Designing the structure for custom shore houses is often challenging. Cost-effective wood framing alone will sometimes not cut it when trying to resist high wind forces while leaving room for the ocean view. However, of the variety of wall and floor framing systems used to achieve these designs in the northeast region, reinforced concrete is rarely one of them.
Water’s Edge is a three-story custom single-family home on the beachfront in Long Beach Township, New Jersey. To ensure this shore home would be as robust as possible, the owners chose to build it almost entirely out of reinforced concrete. Both the walls and floors were framed with an Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) system, which uses proprietary wall blocks and light gage floor joists to speed up the concrete installation and skip the insulation step afterward. To maximize visibility, concrete was subbed-out for more slender steel columns in a few key areas, namely the two-story bright-red steel x-brace supporting both levels of outdoor deck in the center of the main elevation.
The architectural design was provided by The OMNIA Group Architects, a full-service architectural firm performing single-family, multi-family, and commercial work in the Philadelphia region, among others. While we have collaborated on some production style homes, the majority of our work together includes the more unique and challenging custom projects that Water’s Edge exemplifies.
Bucks County-based Ralph C. Fey Architects has been bringing their thoughtful architectural vision to projects across the Delaware Valley for more than 25 years, with a focus on balancing the artistic heritage of the region with more modern themes.
This high-end custom in Washington, NJ (aptly named “Familial Traditions”) finished construction in 2022 by builder C. Raymond Davis & Sons and features a generations-old tree around which the house was designed. Along with the usual challenges of creating and supporting open spaces with heavy/sensitive finishes, both the architecture and structure had to take special care in the design of the foundations and upper-level decks to not risk interfering with the tree or its root system. This unique design choice, along with the great lengths taken to blend the historic aspects of the preserved farm with its contemporary elements, were central to the project receiving the 2022 Excellence in Design Award by the Bucks County chapter of the American Institute of Architects. While we are always proud of a job well done, we’re particularly honored to contribute to award-winning projects.
In the world of high-end custom homes, T.S. Adams Studio has been a well-respected source of distinctive architectural design for over 20 years. While a majority of their work is done in the southeast where their offices are located, you can find their designs in custom homes up and down the east coast and in regions of the mid-west. Their commitment to delivering a high standard of quality and detail requires an equally high level of structural design to achieve their ambitious vision. Our expertise in wood framing and creative approach to problem solving is the main reason they have chosen to partner with us on a number of unique projects.
This two-story custom on the northern end of Atlanta is a perfect example of our successful collaboration. Areas of heavy slate roof and stone tile floor finish required careful consideration of layout and structural design to meet the stringent deflection criteria required by the high-performance standards in this type of construction. The site itself presented challenges with the extreme grading conditions, which ultimately required sub-level retaining walls with counterforts and deadman walls to create the entirely level first floor layout with its sprawling terrace.
We’re proud and grateful to work with the team at T.S. Adams Studio and look forward to future collaborations.
Meritage Homes is a national production homebuilder whose myriad projects from California to Florida consistently lands them in the top 10 of the Builder 100 list. Though only a few years old, our relationship with Meritage Homes’ Southeast Region functioned as a strong partnership from the start.
The genesis of our relationship came in 2018 as they began a multi-year value engineering initiative to holistically review and redesign their Southeast region’s multiple product lines to improve the architectural floor plans, elevations, and structural engineering. Value engineering comes standard with our services, so our team was excited to work with Meritage to simplify their structural designs, reduce material costs, and improving standardization. Historically, our designs reduce framing hard costs over $2000. A few simple calculations later, the Meritage team quickly realized that the savings from this initiative would make a huge impact on their bottom line.
Starting fresh, we were able to organize our design standards and typical detailing around their construction preferences – which is the foundation for creating standardized designs across multiple product lines and multiple divisions. This makes the entire library of homes easier to build, with less opportunities for field errors. After laying the groundwork of a solid relationship for years to come, we’re proud to currently provide structural designs for the single-family homes in Nashville, Atlanta, Greenville, Raleigh, and Myrtle Beach for Meritage Home’s Southeast Division.
This exquisite custom home in Clyde Hill, WA, is one of the latest projects developed from our collaboration with McCullough Architects in the Seattle suburbs. Built by Adam Leland Homes, this 2-story 5-bed/6-bath offers both quality and quantity over its 7,000+ square feet. Cathedral ceilings, wide-open layouts, and multiple covered outdoor areas create the perfect backdrop for the inspired architectural touches. While all its bells and whistles would be a marvel in any setting, the direct view of the Seattle skyline across Lake Washington certainly doesn’t hurt.
The expansive indoor spaces and covered deck areas which make these picturesque views possible also create structural challenges for supporting both the vertical and lateral building forces. Supporting 8-foot cantilevers, sometimes in two directions, in a 10-inch-deep roof system required integrating steel beams into the wood framing when engineered lumber wouldn’t cut it. The tall windows make for great views but require careful design of the few remaining exterior wall panels for lateral support, particularly in regions with high seismic demand like the Pacific Northwest.
We always enjoy working alongside the great staff at McCullough Architects and the awesome team at Adam Leland Homes.
Stanley Martin Homes, a single-family production and custom homebuilder founded in Maryland, has experienced rapid growth over the past 10 years. Currently operating in 12 metro areas across the Mid-Atlantic & Southeast regions, they have managed to achieve the fastest growth in the nation among large builders. In 2011, Stanley Martin ranked #77 on the Builder 100 list with 123 closings and have moved up to #21 with 3400 closings in 2021. For maintaining their high performance and strong culture even after years of extraordinary growth, Builder Magazine honored them with their ‘2021 Builder of the Year’ award.
Our relationship began in 2008, during the Great Recession, where our value engineering expertise got us in the door at Stanley Martin. At the time, they were a regional builder in the Washington DC area. Our team is proud to have grown along with them in nearly all their regional divisions over the past 15 years, providing structural designs for single-family homes and the occasional multi-family project. Sharing in their passion for excellence, our responsive client service and cost-effective designs continue to drive and expand our long-term relationship with Stanley Martin Homes.
When one of the oldest homes in Longport, NJ, was due for a long-awaited facelift, long-time client and high-end custom shore home specialist Asher Slaunwhite Architects was brought on to help save this turn of the century classic. Though many of the wants and needs of this renovation would require significant structural change, the plan from the beginning was to save as much of the existing structure and look as possible. The result is a fully modernized three story shore home with new full-height addition, roof deck, and entirely redesigned open-concept interior.
We worked closely with the architect and GC (Buck Custom Homes) during the construction phase to get the trickier aspects of the redesign just right. To meet current building and flood codes, the house had to be lifted to allow construction of an entirely new foundation system. With a great deal of temporary bracing, new steel beams were installed into the existing wood floor system to create the desired open concept while keeping the HVAC system entirely within the floor depth. For our efforts in designing the brand-new feel of this home off the good bones of the original 1896 construction, our team was awarded the Outstanding Project Award for Single Family Homes by DVASE, the Philadelphia area Structural Engineering Association.
Dan Ryan Builders is among the top homebuilders on the East Coast, currently operating in 9 states and 17 markets – from Pennsylvania to Georgia. While our relationship started with engineering homes for the Charleston, SC, market on the coast nearly 10 years ago, our team has both grown with DRB as they’ve expanded into new markets and have earned the confidence of their other divisions – to the point where we service the significant majority of their portfolio.
They have recently entered the Coastal Delaware market with 5 new communities under their DRB Coastal brand. Our team has extensive experience in this region and helped them develop local design standards and details. Anyone who builds in multiple jurisdictions understands the various “ism’s” and provincial nature that can literally come with the territory. Accounting for these factors prior to the first permit submittal can help avoid painful delays.
As material shortages continue to ripple through our industry, we’ve been working closely with their team to identify next-level value engineering opportunities and explore alternate options to ensure construction can continue with the materials that are available.
Charter Homes and Neighborhoods, the largest homebuilder in Central Pennsylvania, has been a valued client since the early years of M+K. Their commitment to excellence has been awarded with multiple industry accolades, including the Best Neighborhood in the Country award, Best Builder to Work For, and the Gold National Housing Quality Award – the home building industry’s highest recognition.
Over the years, we have partnered with the leadership team at Charter Homes to help them identify value engineering opportunities while ensuring their structural systems perform at the high level they demand.
We love working with the team at Charter and appreciate their dedication to developing ‘Great American Neighborhoods’ that are quaint, timeless, and go above and beyond the typical amenities by featuring a charming main street with locally owned shops & restaurants.
Focused primarily on the coastal resort communities of Southern Delaware, Schell Brothers builds homes with an emphasis on durability and energy. Their use of advanced building science provides the highest levels of indoor air quality, reduces energy usage by almost 50%, and ensures that their structural systems are tuned to deliver both efficiency and performance.
While Schell Brothers builds exceptional homes, what really sets them apart is an absolute commitment to their ‘culture of happiness’. Prioritizing the happiness of their employees and customers above all else has made them, in the words of Founder Chris Schell, “surprisingly successful”. They’ve discovered that having a great culture and amazing employees ultimately provides a great experience for their customers. We share their passion for great culture and are proud to work with the Schell Brothers team.