SEAMASS News Briefs, Member News  
& Event Announcements

MARCH 2014 

  • President's Greeting 
  • March 20 Seminar:  Structures Along the Shore     
  • Building Code News: Amendment to MSBC-8th Edition, Table 1604.11 Ground Snow Loads - Basic Wind Speeds - Earthquake Design Factors 
  • Article: Roof Ponding During Winter of 2010-2011 
  • Event Recap:  Solar Photovoltaics 
  • Event Recap:  Structural Innovation 
  • YMG Event Recap: Tour of New Construction at Wentworth Institute of Technology  
  • SEAMASS Member Resources & Careers Center  
  • Upcoming Events - Mark Your Calendar  
President's Greeting
Mike Fillion, PE, SECB
Since our last issue of SEAMASS News, we've hosted more successful events:  Solar Photovoltaics in January and Structural Innovation: Combining Classic Theory with New Technologies in February.  Our Young Member Group also hosted a Tour of New Construction Site at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Coming up, you can look forward to Structures Along the Shore on March 20; Pre-conference seminars on April 2 at the 2014 Structures Congress in Boston; and our SEAMASS Annual Meeting & Dinner on May 7. 

Speaking of events, our September 13 SAP training was featured in the December issue of AIA Vermont, in an  article by Steven Clark, AIA, an architect from VT who attended and appreciated the program.

In this issue, you'll find member-contributed articles, building code updates, event announcements and recaps, and a new section titled SEAMASS Member Resources and Careers.
Thanks for taking a few moments to keep yourself abreast of issues that affect our profession, and opportunities that support your professional development. 

Your SEAMASS Board of Directors and committees are working to make this member-driven organization a welcoming community and valuable resource for you.  Please share your feedback or member news, and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!

Thank you for your continued support and involvement in SEAMASS.
Best regards,
MARCH 20, 2014 Event Announcement:
Structures Along the Shore

REGISTER NOW for the next SEAMASS Seminar:
Structures Along the Shore
Waterfront sites are a challenge to build on.  They are underlain by shifting sands, inundated by floodwaters, buffeted by hurricane strength winds, pounded by waves and battered by regulatory hurdles.   MORE 

WHEN:   Thursday, March 20, 2014  | 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (4.0 PDHs) 
WHERE:  Kostas Research Institute, 141 S. Bedford Street, Burlington MA
PRESENTER:  Jim DeStefano, P.E., AIA, F.SEI, President | DeStefano & Chamberlain, Inc.
$135 for 4.0 SEAMASS-issued PDHs
$155 for 4.0 NCSEA Diamond-reviewed PDHs



(Click on logos to view websites)  


Amendment to MSBC-8th Edition, Table 1604.11
Ground Snow Loads - Basic Wind Speeds - Earthquake Design Factors
Contributed by H. W. Hagen, P.E., SECB 
The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Structural Advisory Committee (SAC), chaired by Joseph J. Zona, P.E., submitted a proposed amendment to the BBRS pursuant to the ground snow loads and basic wind speeds listed in 780 CMR - Eighth Edition, Table 1604.11, Ground Snow Loads; Basic Wind Speeds; Earthquake Design Factors.

This code change proposal was initially presented to the BBRS in February 2012. The BBRS was in favor of this change, and the lengthy process of assessment of economic impact of this and other proposed building code amendments began. As part of this process, a public hearing was held in the fall of 2013.

This proposed amendment to the ground snow loads and basic wind speeds received final approval by the BBRS on December 6, 2013 and then forwarded to the Massachusetts Secretary of State (SOS) for further review and screening. The SOS is the official keeper of records and, as such, has the authority to promulgate building code documents submitted by the BBRS. On January 31, 2014 the SOS promulgated the BBRS SAC amendment to the ground snow loads and basic wind speeds, effective December 6, 2013.

Revised ground snow load values and basic wind speeds in Table 1604.11 are available for download via the BBRS website at When the MA Department of Public Safety homepage appears, select Building Code/BBRS. Look under 8th Edition Amendments - 8th Edition Base Volume (August 2010) MA Amendments - Amendments since August 2010. The revised ground snow load and basic wind speed values in Table 1604.11 may be found under "16.0, Structural Loads Table, Corrected, Add Footnote." In a similar fashion, other MA amendments are typically posted on the same website after having cleared the BBRS and SOS building code amendment process.   

Ground Snow Loads: Revised values of ground snow loads in the amended Table 1604.11 are based on the ground snow load zones shown on the map of the United States in ASCE 7-05, Figure 7-1. Basically, the tabulated ground snow load values predominantly match those shown on the ASCE 7-05 ground snow load map. Except for a few cases, the ground snow load values shown for cities or towns that border other states are consistent with the current values required by those states. Based on an evaluation of data prepared by the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), in conjunction with the ASCE 7-05 information, a maximum ground snow load value was limited to 60 psf for certain towns along the New Hampshire border. In addition, the updated Table 1604.11 also shows minimum flat roof snow load values based on the same values that were established for the Massachusetts State Building Code - Sixth Edition. This lower bound is reflected in a footnote located under the table that states: "The design flat roof snow load shall be the larger of the calculated flat roof snow load using Pg or the value Pf listed in this table."   
Basic Wind Speeds: Revised values of basic wind speeds shown in the amended Table 1604.11 are based on the wind speed zones shown on the map of the United States in ASCE 7-05, Figure 6-1. Generally, the tabulated basic wind speed values predominantly match those shown on the ASCE 7-05 basic wind speed map. The value of 120 mph remains unchanged for the islands in the Dukes and Nantucket counties, and a value of 115 mph is tabulated for many towns in southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod. Note that in the other communities the basic wind speed values have either remained the same or been increased/decreased by 5 mph to 10 mph.
Earthquake Design Factors: No changes were made to the seismic design factors in Table 1604.11.

Concurrency Period: The concurrency period for this amendment to Table 1604.11 ends on July 1, 2014. This means that either the August 2010 version of MSBC-8th Ed., Table 1604.11 or the January 2014 amended version of MSBC-8th. Ed., Table 1604.11 may be used in the structural design of a project. However, in order to qualify for this concurrency period, the date of the building permit application, when submitted, must not be later than July 1, 2014. 

ARTICLE:  Roof Ponding During the Winter of 2010-2011
Contributed by Rob Johnson, PE
During the winter of 2010-2011, one of our projects in Worcester, MA had an issue with respect to snow loads. We reviewed the roof's structural system, which consisted of 1.5 inch thick metal deck, steel bar joists and joist girders.  The columns were roughly 40-feet on center in either direction and the roof drains were located at every other column.  Our review of the existing snow load and analysis of the existing structure determined that the structural system was slightly overstressed but we were not that concerned. 

This was Rob Johnson's shed roof
in Paxton, MA - Winter of 2011-2011

One observation made during the site visit was the limited pitch of the roof and the amount of  melting that was occurring due to the lack of roof insulation and high temperature within the building. 

The facilities manager took daily measurements in the middle of one bay (from the floor to the bottom of the structure) and we asked that he continue to monitor the deflection and let us know immediately if any changes occurred. 

We received a call the next morning that the roof had deflected another .5 inch during the evening hours although no additional rain or snow had fallen.  Upon our arrival at the site, we observed that the roof had continued to deflect.  We immediately decided to mobilize a crane with a snow blanket attached, and had the snow carefully removed within the middle third of the span of each bay to relieve the deflection enough to enable the roof to drain. 

When paths were shoveled to the drains, we could then see the water flow like a small stream along each path. 
EVENT RECAP: Solar Photovoltaics
On January 15, more than 55 attendees filled the conference room at the Kostas Research Institute for a full-day seminar on Solar Photovoltaics.  PresentersJames E. Trant. P.E., S.E., and David Dutil, PE, LEED AP, both structural engineers with Borrego Solar Systems in Lowell, MA provided an informative and interactive discussion, using a multi-page PowerPoint with photos of many outstanding solar projects.

Alpha Weatherproofing Corp., Atlantic Restoration Corp., Emseal, and Conproco. 
EVENT RECAP: Structural Innovation:
Combining Classic Theories with New Technologies
Despite the snowy weather on February 13, approximately 87 people including members of SEAMASS/BASE, students and faculty from Northeastern, Tufts, and MIT gathered at Northeastern University (NU) for a reception and seminar co-sponsored by the Boston Association of Structural Engineers (BASE), The Structural Engineers Association of Massachusetts (SEAMASS) and NU.

Bill Baker, PE, SE presented an enlightening discussion titled: Structural Innovation: Combining Classic Theories with New Technologies.

Special thanks to Dr. Jerome Hajjar, PE, for organizing this informative event, and to Ellen Kuo, PE and Sophia Zamora, EIT, co-founders of the SEAMASS Young Member Group, for their support at the reception table.

87 Attendees enjoyed the Seminar
MIke Fillion, Craig Barnes, Bill Baker, Ellen Kuo
Bill Baker, PE, SE (Presenter) and Jerome (Jerry) Hajjar, PE, Ph.D. (Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University) address the audience
Mike Fillion, Craig Barnes,  Bill Baker, and Dr. Jerome Hajjar

Tour of New Construction at WIT
On February 22, the SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) participated in a Tour of New Construction Site at Wentworth Institute of Technology. The new building at 525 Hunting Avenue is a steel-frame structure with a 13,670 sq. ft. footprint, and will provide housing for Wentworth students with 305 beds in apartment-style units on 7 floors. 

Tour participants enjoyed a short presentation by representatives of Wentworth and Bond Brothers, followed by a tour of the new building. The presentation explained some of the challenges of construction in close vicinity to existing buildings and underground utilities, as well as the construction process and sequencing.  The tour was free for SEAMASS members and just $5 for non-members.
NEW: SEAMASS Member Resources & Careers
SEAMASS provides this section as a service to members.  If your firm is seeking engineering applicants or you are seeking engineering employment, please submit your position description or resume to the SEAMASS Secretary, with the Subject Line: SEAMASS Careers.  

Seeking Employment:
Publication of any article, image or advertisement in SEAMASS News does not constitute endorsement by SEAMASS.  Neither SEAMASS nor its members assume any responsibility forany particular use prepared from this publication. Those using this as reference assume all liability from its use.
UPCOMING EVENTS - Mark Your Calendar & Plan to Attend
MARCH 20, 2014 
(Registration Deadline: March 14, 2014)
Structures Along the Shore
9:00 a.m-3:00 p.m.  (4.0 PDHs)
Speaker:  Jim DeStefano, P.E., AIA, F.SEI
Location: Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, Burlington, MA 
$135 for 4.0 SEAMASS-issued PDHs
$155 for 4.0 NCSEA Diamond-reviewed PDHs

APRIL 2, 2014  (Wednesday)
Two pre-conference seminars to choose from, Prior to the April 3-5 Structures Congress
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.  (6.0 PDHs):
Post-disaster Safety Evaluations by the RI Architects & Engineers Emergency Response Task Force (AEER), in cooperation with California Office of Emergency Services(CalOES) & Applied Technology Council (ATC)
Pre-registration is REQUIRED before March 10. (No on-site registration available).
Cost: EB: $175 / ADV: $250

1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  (3.5 PDHs):
Design of Sustainable Thermal Breaks
Application for AIA Educational Credits has been submitted, but is not yet confirmed.
Cost: EB: $99 / ADV: $175 / ONS: $250
to view/print Event Promo sheet 

MAY 7, 2014 (Thursday)
SEAMASS Annual Meeting & Dinner
Location:  Northeastern University Alumni Center, Boston MA
Presentation:  Preparing for the Rising Tide
Speaker:  Julie Wormser, Executive Director of the Boston Harbor Association
Cost & Registration:  To be announced

Click here for detailed SEAMASS Calendar, and to register for 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., Fitzgerald Restoration Services,
Helical Drilling, Microcad, Power Fasteners Safe Roof Systems, Schock,
Simpson Strong-Tie, TrusJoist,

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