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BBFM Engineers Inc.

Established in 1996, BBFM Engineers Inc. is headed by five principals with a commitment to reliable structural engineering solutions. The firm is dedicated to providing quality, effective and cost-conscious design that meets the needs of the client. For the past 15 years, BBFM Engineers Inc. has been a leading provider of structural engineering services to design professionals, building owners and government agencies on projects throughout the state of Alaska and Antarctica.

Locally-Owned Alaska Company

BBFM Engineers Inc. is an Alaska-owned business. With 11 structural engineers, three CAD drafters and two office administrators, it is one of the largest structural engineering firms in Alaska. The foundation of BBFM Engineers Inc. is cost-effective design utilizing a multitude of building materials with a focus on northern logistics. The firm’'s engineers are particularly knowledgeable with regard to local geological conditions, Alaska'’s high-risk seismicity, and local construction practices. This highly-skilled staff of engineers is continually finding new ways to meet the environmental challenges of arctic engineering and excels at these unique northern design opportunities. They design award-winning structures that are safe, efficient and creative.

Experienced Professionals

The primary strength of BBFM Engineers Inc. is its professional staff. An association of more than two decades exists among the four founding partners. The integrity of the firm continues with an additional partner and a structural design team assembled with an emphasis on the strong talent and character of each member. BBFM Engineers Inc. encourages the pursuit of advanced degrees, specialized structural registrations, and continually striving for professional excellence. The firm's engineers have received seven nominations for Engineer of the Year, and two have been awarded that honor, most recently in 2008. The firm also recognizes the importance of being actively involved in community and professional organizations. BBFM Engineers Inc. is continually encouraging their staff to make an investment in the community, to expand their knowledge of local resources and to mentor the next generation of young engineers.

BBFM Staff
From left to right; Bottom row: Troy Feller, Colin Maynard, Denis Berry, Forrest Braun, Scott Gruhn
Top row: James Casteel, Diana Parke, Samantha Spindler, Jake Peterson, Will Nelson, Michael Quimby, Kevin Ross, Greg Latreille, Drew Morris, Kevin Kim, Cynthia Wendling
(Taken December 2009)

Principal

dberry@bbfm.com

Dennis Berry, PE

Born and raised in Anchorage, Mr. Berry has been a principal in Alaskan structural engineering firms since 1984. He has worked in structural offices in San Francisco, Seattle, and Anchorage. With 36 years of experience, he is well known for his structural engineering ability and his arctic engineering expertise. The latter resulted in his selection as the structural designer for the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Replacement Project. Mr. Berry also has considerable training and experience in seismic analysis and has record of success for a variety of projects throughout the state of Alaska. Additionally, he is a participating member of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra.

Education
  • BSCE, Stanford University 1975
  • MSCE, Stanford University 1975
  • Arctic Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • Engineering Management Courses, University of Alaska
Professional Affiliations
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Alaska
  • Alaska Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • Professional Engineers in Private Practice
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Concrete Institute
  • American Institute of Steel Construction
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Major Projects
  • Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Replacement
  • East High School Renewal
  • Arctic Slope Regional Corporation 10-Story Office Building
  • Providence Hospital Additions and Remodel
  • Anchorage Museum Expansion
Awards
  • Engineer of the Year, Nominated by Anchorage Chapter of Alaska Society of Professional Engineers, 1995
  • Nomination for Engineer of the Year, Structural Engineers Association of Alaska, 1990
At BBFM since…
  • Its 1996 inception

Principal

fbraun@bbfm.com

Forrest Braun, PE

Mr. Braun, born and raised in Alaska, has been practicing structural engineering in the state since 1973. He possesses a sharp eye for detail, clear thought, and a breadth and depth of knowledge. These characteristics make him an excellent designer and team player. He has been involved in design of a variety of arctic facilities including structures in Kotzebue, Nome, Pt. Hope, and Barrow as well as at the South Pole. Mr. Braun is a former President of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers. He is also a member of the Smithsonian Institute, Anchorage Museum Association, Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, American Motorcycle Association and BMW Motorcycle Owners Association.

Education
  • BSAE, University of Texas, Austin 1973
  • Graduate Studies, University of Washington 1979
  • Arctic Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Professional Affiliations
  • Alaska Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Concrete Institute
  • American Institute of Steel Constuctuion
  • Professional Engineers in Private Practice
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
  • American Forest & Paper Association.
Major Projects
  • Juneau-Douglas High School Remodel
  • South Anchorage High School
  • Power and Waste Heat Plant, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
  • Nome Replacement Hospital
  • Alaska Zoo Reception Building
Awards
  • Engineer of the Year for the Structural Engineers Association of Alaska, 1997
  • Order of the Engineer, 1996
At BBFM since… Its 1996 inception

Principal

tfeller@bbfm.com

Troy Feller, PE

A structural engineer since 1989, Mr. Feller has been a resident of the State for the greater part of his life. In addition to his extensive experience with new construction and remodels, Mr. Feller has done many seismic analyses and upgrades of existing buildings. In recent years, he has also completed the structural design of the foundations of several tower, wind turbine, and cell structures in remote locations. He is familiar with the constraints the arctic environment can put on structures and the people who build them. Mr. Feller is a strong team player—flexible and creative—with a methodical approach to project design and the personal determination to bring a project to successful completion.

Education
  • BSCE, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1987
  • MSCE, University of Washington 1989
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • Municipality of Anchorage Building Board
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • International Conference of Building Officials
  • American Institute of Steel Construction
Major Projects
  • Providence Alaska Medical Center North Expansion, Anchorage
  • Craig High School, Craig
  • Century Theatres
  • FTR196 264 Person Barracks, Fort Richardson
  • DeltaNet Communications Network Tower Design, 36 sites Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
At BBFM since… Its 1996 inception

Principal

cmaynard@bbfm.com

Colin Maynard, PE

Mr. Maynard has worked in structural engineering offices in Anchorage and New York City. He is a versatile structural engineer with practical exposure to a broad spectrum of structural engineering projects. During his 30 years of experience, the projects on which he has worked range from a 43-story gothic glass tower in Pittsburgh to outhouses in parks on the Kenai Peninsula. Mr. Maynard has been responsible for most of the reroof studies and north slope tank and module work for the firm. Mr. Maynard is familiar with both civilian and military codes and has been involved in the adoption of the Municipality of Anchorage's amendments to the structural provisions of the Uniform Building Code and the International Building Code for the last several cycles.

Education
  • BSCE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1982
  • MSCE, University of Colorado 1987
Professional Affiliations
  • Alaska Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • National Coucil of Structural Engineering Associations
  • Alaska Engineering Education Foundation
  • Legislative Liaison Committee
  • Alaska Professional Design Council
  • American Institute of Steel Construction
Major Projects
  • Library and Museum, Unalaska
  • Anchorage Museum Addition 1984 and Expansion
  • Teeland Middle School, Wasilla
  • Dimond Center Hotel, Anchorage
  • Alaska Native Medical Center CDC Office/Lab Building Addition, Anchorage
Awards
  • Nominated for Engineer of the Year by the Anchorage Chapter of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers, 1993
  • Nominated for Engineer of the Year by the Construction Specifications Institute, 1999
At BBFM since… Its 1996 inception

Principal

sgruhn@bbfm.com

Scott Gruhn, PE

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Scott Gruhn graduated from Service High School. He joined BBFM Engineers’ team just after its inception and in 2008 became a fifth Principal. Mr. Gruhn has been the project manager and chief structural engineer for many landmark buildings in Alaska, including schools, hospitals, hotels, airport concourses, aircraft hangars, warehouses, commercial facilities, concrete parking garages, and residences. Through Engineering Ministries International, Scott volunteered his services in Guatemala; there he designed an orphanage and a medical center. He also appeared in a National Geographic channel documentary on new U.S. Government facilities at the South Pole.

Education
  • BS, Architectural Engineering/Structural Engineering, University of Kansas 1991
  • Arctic Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage 1995
Professional Affiliations
  • Structural Engineering Association of Alaska, founding member
  • American Institute of Steel Construction
  • American Welding Society
Major Projects
  • Centerpoint West Office Building
  • JL Tower
  • Nome Replacement Hospital, Nome
  • East Anchorage High School Renovation
  • UAA Integrated Sciences Building, Anchorage
Awards
  • Engineer of the Year for E-Week, 2008, awarded by Anchorage engineering societies.
  • Engineer of the Year for the Structural Engineers Association of Alaska, 2008
At BBFM since… Just after its 1996 inception

Project Engineer

wnelson@bbfm.com

Will Nelson, PE

An Alaskan since 1966, Will Nelson has worked as a structural engineer in Anchorage since 2000. His project experience includes a wide variety of new structures and additions to existing structures all across the state of Alaska. On many of these projects he has been responsible for determining the required wind and seismic loading and for the design of the lateral force resisting system. Mr. Nelson is personally familiar with arctic and subarctic environments and has worked with all of the major materials in structural engineering design.

Education
  • BS, North Dakota State University, 2000
  • Arctic Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage,
Professional Affiliations
  • Alaska Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Professional Engineers in Private Practice
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • American Institute of Steel Constuction
Major Projects
  • Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Office Building
  • South Anchorage High School
  • 3000 C Street Office Building
  • UAA Integrated Science Building
  • National Park Service Office Building
At BBFM since… 2000

Project Engineer

dmorris@bbfm.com

Drew Morris, PE

An Anchorage resident since 1975, Mr. Morris has worked as a structural engineer in Anchorage since 1996. His project experience includes a wide variety of new structures and additions to existing structures all across the State of Alaska, including schools, commercial buildings, warehouses, industrial modules and single and multi-family residences. Mr. Morris has either worked as the project engineer for these projects or assisted the Engineer of Record. Among Mr. Morris’ recent projects is the renovation at Chugiak High School, which won several awards including American School & University's "Outstanding Building" Award for Renovation and Modernization for both House 2 and House 3.

Education
  • BS, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1994
  • Arctic Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Professional Affiliations
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • American Institute of Steel Constuction
Major Projects
  • South Anchorage Area High School
  • Hilltop Ski Area Multi-Purpose Facility
  • Chugiak High School Renovation
  • National Park Service Bettles Visitor Center
  • Bear Tooth Remodel
At BBFM since… 2000

Project Engineer

glatreille@bbfm.com

Greg Latreille, PE

Greg Latreille is a native of New York State; he moved to Alaska weeks after his college graduation. Driven by his adventurous spirit, his love of the outdoors and his desire to design interesting structures, he soon found his natural home in Anchorage. He works on projects throughout the state and contends with the challenges posed by harsh climates and high seismic activity. He has worked diligently, excelling in technical design to project management. In addition to his technical skills, Greg prides himself with his ability to maintain excellent working relationships with architects and contractors, which he finds essential to smooth progress of a project.

Education
  • BSCE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, 2004
  • MECE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, 2004
  • Arctic Engineering, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 2007
Professional Affiliations
  • Alaska Society of Professional Engineers
  • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Professional Engineers in Private Practice
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • American Institute of Steel Construction
Major Projects
  • Thunder Mountain High School, Juneau
  • Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks
  • Abbott Road Home Depot, Anchorage
  • Weeks Field Estates, Fairbanks
  • Kennecott Mill Building Rehabilitation, Kennecott
Awards
  • ASCE Hudson-Mohawk Section Student of the Year 2004
  • NSPE 2009 New Faces of Engineering Award runner-up
At BBFM since… 2005

Structural Designer

mquimby@bbfm.com

Michael Quimby, EIT

Mike Quimby was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Following his college career, he returned home to Alaska to embark on a career in structural engineering. He loves the outdoors and Alaska and looks forward to a challenging and rewarding career designing structures throughout Alaska.

Education
  • BSCE, Brigham Young University 2007
  • MSCE, Brigham Young University 2009
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Structural Engineers Association of Alaska
  • American Institute of Steel Construction
Major Projects
    • Anchorage Neighborhood Health Clinic, Anchorage
    • Alaska Department of Fish & Game Research Facility, Kodiak
    • Ketchican Aquatic Center, Ketchican
    • Three Cedars Office Building, Anchorage
    • Troop Health Clinic Addition, FT. Richardson
At BBFM since… 2009

STRUCTURAL DESIGN

BBFM Engineers offers structural design primarily for buildings. From concepts to construction administration, we have experience and knowledge of the design and construction process. In addition, our expertise extends to all construction delivery types including design/build and GC/CM (General Contractor/Contract Manager at Risk). Our structures include:

  • Office Buildings
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Schools
  • Hospitals and Clinics
  • Parking Structures
  • Communication towers
  • Trail Bridges
  • Tanks and Oil Field Modules
  • Hotels, Dormitories and Apartment Buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Theaters and Auditoriums
  • Gyms, Pools and other Recreational Facilities

EQUIPMENT

BBFM Engineers uses state-of-the-art technology to produce quality construction documents. The staff at BBFM Engineers is proficient in the use of many analysis programs such as:

  • ETABS – Static and Dynamic wind and seismic lateral load analysis software
  • STAAD Pro – General 3D Finite Element Analysis Enercalc – Miscellaneous element design
  • ADAPT – A post-tensioned concrete software package
  • WoodWorks – A software package for the design of various wood components
  • RAM Structural Systems – Analyzes and designs concrete and steel buildings and steel connections
  • SAFE – This program assists with the design of flat slabs, foundation mats, spread and combined footings
  • ENERCALC A general purpose member analysis and design program.
  • Revit – Software that allows parametric modeling and drafting building information modeling (BIM)
  • AUTOCAD Software for 2-D drafting.

EARTHQUAKE DESIGN

The USGS notes that the earth's most active seismic feature, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, brushes Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, where more earthquakes occur than in the other 49 States combined. More than 80 percent of the planet's tremors occur in the circum-Pacific belt, and about 6 percent of the large, shallow earthquakes are in Alaska, where as many as 4,000 earthquakes at various depths are detected in a year. Consequently, all of our facilities have been designed with earthquakes in mind. Important factors include:

  • Detailing for proper inelastic performance
  • Seismic analysis
  • Static and pseudo-static seismic analysis using 3D finite element computer programs

COLD CLIMATE CONSTRUCTION

There are considerations about construction systems, practices and methods that are unique to Alaska and other cold weather climates. The staff at BBFM Engineers is confident in designing for these challenges. These considerations include:

  • Thermal Transfer
  • Thermal Variation
  • The local construction practices and the availability of materials such as concrete
  • The appropriate specifications for concrete strength, admixtures
  • Cold temperature steels and weld metals
  • The many types of foundations as dictated by the subsurface conditions such as thawed soils, permafrost, marginal permafrost and discontinuous permafrost

Anchorage Museum

The Anchorage Museum Expansion was a $59,000,000 project that opened in the summer of 2010. Phase 1 of the project was the design and construction of the 70,’000 square-foot addition to the museum and Phase 2 of the projects was the renovation of the existing museum and the addition of a planetarium. The expansion structure is a reinforced concrete building with discrete concrete shear walls specially reinforced with advanced concrete design and construction methods. Due to the significance of the building, BBFM Engineers had the opportunity to design an innovative structure unique to the state of Alaska, using materials that are not typical of structures in this state.

Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center

The Dena’ina Civic and Convention was completed in 2009. It is a steel frame structure with 50,000 square-feet of convention display space (with a clear height of 25 feet), a ballroom, meeting rooms, and support spaces that fills a whole city block. Covered sidewalks link it to the existing Egan Center are Performing Arts Center.

JL Tower

This fourteen-story 280,000 square foot office building was a design/build project that established a landmark for the city of Anchorage. The building features an entry façade that curves back as it moves up the building. The vertical load resisting system of the building consists of a composite steel floor deck, composite wide flange, steel beams and girders, and wide flange columns. The lateral load resisting system is a dual system of concentric steel braces at the elevator core and moment frames at the perimeter. A 5’-8” deep concrete mat foundation supports the building. The design for this fast-track project began in December 2005, and, on schedule, the foundations were completed in October 2006.

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Building

This is a ten-story 210,000 square foot braced steel frame office building with a two-story high entrance atrium. The building features a curving southeastern façade interrupted at the main entry by a canopy and an overhanging “waterfall” element composed of glass. The two-story entry vestibule supports a large custom chandelier and a curving staircase with a translucent screen wall. Two sculptures commissioned for this building also required engineering support. Vertical loads are resisted by the composite steel floor deck, composite wide flange steel beams and girders, and wide flange columns. The lateral load resisting system is a concentrically braced steel frame situated around the elevator core. Foundations are spread footings and, under the core, a heavily reinforced four-foot deep concrete mat foundation. This fast-track design/build project was completed in August 2002.

Centerpoint Office Building

The Centerpoint Financial Center is a five-story office building with a floor area of 97,915 square feet. Exterior granite tile walls and curving curtain walls create a dynamic visual appeal. Radiused canopies are positioned at two entrances. Structurally, the building is a composite structural steel frame laterally supported by a special concentrically braced frame. In addition to typical office loads, the structure was designed to support several filing rooms, a high-density filing system, and an operable partition. This design/build project provided high quality design and construction despite a very aggressive time schedule.

South Anchorage Area High School

The new South Anchorage High School accommodates 1600 students in 250,000 square-feet of space. The 2-story building is a steel structure with composite floor deck. The classroom wings are 2-story and the gymnasiums and music room areas match them in height. A central wall area separates the classrooms from the gym, music, and locker areas. The facility includes classrooms, science labs, a library, administrative offices, band and orchestra rooms, a gymnasium, and locker rooms.

Admunsen-Scott South Pole Station

The ten-year Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station Replacement Project, located in Antarctica, involves buildings designed to be built above a 10,000 foot deep snow field. At the site, the temperature varies between –120 degrees and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently, the snow never melts; the snowfield is growing at a rate of about 8 inches per year, presenting a key structural challenge. The increasing snow pack in combination with the weight of the buildings generates significant settlements as the snow compacts over the life of the structures. Also, at South Pole the only relief is the Station itself, so that structures at grade quickly drift with snow. The innovations in the structural design to address these challenges are a Station structure elevated above the drifting snow that is designed to be jacked twice over its lifetime, to a total height of 12 feet, as the snow accumulates. To address the differential settlement, the foundation for the Station is a grid of grade beams comprised of steel box beams acting as a rigid “raft” foundation to bridge any areas where the snow has a lower bearing capacity. As the foundation bridges these areas it increases the bearing stress to adjacent areas, to keep overall settlement as uniform as possible. Steel pipe columns cantilever from this grid of steel grade beams. No vertical bracing is used to stabilize the structure since it interferes with the air flow under the building and as it is buried in the snow the settling snow drags down on the bracing and loads it in a way it is not designed for. The superstructure above straddles the pipe columns; to jack the station new columns sections are added. From the top of these new column sections the Station is raised with hydraulic jacks.

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