Holmes Group Leverages Success Across Disciplines

Holmes Group Intl ties

Every project, regardless of size and scope, requires a network of engineers, designers and other technical specialists working in unison to achieve a common objective. When success hinges on external resourcefulness, Holmes draws on the greater international resources of the overarching Holmes Group to supercharge our project teams. Across Holmes, we have access to some of the world’s leading product, fire and civil engineers, and laboratory testers. Holmes’ team of specialists are united by a drive to not only find what’s practical but also imagine what’s possible—from our offices around the world.

Holmes Solutions test laboratory
Holmes Solutions test laboratory

Global Collaboration Across Disciplines


Holmes recently brought global collaboration to bear on an existing high-rise in Wellington, New Zealand just a quarter of a mile from a major fault line. Holmes Consulting investigated a number of alternate seismic retrofit schemes with support of our US based engineers who utilized our proprietary Performance Based Engineering (PBE) software. We leveraged the broad skill set of our analysts in NZ and the US and devised a retrofit solution with custom viscous dampers. Holmes Solutions developed the technology platform for a new, patented viscous damper and scouted a New Zealand manufacturer to supply the customized dampers – keeping the project on budget and on schedule. Holmes Fire managed the fire and life safety approach. Through streamlined coordination, Holmes provided a seismic retrofit scheme with manufactured parts all within one year of ideation.

This team effort proved highly successful when the post retrofit building performed as expected in the 7.8 magnitude Kaikoura earthquake of November 2016. The building was immediately occupiable post-quake.

Viscous Damper development and Testing
PBE model of seismic retrofit

Optimizing Prefabrication Together


Prefabrication is a construction method that is turning heads across the Holmes Group and our client base. With serious cost savings, incredibly fast assembly and a wide array of applications it’s no wonder that prefabrication is gaining traction in many sectors. We are especially inspired by prefabrication’s potential to provide affordable delivery and superior performance.

Clients’ interests in prefabrication span many goals, such as meeting an accelerated onsite schedule, reducing labor in the field and providing an alternative design delivery. We work with clients to realize their visions in a timely, economical manner. Projects’ prefab elements vary in scale, from components to hybrids and complete buildings.

Viaduct Event Center Auckland Roof installation
UCSF Kirkham Child Care Center fabrication

On the structural side, prefabrication allows for the efficient transport and lifting of building components that fit together rapidly and seamlessly. Since prefabricated buildings often consist of prefabricated units assembled in a variety of arrangements, Holmes gives attentive consideration to the seismic connections that can enable the building to move together cohesively and maintain its structural integrity in the event of an earthquake.

We can’t make these prefabrication decisions in vacuum without considering other variables. Fire and life safety interests come into play, such as smoke travel, fire stops, and careful/cautionary life safety strategy. Product testing leads to optimized material use and takes advantage of a manufacturing process that reduces waste. Evidence-based design allows these design decisions to be based on specific testing results and optimize performance objectives.

Holmes Solutions material testing

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