Each new project is begun with an understanding that the other design disciplines may sometimes only have an idea of what they wish to achieve in their designs but not fully realize exactly how to do it. If possible, Thornton Engineering goes beyond its specific scope of services to help others resolve their design conflicts. It may be a matter of redesigning structural components or a suggested design approach to others which can streamline a project.
The structural system used for constructing multistory buildings is, in many cases, determined by either the engineer, architect, or owner who is familiar with one specific system. This may be an easy approach from a design viewpoint, but may result in high construction costs. Thornton Engineering works with many contractors, each with their own preferences, i.e., post-tension concrete, structural steel, reinforced concrete, pretension concrete, precast concrete, wood, masonry, and mixed combinations. Most important, some floor plans and use group classifications are better suited to some systems and materials of construction than to others.
Attention is directed to the fact that automobile circulation and parking are a fundamental part of the environment and by combining planning with engineering, a highly integral and efficient design is formulated. Projects range in size from 200 to 3,500 parking spaces and include underground, multistory, and roof-top configurations. Many have been constructed over commercial and retail space without the need for a roofing membrane. Clients typically include cities, governmental agencies, developers, engineers, architects, and hospitals.
The firm's structural design abilities have made possible long-span column free construction using post-tension concrete, cast-in-place concrete, precast pretension concrete, and structural steel. We also have extensive experience in wood and heavy timber construction for residential and commercial projects. Selection of which system to use is based on functional, economical, and esthetic requirements for the project and upon clients desires.