Taylor & Syfan Consulting Engineers | MOXI – Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation

Member Spotlight:
Taylor & Syfan Consulting Engineers

MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, located in Santa Barbara, CA, is the first LEED Gold certified museum in Santa Barbara County. As part of the design team, T&S worked closely with the architect, AB Design Studios, to develop a creative and efficient structural system comprised of concentric braced frames, moment resisting frames, reinforced masonry shearwalls, and exposed custom steel trusses. One noteworthy design element was the 720 square foot glass floor deck at the rooftop which we supported with long-spanning steel tube members designed with aesthetics in mind and exposed to the courtyard below. The museum opened just over a year ago and their mission is “…to ignite learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity. As Santa Barbara’s newest hands-on destination for families and curious minds of all ages, MOXI is a place where you can explore and discover new things about the world around you, ask questions, seek answers and have a blast doing so. The team included: Architect: Ab Design Studios, Structural Engineer: Taylor & Syfan, General Contractor: Armstrong Associates, Landscape Architect: Van Atta Associates, MEP: Mechanical Engineering Consultants, Civil Engineer: Flowers & Associates, Electrical Engineer: JMPE, and Lighting Design: Ann Kale Associates, Ltd.

Key Challenges & Solutions:

The site soils had potential for liquefaction due to a high groundwater table and subsurface land layers.  In lieu of a deepened pile foundation system, an efficient concrete mat slab foundation was chosen to provide the required strength and stiffness to support he building loads and limit differential settlement.

The need for large open spaces to accommodate future exhibits dictated an open floor plan.  For structural efficiency, the long-spanning steel framing members were designed as composite beams (integrated with the concrete deck) which allow us to use lighter steel section while also limiting floor deflections.

Designed structural to support a number of unique exhibit elements:

  • giant handprint globe suspended from roof structure
  • giant guitar anchored to foundation system
  • hyperloop mounted to exterior wall of structure
  • color mixing machine wheel braced to steel frame at entry glazing.

The curved staircase near the entrance of the building was designed with custom rolled HSS tube stringers, computer modeled to ensure strength and performance at this critical element of the structure.

Learn more about Taylor & Syfan »

Taylor & Syfan’s Expert Tip:

Hire a quality team of consultants (Arch, Engineer, Civil, etc.), this is a big reason this project was so successful!

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

TRADART Foundation | Tiny Houses

Member Spotlight:
TRADART Foundation

Launched in 2016, TRADART’s Tiny Houses is a two-year program that culminates in a fully-functioning tiny home. The 200+-square-feet Tiny Houses built by Advanced Woodworking and Construction Technology high school students are part of a district-wide initiative program that supports learning craftsmanship and provides a Career Technical Education pathway. Following an initial $50,000 grant from the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, $25,000 from the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and TRADART’s supervision and monetary help, the Tiny Houses Program will be self-sustained by the proceeds of each individual sale. It is a great opportunity to have the tiny houses as a relevant application through which to teach craftsmanship. All three will be up for auction at “The Big Show” at Earl Warren Showgrounds on May 23, 5 – 7 pm.

Key Challenges & Solutions: Once TRADART received the $50,000 grant for the Tiny Houses High School Project from the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, the Construction Technology and Woodshop teachers had to figure out how to instruct high school students to build a tiny house. They had to learn about a construction schedule; how to create curriculum for their class; how to work as a team (as well as how to teach working as a team); and how to teach construction in 50 minute increments. One of the biggest challenges in building the tiny houses is the time constraint. Students have such short class periods and the woodshop teachers (Caleb Chadwick (Santa Barbara High School), Chris Mollkoy (Dos Pueblos High School), Justin Howe (San Marcos High School)) have to diligently work to ensure everything is done in time. With TRADART’s guidance, it was advised that the process of teaching the tiny house project turn into a two year-long progrmt where Framing and Rough Carpentry is taught in the first year and Finish Carpentry and Cabinetry is taught in the second year. And as with life, they have deal with natural disasters such as not having some of your team members on the job due to fires, floods, debris flows and school closures or days missed due to illness. The teachers were quick to adapt! They solved new problems and learned to share their professional needs and questions with TRADART.

Learn more about this project »

TRADART’s Expert Tip:

Working with students is an incredibly rewarding experience. Empowering them to succeed and preparing them for whatever is next, be it community college, the world of work, or beyond is a fantastic endeavor. It is revealing to see that the Santa Barbara Unified School District is adding more wood shop classes because of increased popularity, which stems from the Tiny House Program. Many construction professionals have joined the classes to volunteer and help get the project done on time. (Interested in lending a helping hand? https://tradartfoundation.org/volunteer/) There is a robust response from industry to come to the shops and get involved with the project. Many of the new students signing up for wood shop class are young women; some of them discover that construction is for them, others take it solely for personal knowledge. Students coming from the junior high school wood shop classes are ahead, in terms of skill sets, compared to the first year high school students. It is rewarding to see the eagerness and perseverance of students. Seeing students run into the shop and strap on their tools belts within the first 20 seconds of being in class is invigorating. They can’t wait to start working on their tiny house.

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

McCormix Corp | Fueling Montecito

Member Spotlight:
McCormix Corp

Since the beginning of the Thomas Fire and then the subsequent Montecito mudslide we were faced with a herculean task of getting fuel to not only the first responders but subsequent contractors who were involved in disaster relief. Many local companies worked 24/7 to help those so tragically affected by these disasters. McCormix utilized small delivery trucks to access almost impassable roads to get to those companies. Every local contractor, trucking, towing, heavy equipment operator, electrical, emergency and utility company were there. We were so proud to be pitching in and helping our business partners, neighbors, and friends.

Key Challenges & Solutions: Equipment came on line faster than we could record. Wethosing tractors, compressors, and light towers were added all times of the day and night. Most challenging was access. Road checkpoints, closures, and blocks seemed every street. Drivers maneuvered endlessly to get to the needed destinations.

Learn more about McCormix Corp »

McCormix Corp’s Expert Tip:

If you have standby equipment in case of an emergency make sure you do and know the following: How much fuel is in your tank? Always keep your tanks full How long will your equipment run when utilized in emergency? Many were unsure of usage- and caused undue stress and worry about running out. Do you have an emergency plan in place? Keep a list of contacts, emergency numbers, and cell numbers to call.

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

Frank Schipper Construction | SB County Search & Rescue

Member Spotlight:
Frank Schipper Construction Co.

Frank Schipper Construction Co. and their subcontractors are building a New Classroom, Rescue Tool Storage Space, and Handicap Accessible Facilities for SB County Search & Rescue Santa Barbara, CA (February 23, 2018) – Nine local construction companies have come together to increase the educational and disaster relief facilities of the beloved Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team. With work and donations from Frank Schipper Construction Co., Bob’s Backhoe and Trucking, Gordon Fiano, JnL Glass, Craig Roof Company, Insulate SB, TFT Plastering, Construction Plumbing, Santa Barbara Surfacing, and Huddleston Electric a new classroom facility has expanded the Search & Rescue facility located on 66 South San Antonio Road. “These are some of the hardest working men & women of our community, we wanted to help expand their capacity for all amazing work they do,” Schipper Construction President, Paul Wieckowski, shared. “We hope the improved classroom, storage, and facilities will aid in Search & Rescue’s training programs and ensure they have all the resource as possible when it comes to those most important times.”

SBCSAR is an all-volunteer branch of the Sheriff’s Office and currently has 41 members on its team. The group includes men and women from all walks of life. As one of the busiest search and rescue teams in California, they are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This highly-trained team uses specialized training and equipment to handle a variety of emergencies, including high-angle rock rescues, car-over- the-side accidents, downed aircraft, swiftwater rescues and medical emergencies. SBCSAR is a California Type I search and rescue team and is fully certified as a Mountain Rescue Team. MRA teams are viewed as the best in the country and are often requested to support search and rescue personnel of other counties.

ABOUT FRANK SCHIPPER CONSTRUCTION CO. Founded in Santa Barbara (1982) by Frank Schipper. This now entirely employee owned (ESOP) construction company specializes in commercial construction. Notably projects include the Santa Barbara Zoo, Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Lobero Theater and various school projects. For more information on Frank Schipper Construction Co. and this project, contact info@schipperconstruction.com or 805-963- 4359.

ABOUT SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SHERIFF’S SEARCH & RESCUE (SBCSAR) SBCSAR’s primary jurisdiction is the wilderness and urban areas of Santa Barbara County. As an active arm of the Sheriff’s Office, the team is called to assist on evidence searches, provides medical support for large community events, and is the primary entity to coordinate and carry out evacuations during major disasters such as wildland fires. For more information on SBCSAR, go to www.sbcsar.org or call Matt Logsdon at 805-452- 5620.

Learn more about Frank Schipper Construction »

Frank Schipper Construction’s Expert Tip:

When choosing a General Contractor, talk to local Architects & Subcontractors to see if the contractor you are wanting to work with fits the needs of your project. Make sure they have a current contractor’s license and check to see if they’re members of organizations that are affiliated with their industry. These organizations are a good source of information regarding the contractor and their work.

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

Brighten Solar Co. | Deckers

Member Spotlight:
Brighten Solar Co.

Brighten Solar Co. recently installed three solar photovoltaic systems on the rooftops of the Deckers Brands headquarters in Goleta, CA. The three systems represent a power of about (400) kW and will offset about a third of the total electricity consumed on campus. Additionally, the system will offset about 433 tons of CO2 emissions each year. This project is part of a global commitment of the company towards sustainability and our community. We loved working with the Deckers teams and are excited to have contributed to their progress toward environmental protection.

Key Challenges & Solutions: The structure of the existing roof composed of foam and metal made it particularly challenging from a structural engineering standpoint. In order to make this project feasible while keeping the roofs integrity and warranty, our engineers designed a custom attachment system compatible and certified by our racking system.

Learn more about Brighten Solar »

Brighten Solar’s Expert Tip:

There are still lots of misconceived notions about solar. Before going solar, do your due diligence and request at least 3 quotes. Ask for the companies references and check them diligently. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the sales representatives; even though the technology isn’t exactly new, most people don’t understand it and that’s okay. The more questions the better for everybody. Solar is a no-brainer in most cases but it is important to understand and manage your expectations.

Construction Submissions | Final Teaser!

Tree Farm

Developed by Lennar Homes (formerly CalAtlantic), Tree Farm is a new master-planned community set on a historic property in the northern edge of Santa Barbara. Five new home neighborhoods offer a wide range of residential choices in a 26-acre legacy setting, flanked by large oak trees, a winding creek and picturesque terrain. Expansive community amenities include a naturalized park, walking/biking trails, a resort-style recreation center, swimming pool and spa, fitness facility, multi-function rooms and inviting outdoor gathering areas enhanced by a BBQ and dining. Native trees frame the family-friendly community conveniently situated near popular shopping and dining, sandy beaches, the 101 Freeway and major employment centers like UCSB.


El Toro

Maintaining the original architectural integrity and historic value of a 1920’s Spanish Revival estate plus bringing it up to, and even beyond today’s energy efficiency standards, were the owners’ goals. Decades of weather and water damage caused this 90 year old residence, designed by architect Arthur E. Harvey, to fall into disrepair. Many unique and timeless architectural features were restored including original handmade tiles; long forgotten painted burlap canvas ceilings; classic cast iron light fixtures; and, the original door and window hardware. Other elements new driveway, landscape, and construction of a new pool and guest house to replace demolished ones. The end result is a beautiful home that will last for another century.


Covered Bridge

We teamed up to re-imagine this 4,000 sq. foot modern farmhouse on 1.3 level acres in Montecito. New electric, plumbing, HVAC, roof, windows, sprinklers and finishes along with a garage and office addition were completed along with the remodel. The Master Bedroom Suite’s French doors lead to a private and picturesque back patio with views of your very own covered bridge. A spa-like master bath with indoor-outdoor shower, tub that fills from ceiling plus a well-appointed walk-in closet and bedside fireplace complete this relaxing space. Three more bedrooms (all en suite) include a Guest Master on the opposite end of the home offering ultimate privacy.


About SBCA’s Construction Awards:

Come help us celebrate the amazing work done by our members at the 2018 SBCA’s Biennial Construction Awards Banquet. For a fun twist, we decided our theme is Boots & Suits, so polish your favorite pair of boots, nicest suit jacket (or cocktail dress) and join us for a great event! Black Tie or Bolo tie…it’s up to you!

Seating is limited and this event sells out quickly, so we recommend reserving your seat early!


Allen Construction | Montecito French Chateau

Member Spotlight:
Allen Construction

The client’s goals for this extensive whole house remodel were to upgrade with modern features and add an upscale elegance to this 14,000 sq. ft. French Tudor, originally built in 1977.

New features include an expansive kitchen and family room; a grand loggia with alfresco dining, BBQ, and seating areas; and a four-car garage with a movie theater/media room on the second story above. Additional luxury amenities include an infinity pool and spa, wine cellar, exercise room, and all new landscape. Coffered ceilings accented by walnut beams in the ceilings of the living room, office and grand room echo the exterior’s Tudor decorative timbering aesthetic. New flooring throughout, including dark French oak and two types of limestone imported from France—one for interior spaces that flow into exterior spaces and another for exterior patios—add the opulence the owner desired. Elaborate stone masonry work adorns the exterior and the steeply pitched roof, made of 5/8” American slate, is punctuated by dormer windows and copper gutters. In addition to meeting new building code requirements, structural upgrades included new footings and five steel beams – two in the new grand room (see Challenge #1) and three in the roof, required to support six separate HVAC units along with the new slate roof.

An existing 1,300 square foot guest house was also refurbished and echoes the main home’s aesthetic. The final product is a satisfied client.

Key Challenges & Solutions: 1) Two 27’ long, 15” thick, steel bent beams were installed in the center of the grand room to provide structural integrity required after the exposed, post & beam supports were removed; extremely challenging to do in an existing two story home and such an expansive space. The only way to set the steel beams was to remove a portion of the roof to allow crane access. The beams are supported by two 3”x3”steel columns sitting over a 4’x4’x6’ concrete slab on top of a 3’ round caisson extending 26’ into the ground. 2) A water line had to be installed from the fire hydrant, down a driveway approximately ¼ mile from the main house. A portion of that driveway is shared with a neighbor needing 24/7 access for health reasons. As a result, the driveway could not be trenched. Instead, a coring system was required to install the waterline under the 400’ shared section. This approach proved to be not only less invasive, but less expensive. 3) Numerous caissons were drilled for the grand loggia and outdoor BBQ. One challenge, how to get the drilling equipment in with numerous native coast oaks along the driveway and near the house. Numerous underground boulders were also encountered during drilling making things more challenging, took more time and was a greater expense than anticipated. Special drill bits were required to drill through the rocks. The oaks presented another challenge when installing 480’ of pipe into the well, requiring heavy equipment and cranes. Working carefully around and trimming only when necessary addressed the coastal oak conundrum.

This project received Professional Remodeler magazine’s Platinum Award – their top prize – in the Whole House over $750,000 category. Judges comments included: “Stunning design.” “Very elegant and clean lines.” “Great detail in material selection.” “Beautiful outcome.”

Learn more about this project »

Allen Construction’s Expert Tip:

We recommend that you chose your construction team early – architect, builder, landscape architect – to help you plan for, design, and build or remodel the home of your dreams. Doing this will save you time, money, and headaches. Working as a team holding the same vision and goals produces the best product.

SBCA Members Who Participated in this Project

Construction Submissions | Teaser Part One!

SBCA 2018 Construction Awards:
First Three Submissions


Sea Cliff

Our client was in the throes of a “mid-century, mid-Pacific” remodel of a rundown1960s spec house when she engaged us to design and install landscaping for the project. She envisioned environmentally-friendly gardens that would attract and support wildlife and require little maintenance. She wanted the landscape to reflect both the home’s style and to support her lifestyle. A place for family and friends to come together and enjoy one another’s company. A welcoming, casual, comfortable place to entertain. A highly talented cook, the homeowner wanted spaces for outdoor cooking, food prep, food service and dining. And, as a patron of the arts, she wanted a place of beauty, inspiration and not a little artistry. Set high on the top of the ocean bluff, the site was subject to typical seaside conditions which had to be considered in both the design and construction of the project. High winds and salt air make the growing environment challenging. The soft, steep bluff requires protection from both land movement and surface erosion. And those half-finished (and half-baked) landscape elements would have to be dealt with. Grades would have to be rectified. And soil remediation was needed – stat!



This 19,310 square foot building plus 5,937 square foot roof deck features more than 70 exhibits including an interactive rooftop water feature, professional quality sound booths, hands on 3-D printers, color and light mixing machine, and 5 different rooftop observation scopes (periscope, thermal imaging, telescope, kaleidoscope, and LIDAR). Moxi is the first LEED Gold certified museum in Santa Barbara County, achieving 24% energy efficiency over Title 24 requirements, 42% water use reduction, and 29% of materials containing post and pre-consumer recycled content. Partnering with the client, architect, design engineers, consultants, exhibit designers and installers, the City of Santa Barbara, archaeologists, and subcontractors in a seamless manner was the key to this projects success.



When the scope of the project increases but the timeline does not…and Mother Nature decides to interrupt in an unimaginable way, you dig extra deep to meet the client’s expectations. The project began mid-springtime with a completion date by the end of the year…then December brought devastating fires followed by deadly mudslides in January. The scope of work began with a simple kitchen remodel and expanded to a complete residence redesign and renovation inclusive of nine bathrooms, all site work, entry grounds, pool, tennis court, and gym. Although every project has a budget and timeline, the largest challenge was the unwavering deadline for a wedding planned at the home, and completing the work despite fires and floods.


About SBCA’s Construction Awards:

Come help us celebrate the amazing work done by our members at the 2018 SBCA’s Biennial Construction Awards Banquet. For a fun twist, we decided our theme is Boots & Suits, so polish your favorite pair of boots, nicest suit jacket (or cocktail dress) and join us for a great event! Black Tie or Bolo tie…it’s up to you!

Seating is limited and this event sells out quickly, so we recommend reserving your seat early!