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    Exposed Structure
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    Seismic Performance
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    Sustainable Design
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    Living Building

About

Holistic . Nimble . Connected
To see what we're about, click here to watch the lecture "Space Between the Rocks: Structural Design for Form and Movement," given by David Mar at the Illinois School of Architecture.

Work

This is what we do
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Sustainability Treehouse
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Mithun and BNIM
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Joe Fletcher
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St. Mary's Chapel
In Design
Architectural design by:
Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects
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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
KMD Architects and Stevens + Associates
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Bruce Damonte
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Packard Foundation
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
EHDD Architecture
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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National Environmental Science Center at Yosemite
In Construction
Architectural design by:
Siegel & Strain Architects
Rendering by Al Forster
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Congregation Kol Emeth
In Design
Architectural design by:
Field Architecture and Hawley Peterson Snyder
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UCSC Coastal Biology Building
In Construction
Architectural design by:
EHDD Architecture
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Chartwell School
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
EHDD Architecture
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Michael David Rose
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Van Ness Medical Office Building
In Design
Architectural design by:
Boulder Associates
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Starry Bamboo Mandala
Portfolio
Sculpture design by:
Bamboo DNA
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Greek Theatre Seismic Retrofit
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Cody Anderson Wasney Architects
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Tom Paiva
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Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
BNIM
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo courtesy of Omega Center for Sustainable Living
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Washington Monument Post-Earthquake Evaluation
Portfolio
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by trollingking
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One Market Street Renovation
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
McCluskey and Associates Architects
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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Pacific Place Renovation
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Gensler
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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Homer Science and Student Life Center
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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680 Folsom Renovation
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
SOM
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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David Brower Center
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Mithun | Solomon
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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El Cerrito Recycling & Environmental Resource Center
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Noll & Tam Architects and Planners
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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City of Orinda Office Building
Portfolio
Architectural design by:
Siegel & Strain Architects
Project executed as Tipping Mar
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650 Live Oak
In Design
Architectural design by:
brick. llp

Research

We promote discovery
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Development of Deformable Connection for Earthquake-Resistant Buildings to Reduce Floor Accelerations and Force Responses

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Recommended Mesh Anchorage Details for Straw Bale Walls

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FEMA P-807: Guidelines for Seismic Retrofit of Weak-Story Wood-Framed Buildings

Read more or go to FEMA.gov
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Design Examples Using Mode Shaping Spines for Frame and Wall Buildings

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Full Scale Straw Bale Vault Test

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Reversed Cyclic In-plane Tests of Load-bearing Plastered Straw Bale Walls

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Team

We have big ideas
Partner

David believes the key to successful design is seeing and optimizing projects as a whole while controlling construction costs. To this end, his designs are inventive and technically ingenious. Some of his many creative contributions to seismic engineering include vertically post-tensioned shear walls and rocking braced frames that return to plumb; tilting rigid spines; and skin-reinforced straw bale shear walls. David has a keen interest in Lean design and in set-based design, and he actively applies these principles to all of his work.

David’s focus on seismic and sustainable design has positioned him at the forefront of the green-building movement. His enthusiasm for “deep green” innovation has fueled the expansion of his repertoire from traditional steel, concrete, and wood construction to the use of such materials as rammed earth, bamboo, straw bale, timber frame, and structural insulated panels.

In 2013, David served as technical director for FEMA P807: Guidelines for the Seismic Retrofit of Weak-Story Multi-Unit Wood-Framed Structures. His out-of-the-box thinking resulted in a comprehensive design methodology that yielded high-performance retrofits at a low cost—thus solving one of structural engineering’s most vexing problems.

David received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He has lectured at numerous institutions, including UC Berkeley, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Stanford University, and the Lean Construction Institute. In 1998, David was honored with SEAONC’s H.J. Brunnier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Structural Design. David is also an accomplished songwriter and guitarist. He is currently writing material for his third album.

Partner

John's dual strengths as a designer and manager play a key role in Mar Structural Design projects. He takes special pride in consistently providing the highest level of client service—from producing closely coordinated construction drawings to responding quickly and completely to job-site questions.

John comes from a long line of conservationists and has a longstanding commitment to sustainable design and renewable energy. He was the lead structural consultant for California's Solar Permitting Guidebook, and is the principal author of The Structural Permitting Toolkit and The Structural Technical Appendix, which have become key references for the solar industry. His job includes consulting with several solar support component manufacturers, helping those firms to develop and test innovative products and navigate the complex world of codes and standards.

John has extensive experience in the seismic retrofit of existing buildings and in both public and private designs, and has earned both SEAOC and NCSEA structural engineering excellence awards for his work. John received his bachelor’s degree in environmental systems from Dartmouth College and his master’s in structural engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. An avid SCUBA diver, John leads underwater survey efforts for Reef Environmental Education Foundation to monitor the health of California marine life.

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Sujin Sung

Project Engineer

Sujin likes a challenge. She strives to keep projects well balanced and efficient. She specializes in wood structures and seismic retrofit, and has worked on many commercial and residential projects, from conceptual design to construction administration. Sujin received her bachelor's degree in architectural engineering and her master’s in engineering in steel structures from Korea University, as well as her master’s in structural engineering, mechanics, and materials from the University of California, Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis with her family and friends.

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Hosein Kerdar

Project Engineer

Hosein's creativity, tenacity, and problem-solving skills make him well-suited to take on unorthodox projects. He specializes in performance-based seismic design and non-linear analysis and is working on a variety of projects, including designing and modeling a new patent-pending modular framing system. Hosein received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo. At SUNY, he developed and patented a new vibration isolation system for which he has won several business competitions. In his free time, Hosein enjoys hiking and being outdoors.

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Taline Ayanyan Mitten

Studio Manager | Designer

Taline specializes in cross-disciplinary concept design, collaborative modeling, and design integration, working with both new buildings and the renovation and preservation of existing and historic architecture. She also manages the firm’s business operations, communications, and strategic planning. Taline received her undergraduate degree in architecture from the California Polytechnic State University and her master's in conservation of monuments and sites from the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Taline has a great passion for preserving cultural heritage, whether it’s masterpieces of architecture or culinary masterpieces from the kitchen of her Syrian-Armenian grandmother.

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Sandesh Aher

Project Engineer

Sandesh has a passion for researching and developing innovative earthquake-resistant solutions for developing-world countries. His studies include performance-based design research in self-centering rocking frames. His design experience includes commercial and institutional projects, both new construction and retrofits. Sandesh received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and his master’s degree in structural engineering from Stanford University. A true polyglot, Sandesh is fluent in four languages and has a basic proficiency in four others. In his free time, he enjoys playing chess and tennis.

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Alex Stack

Project Engineer

Alex enjoys working closely with owners, the design team, and contractors. He is well versed in several 3D visualization and collaboration tools that help explore and document alternatives quickly and clearly. Alex’s engineering expertise includes new, retrofit, and modular construction in steel, wood, and concrete. Alex received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Northwestern University and his master’s in structural engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Licensed California Professional Civil Engineer. Alex is an accomplished bass guitarist. He’s been a performing musician for most of his life and his band is currently finishing their first album of original material.

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Jennifer Lynn

Project Engineer

Jennifer sees design as a collaborative effort to make beautiful buildings that meet project goals. Her particular experience is in heavy timber and reinforced concrete, including commercial and residential work. A Licensed Professional Engineer, Jenn received her bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, where she also served as adjunct faculty. When she’s not working, she loves textiles, especially quilting and knitting, as well as watching, playing, and talking about baseball.

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Zahraa Saiyed

Structural Designer

Zahraa is intrigued by the interplay of building structure and envelope. She is enthusiastic about multi-disciplinary design and research focused on disaster-resilient communities. Zahraa completed her architecture degree with emphasis in structures at UC Berkeley, a master’s in building science and a master’s in engineering, both from MIT. Zahraa is a LEED AP, Associate AIA, and a board member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Northern California chapter. She has experience in performance-based design, seismic loss estimation, and life-cycle analyses of materials. Outside of the office, she strives to encourage women and young girls to pursue STEAM careers of their own.

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Abhishek Sarkar

Structural Designer

Abhishek works to develop efficient algorithms for nonlinear analysis and has extensive coding experience in Matlab and C. A true structural gearhead, he loves understanding the fundamental mechanics for structural behavior. Abhishek received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from National Institute of Technology in Durgapur, India, and his master’s in structural engineering from Stanford University. He is an avid photographer with a special interest in low-light photo shoots, and he also enjoys charcoal sketching.

Contact

2629 7TH ST STE C, Berkeley, CA 94710 - (510) 991-1101

Get in touch with us
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For general inquiries, please write to info@marstructuraldesign.com

For billing inquiries, please write to Linda Rose Gracia lindarose.gracia@marstructuraldesign.com

Jobs

Join Us

We are currently looking for skilled and enthusiastic engineers. If you are inspired to invent and create in an exciting and collaborative environment, please e-mail us a thoughtful note telling us about yourself. We are a mission-driven firm on the forefront of performance-based seismic design and sustainable design. Excellent engineering skills are expected along with a commitment to continual learning.

Job Requirements: Our ideal candidate has at least four years of design office experience, a Master’s degree in structural engineering, and is licensed in California. S/he enjoys working collaboratively, thrives on reciprocal learning, and demonstrates a knack for seeing the “whole project”. Architectural training, experience in designing in several structural materials, the ability to create thoughtful design details, and an interest in high-performance seismic and sustainable design, are all considered pluses. This is an opportunity to shape both your career and our robust growing firm.

We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage diversity in the workplace.

Please email letter and resume to: taline.mitten@marstructuraldesign.com