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  • Sustainability Treehouse
    Exposed Structure
  • Greek Theatre
    Historic Preservation
  • Chartwell School
    Seismic Performance
  • National Environmental Science Center
    Sustainable Design
  • Omega Center for Sustainability
    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
Sustainability Treehouse
Sustainability Treehouse
Architectural design by:
Mithun and BNIM
2014 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Joe Fletcher
Saint Mary Chapel
St. Mary's Chapel
Architectural design by:
Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects
2019 AIA SF Design Awards: Architecture Honor Award
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Architectural design by:
KMD Architects and Stevens + Associates
2013 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Bruce Damonte
Packard Foundation Headquarters
Packard Foundation
Architectural design by:
EHDD Architecture
2015 AIA SF Design Awards: Architecture Merit Award
2015 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award
Project executed as Tipping Mar
National Environmental Science Center at Yosemite
National Environmental Science Center at Yosemite
Architectural design by:
Siegel & Strain Architects
Rendering by Al Forster
Sonoma Academy Durgin Guild and Commons
Sonoma Academy Durgin Guild & Commons
Architectural design by:
WRNS Studio
2018 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award
2018 AIA CC Design Awards: Leading Edge
UCSC Coastal Biology Building
UCSC Coastal Biology Building
Architectural design by:
EHDD Architecture
2016 Silicon Valley Structures Award: Public/Civic Project of the Year
Congregation Kol Emeth
Congregation Kol Emeth
In Construction
Architectural design by:
EID Architects
Rendering by Field Architecture
Van Ness Medical Office Building
Van Ness Medical Office Building
In Construction
Architectural design by:
Boulder Associates
Starry Bamboo Mandala
Starry Bamboo Mandala
Sculpture design by:
Bamboo DNA
UCB Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre Seismic Retrofit
Architectural design by:
Cody Anderson Wasney Architects
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Tom Paiva
Omega Center
Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Architectural design by:
BNIM
2010 AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo courtesy of Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Washington Monument
Washington Monument Post-Earthquake Evaluation
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by trollingking
One Market Street
One Market Street Renovation
Architectural design by:
McCluskey and Associates Architects
1999 SEAOC Award of Excellence in Structural Engineering
1999 SEAONC Award of Excellence in Structural Engineering
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Pacific Place
Pacific Place Renovation
Architectural design by:
Gensler
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Atherton Civic Center
1296 Shotwell Affordable Senior Housing
In Construction
Architectural design by:
Herman Coliver Locus Architecture
Rendering by Herman Coliver Locus Architecture
680 Folsom
680 Folsom Renovation
Architectural design by:
SOM
Project executed as Tipping Mar
David Brower Center
David Brower Center
Architectural design by:
Mithun | Solomon
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Homer Science and Student Life Center
Homer Science and Student Life Center
Architectural design by:
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Project executed as Tipping Mar
650 Live Oak
650 Live Oak
In Construction
Architectural design by:
brick. llp
Atherton Civic Center
Atherton Library & Civic Center
In Design
Architectural design by:
WRNS Studio
Rendering by WRNS Studio
Berkeley High School Community Theater
Berkeley High School Community Theater
In Design
Architectural design by:
Cody Anderson Wasney Architects
Photo from Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Archives
Half Moon Bay Public Library
Half Moon Bay Public Library
Architectural design by:
Noll & Tam Architects
2019 AIA/ALA Library Building Award
Rendering by Noll & Tam Architects
Chartwell School
Chartwell School
Architectural design by:
EHDD Architecture
Project executed as Tipping Mar
Photo by Michael David Rose

Research

We promote discovery
Earthquake Deformable Connection

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

Read more
Strawbale Mesh Anchorage

Recommended Mesh Anchorage Details for Straw Bale Walls

Read more
FEMA P-807 Weak Story

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

Read more or go to FEMA.gov
Mode Shaping Spines

Design Examples Using Mode Shaping Spines for Frame and Wall Buildings

Read more
Full Scale Straw Bale Test

Full Scale Straw Bale Vault Test

Read more
Plastered Straw Bale Tests

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

Read more

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.

Partner

Gordon deftly navigates between the overall vision and detailed execution of every project he manages. This perspective allows him to detect key challenges early in the design, and then work collaboratively to troubleshoot and deliver practical and cost-effective solutions. Gordon has extensive experience with many different building materials and with a variety of projects, ranging from custom single-family homes to large multistory buildings, and from vintage building renovations to new construction. His work with modular and pre-fab construction is ideally suited to his versatility, keen eye for detail, and systematic design approach.

Gordon grew up in the Bay Area and has witnessed the skyrocketing cost of housing here over the years. He understands and has a special fondness for affordable housing projects, which make up a significant part of his dossier.

Gordon received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He enjoys spending time with his family, serving at his local church, and vacationing in Hawaii.

Partner | Operations

Taline manages the firm’s business operations, communications, and strategic planning. Her background is in cross-disciplinary design processes, including concept design, collaborative modeling, and design integration, working with both new buildings and the renovation and preservation of existing and historic architecture.

Taline received her undergraduate degree in architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 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.

Sandesh Aher

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.

Alex Stack

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.

Patrick Heye

Patrick Heye

Project Engineer

Patrick values the close and long-lasting relationships that he develops with the owners, architects, and contractors in his design teams. A true jack-of-all-trades, Patrick has experience in steel, concrete, and wood construction, ranging from high-end residential buildings to high-rise structures. Patrick received his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His passion for sustainable design also led him to earn his LEED BD+C credential, which pushes him to seek efficiency and resiliency in all his projects. An avid outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, Patrick spends his free time reveling in the natural beauty of the Bay Area, from sailing the bay to hiking the redwood forests.

Bridget Carls

Bridget Carls

Studio Administrator

Bridget lives and works at the intersection of communication, creative vision, and technology. She believes in maintaining an organized and supportive studio environment so the entire team can thrive. Bridget has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Mills College and a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television from the Academy of Art University. Her Native heritage informs her passion for environmental preservation and sustainability, as well as her love of spending time outdoors with friends and family.

Sarah Aher

Sarah Aher

Project Engineer

Sarah endeavors to bring designs to life in a practical way, while maintaining thoroughness and attention to detail. She understands the difficulty of working within various design constraints for both new and existing structures and has experience with steel, masonry, wood, light gauge, and concrete. Her background includes multi-unit residential and light industrial seismic retrofits, commercial tenant improvements, new light frame residential construction, and military facilities. At Stanford University, Sarah received her undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and music, and her master’s degree in design and construction integration. She shares her passion for piano as a teacher at the Albany Music School and enjoys making jewelry in her free time.

Pamela Goring

Pamela Goring

Structural Designer

Pamela is passionate about collaborating with her clients to create elegant structures that enhance the surrounding environment as well as the users’ experiences. A Berkeley native, Pamela takes pride in using thoughtful and efficient designs to advance the integrity of her hometown’s structural fabric. Her experience includes both new and existing buildings in the commercial and education sectors, in both steel and concrete. Pamela received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis and her master’s in structural engineering from UCLA. When she’s not working, she loves to explore the High Sierra with her dog, Tucker.

Alexi Kouromenos

Alexi Kouromenos

Structural Designer

Alexi’s design approach encompasses beauty, constructability, sustainability, and affordability. His passion is resilience: designing structures for immediate re-occupancy after major natural disasters. He also strives to empower his design teams to create beautiful buildings that enhance the community. For his master’s thesis, Alexi built and tested a damage-resistant heavy-timber frame. He completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in architectural engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In his free time, Alexi volunteers, attends city meetings, explores the outdoors, creates art, and continues to research affordable and resilient design solutions for the global community.

Daniel Mount

Daniel Mount

Structural Designer

Daniel embraces an overall structural design, finding the small parts and assemblies that make a system work and detailing them for ease of building and aesthetic appeal. He has a background in fabrication with wood and steel. Daniel attended School of the Arts high school in San Francisco with a focus in cello and theater tech. He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA and his master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of California, Davis. In his spare time he likes to cook and build furniture for his family and friends.

Garret McElveny

Garret McElveny

Project Engineer

Garret strives to develop designs that are inspired by the architecture and mindful of the construction. He got started in the building industry working as a timber framer. Detailing and building with traditional joinery and exposed timbers helped shape and motivate his zeal for expressive structure. With additional experience in residential and commercial projects using steel, wood, concrete, masonry, and aluminum, Garret is well equipped to provide modern or traditional solutions for any project. Garret received dual bachelor’s degrees from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in architectural engineering and philosophy. He enjoys reading, triathlon sports, spending time with his wife and two kids, and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Contact

2332 5TH ST STE D, 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.

Our ideal candidates enjoy working collaboratively, thrive on reciprocal learning, and demonstrate 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 exposure to high-performance seismic and sustainable design, are all considered pluses. This is an opportunity to shape both your career and our robust growing firm.

Project Engineer: Our ideal candidate has at least four years of design office experience, a Master’s degree in structural engineering, and is licensed in California.

Structural Designer: Our ideal candidate has a Master’s degree and design internship experience in a structural office.

Research Intern: Our ideal candidate is a Master's student or a senior undergrad, looking to lead a selected research project at Mar Structural Design. Synergies with upcoming graduate work or a senior project are welcome. This is a full-time summer internship beginning in June of 2020.

Design Internship in San Luis Obispo: Our ideal candidate has strong Revit/Cad skills and is a graduate student or a senior/junior undergrad. This is a part-time internship in downtown San Luis Obispo, working under the supervision of Mar Structural Design Project Engineer, Garret McElveny.

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

Please email letter and resume to: hr@marstructuraldesign.com