News, Updates and Inspiration

A Peek Into Open Concept Design

Where Structural Engineering Is An Essential

Removing walls to create the open concept living spaces that so many homeowners around Toronto are looking for today requires more than just a vision. Working hand in hand with our Structural Engineers, the photo above showcases a Walden Home renovation where the existing structure had to be removed and replaced.

The design process for a project such as this is as follows: 

  • Design concept
  • Review existing structure to determine viability
  • Prepare shoring plan to support structure as changes are happening
  • Design new structural elements that will allow for the clear spans needed
    • Note: The clear spans allow for a larger room, inclusive of kitchen, dining room, living space, which is all combined without walls or posts

In this specific project, we are currently in the process of removing all existing main floor and second floor walls and floor joists. 

The plan is to add only a very small mudroom on the main floor, while everything else is being worked into the existing footprint, which is only 1,600 square feet, excluding the basement. 

Squeezing every inch out of the house requires very precise design. The layer below the visible design is what allows the open spaces to happen. This is a perfect example of top to bottom structural engineering.  The basement is underpinned, the roof structure is re-engineered with steel and other structural elements are designed to maximize spans so that dividing walls are not required. 

Project Goal: Better use of space, more flexible layout and a more seamless connection between spaces.

Written by:  Bruce Borden, Walden Homes