Winning Structure Magazine’s 2012 “No. 2 Best Structural Engineering Firms to Work For” is due to more than great benefits at PCS, where the average tenure is 14 years. It is also the people-oriented environment, the opportunity to leave one’s mark on interesting and challenging projects that push delivery and construction boundaries, and a balance of work and family. Also crucial is a professional mentoring approach that promotes growing from within.

Best Firm 2012

Laser scanning for 3-D as-builting is finally reaching its potential. The scanners themselves are better, with 360 degree capability, faster processing, and greater portability. More importantly, advances in BIM allow a point cloud to link directly to the model graphically, which simplifies use of the information. With these improvements, scanning is increasingly used not only as a framework for design, but also for in-progress quality control and even schedule confirmation.

At Pacific Plaza, PCS’ task was to expand a deteriorating building by three levels – without costly foundation upgrades. The key was a cellular beam structural system, 25% lighter than conventional steel beams, with spans up to 60 feet to match the existing column spacing, and enough load capacity to add a green roof. Today, the exposed structure is a calling card for tenants (including PCS, who moved their Tacoma offices to the building).

The new Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic pushed the boundaries as one of Washington's first true examples of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), with jointly-defined goals, shared risk/reward, a culture of trust and respect, and full use of BIM. This enabled the team to speed entitlements, improve design solutions, help the Owner achieve their healthcare mission in less space, and reduce construction costs by $20 million – a "true efficiency revolution."

At the Woodinville High School replacement and modernization, phased funding meant two projects with very different challenges and opportunities. Phase 1 adopted a distinctive yet flexible structural design to allow a new addition to be independent, or merge efficiently with a then-uncertain second phase. Phase 2, involving multiple connected buildings, leveraged BIM as the base design platform, achieving process enhancements and more efficient integration of the structural elements of the new and existing structures.

Woodinville High School Addition and Modernization