Friday, May 2, 2014


Recently, our company was selected to do the structural engineering for a very unique single family compound -- four buildings on a lot with beautiful, sweeping views from downtown to the ocean, for a very famous Swiss sculptor/artist from Zurich. He just had a very big, successful exhibition in Los Angeles. I guess my German engineering background and knowledge of the language helped to get the job, as well. In addition to doing the structural engineering our company was asked to do civil engineering and expediting for the project, due to the fact that the architect is based in Zurich and our office is next to the Los Angeles Building and Safety's West side office on Sawtelle Blvd.

Part of the civil engineering was storm drain and sewer line design to discharge to the next public street. The problem was that the public street next to the property was a "paper street". You know the type of streets that exist on paper only, owned by the city. To run an 8" sewer line and an 18" storm drain line under this non-existent public street for about 200' to be connected to the existing lower street lines, with all the city drawing and permitting nightmares, would have cost the client 80-100K and months!

Here comes the thinking of a Hungarian civil engineer with LA street smarts.

If the sewer and storm drain go thru private land, sizes of drain and sewer lines decrease drastically, 8 to 6 and 18 to 8 inches respectively. We suggested to the owner to acquire a 3' easement of the neighboring lot for the purpose of running these lines on private property verses on public property. The neighboring property owner was agreeable to the idea, made some money on the deal and sold our client a 3' easement and the case was closed.

Construction saving: in the range of 50-60K

You know: where there is a will, and a good thinking engineer, there is a way...

Re-posted from our newsletter originally sent on 6/13/2013