By Valerie Hendel | Around the PCS office, we’ve come to expect little surprises in the shape of plastic lizards, turtles, little building models or the faces of our colleagues morphed into superhero merch. PCS’s Sage Cowsert and Evan Olszko are Makers, and despite their work-from-home confinements, their 3D printers are in full swing printing safety face shield parts being used to create personal protective equipment for the face. Creatives will find a way.

PPE face shield parts printed from 3D printer

The impact of a building’s construction and operations on carbon emissions has been well established by the AEC community. “Buildings, in fact, contribute 40 percent of the CO2 emissions worldwide,” according to the Carbon Leadership Forum. The AEC industry is moving on an imperative to address embodied carbon (EC), the carbon emissions associated with the manufacture of building materials and processes over the life of the building.

partners in EC3 tool

PCS Structural Solutions promoted three people in its Tacoma and Seattle offices. Jack Pinkard was promoted to senior principal, and Hai Lin and Sunny Sidhu were each promoted to project engineers.

Contributors: Craig Stauffer, Alex Legé, Jason Collins, Ted Ryan, Brian Phair, and Todd Parke
PCS Structural Solutions | October 4, 2019

Seattle Children's Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center, the first IPD project in Washington State

by Valerie Hendel

Jim Collins, a senior principal of PCS Structural Solutions, retires on September 4, 2019. Jim joined then-Chalker Engineers in downtown Tacoma on January 1, 1978—the only employee, he notes, to start on a holiday. It was a fortuitous meeting of energies—a young, new engineer and a city ready to reimagine itself. The city leaders had a new vision for Tacoma and were determined to see the reanimation of its beautiful downtown buildings, and Jim was an energetic engineer ready for the opportunity.

In a long-awaited, historic step toward “real" not cookbook wind engineering, the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers recently issued a recommended alternative to the building code’s prescriptive procedures for the wind design of buildings. Properly implemented, the Prestandard for Performance-Based Wind Design, available free of charge for all structural engineers to use, results in buildings capable of achieving wind performance objectives specified in the ASCE 7 design load standard, and in many cases, superior performance, according to SEI.

The Structural Engineers 2050 Challenge (SE 2050), issued by the University of Washington’s Carbon Leadership Forum, is an initiative designed to measure progress toward Zero Carbon buildings by 2050. The challenge, supports the target set by the Paris Climate Agreement to keep the increase of global temperatures well below 2˚C.

CLT Panel at Eastside Community Center in Tacoma, Washington

As the height of a building increases, the most dominant wind forces on a building change from those on the roof to those on the walls of the building. This concept has been the basis of the dual set of provisions in the ASCE 7 Standard and building codes since the original wind tunnel studies were completed in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Principal Investigator, Don Scott, PE, SE, F.SEI, ASCE

By Valerie Hendel | PCS Structural Solutions, Tacoma, WA
Avid crane watchers may track the progress of Absher Construction Company at the site of the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. The new Marriott-brand Hotel broke ground on August 8, 2017 next to the main convention center at 1500 Commerce Street in downtown Tacoma, Washington. Progress on the tower core and structural steel is rising at a steady pace and can be viewed via Absher’s webcam at

Tacoma Convention Center Hotel designed by Ankrom Moisan