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Lateral Loads and Expansive Soil Design & Construction

Lateral Loads and Expansive Soil Design & Construction

Edward Fronapfel, Owner of SBSA, Inc. will present on expansive soils and geotechnical considerations in regard to foundation design systems. Discussion topics will include evaluation of geotechnical reports in regard to the requirements of the building codes, determination of the foundation type for serviceability and performance, proper evaluation of on-site soils conditions, and the potential need for reconditioning of the soils to reduce problems associated with the selection of foundation and floor systems.

Evaluation of the lateral and vertical load capacity systems will be included as a necessary means to determine interior framing, façade, and egress issues. Lateral load systems will be examined as they primarily relate to single- and multi-family wood frame structures. An evaluation of the standard of practice versus the standard of care will include the need for a 2-hour firewall design, separation and independence of structures, and veneer applications. Post-tension (PT) design aspects for serviceability and performance criteria will be outlined as an understanding of the needs of the architectural, structural, and MEP systems to handle the expectations of the PT design systems. The instructor will provide an analysis of these systems based on years of forensic evaluation experience and the peer review of current projects. Additionally, the needs of the design, construction, and building officials’ input to properly design, review, and construct these building systems will be considered.

Ed’s experience allows him to see the project in a complete setting and understand the complex interaction between the geotechnical, structural, architectural, and thermal environments. Ed’s civil engineering background includes geohydrology, hydrology, hydraulics, site design, and evaluation of existing structures. Ed’s structural background includes new design and quality assurance of industrial systems, residential, and commercial properties. Post-construction analysis and design to handle issues that came through warranty and/or litigated matters include lateral foundation systems, foundation underpinning, retaining systems, lateral and vertical frame design, building envelope design for both vertical and horizontal applications, HVAC redesign for thermal issues, attic and crawl space ventilation systems, and cold roof/super-insulated roof systems. Ed continues his commitment to the building community teaching and writing for local and national organizations including ASHRAE, ASCE, AEI, BEC, RCI, NAFE, HBA, IBS, CABO, EPA, and others.

Ed’s knowledge gained in working with thousands of common interest properties over the last 30-years for owners, developers, and buyers provides a unique and necessary perspective on the details and decisions that reduce the risk to the property by providing performance and effective life analysis of the products and systems.


Ed Fronapfel at ASHRAE | Roofing & Ventilation

Ed Fronapfel at ASHRAE | Roofing & Ventilation

SBSA, Inc. President/Owner Edward L. Fronapfel,MSCE, PE, CBIE, D-IBFES, CFCC, EDI, CBCP,F. NAFE, F. ASCE will be speaking Thursday, October 24, 2019 at the ASHRAE Pikes Peak Chapter Meeting discussing the topics of Roofing and Ventilation issues. Roofing complications in Colorado require consideration regarding the code, manufacturer requirements and implications of roofing practices. The long standing code required ventilation of roofs and crawl spaces has been applied without much scientific merit. Mr. Fronapfel will provide a review of the history of the code, the applications of the provisions, and the impact of the installation methods on both new and existing Colorado construction.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. ASHRAE was formed as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers by the merger in 1959 of American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE) founded in 1894 and The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE) founded in 1904.

In 2012, as part of a rebranding, ASHRAE began doing business as “ASHRAE” vs. using its full legal name of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Use of ASHRAE reflects the Society’s worldwide membership and that services will continue evolving globally.

SBSA, Inc. a Golden, Colorado-based engineering and architectural firm specializing in forensic engineering and architecture, new design, construction management, and redesign of properties. Ed Fronapfel’s 30 years of experience in both structural and civil engineering allows him to understand the complex interaction between geotechnical, structural, architectural, and thermal environments. Mr. Fronapfel is licensed to practice engineering in more than 35 states and continues his commitment to the building community by teaching and writing for many local and national organizations.

The goals and values central to SBSA help us to tackle any challenge and provide a clear path to the completion of a project. Our process, coupled with a strong work ethic, ensures every client a professional and responsive experience from beginning to end. SBSA’s organizational philosophy has fostered numerous long-standing clients and stands as a central pillar of our success.

SBSA’s experience has been gained with Edward L. Fronapfel’s start in the forensic practice of engineering from the mid-1990s.  The team includes engineers, architects and construction professionals with expertise and education in building systems that include the Civil, Structural and Architectural requirements that create the building systems from conception to use.

Our clients include attorneys, insurance companies, builders, developers, homeowner associations (HOA’s), community managers, facility and property managers, buyers, sellers, and owners.

SBSA’s experience allows us to understand how to prioritize the issues, determine the repair and rehabilitation work based on the degree of risks and potential future damages while considering budgetary constraints. Then SBSA will work closely with the owner(s) and repair contractor to get the job done right with thorough repair designs and quality oversight.


Dr. Amir-Sayyafi, PH.D, PE | SBSA’s Newest Team Member

SBSA is proud to announce our newest member to the team, Ehssan Amir-Sayyafi, PhD, PE. He will be stationed in our Dallas,Texas office. We will be engaging his expertise in storm events as well as our normal work in CDC.

Dr. Amir-Sayyafi holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering awarded by the Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, where his research areas were the following: development of a hurricane-resistant roof system; evaluating structural performance of a newly developed roof-to-wall connection under wind storm; eliminating thermal cracks at anchorages of post-tensioned concrete bridges; assessment of wind effects on roof, wall, cladding, and structure of an elevated building; and developing a bridge system for accelerated bridge construction in seismic regions. Dr. Amir-Sayyafi received an award in 2015 from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) for his research work in the development of a hurricane-resistant roof system. Dr. Amir-Sayyafi is a registered Professional Engineer with experience in wind/structural research, structural design and analysis, and finite element modeling and analysis.

Dr. Amir-Sayyafi has performed research in the areas of building safety during storm events like hurricanes and safety of infrastructures such as bridges exposed to severe weather conditions and earthquake. He also has spoken, written, and published technical articles in his fields of expertise.

The team at SBSA provides professional engineering and architectural services encompassing the entire span of a building’s lifecycle from inception through rehabilitation. Our team of experts has the experience and ability to identify and provide the right solutions for our clients. SBSA has the extensive knowledge of construction compliance, rehabilitation and repair, construction and property analysis, forensic analysis, and more. We have the experience and ability to identify and provide solutions for our clients. We are familiar with all aspects of the building life-cycle, from initial construction through long-term maintainability. SBSA can identify critical problem areas before issues arise, and devise solutions after problems arise. Additionally, we are able to analyze and design repairs for your claims from foundations to roofing.

SBSA Sponsors Milender White Charity Golf Event

SBSA Sponsors Milender White Charity Golf Event

Milender White hosted its 19th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Colorado National Golf Club. SBSA was honored to sponsor this fantastic and generous event which has raised close to $750,000 since it began in 2000.

The SBSA design team offers a full complement of professionals who provide thoughtful attention to every step of our client’s new construction project. Our team of experienced architects, engineers and construction administration specialists provides an interactive design approach combined with the technology to integrate functionality with aesthetics to achieve beauty and performance. We work to create buildings that showcase visual character, architectural ambition, and sustainability while performing to necessary standards of construction.


Holiday Tree Fire-Retardant Safety Recipe

Holiday Tree Fire-Retardant Safety Recipe

Holiday tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they are much more likely to be deadly than most other fires. According to the most current NFPA report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 200 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees in 2011–2015. These fires caused an annual average of 6 civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $14.8 million in direct property damage.  Fire safety for real trees depends heavily upon properly maintaining the moisture content of the tree as high as possible.

To make this holiday home made fire-retardant recipe please follow instructions below.

Holiday Recipe for Fire-Retardant Christmas Tree


  • 2 gallons of hot water
  • 2 cups clear corn syrup
  • 2 ounces liquid chlorine bleach
  • 2 pinches of Epsom salts
  • One half-teaspoon Borax
  • One teaspoon chelated iron (Can be purchased from a garden shop)


  1. Place water in a bucket and add all ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are completely dissolved and set aside.
  2. Make a fresh, level cut, 3-inches from the bottom of the trunk.
  3. Stand the trunk of the tree in the solution and leave for 24-hours.
  4. Place your tree on a tree stand that contains a well for liquid.
  5. When the tree has been positioned in the stand, use a plastic cup to pour the solution into the tree well. Safely store remaining solution.
  6. Every day, top-off the well with the solution, and keep your tree hydrated throughout the season!


The corn syrup provides the sugar necessary to allow the base of the tree to take up water. Up to 1.5 gallons of water can be taken up by the tree over a 2-week period. Boron in the Borax allows the tree to move water and sugar out to every branch and needle in the tree. Magnesium compounds in the Epsom salts and iron from the chelated iron provide components for the production of chlorophyll to help keep the tree green. The bleach prevents mold from forming in the solution. Other benefits of the recipe include a noticeable increase in the tree’s natural evergreen fragrance, plus the tendency to shed fewer needles means less mess to clean up after the holidays!

Safety Tips:

  • Make a fresh cut at the base of the tree to open up pores clogged by sap. Cute 2-3 inches off the bottom of the tree base. The fresh cut surface should be creamy white. Otherwise, the tree will not be able to absorb water.
  • After the cut is made, put the tree in water immediately or the tree will not absorb the water easily. Choose a stand that holds at least 1 gallon of water. If the tree is not going into the house soon after purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of water in a cool place away from sun and wind.
  • Water the tree daily because it may consume between a quart and as much as a gallon of water per day. This is important due to the act of the level of water drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and it will not be able to absorb water. This will cause the tree to dry out increasing the risk of a fire.
  • Miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect. If your lights are frayed or have cracked wiring or broken sockets, throw them away and buy a new set.
  • Always turn off all lights and electronic devices on a tree before leaving your home or going to bed.
  • Do not overload circuits!
  • Keep the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, fireplaces, television sets and sunny windows. Be careful not to block any doors with the tree or with any rearranged furniture.
  • After the holidays, remove the tree from the house before it dries (remember that a dry tree can be totally consumed by fire in a manner of seconds.) Any cut tree, even those treated with flame retardant, will still dry out.
  • Never burn any part of a tree in a fireplace because it burns too fast and is explosive.


Source: Brighton Fire Rescue District, The Burn Institute