wins ENR Project of the Year, Kilroy Oyster Point Parking Structure Tops out.

New Mass Timber Building Breaks Ground at UC Berkeley!
Work begins on UC Berkeley’s new 78,000 sf Undergraduate Academic Building, which will be UC Berkeley’s first mass timber building. F|E is providing structural engineering Services.
Rendering credit: ©LMN Architects
City of South San Francisco Unveils New Civic Building
F|E attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new three-story, 83,000 sf Library, Parks & Recreation Center, which is also home to new City Council chamber.
New Milestone for Oregon State Capitol Retrofit Project
Oregon State Capitol Retrofit project recently reached a new milestone reaching the bottom of excavation below the 1938 historic building. Once completed, the Capitol will have a new foundation system with seismic base isolators to help resist seismic shaking and keep the building operational after a major earthquake. A new floor below the existing building will also provide much needed new office spaces and hearing rooms.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Central Subway, Chinatown Station Wins 2023 Engineering News Record (ENR) Project of the Year!
San Francisco’s 1.7-mile Central Subway line, which opened for service this year, has been honored by Engineering News-Record California (ENR California) as the regional publication’s 2023 Northern California Project of the Year. We are very appreciative to be a part of this monumental project that connects communities!
Kilroy Oyster Point, Parking Structure Topping Out
F|E attended the topping out ceremony for a new 2,000 stall, 550,000 sf, 10-story parking structure at Kilroy Oyster Point. This was a huge milestone for our team with Clark Pacific.
Museum to Life Science Incubator & Laboratory Space
F|E project team presented the BakarBioEnginuity Hub project to UC Berkeley Structural Engineering grad students and then took a tour of the building!

Sustainable Design Strategies

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.

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.

Oregon Supreme Court Wins!

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!

The Oregon Supreme Court building utilized base isolation and is now one of Oregon’s most resilient historic building.

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.

Oregon Supreme Court | 2023 SEAONC Structural Engineering Excellence Awards

Check Out What’s New | Winter 2022

(2022-12-23) Ribbon Cutting for 3 F|E Projects, New Life Science Building Tops Out & More Project Awards!

SFMTA Central Subway
SFMTA Central Subway Opens!
Our F|E team had the opportunity to tour the new SFMTA Central Subway, Chinatown/Rose Park station before opening its doors last month. We were thrilled to be a part of the project and even more thrilled to view the space!
CSU EB CORE
CSU East Bay CORE Building Opens!
F|E attended the grand opening of the new 101,000 sf CORE Library. The university library will become home to the Student Center for Academic Achievement & the Hub for Entrepreneurship.
Oregon Supreme Court
Oregon Supreme Court Opens!
The historic renovation of the Oregon Supreme Court utilizes base isolation as its structural system for enhanced resiliency and is designed for immediate occupancy and operation after a significant earthquake.
LinkedIn HQ
LinkedIn Campus, Mountain View, CA
LinkedIn South Bay Campus, Building One is the 2022 Silicon Valley Business Journal honoree for Best Green Project. (Photo ©Kyle Jeffers)
CSU Sacramento, WELL Expansion
Winner of the Engineering News Record 2022 Best Higher Education/Research Facility. (Photo ©David Wakely)

What’s New at Forell | Elsesser Engineers

(2022-07-27) Three Projects with High Environmental Goals | Embodied Carbon Action Plan | New Articles + Featured Podcasts

Lick-Wilmerding High School Historic Renovation & Expansion, San Francisco, CA | Forell Elsesser and the project team created a resilient, sustainable high school expansion named an AIA COTE Top Ten, and targets net zero energy, LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge.

CSU Sacramento WELL Expansion Building Opens!

(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 Bike To Hope Raises Over $180K

(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!

Learn more about Bike to Hope here.

San Francisco State University has a New Academic Building!

(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

F|E Elevates Six Staff Including New Principal

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.

Forell | Elsesser Announces New Firm Leadership as it Celebrates its 60 Years of Successful Business

New Structure Lets Leadership Focus on Business, Clients and Projects

September 1, 2020–San Francisco, CA–On its 60th anniversary, San Francisco-based structural engineering firm Forell | Elsesser announced today its transition to the firm’s fourth generation of leaders. The incoming team includes CEO Chris Petteys and COO Rene Vignos, as well as four directors: Director of Business Strategy Allen Nudel, Director of Technical Excellence Steve Marusich, Director of Engineering Operations Geoff Bomba and Director of People Development Carolynn Smith.

In keeping with its legacy of thoughtfully orchestrated successions, Petteys and Vignos, who have been members of the firm’s Executive Committee, succeed Simin Naaseh and Paul Rodler, who served as the firm’s CEO and COO respectively for 13 years. “We began this transition process four years ago, and I have huge confidence in our incoming leadership team,” said Rodler.  Naaseh and Rodler, who will remain actively involved as Senior Principals and serve clients in project leadership roles, will also provide support to the incoming leadership team and the firm’s strategic initiatives. Naaseh is especially committed to mentoring young leaders and developing more female leadership in the firm.

According to CEO Chris Petteys, “The new structure balances responsibilities across the leadership group. We all really enjoy the project work we do—structural engineering is our shared passion. We don’t anticipate any big changes to our roles leading projects and working with clients.”

“We are fortunate to have a team of demonstrated leaders, who are committed to continuing Forell | Elsesser’s legacy and long-standing reputation for innovation and technical excellence. Their fresh perspectives and complimentary skills and interests will be an asset to the firm’s strategic growth and tradition of recruiting and retaining the best talent”, said Naaseh. 

“Staff development is an ongoing priority at Forell | Elsesser where curiosity is a core value”, said Carolynn Smith, Director of People Development, who describes the process as “the Forell | Elsesser lifecycle.”

In addition to the executive leadership transition, Russell Berkowitz has been elevated to the Principal role in recognition of his technical leadership and advisory role with clients over his 21 year tenure with the firm.

About Forell | Elsesser

Founded in 1960 by Nicholas Forell and Eric Elsesser, Forell | Elsesser is a San Francisco-based structural engineering innovator. The firm’s legacy in seismic retrofits of nationally recognized historic structures is complemented by its creative engineering of new complex buildings and other unusual structures across industries and building types. Their work is highlighted in landmarks like LinkedIn’s Middlefield Campus, the retrofit and base isolation of San Francisco and Oakland City Halls, UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium and the retrofit and base isolation of Salt Lake City Mormon Temple. Learn more at www.forell.com