Gerald Epp: Full Focus Now on StructureCraft
Some of you may have heard of my recent decision to sell my interest in Fast + Epp and give my undivided attention to StructureCraft, the engineer-and-build timber construction company I founded in 1998.
Making the decision to move on from my 27 year effort helping to build one of Canada's most well-known and respected structural engineering firms was difficult, but not without good reason.
The future of wood
I want to now focus my efforts to help lead the way into the 21 st century paradigm of design and construction – off-site prefabrication and integrated design, using the old-fashioned material I have grown to intimately know – wood. Which, partly because of all the new ways we can put it together, is an excellent material to advance this new paradigm….. So easy to work with and to shape. Not as easy to engineer, but we are not afraid of hard work, especially when it yields a good product.
I am a structural engineer who loves to find and implement efficient solutions, driving for sensibility and the root of the matter. The "matter" is what the client wants; or - what they need to know, because sometimes it is in the back of their mind, or on the tip of their tongue. We love to help spell that out. Natural solutions. Beautiful solutions. Buildable solutions. And down to the details.
See for example our recently completed
PJ Currie Dinosaur Museum where we worked closely with the architect to develop first-of-kind solid plywood nodes to join large Glulam beams and columns. Several overseas projects, such as Tsingtao Pearl Visitor's Centre, have also provided interesting challenges for our on-site crews.
Take the time to review our new website – it is the creation largely of my son Lucas, who, having gained structural engineering experience overseas, is now firmly in the saddle leading StructureCraft's Engineering and Drawing Office. Having worked for SC countless summers and interstitial years, and knowing the heart of what we do, he has worked with our Business Development team to bring our ideas across.
And if you are someone in the market for something cost effective yet exceptional, let us help you deliver on that.
Gerald obtained his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1981, and his Master's degree in Structural Engineering in 1983 from the University of British Columbia. He began his career working with consulting firms on various commercial, residential, and institutional structures.
In 1985 Gerald pursued his interest in special structures by joining the Vancouver office of Geiger Associates, a U.S. firm internationally known for its design of special structures and long-span roof systems. While there, he was directly involved in key projects for Expo 86 in Vancouver as well as several arena projects in the U.S.
In 1987 Gerald joined with friend Paul Fast, sharing with him the goal of creating a structural engineering practice known for pushing new frontiers. After 27 years of collaboration and numerous national and international awards for ingenuity, Fast + Epp is now one of the world's premier timber structural engineering firms.
Some of the push for new frontiers occurred when a curiosity with the early entrepreneur engineers like Brunel and Eiffel led Gerald to an interest in the "master-builder" concept, and how it could be used to leverage the surging interest in exposed structures. StructureCraft was founded in 1998 to realize this vision.
This began a journey for Gerald as he branched into a more experimental approach to engineering, especially with the fascinating future that could be possible with timber and timber optimized with other materials. This has also extended to a pioneering role involving integrated design - incorporating other services into the structures to achieve greater quality control and all-important site erection speed.
Since then StructureCraft has delivered numerous highly acclaimed structures involving all conceivable types of wood - combined with steel, cables, aluminum, glass, concrete, and cast iron. All with the goal of making every part of the structure useful, efficient, and elegant.Further, these are now integrated into panels with mechanical, electrical, thermal, and acoustical services – shop-installed, efficient, plugged in on- site.
Recently, to further focus his energies and create an arms-length separation from his former consulting firm, he sold his interest in Fast + Epp.
Over a career spanning 35 years, Gerald has collaborated with top international architects and developed a broad base of engineering experience in all materials and virtually every building type, including an understanding of all the related disciplines. Thus he is able to understand from a high level the complexities of a project and offer solutions to clients which are all-around most suitable – saving money and schedule.
Gerald is registered as a professional engineer in Canada, and in many American states. His projects span three continents, and have won numerous national and international awards, including several prestigious awards from the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) in the UK, and the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineers (IABSE). He was recently named a Fellow of the IStructE. At the instigation of many architectural friends, he was also named an honorary member of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia in 2010.
He serves on the technical committee for the CSA 086 Timber Design Code, and sits on the editorial board of Wood Design and Building Magazine.
GERALD A. EPP, M.Eng., P.Eng., Struct.Eng., P.E., M.IABSE, F.IStructE.
President and Chief Engineer, StructureCraft Builders Inc.