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About us

The Tipping Story

Tipping was founded in 1983 by Steve Tipping on the belief that a structural engineer’s most valuable asset isn’t simply the ability to perform calculations. Instead, he believed that a deep understanding of overall project goals and a practice of rigorous design thinking lead to the most innovative, impactful, and often unexpected, structural solutions.

Forty years later, our team of Berkeley-based structural engineers continues to foster this unconventional approach. By blending creativity with technical know-how, we strive to elevate the craft of structural engineering, unlocking greater possibilities for our clients and community.

Our Founder

Steven Tipping

For almost 35 years, founder Steven Tipping, SE (1947-2017) led Tipping in advancing the science and art of structural engineering, pioneering creative yet pragmatic design solutions for a broad, diverse range of projects. His inventions and accomplishments in seismic retrofit design were especially crucial in the earthquake-prone Bay Area. 

At the same time, his emphasis on constructability gave the firm a unique reputation for devising cost- and resource-efficient solutions. Steve instilled his spirit of innovation into his staff as well—under his leadership, Tipping won 41 local, regional, and national awards for excellence in structural engineering.

Our Home

The Tipping Building

We’re proud of our office building and what it stands for—designed by us, our office is a prime example of the seismic innovation that we strive for in all of our work. Our design allows us to share our knowledge about seismic resilience and base isolation with the community— the exposed triple-pendulum friction bearings, which allow the floors above to move twenty-four inches in any horizontal direction, are highlighted in yellow for public awareness and education. We’ve also spliced the building’s seismic isolation plane into the ground-floor columns ten feet above grade, exposed the isolator bearings, designed ground-floor walls to cantilever from the foundation, and featured a second story isolation moat—all in ways that call special attention to the remarkable seismic resilience of our workplace.

Entrance to Tipping offices in 1908 Shattuck, completed in 2016.

Our Work

Our Clients and Community

We work with developers, institutions, and architects across industries, including education, civic, residential, corporate, and science and technology, to create a safe, sustainable and resilient built environment for our community. We’ve worked extensively with prominent clients such as the University of California, the US General Services Administration, Wareham Development, Bridge Housing, as well as countless local cities and non-profit community groups with missions that serve our community and align with Tipping’s values.