Our extensive structural design experience and diversified abilities allow us to provide structural solutions that are creative, economical and constructible. We strive above all to be responsive to our clients, respectful of their architectural designs, budgetary and scheduling objectives. DRPILLA has been responsible for the structural designs of office buildings, hotels, residential, educational, performing arts, sports and healthcare facilities.
We provide comprehensive civil/site engineering services which assist owners and developers in the process of creating a viable project. This often involves the ability to see projects through the processes of zoning approvals, easements, and variances, which DRPILLA’s diversified staff of engineers is well qualified to complete. We also provide engineering review services for local municipalities as required. These services are predominantly focused on the review of plans and calculations for proposed drainage solutions for particular sites.
DRPILLA provides geotechnical engineering services in the specialty of earthwork and foundation engineering to offer solutions for soil, rock, and groundwater problems as they relate to our client’s needs. This allows us to understand how each element will correspond to the proposed construction and enables us to best advise our clients on how to proceed. Due to the nature and scope of our projects, we are often asked to perform Geotechnical analysis in order to best determine future foundation, structural, and civil design aspects of the job at hand.
DRPILLA’s expertise in all areas of structural and civil engineering allows us to provide insightful and often necessary peer review and forensic engineering services to our clients. The reasons for any design failure are extensive and at times complex, but allowing for proper investigation is critical to finding the appropriate solutions.
Peer Review / Forensic Investigation Services
Comprehensive Review of Proposed Structural Design
DRPILLA employs architects on its staff to work alongside engineers and specialists in building design. This allows us to offer our architectural services as a collaborative technical consultant to our staff of engineers. The integration of our building design roles creates an environment that allows for professionals in the fields of engineering and architecture to work as a cohesive team and to ultimately deliver the most complete and seamless design innovations to our clients.
Our firm methodology rests on the theory of viewing a building as a whole, which allows our multidisciplinary staff to plan, design, manage and anticipate constructability for every phase of the building process. Incorporated in our whole building approach, we offer comprehensive building shell inspections of existing buildings and provide remediation design based on analysis and deficiencies found. We also focus on construction assemblies, insulation/weather protection, and façade/building shell inspections design and restoration. When not in conflict with our design professional clients, we will accept lead design commissions in engineering and architecture.
Green building, intelligent building, and energy efficiency has long been an integral part of DRPILLA’s design focus. A sustainable building incorporates natural systems that range from the use of daylight to fresh water and is designed with primarily natural materials. Understanding how to properly sync the building to its surroundings is ultimately about being environmentally responsible.
Incorporated in our sustainable design work, we provide energy and resource efficiency services for commercial, multi-family, and single family buildings. These services include:
Building System Assessment
Green Materials and Products Specs
Green Building Commissioning
LEED Assessments and Certification
Indoor Air Quality Analysis and Testing
Solar and PV Design and Engineering
Preparation of Green Guidelines and Performance Criteria
As an approved NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Partner, we are able to offer technical guidance and administrative help through the process of participating in any of NYSERDA’s multifamily programs. We can help you take advantage of a suite of New York State programs that provide customized energy solutions.
DRPILLA has extensive experience in the design of renovations and additions to existing buildings. Our services range from planning, condition and feasibility studies to designs for major alterations or expansions. Projects include condition surveys, inspection of curtain walls, repairs to structures in distress, and horizontal/vertical additions or enlargements. Building out versus building up is primarily determined by the amount of square footage desired, local/state regulations, and the construction type of the project structure. These type of expansions can be done in conjunction or separately, and often require reinforcement of a building's foundation, structural monitoring, and underpinning, depending on the extent of renovation.
DRPILLA offers optical and vibration monitoring services as required by the NYC Department of Buildings as they relate to the parameters of the Landmark Preservation Commission and a project’s neighboring building as to ensure no negative effects are created due to the construction process. Monitoring is particularly critical when underpinning is being used as part of the foundation design. Each project is unique and requires the development of a through monitoring plan which includes the identification of areas to be instrumented, establishing a monitoring schedule and frequency, and an overall observed condition assessment that includes photo documentation of potential separation/cracking locations. We use an Instantel Minimate PlusTM Advanced Vibration and an Overpressure Monitor to complete weekly surveying and analysis.
Data analysis and evaluation is completed in order to calculate displacements and vibration acceleration to better determine extents of movement and displacement relative to the predetermined criteria. Ultimately, we provide the client and/or governing agency with the monitoring results/reports documenting time-histories of measured conditions with conclusions and any recommendations based on our analysis. With that information, potential modifications are taken into account as needed by the design team.
As an IAS (International Accreditation Service) accredited class 1 special inspection agency, DRPILLA provides special and progress inspection services as defined by the 2008 NYC Building Code. This current code requires special inspections to be performed for all construction projects. Each project is divided into three classes, class 1, 2 or 3. This distinction can be determined on the NYC DOB website.
Special Inspections, have been mandatory for all construction jobs whose applications were submitted on or after July 1, 2008 and include inspections of selected materials, equipment, installation, fabrication, erection or placement of components and connections as well as confirm compliance with approved construction documents and referenced standards required by NYC Building Code.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for the city’s drainage plan and stormwater management. In 2012 the NYC DEP revised their rules governing site discharge for new and redeveloped lots. There is now an increased stormwater storage requirement and a stricter limit on the maximum flow off of the property into the combined sewer system. Ultimately, these new requirements are meant to prevent combined sewer discharge from entering into natural water bodies during larger rain events.
DRPILLA’s goal is to design cost-effective and sustainable stormwater management systems that meet both DEP’s new performance standards, as well as our client’s. Our staff will help navigate clients through the various design requirements and associated paperwork involved with the development and redevelopment of various New York City sites.
As seasoned professionals within the construction industry, DRPILLA provides expert witness and litigation assistance to attorneys, insurance companies, and their clients for an extensive range of projects. Our areas of specialty include: structural engineering, building technology, construction, project management, building codes, foundations, soil mechanics, retaining structures, water intrusion, moisture related problems, cause and origin of structural failures, professional ethics, building specifications, contract documents, performance of building systems, fire and weather related damage, deterioration due to insects and moisture, corrective construction and slip/fall claims.
As skilled structural designers, DRPILLA has had the opportunity to collaborate with artisans, sculptors, and academics on both temporary installations and permanent exhibits. DRPILLA’s designs incorporate wind, seismic, and code requirements as they relate to various works of art and their surroundings.
New York City’s Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), also known as NYC Rule 103-04 formally known as Local Law 11/98, requires that owners of buildings with six or more stories above an exposed basement wall inspect their exterior walls and appurtenances periodically. A licensed professional engineer or registered architect must conduct this inspection.
DRPILLA’s capital needs assessments (CNA); also referred to as physical needs assessments (PNA) provide an extensive analysis of building systems, recommendations for specific improvements, and funding estimates for long-term maintenance. Our completed capital needs reports include all requirements listed by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for a Capital Needs Assessment Report.
As part of our services, we are often asked to incorporate an in depth green aspect of the CNA which takes into account ways to make the property more energy efficient and make environmentally conscious decisions over time. An energy audit is often performed simultaneously, to see how water and energy usage can be improved, with the results incorporated into the Green CNA report.