Taylor Structural Engineers, Inc.

Commercial - Institutional - Light Industrial


December 2015

Primary Health Network

TSE recently provided the structural design for a 5-story 78,000 square foot medical office building inSharon, PA. The facility is part of the Primary Health Network, a private, non-profit organization which provides a wide range of healthcare services accessible to people of all incomes. The Primary Health network began as one small community health center in 1984 and has grown to include over 45 service facilities throughout 13 counties within Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Conventional steel framing was used for the primary building structure. The building façade will consist of a combination of split face block, brick veneer panels, and a glass curtain wall.

John Gruitza Architects led the design team for the project.

November 2015

Giant Eagle's Westward Expansion

Giant Eagle has expanded westward with the opening of its new Indianapolis area Market District and GetGo, both located in the Bridges of Carmel development.

TSE was pleased to once again team with Giant Eagle and its other design partners to provide the structural engineering services for both of the ground up facilities. The exterior architecture of both buildings reflects the modern style design employed throughout the Bridges Development, while still maintaining the Market District and GetGo identities.

The 2-story 120,000 square foot Market District is a steel framed structure. The exterior wall construction typically consists of light gage steel studs supporting masonry veneer. A signature feature of the building's exterior is the large masonry archway identifying the entrance to the store. The store's interior decor integrates with the superstructure, allowing many of the structural elements to remain exposed, and a large portion of the ground floor consists of polished concrete.

The 6,000 square foot GetGo convenience store utilized a wood framed structural system including wood framed exterior bearing walls and engineered wood roof trusses. The exterior finish systems consist of a combination of modular brick and fiber cement panels.

DLA+ Architecture & Interior Design led the design team for the Market District project, and mcg Architects led the design team for the GetGo project.

Staff News: 

Congratulations to staff engineer Brad Oliver on his marriage to Kate McAffrey! We wish you many years of happiness!

October 2015

McKee Elementary School - West Allegheny School District

Major renovations are underway at McKee Elementary School in the West Allegheny School District. This is the second of two major elementary school renovation projects at the district over the past two years. (The Wilson Elementary School renovation was completed earlier this year.) Taylor Structural Engineers provided the structural design services and The Hayes Design Group - Architects has been leading the design teams on both projects.

Renovations to the 85,000 square foot McKee Elementary School include construction of two entry towers, removal of approximately 1,200 square feet of existing roof structure and construction of a new sloped roof and skylight system to create a new collaboration space for students and staff. In addition, the project included major MEP system upgrades and significant modifications to the existing building exterior, including modifications to existing window openings and masonry restoration.


Dollar General Stores

The Dollar General Corporation has recently undertaken a major expansion program throughout our region of the country, and TSE is happy to be providing structural engineering services for a number of new stores currently under construction in Pennsylvania. To date, TSE has provided structural engineering services on 15 regional Dollar General Stores.

Many of the projects have utilized pre-engineered metal building construction, for which TSE has provided the foundation, floor slab, and integral retaining wall designs, in addition to structural coordination with the manufactured building design. Other Dollar General projects have involved conventional building structures and additions/renovations to existing facilities, requiring complete engineering services of all structural systems.

The photos below show a recently completed Dollar General Store in South Park Township. This 9,100 square foot building was constructed on a very challenging site that required a significant integral retaining wall along the rear of the building due to sloped grading and relatively poor soil bearing conditions.

The architectural designs have been provided by Hart Architectural Services on all projects that TSE has been involved with to date, and PennTex Ventures has provided the general contractor responsibilities.

July 2015

Historic Wexford Trolley Station Relocated to Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

Taylor Structural Engineers is happy to have provided structural engineering services for the recent relocation of the historic Wexford Trolley Station to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pennsylvania. Originally constructed in 1908, the wood-framed structure served trolley passengers and freight traveling on the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler & New Castle Railway until 1931, when the trolley line was abandoned. The building was then converted to a Post Office that operated until 1964. Since then, the building has been used for commercial purposes. Interestingly, even after multiple uses, the building is one of a few trolley stations to survive, and it still has the original windows, doors, eaves, and wood paneling.

The building was moved from Wexford to its new home in Washington County by Insana's Crane Service of Washington, and now rests on its new foundation and basement, which was structurally designed by TSE. Jeff Pleta and Sons Historical Structure Relocation of Washington coordinated the building relocation effort, and is currently working on the final restoration work, which is expected to be complete early this fall. Part of the restoration includes the installation of new lateral reinforcing systems that are needed to replace structural elements that have been removed from the building over the years, and to address current building code requirements. TSE also provided structural engineering assistance with this lateral stability upgrade.

Architectural services for the project were provided by Landmarks Design Associates, with whom TSE has enjoyed working on other historic restoration projects in the past.

June 2015

The Walker-Ewing Log House (Built 1790) - Collier Township, PA

In late February 2015, TSE was asked by the Pioneers West Historical Society to survey the overall structural condition of the Walker-Ewing Log House located in Collier Township, PA. The Historical Society has owned and maintained the 225 year old log cabin for the past 20 years, and has concerns regarding deterioration of the aging wood structure.

The 2-story cabin has foundation/basement walls constructed of field stone set in mortar, supporting 2-stories of log walls and wood floor/roof framing. As would be expected for a structure of this type and age, some deterioration has occurred through the years, but the cabin remains in reasonably sound structural condition.

One area of specific concern was the south wall, which was leaning outward approximately 4". TSE determined that this condition had been caused by two factors, including the installation of an exterior door opening which interrupted the interlocking log framing in one corner, as well as deterioration from water and insect damage along bottom log that bear directly on the masonry foundation walls.

To avoid expensive and invasive major reconstruction of this area, which would have required the installation of major shoring, demolition of the leaning masonry wall, realignment of the log wall above the foundation, and then reconstruction of the masonry foundation wall that had been removed, TSE developed a different solution. We recommended stabilizing the leaning wall by installing tension rods just below the first floor level. These would hold the wall in its present position and prevent further lateral movement. This process was beautifully executed by contractor Mark Wetmiller as shown in the following photos.

After completing the tension rod installation, the badly deteriorated log running along the top of the foundation wall was then reinforced with structural epoxy injected at the deteriorated zones, and the exposed tension rod heads were expertly hidden from view.

TSE has had the privilege of assisting on a number of historic renovation projects in recent years, including restorations at the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh, the Neville House in Collier Township, the Gilfillan Barn in Upper St. Clair, and the Fort Pitt Block House, which is the oldest remaining structure in southwestern Pennsylvania. 


Preconstruction View of Infill Zone


South Hills Bible Chapel: McMurray, PA

TSE’s most recent project at the South Hills Bible Chapel was the structural design for a 3-story classroom infill addition between the Chapel’s main Worship Space and the Family Life Center, which will add 15,000 square feet of new building space to enhance the church’s educational programs.  The project also included a 450 square foot addition to the Chapel’s existing café.

The addition was structured with composite concrete and steel floor framing for performance and economy within the tight floor-to-floor constraints of the existing building.  Rigid steel frames were used to accommodate an open architectural design, and a deep foundation system of caissons and grade beams was used to deal with extremely poor existing soil conditions at the site.

Steel framing for infill
Current construction status

TSE previously served as the structural engineer-of-record for two other major additions to the Bible Chapel’s facilities, including the 60,000 square foot Worship Center addition in 2004, and the earlier 30,000 square foot Education/Activity Center in 2000.

The professional design team on all three projects was led by architect Jim Sampey of Sampey  Associates.  Nello Construction is the project’s General Contractor.

Other TSE News

In April of 2014, TSE began electronically archiving 18 years' worth of projects and the volumes of paper associated with those projects. The decision to undertake this enormous project without the help of an outside document management firm was arrived at after a tremendous amount of due diligence. 

We actually had numerous meetings with an outside firm, as well as internal planning meetings, and through that process arrived at the consensus that we are not able to just send our information to the cloud in the event that we need it in the future. We have always prided ourselves on our organization standards, and over the years have revisited projects for numerous reasons, including additional structural work at a facility. Because of our attention to meticulous record keeping, we have been able to revisit a particular facility without having to spend time locating key information, such as a geotechnical report, existing facility drawings, previous investigation findings, etc. 

We realized that rather than an archive, we actually wanted a digital reference library. The most important aspect to this library was to give us immediate access to pertinent information for a particular facility. 

We are estimating another 8 months of scanning to get our older projects into our digital reference library. Our current and future projects will be added to our reference library after our services have been completed. 

This undertaking will in the end benefit both our internal staff as well as our many valued clients. 

Three Crossings Development


Three Crossing Development

Construction is progressing well on the new commercial office building project at 2501 Smallman Street in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. 

Taylor Structural Engineers is providing the structural engineering services for this 4-story, 72,000 square foot structure which is part of Three Crossings, an 11-acre development on the Allegheny River that is being managed by Oxford Development.  When finished, Three Crossings will have transformed a former Strip District truck yard into an upscale mixed use arena consisting of luxury apartments, low-rise office towers, and retail space.

TSE faced a major structural challenge on the project, as wide-bay construction was required to accommodate a 17,500 square foot parking garage at the basement level.  A composite steel and concrete framing system was selected to efficiently handle the long spans, while also maintaining a relatively thin structural depth to meet project requirements.  Other structural features include rigid frame construction to avoid the need for X-bracing in the walls, and soil improvement to allow the use of more economical spread footings with the inherently poor existing subgrade conditions.

The project is operating on a fast-track schedule, with completion and occupancy expected this coming summer.  Rycon Construction, the project contractor, will also be an anchor tenant in the new office building.  WTW is providing architectural design services.  TSE is pleased to have a role in this exciting development, and has started the structural engineering on a second, larger office building on an adjacent lot on Smallman Street, working with the same fast-track team.

Mon Health Park Building 1
Mon Health Park Building 2
Mon Health Park Building 3

March 2015 

Mon Health Medical Office Park

TSE is happy to be providing structural engineering services for a new $30 million medical office park that is currently being constructed for Mon General Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia.  When completed later this year, the three multi-story buildings will provide a gross area of more than 120,000 square feet of medical office space for physicians serving the northern West Virginia, western Maryland, and southwestern Pennsylvania region.  Tenants for these new buildings will include approximately 85 affiliated hospital physicians, as well as the Wound Healing Center of Mon General Hospital.

TSE provided complete structural engineering design services for the project.  Composite concrete and steel floor framing was selected for structural performance, economy, and reduced structural depth.  Multiple foundation systems were also required across the tight building site due to extremely varied subsurface soil conditions.  Architecturally, the three buildings are tied together with repeating curved glass elements and similar perimeter features.

TSE was retained by structural steel fabricator Moore & Morford, Inc. of Greensburg, PA, who is working as part of a design build team that is headed by Accelerated Construction of Morgantown.  The project’s architectural services are being provided by Omni Associates of Fairmont, West Virginia.

Erected structural steel for 4th building currently under construction at PIBP Building 300


Pittsburgh International Business Park, Moon Township, PA

Despite winter weather conditions in Pittsburgh, the structural steel erection has proceeded smoothly on Building 300 at Pittsburgh International Business Park in Moon Township.  This 54,000 square foot commercial/office “flex building” is the fourth such structure at PIBP for which TSE has provided structural engineering services over the past three years.  TSE previously served as the structural engineer of record on Buildings 100, 110, and 210, which are finished and occupied.

The four buildings are part of what will eventually become an 8-building development on 40 acres of previously undeveloped land owned by the Airport Authority in Moon Township, PA.  From its inception, the project has been spearheaded by a collaboration between Chaska Property Advisors of Cranberry, PA, and Continental Building Systems of Columbus, OH, and was initially fueled, in part, by the success of the developing team’s previous venture at the Cranberry Business Park, located just north of Pittsburgh. 

Wide bay structural steel construction has been utilized in the structural design of these buildings to provide maximum flexibility for a wide range of commercial and light-industrial tenant needs.  Tall glass panels have been incorporated into the perimeter architecture to allow for natural lighting inside the space and to identify the individual tenant entrances, which also feature aluminum storefront framing systems and cable-suspended steel canopies.  

The development at Pittsburgh International Business Park is proceeding quickly, and TSE has been happy to provide the structural designs for each building on fast-track schedules.  Architectural services on Building 300 are being provided by Next Architecture.  TSE greatly appreciates the opportunity to be a team member on these projects.

Partial View of Completed Building 100 at PIBP


Student Housing at Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Over the past decade, Taylor Structural Engineers has provided the structural design for over 3 million square feet of student housing facilities at various colleges and universities.

TSE is pleased to be part of the design team put together by WTW Architects for our most recent student housing project at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  The project entails the construction of two 4-story buildings with a total combined gross floor area of 240,000 square feet.  The lower level of each building will be utilized for a combination of community space for the building residents and retail tenant space.  Common spaces will include multi-purpose meeting rooms and a movie theater.  Retail tenant spaces are anticipated to include a restaurant and a bookstore.  The upper three levels of each building will serve primarily as two-person private and shared suites for the student population.

Structural steel, masonry, cast-in-place concrete, and precast concrete were used for the lower level structure of each building.  The structure for the upper residential floors of each building will consist primarily of conventional wood framing.

These two new residence halls, Suites on Main North and Suites on Main South, are expected to be available to students for the Fall of 2015 and the Fall of 2016.

TSE previously provided structural engineering services for the Diane L. Reinhard Villages student housing project at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, which was completed in 2004.

Construction of Suites on Main North and Suites on Main South in 2014