San Jose, CA-based Barry Swenson Builder announced May 17 that it has secured a United States patent for Landmaker, the firm’s award-winning structural design. U.S. Patent 9,297,158 B2 dated March 29, 2016 credits inventors C. Barron “Barry” Swenson of San Jose, Don R. Peoples of Milpitas, Hardip P. Pannu of Moraga and Bo J. Lundmark of Long Beach. Legal Assignee to the patent is Green Valley Corporation, Swenson's parent company.
The patented structural system consists of strategically placed shear walls and columns to achieve extremely high structural integrity, without sacrificing cost or safety. Swenson says the Landmaker system was designed with the end-user in mind, while meeting stringent California Seismic Safety Codes for Hospitals and Emergency buildings.
The company has employed the Landmaker structural system in San Jose for years, having used it on six Swenson high and mid-rise towers in the area since its design inception. A couple notable projects are the near-complete Century Center Towers in north San Jose, and recently-completed Centerra Apartments in downtown San Jose adjacent to San Pedro Square Market.
The genesis for Landmaker began in 2000, when the team of inventors got together to "create a simple, easy to build and cost effective structural solution for high-rise concrete buildings."
Pannu is a specialist in the field of structural design since graduating at the top of his class from Punjab University with an honors degree in Civil Engineering. Pannu has made an international name for himself having designed acclaimed structures such as the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ.
Barry Swenson, a native to Silicon Valley and major advocate for high intensity housing and transit oriented development, assembled the team of inventors so he could replicate this design as a solution throughout the Bay Area, says the company.
Peoples is a graduate of Santa Clara University and UC Berkley with a civil engineering undergraduate degree and a structural engineering graduate degree. After the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, he says he dedicated his career to ensuring safety for his neighbors in the Bay Area, starting his own company – Peoples Associates Structural Engineers.
Peoples and his team received four different awards for their Facebook data center structural design including Distinguished Building Award Citation of Merit by the American Institute Architects Chicago Chapter and Best of the Best Projects #1 by Engineering News and Record.
Lundmark graduated at the top of his class from a Swedish technical university and has accrued a number of patents throughout his career involving the design, method and construction process of multiple story structures.
“Our family has been using the Landmaker structural design system since it was developed in 2000,” said Swenson president and fourth generation developer Case Swenson in a press release. “This patent solidifies Landmaker’s relevance in the market and the value it brings to high-rise projects across the country.”
"The design elements are uncomplicated; the functionality and long term benefits are multifaceted," says the company. The basic design of the system is a post-tensioned slab system, including the foundation, floor slabs, columns, sheer walls and related structural engineering.
While the primary focus of the Landmaker is on structural safety and sustainability, the "cost benefit are undeniable," says the company's website. "By utilizing the Landmaker Structural System, Barry Swenson Builder can construct a mid to high-rise project at up to half the price of a similar steel system."
The company says the system allows the developer/owner to take advantage of the air rights of a property to achieve a higher density on the same piece of land. "Landmaker creates buildings that are safer, stronger and more marketable to residential and commercial developers and investors as well as the tenants themselves," states the press release.