Below are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive, broken down by discipline.

Still have questions? Give us a call!



What types of HVAC systems do you design?

Rooftop/package, VRF (both Heat Recovery & Heat Pump), chillers, cooling towers, Industrial cooling, heat pump, as well as combinations of these systems.

How can I save money on my HVAC system design?

There are two primary ways to save money – efficiency and cost reduction. Long term, especially in terms of maintenance cost and utilities, a more efficient HVAC system will almost always save building owners / operators money, but the shorter the lifespan of an operation or the smaller the scope of an HVAC system will lean toward less expensive (and less efficient) HVAC equipment.

What types of Fire Protection systems do you design?

We have and can design wet, dry, wet/dry and other specialized system types depending on your needs and code requirements.

Should I add a new gas meter for a new building on the same site where one already exists?

For most applications, the cost of being able to discern monthly gas usage outweighs the relatively minimal cost of having the local utility set a new gas meter. If you are adding onto the existing line and you are within code capacity limits, you may be able to add a new gas line without setting a new meter.


Do retaining walls need to be designed by a structural engineer?

In many jurisdictions, retaining walls 4′-0″ and taller are typically required to include a structural engineer’s design / evaluation. Additionally, other factors such as retained material, backfill slope and surcharge load behind the wall would affect the wall’s design and performance, and therefore we always recommend a structural assessment to ensure all aspects have been reviewed.

We have a metal building and would like to know if process piping and/or equipment can be attached to the underside of the roof structure of the facility?

In many cases, the roof framing may have some capacity available, in the form of collateral load. Our team can evaluate the existing framing (based on field measurements or available existing drawings) and existing conditions, and then determine if any process piping or equipment can safely be added, as well as coordinate the acceptable configuration with the MEP team.

Do I need a geotechnical soils report for my new project?

Having a geotechnical report available for the structural design of a given structure could help deliver a more efficient design by providing site specific information in lieu of conservative soil assumptions. It could also help identify any issues that should be addressed at a given site. Additionally, many jurisdictions would require such a report to be included in the permit set of documents. 

I am considering investing in an existing building and converting it for XYZ use. Where should I start?

Our team can provide a preliminary code evaluation based on the existing building’s construction and proposed use. This preliminary evaluation would identify any required code upgrades to the structure, highlight any areas that would need special consideration, review acceptable use of the existing elevated floors (if any) and outline limitations.


The electrical inspector said I need a letter sealed by an engineer because he could not inspect the electrician's work, do you provide that service?

Yes, we will come to your house or business and inspect to make sure it is code compliant form what to inspect. Based on what is observed, we will provide a letter passing or failing the inspection.

Do you design new incoming electrical services to the buildings?

Yes, we can provide all types and sizes of services single or 3-phase. We will coordinate with the local utility to get everything sized appropriately.

Do you provide arc flash reports?

Yes, we can provide a report and printable labels for the contractor to apply to all your electrical enclosures


What are the most cost effective measures to save energy?

The biggest potential energy savers are the things that use the most energy. In a typical building, these items are most often the lights and the HVAC system. The most cost effective way to save on lighting energy is by retrofitting or replacing your light fixtures with new technology LED lamps. For an HVAC system, the most cost effective way to save energy is providing controls so that you are not operating the system when the building is occupied.

How much energy can I save with a whole building energy audit?

There is a lot that goes into how much energy can potentially be saved from an energy audit including age of the building, current usage, and if any energy upgrades have already been performed. Historically, we have demonstrated a typical cost savings of 25% – 35% of the current utility costs with our recommended energy conservation measures (ECMs).

What is a simple payback and what kind of payback can I expect from an energy audit?

Simple payback is construction cost of energy upgrades divided by how much utility cost can be saved. For instance, if our energy audit shows that we can save you $10,000 per year in utility cost and we obtain a contractor cost estimate of $100,000 to perform these upgrades then that is a simple payback of 10 years. Different energy conservation measures (ECMs) have different typical paybacks. Lighting upgrades usually show a payback of 4 to 7 years and HVAC controls can show a payback of 1 to 5 years, typically. HVAC equipment upgrades and window replacements usually have longer paybacks of 10 years or more.