SEAMASS News Briefs, Member News  
& Event Announcements


  • President's Greeting 
  • Solar Photovoltaics: What a Structural Engineer Should Know    
  • Recap: Post Disaster Safety Assessment Training 
  • Member News & Announcements  
  • Recap: Snow Loads Seminar 
  • Building Code News  
  • MA Designer Selection Board Position Open 
  • Recap: YMG Tour of Duncan Galvanizing Plant  
  • Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendar! 
  • Thank you SEAMASS Sponsors    
President's Greeting
The past few months have been very busy for SEAMASS! 
I'm pleased to report that we've produced some very successful (sold-out) events:  Post-disaster Safety Assessment Training in September and Snow Loads in November.  Our Young Member Group also hosted a galvanizing plant tour in October.

Coming up, you can look forward to Solar Photovoltaics: What a Structural Engineer Should Know on January 15, Coastal Design & Design in High Wind Areas in March, and our Annual Meeting in May (details forthcoming).

SEAMASS programs truly benefit everyone: 
gain access to excellent training, resources, and PDHs; Sponsors gain positive exposure for their firms; and SEAMASS gains two key things: funding for future events, and high regard in the industry for providing quality programming and professional development opportunities.

In this issue, you'll find member news and opportunities, building code updates, event recaps and announcements, and an invitation to sponsor this great organization.  Please provide your feedback and your participation, to help make SEAMASS a valuable resource for members!
Winter Holiday Snow Background. Christmas Abstract Backdrop with Snowflakes
January 15, 2014 Event Announcement:
Solar Photovoltaics: What a Structural Engineer Should Know

REGISTER NOW for the next SEAMASS Seminar:
Solar Photovoltaics: What a Structural Engineer Should Know
WHEN:   Wednesday, January 15, 2014 | 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Kostas Research Institute, 141 S. Bedford Street, Burlington MA

PRESENTERS:  James E. Trant, PE & David Dutil, PE, LEED AP 
|  Borrego Solar Systems

Early Bird Registration
(On or before Dec. 30th)
$115 for 3.0 SEAMASS-issued PDHs  | $130 for 3.0 Diamond-Certified PDHs
General Registration (Dec. 31 to Jan. 7)
$140 for 3.0 SEAMASS-issued PDHs  | $160 for 3.0 Diamond-certified PDHs

RECAP: Post Disaster Safety Assessment Training
On Sept 13, SEAMASS co-presented Post Disaster Safety Assessment Training to a sold-out, standing-room only audience.  Participants became certified as a Safety Assessment Program Evaluators in Massachusetts and nationally.  The training was conducted in coordination with the newly formed MEAER (Massachusetts Engineers & Architects Emergency Response Committee), a collaboration of SEAMASS, BSCES and SEI members. Also present were members of AIA New England.
SEAMASS President Mike Fillion presented Tom Gatzuncas, PE, Commissioner with the MA Dept. of Public Safety, with a book titled
On the Edge of Disaster
Massachusetts Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Tom Gatzuncas, PE with the book, On the Edge of Disaster written by Steve Flynn, co-director of the Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.
The Post Disaster Safety Assessment Training appealed a large audience.
Second from right: Robert E. Leach, AIA, NCARB

SEAMASS Director and SEER Co-chair Jeff Struble, PE discussed Good Samaritan Legislation
David Grandpré, PE, SECB, SEAMASS Director and SEER Co-chair was a presenter

Jeffrey A. Hatcher, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C - was a seminar presenter

John M. Looney, P.E. was the speaker for the optional Day 2 / Field Awareness Training (FEMA's Structural Collapse Course) held at the FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Team's Cache in Beverly MA.

Member News & Announcements
David J. Odeh, PE, SECB, F.SEI, Principal of Odeh Engineers, Inc. was made a Fellow of SEI (Structures Engineers Institute) during the 2013 Structures Congress in Pittsburgh, PA in May 2013 along with fellow SEAMASS members Craig Barnes, PE, SECB, Glenn R. Bell, PE, and Jerome F. Hajjar, PE, Ph.D.  Last October, David was also elected to serve a term on the SEI Board of Governors.

Craig E. Barnes, PE, SECB, principal of CBI Consulting Inc., and Michael Fillion, PE, SECB, principal of Fillion Group represented SEAMASS at the 21st Annual NCSEA Conference on Sept 19-22 in Atlanta, GA, where they joined the top engineers in the nation for continuing education, networking and social events.

Ellen Kuo, PE of Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, and Sofia Zamora, EIT of CBI Consulting Inc. were recently named to the NCSEA Young Member Group Committee.  Ellen and Sofia co-founded the SEAMASS Young Member Group (YMG) in 2012, and continue to serve on the group's leadership board.   

    Alice Chao  | Hoyle, Tanner & Associates 
Ed DiSalvio, Jr. | Kleinfelder     
Peter Griem  | Hoyle, Tanner & Associates   
Michael F. Hughes  | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. 
Gregory M. Nowack  | Structures North Consulting Engineers, Inc.

RECAP: Snow Loads Seminar
On November 22, more than 90 participants filled the conference room at the Kostas Research Institute for a half-day seminar jointly presented by Joseph Zona, PE, SECB of Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Mike Guigli, PE of the MA Dept. of Public Safety, and Michael O'Rourke, PE, Ph.D of RPI and Author of Guide to the Snow Load Provisions of ASCE 7-10. The seminar covered Snow and Rain Loads, the performance of buildings in the winter of 2011, and protocols for evaluating buildings loaded with snow.  The popular event drew participants from each of the New England states.
Mike Fillion, Mike Guigli, Joe Zona, and Mike O'Rourke at Snow Loads Seminar
More than 90 people attended the Snow Loads seminar in November
Presenter Michael O'Rourke, PE, Ph.D
Presenter Joseph Zona, PE, SECB
Building Code News
Contributed by Michael Fillion, PE, SECB | Fillion Group
Massachusetts State Building Code Amendments
The code change proposals to the original Massachusetts code amendments to the 8th edition of the MA State Building Code (2009 IBC) were heard at a public hearing in November 2013.  It is anticipated that these amendment changes will be promulgated in the first quarter of 2014. The most significant changes to the original amendments relate to the 2009 IEBC.  Noteworthy is the deletion of Item 101.10 Masonry Walls and its tie in to Appendix A1.  Instead, seismic hazards in unreinforced masonry buildings, including parapet bracing and wall anchors, will be regulated in a more straightforward method when level-3 work is triggered.  The same seismic hazard regulations and triggers will also apply to the prescriptive method.  The prescriptive compliance path loop-hole will be closed with conformance to four fire code requirements.  Re-roofing requirements have been relaxed and under change of use, the exception to Compliance with IBC code level seismic forces (907.3.3) has also been made less restrictive.  In general, the BBRS is aiming for a Mass State Building Code with as few amendments as possible.  

Construction Control Documents
To encourage uniform statewide enforcement of the construction control requirements the BBRS has approved four documents for use by all building officials.  These documents can be completed and submitted electronically (with MS Word 2007) or can be printed and completed manually.  It is left to the building official's discretion to determine if one or more of these forms are needed for a project depending on the project size and complexity. 
For further information, visit the state website.

MA Designer Selection Board Position Open

The Massachusetts Designer Selection Board is seeking a Structural Engineer to fill an upcoming open position on their board.  Click here for a summary of DSB Board Member Responsibilities.  Please note that you cannot be a member of the DSB if your firm will be applying for projects through the DBS.  Interested parties may submit a cover letter and resume to:
Gordon P. Sainsbury, AADipl. (Hons) AIA, RIBA
Executive Director, Designer Selection Board
Commonwealth of Massachusetts  |  TEL: 617-727-4046  |  FAX: 617-727-0112

RECAP: SEAMASS Young Member Group
Tour of Duncan Galvanizing Plant
In October, the SEAMASS Young Member Group (YMG) organized a Tour of the Duncan Galvanizing Plant in Everett, MA.  About the facility:  Since 1890, Duncan Galvanizing has enjoyed a reputation as one of the finest hot dip galvanizing companies in the United States. Today, they are the recognized leader in full-service architectural metal coatings. They provide the most effective form of corrosion protection combined with aesthetic enhancement for all metals including galvanized steel, "black" (non-galvanized) steel, and aluminum. (Source:
SEAMASS Young Member Group (YMG) tours the Duncan Galvanizing Facility
A completed galvanized steel tube being air-cooled before grinding & spikes removal
Galvanizing kettle operates at a temperature around 840 degrees
Kettle can galvanize a member as deep as 36 inches and as long as 64 feet
Powder-coating oven on the left and cooling/cleaning room on the right
Peder Hals, YMG Chair, Sofia Zamora, Past Co-Chair, and Ellen Kuo, Past Co-Chair

UPCOMING EVENTS - Mark Your Calendar & Plan to Attend
JANUARY 15, 2014 (Wednesday):
Solar Photovoltaics - What a Structural Engineer Should Know

JANUARY 22, 2014 (Wednesday):
SEAMASS Board of Directors Meeting
4:30 p,m,, Babson Executive Center, Wellesley, MA

MARCH (Date TBA): 
Coastal Design & Design in High Wind Areas

MAY 15 (Date TBA):
SEAMASS Annual Meeting (TBA)

Click here for details and to register to attend or sponsor an event
Thank you SEAMASS Sponsors
Thank you to the following SEAMASS Members who have contributed  
their sponsorship in support of this member-driven organization: 
  Cannon Design, CBI Consulting Inc., Consulting Structural Engineer, Cowen Associates,
Daigle Engineers, Engineers Design Group, Fillion Group Inc., Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates,
Gale Associates Inc., Johnson Structural Engineering Inc., LeMessurier Consultants, RJ Farah Engineering Inc., RSE Associates Inc., RRC Engineering LLC,  Symmes, Maini & McKee Associates.
Alpha Weatherproofing Corp., CSC, Fabreeka International Inc.,
Helical Drilling, Microcad, Safe Roof Systems

Why wait?  Become a Sponsor today! 
We also continue to offer Event Sponsor opportunities for most SEAMASS events.