James A. Mahaney



James Mahaney joined WJE in 1986 and has expertise in the investigation of existing structures and design of new structures, having completed more than five hundred investigation, evaluation, and design projects. Mr. Mahaney has evaluated the structural performance of existing buildings, taking in-place conditions and materials into account. He has designed structural modifications with special regard to code conformance, structural performance, architectural form and function, and construction costs.

Mr. Mahaney’s experience also includes new building designs, seismic upgrades, failure investigations, fire-related damage investigations, and performance evaluations. He has written numerous technical papers and has received a California Preservation Foundation Design Award for the Alcatraz Cellhouse seismic retrofit. Prior to joining WJE, Mr. Mahaney served as a principal of an engineering architectural firm, where he provided various design services for property and business owners, developers, and governmental agencies.


Construction Documents and Specifications

  • Building Repair Due to Landslide - San Francisco, CA: Design of underpinning piers and concrete stairway
  • Recology Transfer Facility - Auburn, CA: Modifications to existing tilt-up-wall; steel- framed building to accommodate new transfer system
  • Ridgeview Office Complex - Auburn, CA: Design development of steel- and wood-framed buildings
  • Twenty-Story Tower - Sacramento, CA: Conceptual design of tower with underground parking for feasibility study
  • Custom Residence - Auburn, CA: Design construction observation of  wood-framed structure


Earthquake Damage Assessment

  • Twelve-Story Concrete Shear Wall Building - Burlingame, CA: Damage survey, analysis, and repairs
  • Twelve-Story Concrete Moment-Frame Building - Guam: Damage survey and analysis with concept repairs


Fire Damage Investigation

  • High-Rise Steel-Framed Office Complex - Los Angeles, CA: Evaluation and repair recommendations
  • Coking Facility - Rodeo, CA: Concrete damage assessment, repair design, and construction observation
  • Two-Story Building - San Francisco, CA: Condition assessment, analysis, and repair design of mixed-use, wood-framed building

Repair and Rehabilitation Design

  • California State University, Sacramento: Evaluation and strengthening of scaffold-type bleachers
  • Mertz Office Building - Auburn, CA: Seismic upgrade and supplemental roof for remodel
  • 4417 Oakport Street - Oakland, CA: Modifications to existing steel and wood truss buildings and design and construction of new office building

Seismic Repair and Retrofit Design

  • Alcatraz Island Cellhouse - San Francisco, CA: Seismic upgrade
  • Lillard Drive Warehouses - Sparks, NV: Voluntary seismic upgrade of wood roof to concrete wall connections
  • Presidio Building 314 - San Francisco, CA: Upgrade of three-story, reinforced concrete building to “essential” performance level

Structural Evaluation

  • Wood-Framed Structures - CA: Field testing, analysis, and repair recommendations 
  • Balcony Investigation - Marysville, CA: Analysis and ACI load test of cantilevered concrete balcony
  • Modesto Irrigation District - CA: Structural analyses, materials testing, and condition surveys

Wood Structures

  • Wind-Damaged Roof System - Yuba City, CA: Investigation, analysis, and repair design
  • Deconstruction Design - Berkeley, CA: Analyses and design for controlled demolition of three buildings
  • CUREE Wood-Frame Project - Richmond, CA: Testing of shear walls with various sill plate anchors
Professional Affiliations

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
Structural Engineers Association of Central California (SEAOCC)


Civil Engineer in CA and NV
Professional Engineer in MI
Structural Engineer in CA, NV, and WA


University of California, Berkeley
Bachelor of Science, Structural Engineering, 1975
Master of Science, Structural Engineering, 1976