When Steven Baldridge founded Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering (BASE) in 1995, the construction cycle was in a slump. Despite the challenging financial climate, he saw an opportunity in adversity – the need for clients to mitigate their financial risks on projects would be more important than ever. With a focus on constructability and efficiency, BASE could help its clients dramatically lower project risk.
At BASE, we start with an understanding that every project is unique. That’s why we are so passionate about collaborating with owners and architects, design teams and builders. We believe that through communication— drawing on each other’s experiences and knowledge— we can assist the team in lowering the risk of undesirable project outcomes.
From the early days of the firm, BASE has actively worked in areas of high natural risk, bolstering our experience in tsunami, high-wind and seismic resiliency and even gaining first-hand experience while facilitating natural disaster response efforts in the Pacific and the Caribbean. Within the first five years of the firm we launched our Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP) design practice in response to our clients’ need for this specialty service, developing expertise in designing buildings for blast resistance and progressive collapse prevention. Today, BASE is a full-service structural design firm—and one of the nation’s foremost experts in engineering for high-risk environments, with special expertise in designing structures that are resilient against high seismic activity, hurricane/tornado winds, tsunamis or threats of terrorism. But BASE has always remained budget-conscious and focused on developing efficient designs for projects of all risk levels, from renovations to new structures big and small.
How does experience in high-risk environments benefit everyday projects? Well-designed and smartly-efficient buildings are inherently resilient; adding extra material does not necessarily improve a structure’s performance and often negatively affect a structure’s sustainability. The structural engineer’s greatest tool in creating a resilient and sustainable design is simply to design efficiently–use only what you need. But engineering skills alone aren’t enough. That’s why we’ve also cultivated a highly collaborative, responsive and easy-to-work-with style. It’s the reason we have so many loyal, repeat clients.
While we have grown over the years, we don’t believe in growth for growth’s sake or at the detriment of clients who value our personal and client focused service. Over the years this has led to a natural diversification of our project base, as we regularly add new building sectors to our portfolio to become a more well-rounded firm that can draw on a wide base of experience to help all of our clients navigate fresh challenges. Through repeat work with clients in new locations, we have also diversified our geographic reach, opening offices in Guam, Chicago, Florida, and India. With this geographical breadth we not only draw from experiences learned world-wide, but have also developed the ability to work around the clock, leveraging the abilities of multiple offices to meet critical deadlines. We were working remote long before working remote became necessary. Today, we have satisfied clients, not only across the United States, but in Asia, Oceania and the Caribbean, and helped to solve the tough problems that all clients seem to have in common.
We bring an owners and builders perspective to every project, whether it appears to be conventional from an engineer’s standpoint, or not. Whether you need a facility hardened against potential threats or a building that is driven solely by budget, BASE works as a team member to help lower each project’s unique risk factors