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The structural design of a large, multi-building residential complex on the Idaho-Montana border at the base of the Grand Teton range is a challenging project facing increased jurisdictional drawing review timelines, mountainous and climate design considerations, and multi-state design team coordination.


Coordinating a large, multi-structure, phased project can be challenging. When the phased project includes a lodge; guest house; main residence; motor pool/carport; arena with a barn; and a cabin situated in difficult terrain at the foot of a mountain range and is being designed with team members from coast-to-coast, coordination becomes critical to the success of the project.

Teton Ridge’s project team is located across multiple states coast-to-coast—the project’s selected developer and client located in New York and the architect and timber frame manufacturer in Pennsylvania. Without focused and experienced project management, any of the above issues could adversely affect project design, development, and schedule.

Early on, Idaho-based Tamarack Grove Engineering (TGE) established who would be responsible for what, within what time frame, and how the work would be produced. Instead of the usual approach of the structural, civil, and architectural teams producing separate sets of drawings, the team shared one singular set of drawings. TGE worked in tandem with the architect on both the design and structural components, as well as the floors, wall systems, non-standard framing materials suited for the area, and foundations suitable for the demanding climate. TGE applied

calculations while redlining the drawing set for the architects in real-time.

The team was laser-focused, producing drawings for each project while designing for the rugged terrain and harsh climate, which is specialized and requires regional knowledge. There was extensive team coordination upfront to design for the environment including, high snow load, geothermal pools causing higher seismic demands, deep frost penetration, constructing below the frost line, and the existing bedrock foundation.


TGE was contacted in mid-March by the developer requesting a quick turnaround. They needed final drawings for the barn to be completed within two weeks, with subsequent drawings produced for the remaining buildings at two-week intervals to follow. Teton Ridge sought out TGE due to their reputation for producing high-quality permit drawings at an incredibly fast turnaround, a testament to their expertise, experience, processes, training, and resources.

The increased volume of work throughout the country has design and manufacturing industries experiencing unprecedented demand for their services and products, stressing A/E/C providers and related trades. The project location is experiencing a development boom resulting in a huge increase in the number of projects under development. Lead time for plan review by city officials in the jurisdiction of Victor, Idaho has increased; therefore, to maintain the project’s scheduled start date, submitting sound drawings that would be approved upon initial review was key.

Producing six sets of drawings with enough lead time built in for a longer-than-average jurisdictional

review process was the overriding goal. The large, geographically scattered team set to work to

accommodate the fast-tracked schedule, devise a coordinated work process, and address the many

design considerations demanded of the unique climate. The preparation work, knowledge of climate considerations, and team approach resulted in the drawings being approved upon first review, keeping the timeline intact and securing a key project milestone — pouring the foundation prior to the oncoming winter season — so that the 2022 build schedule would not be compromised.


With an impressive track record of 100% faster turnaround time than the industry standard, TGE was able to meet Teton Ridge’s deadlines even amid the nationwide escalation of demand for the services of A/E/C industry professionals and the stress on the labor force. TGE leveraged this advantage with their innate knowledge of the project site and the unique design considerations required in this region, deftly handling the materials and labor shortages by utilizing the excellent relationships forged with manufacturers who have sourcing capabilities to handle the high volumes and prioritize availability. Knowing the region, having knowledge of specialized design, and relying on a carefully built network of manufacturers and labor have enabled TGE to weather current conditions and once again deliver a stellar product to a satisfied client.

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