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Customer story

Collecting data on structural integrity for seismic protection and compliance

The Customer

Degenkolb Engineers

This seismic analysis customer story focuses around Degenkolb Engineers, the nation’s oldest and largest earthquake engineering firm, specializing in earthquake mitigation, structural design, and planning for seismic performance. As part of California’s Seismic Compliance Program, hospitals are required to provide documentation to the State that all of their equipment (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, medical devices) and all of their interior components (walls, ceilings, cabinets, shelves) are sufficiently braced so that they won’t topple in a major earthquake. There are thousands of these types of components in a typical hospital.

Structural design, seismic analysis, evaluation, & strengthening solutions, earthquake risk, historic building retrofit & rehabilitation.

Est. 1940
San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle

Before Fulcrum

In early 2013, Degenkolb was exploring options for going from a paper, pen, and camera method of data collection to something digital. Photos required a numbering system on a small whiteboard to identify the shot, and significant time was required to organize the data and link pictures to individual entries. After finding and experimenting with Fulcrum, Degenkolb deployed it in early summer to begin conducting field inspections with custom-designed surveys built in Fulcrum, instead of the previous paper-based process.

Hospital facility surveys

Using Fulcrum opened up new possibilities

Fulcrum has allowed Degenkolb’s engineers to collect data faster, minimizing the disruption to sensitive hospital departments. Using classification sets tailored to the specifics of building layout has allowed engineers to minimize typing on mobile device, and made for more consistent results. The time required for post-processing data has also been reduced, as photos are now easily linked to the database. In some cases, equipment information is available from original construction drawings, meaning this information can be preloaded into the apps for verification in the field, and doesn’t need to be re-collected. Fulcrum has enabled Degenkolb’s staff to leverage the computers we all carry in our pockets to collect project-specific data in an consistent format. Multiple engineers are able to populate a common database in real-time, creating better data to satisfy customers and get the job done right.