Structural Engineering

All building structures are continually subjected to the invisible, but powerful effects of gravity, wind, earth movement and other forces of nature.  Adequate structural design must therefore be provided to counteract these forces and protect lives.

From the simplest foundation to a complex fabric covered arch, Harms Engineering, Inc. (HEI) has provided solutions for a broad array of structures in the Tri-Cities, surrounding areas and neighboring states for more than 30 years.  These structures may use steel, concrete, timber, fiberglass, masonry and/or aluminum; and because of their unique requirements, they often require individualized analysis and design.


Following is a list of representative structural design and investigation projects:


  • Metal building foundations
  • Fabric covered steel framed arches
  • Log cabins
  • Retaining walls
  • Special foundations with helical anchors
  • Lateral resistive frames for residential and commercial structures
  • Repair systems for damaged and broken wood trusses
  • Special concrete formwork
  • Special anchored systems
  • Remodels

Failure Analysis:

  • Structural assessment of burned structures
  • Structural assessment of foundation movement, snow and wind load failures
  • Evaluation of undersized, improperly constructed buildings

We partner with local and out of town architects, designers and contractors to create safe structural systems.  We also work with insurance and legal professionals to analyze and solve structural failures.

Sample Projects

Life Quest Fitness Center, Pasco WA

LifeQuest Fitness Center is a 56,000 square foot facility that includes a fitness center and physical therapy office.  The project consists of a metal building and concrete foundation system with concrete masonry interior walls.

Fairchild Cinemas, Pasco WA

Fairchild Cinemas is a 40,000 square foot facility that includes 12 theaters of various capacities and concession stand area.  HEI provided structural engineering for the ICF concrete building and steel framed roof, floor and entrance.

Desert Springs Covenant Church, Pasco WA

HEI provided structural engineering design for the steel framed super-structure of the sanctuary and fellowship hall, and the wood-framed shear wall system for the attached office and adjoining classroom building.

Tessenderlo Kerley Inc., Finley WA

The Tessenderlo Chemical facility houses more than 50 above ground steel storage tanks containing various chemicals used in agricultural applications.  HEI provided structural engineering for steel tank foundations (vertical and horizontal) and process buildings.  HEI also provided the design modification to raise the pipe support bridge crossing a recently constructed railroad track expansion at the chemical facility.

Cascade Aerospace, Spokane WA

Cascade Aerospace provides custom interior design for Boeing 737 aircraft for various clients.  The tails of the planes do not fit into the existing buildings at the Spokane Airport facility, so HEI provided structural engineering for a 50 ft x 80 ft movable tail enclosure consisting of a fabric-covered steel truss-arch system with castors.  The tail enclosure is parked immediately adjacent to the existing maintenance hanger to provide a weather-protected work environment.