Level Letter: A New Solution for Old Bridges & Hello ATX!

Outdated solutions to modern problems are like square pegs in round holes. Level is on a mission to rethink and rejuvenate the A&E industry with new concepts and new corporate structures. By supporting the entrepreneurial success of Engineers and Architects, we empower both the professionals and our communities to thrive.

Read on for an example of seeking out innovative solutions and for exciting updates from our newest office in Austin!

4,600 Bridges in the US are Structurally Deficient

According to ASCE’s most recent infrastructure report card. How do we responsibly and efficiently repair our country’s thousands of outdated bridges? Instead of doing what’s been done in the past, we can look to innovative building materials for more durability, sustainability, and longevity.

Structural lightweight concrete (SLC) is a new type of concrete on the scene that sidesteps challenges like shrinkage, cracking, and inefficiency. Advantages of structural lightweight concrete include reduction of seismic forces, reduction of reinforcement, prestressing, and structural steel requirements, and increase in live load capacity. When mixed with expanded shale, clay, or slate aggregates, SLC’s benefits compound, including increased resistance to cracking and freeze-thaw cycles.

Promising evidence of cost-savings, carbon footprint reduction, and improved bridge performance makes SLC the newest material of choice for bridge construction. Let this be a reminder to consider how new materials can make your designs more sustainable and effective! Learn more about SLC here.

Project Spotlight

Gang’s Project in San Francisco!

Our team member, Gang Xuan, located in San Francisco, California, recently took on a retaining wall repair project. We were called to review a tilted and ruptured timber retaining wall (about 6 degrees off from the plumb direction).

Based on the clients description, the retaining wall, which is used to support a nearby swimming pool (4 ft away, made of a fiberglass vinyl material), started to deflect laterally further and further over the time. The reason we suspected was that the higher side property owner rebuilt the yard and relocated the pool closer to the retaining wall, which imposes additional lateral pressure to the retaining structure.

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We observed that when the horizontal distance from the pool to the supporting wall is less than the required length to develop the soil passive earth pressure, the lateral water pressure from the pool (which is filled up in most of the time) would lean on the retaining wall and cause it to deflect and rupture.

So, we designed the replacement wall structures using steel soldier piles with differentiated embedment length (deeper in the pool area and shallower out of the pool area) to help the client remove the concern from the existing defunct wall and its potential threats to further damage the adjacent swimming pool structure.

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Company Update

It’s an exciting time for Level in Texas! Our Austin office is officially open, located at 700 North Mopac Expressway, Suite 200 Austin, TX 78731. The collaborative’s new architect, Andrew Perez is the inaugural A&E designer in the Austin office. Joining the collaborative shortly after Andrew, Peter Modica is our inaugural structural engineer in the region!

Keep up the great work and keep an eye out for more activity in Texas. We’re dedicating resources to continue building teams, marketing, and growing our Texas offices. 

New Team Member Feature

Texas is on a roll. The team is expanding. Give a warm welcome to these three new professionals.

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Joshua Pogue – Structural Engineer supporting Dallas Office!

Joshua graduated from OSU and spent a decade serving as a bridge engineer in the U.S. Army, from there he worked in the public infrastructure sector, leading inspections for on- and off-system bridges.

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Whitney Pogue – Civil Engineer supporting Dallas office!

Whitney has been in the transportation engineering sector since graduating from OSU. She has managed construction projects, completed in-service bridge inspections, and designed roadways.

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Andrew PerezArchitect in Austin, Texas!

Andrew Perez graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and soon after became a leader and project manager for commercial properties across the United States. He brings almost three decades of architectural experience to the collaborative, and we are looking forward to the many projects we’ll be working on!


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