181 Fremont

Structural Designer


Client Name

Jay Paul Company


San Francisco, USA

Level 10 Construction

Heller Manus Architects

Herrick Steel - Main fabricators
Taylor Devices - Supplier of damping systems
WSP - M&E engineer
Arup - Geotech consultant
Orlando Diaz-Azcuy - Interior design

Images: © Jay Paul Company (1+2); Herrick Steel


The tallest mixed-use building in San Francisco. The 56-storey, 245m tall tower was designed for immediate re-occupancy and minimal loss of functionality after a design-level earthquake, and achieved the world’s first Resilience-based Earthquake Design Initiative (REDi) Gold rating. 

Judge's comment:

The judges agreed that this project represents a very intelligent approach to seismic design of a tall and slender building. Resilience-based design used by the structural engineering team is clearly an important advance adding value to the structural engineer’s design contribution.

Key features of the design include viscous dampers to absorb energy and control vibrations, buckling restrained braces to act as structural fuses and limit loads going into columns, and an “uplifting” column detail which controlled the tension forces in the foundations by ensuring bolt yield at column base.

The structural design of the damped mega-bracing was particularly innovative, combining established technologies with careful consideration of suitable ductile mechanisms. The mega-braces use parallel primary and secondary braces to provide stability and damping. By increasing flexibility, the forces in the main structural components were reduced and steel tonnages were brought down.

Overall the design provides an elegant and striking addition to the San Francisco skyline.

Contact us

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7235 4535
Email: [email protected]

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