WRK has nearly 50 years of combined experience in the seismic strengthening of a multitude of model building types for government, power, housing, and commercial buildings. Using our extensive working knowledge of a wide variety of seismic strengthening technics and products, we provide cost effective and creative solutions to the unique challenges of existing building strengthening. WRK experience working as both the prime consultant and as a subconsultant allows us to offer comprehensive structural engineering services from the development of the schematic design through construction.

Cordova Substation Seismic Strengthening

Cordova, Tennessee

As the prime consultant, we led a multi-disciplinary team for the seismic evaluation and retrofit of the 6,000 sf unreinforced masonry (URM) control house building. The site earthquake demands at this location are expected to be very high and a performance objective of Immediate Occupancy was needed. Working in an energized facility required creative problem solving to perform the seismic strengthening while the control house remained operational. As part of the strengthening, concrete shear walls and columns were added to the exterior of the building to avoid disruption to the operations of the facility. To achieve Immediate Occupancy performance, both the structural and nonstructural systems were addressed.

Celilo Converter Station Seismic Strengthening

The Dalles, Oregon

Design a remodel for the former degassing room to house the new HVDC protection and control equipment and accommodate consolidated office space and conference rooms. Perform seismic upgrades for areas of the main building affected by the project, interior finishes and lighting, raised floor system for degassing room, HVAC additions for degassing room, install storage and inventory system for spare parts in former clean room.

Ross Warehouse Seismic Upgrade

Vancouver, Washington

Working as prime consultant which was part of a multi-disciplinary team of consultants in the partial adaptive reuse of this existing single-story rectangular-shaped warehouse with several storage mezzanines to add an “open” concept office building with restrooms and storage. In addition to the structural seismic strengthening of this 100,400 sf building originally constructed in 1961 worked closely with BPA architects to reprogram some of the office space, convert large warehouse space into office space, add restrooms and convert heavy storage to small bin storage. Strengthening scheme included addition of new exterior steel braced frames and interior concrete shear walls. An essential building to BPA operations, this building remained fully-operational during construction and was carefully phased to minimize disruption to its occupants.

Witherspoon Building Renovation

Portland, Oregon

Provided structural engineering services for the adaptive reuse of this 20,000 sf three-story URM building located in downtown Portland from storage space on upper floors to open office and renovation of the street level retail space. In addition, roof level was completely reconstructed to provide office and meeting room space for building tenants.

Hickory Valley Switch House Building Seismic Strengthening

Hickory Valley, Tennessee

WRK Engineers is currently developing seismic strengthening measures for Tennessee Valley Authority’s Hickory Valley Switch House Building in Hickory Valley, Tennessee. The Switch House Building is a 28’ by 60’ two-story rectangular-shaped building constructed circa 1951. The building is comprised of unreinforced brick masonry bearing walls supporting the open-web steel joist roof system and concrete slab at the first floor. The building is used for to house control and communication equipment for the exterior high voltage power equipment.
The seismic strengthening will consist of new CMU shear walls at the exterior with interior and exterior steel HSS strongbacks to brace the existing URM walls. Encapsulation of the existing plaster ceilings and bracing nonstructural equipment and furniture will also be performed.

"It is good to have a resource with experience to help establish a proper and accurate analysis of the equipment so as to limit cost by getting the design right the first time… WRK is not simply asking us what we want them to do, but they are trying to understand what we want to do, and then use their experience to determine the best way to get there."

Wesley Wills, Southern States LLC.

"The benefit of working with WRK is that they are creative. I work with many engineers that are very conservative–they prefer to stick to standard details. WRK brings innovative solutions and enjoys the challenge of using new technologies that might be less costly and easier to construct. Brian was trained to be innovative, and his firm operates the same way."

Jeff McGraw, MWA Architects

"What separates WRK from other firms is a working, hands-on, experience based knowledge. They’re not just theory based. Everyone, including construction crews, is impressed with WRK’s response time. When we had a question or minor changes, they responded within hours. My experience with WRK has been nothing but good."

Casey Scoggins, Tennessee Valley Authority

"I trust WRK. It isn’t about being the biggest firm, it is about getting the work done correctly."

Matt Weisensee, PacifiCorp

"WRK consistently provides creative solutions for highly sensitive projects. Approaching each project as if it is unique is highly valuable."

Casey Wyckoff, LSW Architects

"The WRK team is easy to work with, knowledgeable, and they have the credentials. They are approachable, they listen, respond and do what they can to meet our needs without argument. Over many years their work has been consistent, always learning and adapting."

Leon Kempner, Bonneville Power Administration

"I value WRK’s nuts-and-bolts approach with their ability to communicate in the field and provide constructable solutions. Historic projects can be convoluted, which can cause structural engineers to jump through hoops. This can be difficult for many engineers, but not WRK. They are great at considering and explaining all of the options with the understanding that structural isn’t driving the design."

Eric Philps, SERA Architects

Additional Experience

  • Edge Fitness*

    Portland, Oregon

    Multnomah County Courthouse*

    Portland, Oregon

    US Department of Veteran Affairs Seismic Inventory*

    Various Western US Locations

    Starbucks Center, Seismic Study*

    Seattle, Washington

    Starbucks Center, Post-Earthquake Investigation*

    Seattle, Washington

    Yakima County Courthouse*

    Yakima, Washington

    Camp Clark Trading Post*

    Portland, Oregon

    Safeway Store #600*

    Eureka, California

    411 Harris Building*

    San Francisco, California

    1983 Nursing Building, St. John’s Medical Center*

    Longview, Washington

    Weatherford Hall, Oregon State University*

    Corvallis, Oregon

    City of Portland Fire Stations*

    Portland, Oregon

    TVF&R Fire Station*

    King City, Oregon

    Corvallis School District*

    Corvallis, Oregon

    816 N. Russell Ave.*

    Portland, Oregon

    Oregon State Patrol Crime Lab*

    Clackamas, Oregon

    Telegram Building*

    Portland, Oregon

    Merix Corporation Manufacturing Facility*

    Forest Grove, OR

    Holgate Library*

    Portland, Oregon

    Chown-Pella Building*

    Portland, Oregon

    1206 NW Hoyt*

    Portland, Oregon

    Bolouri Building

    Portland, Oregon

  • *Project performed while with another firm

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