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Our thoughts, publications, white papers, research and current events.

Cutting-Edge Laboratory Design Project in Richmond, California

Zygo Corporation, Richmond, California

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We recently completed a cutting-edge laboratory design project for our client Zygo Corporation, a global leader in advanced optical metrology systems. The facility in Richmond, California produces optics including the len(s) for the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the repair to the Hubble telescope. Read More

Essential Architecture: GSA, DGS & USPS

Department of General Services and General Services Administrati

CC by ND – Department of General Services and General Services Administration Proposal Covers

During this challenging time, we are grateful to be hard at work. Many of our clients are designated as essential, and we have two new on-call contracts to announce: with the General Services Administration (GSA) and with the Department of General Services (DGS), both government agencies that we have decades of experience working with, dating back to 1990. And we are in the fourth year of an on-call contract with the United State Postal Service, which we have worked with since the mid-1980s. We are grateful to be able to help these entities maintain the services we need. Read More

Throwback Thursday: VHS footage from 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Investigation

How’s this for a serious Throwback Thursday – more than 30 years ago, following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Interactive Resources was enlisted on an emergency basis to evaluate the condition of Candlestick Park, which was hosting the third game of the World Series during the tremor. We recently found and converted a VHS tape of the news coverage of our investigation to digital, and for the first time in the era of social media can share this footage, including interviews with our founder and president Tom Butt and founder John Clinton (if you can’t wait, skip to 5:44 to see Tom!). Read More

Happy Holidays from Interactive Resources

Annual gift giving to those in need has been a holiday tradition at Interactive Resources for many years. This year, we worked with Verde Elementary School to fulfill the Christmas wish lists for five Richmond families. Read More

AIA East Bay Spotlights 7 Stars Holistic Healing Center

Brant S. Fetter, AIA

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Are you curious about cannabis dispensaries, what they look like, and how they are designed? In collaboration with the AIA East Bay, we recently hosted a site tour of one of our dispensary projects, 7 Stars Holistic Healing Center. This project entailed the renovation and conversion of an existing office building in Richmond, California into a beautiful high-end cannabis dispensary, opening to the public next month. Read More

Loma Prieta 30 Years Later

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Candlestick Park in the forefront of this aerial of San Francisco, California, taken by Carol M. Highsmith

October 17, 1989, I was in my Point Richmond office talking to a client in a high rise in San Francisco. All of a sudden, he yelled, “holy shit,” and I heard crashing in the background (It was his bookcases falling over). The phone went dead. A few seconds later, it hit our building, and we all spilled out into the street.

Later, we climbed to the top of Nicholl Knob where we could see the Marina District of San Francisco burning and the collapsed section of the Bay Bridge. I thought it looked like 1906 all over again.

I was in the office at daylight the next morning when I got the call from the head of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. “How soon can you get your engineers over here?” he asked. Read More

UC Berkeley’s Women’s Faculty Club Gets a New Roof of its Own*

Photo credit: Louis H.G., (CC BY-SA 4.0), taken before the roof replacement.

Interactive Resources has a long and successful practice of providing historic preservation services. We have designed and overseen the construction of hundreds of historic rehabilitation projects. One such recent project is for the University of California, Berkeley Women’s Faculty Club, designed by architect John Galen Howard and completed in 1923. According to UC Berkeley, it is the only women’s faculty club in the nation with its own building, and was conceived and formed through the initiative of Lucy Ward Stebbins, the second Dean of Women on the Berkeley campus, who began organizing with women faculty in 1919 (at the time, women were not allowed to join the existing Faculty Club). For nearly a century, it has served as an intellectual meeting place, residence and dining facility for faculty and students. Read More

Case Study: BART Waterproofing Project Saves Tens of Millions of Gallons of Drinking Water Annually

Thomas K. Butt, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C

Reverse osmosis filtration takes place during a water reclamation project at Energy Center San Francisco. Photo: Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle

From 2011 to 2016, I was project manager for Interactive Resources on a project for BART to repair extensive leaks into the BART Powell Street Station that had plagued BART for decades and had stymied continuous previous repair attempts.

The solution ultimately involved injecting urethane grout through the ceiling of the station into the soil above to create a new waterproofing system to replace, or augment, the original Bentonite system that had failed.

Our investigation revealed a complicating factor that had played a role in both exacerbating some of the leakage as well as thwarting previous attempts to repair it. It turned out that there was an ultra-high temperature steam pipe running the length of the station above the ceiling in the soil above. Despite extensive insulation and encasement in concrete, the heat was raising the temperature of the surrounding soil and could even be felt radiating through the concrete ceiling. The steam pipe was operated by NRG and supplied steam to a number of buildings bordering Market Street. Read More

Who was Frank J. Hagel?

Frank Hagel, landscape arhitecture, public

© 2018. Treve Johnson

Interactive Resources recently completed a six yearlong project for The Frank Hagel Federal Building in Richmond, California. The main tenant of this six-story structure is the Social Security Administration, and Interactive Resources was retained by the General Services Administration to investigate and report on ongoing water intrusion into the building’s basement from the plaza above. You can read about our feasibility study, final report, schematic design, construction documents and cost estimates here.

We thought it would be interesting to learn about the person whose name is on this building we’ve spent so much time studying. Surprisingly, just googling Frank Hagel doesn’t easily answer this question. Read More

Envelope Study & Improvements for UC Berkeley’s University Hall

University of California, University Hall Envelope Improvements

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We recently completed a study for UC Berkeley’s University Hall. This seven-story tower and adjoining two-story annex at the west edge of campus, designed by the well-known west coast firm Welton Becet & Associates and constructed in 1959, originally housed the University of California Office of the President. When UCOP relocated to Oakland, University Hall became home to the campus's Visitor Center and a variety of administrative offices. Read More