June 2011


by Don Friedman on June 30, 2011

The Center For An Urban Future has released an interesting report on the importance of design services to the New York City economy. Some of their stats are a little weak (they compare the total people employed in design and total number of firms in NYC, LA, Chicago and other cities, where per-capita numbers would be more useful) but the general point is a good one. It’s nice to see a reminder that there is more to the New York economy than banks and trading.

One serious flaw in the report: there’s no mention of engineering. Not to sound defensive, but engineers are designers, too, and there are a fair number of us in New York.

Nat Tocci

June 30, 2011

Mr. Nat Tocci joined Old Structures Engineering in 2011 as an Associate. Nat is an accomplished engineer specializing in the analysis and design of complex structures. He has extensive experience with the design of high rise buildings, hotels, schools, renovations, and the evaluation of existing structures. His past projects include numerous notable structures in NYC […]

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June 27, 2011

Part of being structural engineers who work on buildings is the knowledge that our work is almost never directly visible. It’s indirectly visible in buildings that stand up, and in the architectural manifestations of alterations, but that’s not the same thing. Sometimes our work is not visible even while it’s in progress:

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New Technology

June 23, 2011

We’ve recently started using iPads as field tools for data capture. In other words, the field notebooks and clipboards that we’ve always used to record conditions on site are being replaced by the ability to draw electronically and mark up PDFs of drawings on the iPad. For drawing, we’re using Penultimate and Sketchbook. For red-lining PDFs we’re using GoodReader. […]

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Historic Structural Detail 2

June 20, 2011

Even when dealing with large and unsubtle structure, small details often provide important information. The picture below shows the underside of a floor in a loft building constructed in the 1920s. (Some tenant decided that dark gray paint would look nice.) Given that New York is full of concrete-encased steel floor beams, the question comes […]

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NYC Media

June 13, 2011

The official New York City website has a section called “NYC Media” that includes short video clips on various topics of interest to city residents. In the “Life” section is a subsection called “Blueprint | NYC” that contains videos on various landmarks. It began with City Hall and Gracie Mansion but has since moved on […]

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June 7, 2011

We work where the buildings are: one of the simple truths of a practice based on existing structures is that we can’t jet-set around the world like the skyscraper designers do. Our projects are predominately in New York City and its immediate surroundings, but we also work on designs across the northeast and as consultants […]

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