Case Studies


In the summer of 2000 Big D Metalworks was asked by Plant Construction to review conceptual plans for operable folding gates for 30 plus retail spaces in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, California. Investors were looking to renovate the vacant Ferry Building to take advantage of the daily ferry traffic landing outside the building. To effectively utilize the ground floor space for retail it would be necessary to design, engineer, fabricate and install operable folding security gates that met safety and code requirements. In addition to being architecturally attractive, the gates would need to be easy to operate, low maintenance and when opened could not encroach into the retail tenant space.

Our firm designed and fabricated a prototype incorporating a custom track and roller system, custom stamped and woven latticework and various standard hardware components.

After review by the investors and the general contractor minor changes in the prototype were made and 30 of these gates were fabricated and installed for a sum under the Guaranteed Maximum Price. These gates continue to function and the Ferry Building is again an attractive landmark in San Francisco.


In 2007 Q & D Construction was referred to us by a manufacturer of glass treads. Q & D was having problems locating a stair manufacturer capable of producing a five-story elliptical staircase for a private residence on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

In addition to the elliptical design, the stair also had glass treads, glass landings, glass rails and an outside stringer hidden inside a finished wall. The stair was located in a glass-enclosed area with a panoramic view of Lake Tahoe and the homeowner was very particular on the fit and finish of the stair (No exposed welds).

Big D designed the staircase and modeled in 3D to assist with design review. To eliminate the welds at the Oculus we custom machined the points where the stringers intersected.

One flight of the staircase was manufactured for review by the homeowner and Q & D Construction and the balance of the project was released for fabrication shortly thereafter. The stairs, glass treads, glass guardrails, and stainless steel handrails were all installed with less than 40 hours of rework.

Both Q & D Construction and the owner are pleased with the quality of the finished product, the timeliness of delivery and the fact that the project was delivered for less than the Guaranteed Maximum Price.