Chavez-Grieves has an extensive history of providing innovative seismic design solutions in many of the high seismic regions of the United States. Every lateral system has advantages and disadvantages and each project has its own individual design criteria. We will not recommend one specific lateral system but rather provide quantifiable information so that the entire team can choose based on the owners, designers and contractors collective knowledge. The team based selection criterion which we recommend is as follows:

  • Lateral Systems Impact on Floor Plan & Elevations
  • Lateral Systems Performance
  • Constructability
  • Commodity Market/Material Availability
  • Labor Market
  • Soil Properties
  • Site Conditions
  • Construction Schedule
  • Cost

Each item is connected to one if not multiple items on the same list. Each item has a significant impact to building performance, cost and schedule and each item has an impact on multiple design disciplines. Because of this “interconnectedness” we always recommend our clients take a team approach to lateral system selection so we never arrive at the end of the project asking, “Why did we do it that way”?

Thorough soils evaluations are recommended at the beginning of each project, including shear wave velocity testing to achieve the most efficient seismic force resisting system. Frequently, the small investment required for a shear wave velocity test will confirm a lower seismic design category for a site, resulting in significant cost savings in foundation and lateral systems.

Chavez-Grieves utilizes the latest three dimensional computer modeling technology along with our extensive experience to analyze and design lateral systems which are able to withstand the forces and address the interstory drifts generated by high winds. Each primary building structure and exterior cladding element is designed for wind forces as prescribed by the governing building code. Chavez-Grieves has experience providing low-rise and high-rise wind design solutions in many high-wind regions across the United States.