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.
We’re excited to announce that M+K’s 20th Anniversary Branding Program placed 2nd in the Corporate Events category of The Zweig Group’s National Marketing Excellence Awards competition!
In preparation for the company-wide celebration last December, the marketing team developed a brand identity that was applied to a range of materials for the event. The centerpiece of this program was the invitation which featured the brand identity and introduced the venue to M+K employees.
The gala was held in Philadelphia at the venerable Franklin Institute, one of the nation’s oldest centers of science education and development in the United States. By all measures, it was a great night…certainly one for the ages!
The M+K marketing team is very proud of this recognition by our peers in the engineering, architecture, and building industries. As always, we look forward to the development of future projects that showcase our award-winning culture and the exceptional work that we do for our great clients.
Just a short walk from the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park, Bedford Arms is a 9-story apartment building completed a few years ago in Brooklyn, NY. Unlike most new multi-family projects which may provide a small percentage of affordable units to meet minimum municipal requirements, Bedford Arms was designed to offer 100% of its units as affordable housing for the surrounding community. Alongside architect John Schimenti, our multi-family team provided designs for mid-rise residential developer Engel Group as both the Engineer of Record and Designated Engineer for the light-gauge metal bearing wall system.
To help keep costs down, hollowcore concrete plank floors supported on light-gauge metal bearing walls were selected for the 8 residential levels as a less expensive alternative to a flat plate cast-in-place concrete system and helped streamline construction for the cramped urban site. While accounting for a partial basement with all the challenges of tight property line margins common to city projects, the foundation design required an intricate combination of eccentric footings, grade beams, and mat foundation slabs.
While most of our projects with BCA Architecture and Design are high-end custom homes, we took a detour to tackle this adaptive re-use project in the heart of the South Slope Brewing District in Asheville, NC. What is now a contemporary pizzeria serving up local ingredients with a focus on sustainability began as just a shell of the original 1920’s construction.
This sustainable mission began with construction, where an effort to keep much of the existing 2-story masonry walls and steel bowstring trusses made this project an exercise in thinking outside the box from the start. Through a series of slotted connections, over-sized holes, and hand-tightened bolts, our design team was able to thread the needle in detailing a new steel frame to brace the existing masonry from the inside without imparting new load. Our final design incorporated most of the original bowstring trusses, offering a rustic aesthetic for the diners below. In recognition of our innovative design solutions in overcoming these challenges, the project earned a second-place finish at the 2022 DVASE structural engineering awards.
The result was a two-story dining area with mid-height mezzanine, all beneath a partially covered rooftop bar. From the unique history and intriguing finished product to the one-of-a-kind design, this ambitious project was a pleasure to be a part of, no matter which way you slice it.
Giving back has always been a main pillar of the Mulhern+Kulp culture. While our efforts to lend a hand to those less fortunate takes on many shapes and sizes, it’s particularly meaningful when our volunteer work crosses paths with our professional careers. We recently had an opportunity to put our expertise in wood-frame construction to the test right in our backyard, helping Habitat for Humanity with a build just outside Philadelphia in Hatboro, PA.
Jeannie Sachs, the local Director of Programs for Habitat, noted: “While we appreciate all of our volunteers, it’s really great to have the kind of skilled help that a structural engineering firm like M+K provides.”
The site will eventually be home to 2 duplexes built for local families in need of permanent housing. Seven volunteers from our home office teamed up with a Habitat Project Manager and two veteran volunteer team-leads to keep construction moving, framing out interior walls and exterior window openings. Getting to swing a hammer while supporting a great cause was an absolute pleasure, and helping create a quality product from the other side of the drawings was an experience we hope to do again soon!
A key aspect of our award-winning culture is our company-wide commitment to giving back. One of the charities we support in the Philadelphia area is the Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard, a fantastic charity that supports those in need located down the road from our home office.
In addition to volunteering at Mattie Dixon throughout the year, our team has regularly participated in Food Drives since we began partnering with them over 10 years ago. To make the event fun for our employees – and to ensure that we amassed as much food as possible – we turned it into a competition.
This year we divided our staff into six teams, incentivizing both teams and individual employees with prizes. We are thrilled to have exceeded all previous year’s donation totals, accumulating nearly 1400 pounds of grocery items! M+K supplemented this with a cash donation of $1.00 per pound, totaling $1400!
Thanks to all of our great employees for their generous donations, and thanks to Mattie Dixon Community Cupboard for all they do, day in and day out, to help those in need.
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
Luxor at Bala Cynwyd offers luxury apartments and first-class amenities in the Philadelphia region. True to their namesake, they aim to create a living experience typically found only at luxury resorts. Working with Westrum Development and the architects at Meyer Design, the building consists of a large 4-story wood framed structure on two levels of composite steel framing, which create space for over 160 units over full levels of amenity area and covered parking, not to mention courtyards, a pool deck, and front entrance balcony. With quick access to shopping and dining experiences the Philly Main Line is known for, it makes full use of its location, complete with sweeping views of the city skyline.
Finding naturally competent soil on site is not always a given, particularly in regions which have seen industrial activity and urban development for centuries. Our team recommended installing a network of rigid inclusions to stiffen the existing soil and allow for the use of shallow foundations in lieu of deep foundations. Knowing what to expect when working with these systems has become an essential part of our expertise in multi-family design projects.
It was a pleasure working with Meyer Design and Westrum Development on Luxor Bala Cynwyd, the first of 6 planned Luxor apartment projects across our region.
Stanley Martin Homes, a single-family production and custom home builder 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.
Wow! Just, wow! On December 3rd, our employees and their spouses / significant others from all of our offices came together at Philadelphia’s iconic Franklin Institute to celebrate our 20-year anniversary. It’s hard to put into words how much fun we all had!
The Black-Tie event began with photos on the red carpet and cocktails & hors d’oeuvres in “The Brain” exhibit. We then transitioned to the rotunda to have dinner in the presence of the larger-than-life Benjamin Franklin statue. Throughout the evening several employees took time to look back and speak about their experiences at M+K. They painted a fun, informative and heartfelt picture of our first 20 years in business. The formal event closed with Mike and Joe presenting an inspiring vision of the future for the firm. With most employees spending the night at the 5-star Logan Hotel nearby on Franklin Square, we hosted a catered after-party there which provided a wonderful opportunity to continue the momentum!
It was such a joy bringing everyone together. This will be warmly remembered for years to come and will certainly have a home in the annals of M+K lore.
It is with a combination of pride and humility that we reflect on this achievement and look forward to the next 20 years. We’re grateful beyond words for the wonderful relationships we have built and the trust that both our employees and clients have placed us over the years. Going forward, we’re looking forward to continuing to earn that trust – and hope that we all continue to grow and succeed together.
With construction dating as far back as 1872, what was once the convent of the Episcopal Sisters of Saint Mary’s has been part of the history and heritage of Peekskill, NY for nearly 150 years. Built into the hillside overlooking the Hudson River, this century-old convent and chapel has been entirely restored in modern luxury as The Abbey Inn & Spa by Ginsburg Development Companies. While maintaining much of the timeless exterior, the reimagining of the interior for the luxurious suites, event spaces, and full-service spa has earned it the #3 rank on the “10 Best New Hotels” list by USA Today.
This project combined the inherent challenges of designing large, non-uniform spaces with working off existing (and dated) construction. Century-old wood framed floors were reinforced to support various new, non-stacking bearing walls needed to accommodate the ambitious new layout. Catching up on decades of structural code compliance while designing for new heavily loaded spaces required integrating new steel framing, sometimes supported on a combination of existing rubble masonry and fresh concrete piers tied into bedrock. Never knowing what the field team would uncover certainly kept us on our toes.
Our team enjoyed this unique adaptive reuse project with the team at Ginsburg, which was a big deviation from their typical “new construction” projects consisting of mid-rise and high-rise multi-family buildings.