Modernizing Existing Buildings
Take a look around our city centers and reimagine what is possible for our existing building stock. How might that stodgy office tower transform into a vibrant residential community? What if salvaging that unused warehouse created a space for public gatherings and greenery? We’ve found that most existing buildings are worth investing in. With a little optimism and clever design, we bring these buildings back to high occupancy and yield significant returns.
We must modernize more existing buildings for more compelling urban living. Centrally located, these properties sit by public transportation, freeways, workplaces, retail, and cultural centers. However, many are underutilized and could better spur social and economic growth. To make the most of them, let’s heighten their architectural and programmatic intrigue. Going further, let’s render them safe for occupants. Holmes is at the ready to facilitate structural, fire, and life safety upgrades for existing buildings—including seismic retrofits, adaptive reuse, and residential conversions.
Let’s partner in revitalizing our cities, one existing building at a time.
Sustainable Protection of Assets with Resilient Design
Whether undertaking renovations or a full seismic retrofit, Performance-Based Engineering (PBE) is our preferred approach for understanding a building’s capacity. Through PBE, we leverage the strength of existing systems to minimize materials, costs, and time. Following an in-depth assessment of the building’s elements—down to its connection details—we input data to create a powerful base model. Through our analyses, we fully comprehend and depict the building’s expected performance in earthquake and fire scenarios.
With this level of understanding, we pinpoint upgrades to meet performance objectives alongside concurrent drivers: budget, schedule, architectural features, targeted sustainability benchmarks, and more. We adapt our models to showcase the implications of different design options including code alternates. These 3D representations of our structural, fire, and life safety solutions help establish consensus on project teams, as well as ease approvals.
Natural Hazard Risk Assessments
With natural hazard risk assessments, developers and building owners can make long-term investment decisions in the face of climate change. We help our clients understand how a property’s natural hazards risk changes over time. We evaluate hazards that cause damage and loss events: earthquakes, wildfires, extreme temperatures, storms, winds, and floods. Then, we identify practical options for mitigation—backed by our structural and fire engineering expertise.
Facilitating Changes of Use with Return on Investment
We’re partners in making changes of use economical. New occupancy may trigger a new risk category, which we discuss with stakeholders from the get-go. For whatever occupancy is selected, we look out for how we can add value for our clients. Often, we maximize the leasable area within a given building envelope through design-first thinking. We see former use cases as opportunities to reframe elements as strategic building blocks. In tandem, we infuse modern amenities and common areas where people mingle and exchange ideas—building community for the long-term.
For residential conversions—including those historic in nature—we optimize the number of appealing layouts for a return on investment. It’s no secret that we have a surplus of unleased commercial office real estate amidst a housing crisis in our West Coast cities. While we await tax incentives to mobilize more office to housing conversions, check out our Office to Housing study prepared in partnership with BAR Architects.
Best-in-Class Modernizations for Any Use Case
Across our portfolio, we safeguard and modernize existing buildings. We believe in their inherent value: lower carbon footprints, as well as inherent performance, architectural, and programmatic potential. Through our structural and fire engineering, we help owners, developers, architects, and occupants contribute to an existing building’s legacy. We appreciate that each seismic retrofit, adaptive reuse, and residential conversion is an investment in our built heritage. Let’s bring these buildings back for best-in-class usage as originally intended. In doing so, we’re also investing in the future of our cities and our people to flourish for the next hundred years.
We know we’re onto something when the engineering becomes a thing of beauty.