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

PCS Structural Solutions, a single-discipline structural engineering firm based in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, has formed an internal team of engineers focused on projects with specialized structural engineering needs. These projects include heavy and light industrial facilities, equipment support in new and existing structures, and non-building structures such as water tanks, detention vaults, and crane foundations.


Sound Transit Link Expansion Operations and Maintenance Facility

by Valerie Hendel

February 25, 2019 | Seattle, WA  |  Rick Oehmcke has been a foundational part of PCS Structural Solutions’ evolution since his arrival in 1987. On February 25, 2019, he will retire from a 38-year structural engineering career.


Rick Oehmke Structural Engineer
By Valerie Hendel
January 25, 2019 | Seattle, WA |You could say that Jim Harris—or Lou Billy—took the scenic route in his forty-one-year career—not as many straight lines in the trajectory that you might expect from a structural engineer. But it has a solidity to it, built on years of dedication, commitment and relationships.
“Let’s get lunch,” says Lou. “Do you mind a walk?” I grab my coat and we stroll through downtown Seattle. 

Please join PCS Structural Solutions in welcoming their newest staff members: Brian Krieger, Connor Moore, Jared Plank, Samantha Taylor, Spencer Sharma, and Valerie Hendel.
Brian Krieger joins PCS as a Project Engineer in the Tacoma office. Brian brings over 4 years of industry experience working on flood resilience and transit projects. His current work includes Olympia High School Addition and Modernization in Olympia, Washington and South Bend Elementary School in South Bend, Washington.

PCS Structural Solutions New Hires