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James W. Sewall



As the costs of building construction and renovation rise, our clients in government and industry, education and public health are increasingly challenged to find innovative, cost-efficient ways to build new structures and to modify existing structures for new uses. Structural components must not only conform to building codes, but also complement the building's architectural design and make effective use of building materials, all within limited budgets and tight timeframes.

In new construction, flexible design early in the project is critical. With the use of buildings changing faster than ever before, a facility built for one occupancy may in a few years change to another or multiple occupancies. The challenge is to design for functionality and sustainability over the long term, meeting current project budget and schedule.

Renovating or updating an existing building brings its own set of challenges. What is the physical condition of the building? Has it deteriorated? Does it meet current code loading requirements? Can it support additional weight from a new occupancy or equipment? Can it be modified? How much will modifications cost?

Structural Solutions

Sewall assists clients in understanding and selecting the most cost-efficient structural framing system that best integrates with the architectural design, the mechanical systems, the building location, and end use. Our engineers have the practical experience, technical knowledge and software tools to assess, design and renovate buildings and building elements of all types. Our staff are prepared to:

  • Analyze and design the structural components of fire stations and municipal buildings; educational, medical and military facilities; retail/commercial developments and industrial buildings
  • Design industrial equipment foundations and historic building renovations; assess building reuse and design construction shoring
  • Conduct structural assessments of existing building elements--roof and floor framing, support columns, bearing walls, foundations, roofing and facades
  • Design upgrades for any building type and construction materials (steel, concrete, wood, masonry); conduct forensic analysis
  • Develop construction drawings, specifications and cost estimates


  • Expertise in building codes and materials for functional, safe structures
  • Innovation in optimizing design, materials and structural systems for cost efficiencies
  • Flexibility in sustainable designs over the long term
  • Experience in project management for full project life-cycle support



Brett Hart, PE
Vice President of Engineering
207 817 5455


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