At BMR, we turn complex building designs into realities. From the traditional to the innovative, our engineering solutions enable clients to ‘think big’ – knowing that BMR will overcome the challenges they face. Architects, contractors, developers and owners alike continue to rely on BMR and the numerous services we provide. That commitment to innovative solutions continues as more and more of our projects and staff members attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designations.

Here’s a brief introduction to some of the services we offer.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can bring our strength of experience to your engineering challenges.

Structural Design

In strict accordance with applicable standards, we ensure individual components of every structure (i.e. wall, floor, roof) are designed to resist environmental factors (i.e. snow, rain, wind, earthquakes, temperature effects) as well as loads from use and occupancy. As an example, a roof structure must be capable of supporting not only snow loads, but rain which may follow the snow, and the weight of mechanical equipments such as air-handling units that are often situated on roofs.

Restoration Design

For existing buildings and structures, we assess shortcomings and design for any required resulting reinforcing or restoration. These shortcomings can be the result of poor initial construction, deterioration and/or structural damage. A common scenario here in Atlantic Canada would be the exterior wall of a building in which salt air and water has corroded the metal ties that originally secured the brick to the building. Unexpected natural occurrences such as floods and fires can result in the need for restoration design, as was the case when we worked on St. George’s Round Church after 40% of the structure was destroyed by fire in 1994.

Feasibility Studies/Budget Review

In assessing an owner’s potential return on investment, we review all aspects of a project construction before commencement. This involves careful examination of different building materials (i.e. cost benefit analysis of steel versus concrete) as well as design and construction strategies. Our team – in large part due to our experience – even considers factors such as price fluctuation in materials and other unforeseen conditions that could affect budget and turnaround.

Structural Load Testing

Structural load carrying capacity determination involves designing for the strength of the weakest link, often as a result of unpredictable materials. When the load carrying capacity of a structure is in question, we can carry out tests that accurately determine the true strength. This can include loading the structure to a point higher than its expected in-service load, ensuring an adequate safety factor before failure. An example of this is when we did a load test on the balcony at one of Halifax’s key landmarks – St. George’s Round Church.

Failure Investigations

Following any type of structural failure, BMR promptly reports to the site before conditions change. This enables us to investigate cause and effect nearest the time of failure. An excellent example of this here in Atlantic Canada is a collapsed roof following a large snowfall. Snow drifting is hard to predict, and many older buildings in our communities were not designed and built adequately to withstand larger snowfalls. BMR can examine damages – wall and roof fragments – and identify the element that triggered the collapse. This is followed by a careful comparison of structural design and construction with standards prescribed by the National Building Code of Canada

Tender Administration

The tender process is generally quite involved and lengthy, and we prioritize assisting our clients every step of the way. When bid documents (typically drawings and specifications) are complete, they are often distributed to contractors – by open bidding or invitation. During this tender period, the design may continue to evolve. As a result, we often assist with issuing addenda during and after the tender period. After tenders close, we review bids to ensure contractors have met mandatory requirements while also assisting owners in the selection process. What is a prospective contractor’s experience? Is the timetable realistic? Should costs be adjusted and/or reduced? These are just a few of the questions we ask to keep expectations in check during the tender review.

Construction Administration

BMR’s construction administration services typically include a review of shop drawings, issuing contract change documents and site instructions, and carrying out site visits as required to determine quality of work completed. It is not uncommon, due to cost and time efficiencies, for our team to act on behalf of design firms located elsewhere. For example, BMR would assist an Ontario engineering firm by examining construction progress on a site in Nova Scotia. Similarly, for projects in other remote locations, we will sometimes commission local engineers to handle construction administration on behalf of BMR.

Shop Drawing Review

Every project has its own story, from shapes and sizes of individual building components, to integration of these components into each structure. At BMR, we examine the shop drawings of sub-contractors to ensure all design intentions are met. For example, a steel contractor will provide drawings that indicate the size, location and number of bolts required for a specific structural connection. BMR assesses these before construction gets underway.

Site Review

At BMR, we have always prioritized site reviews. It’s our belief that the only way to ensure construction is progressing correctly is to see and visit a site in person. This also assists with our progress reviews, helping us to confirm the quantity and quality of the onsite work. BMR is well equipped to make on-site visits throughout all construction phases of a project, exploring everything from methods to materials. As an example, for concrete casting, we examine the size and spacing of reinforced steel prior to the placing of concrete, knowing that any deviations could affect the integrity of a structure.

Progress Claim Review

Every owner or developer, especially when it comes to paying contractors and sub-contractors, requires monthly status confirmation on a job’s progress. To this end, BMR provides detailed verification on the status of a project. Has the contractor billed too much, too quickly? Should invoices be adjusted? Can payment claims be substantiated? Rest assured, we offer our observations and recommendations on these questions and more.