With talented Designers on staff we can offer a level of design & consulting service uncommon to many of our colleagues. We have the experience needed to bring a project through from planning to construction. With experience designing theatres, stadiums and hotels, residential and commercial, modular, stick-built and panelized construction.

"Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Design, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


We offer over 40 years of experience in Structural Design across all facets of construction in any material. Our specialties include structural steel, concrete, wood frame, light gauge steel, aluminum and fiberglass structures. We currently hold Professional Engineering licenses in 44 States and are heavily involved with the design of pre-engineered, modular and panelized building systems as well as emerging construction technologies. We have been active in pursuing these new technologies and can help with ICC code approvals, finite element analysis and develop testing protocol.

"Let two boys weigh each other on a platrform scale. Then when they balance each other on their board see-saw, let them see (and measure for themselves) that the lighter one is farther from the fence-rail on which their board is placed, in the same proportion as the heavier boy outweighs the lighter one. They will then have learned the grand principle of the lever. Then let them meausre and see that the light one see-saws farther than the heavy one, in the same proportion; and they will have acquired the principle of virtual velocities. Explain to them that equalities of moments means nothing more than that when they seat themselves at their measured distances on their see-saw, they balance each other..."

-Trautwine's Civil Engineer's Pocket Book, 1874


Our 20+ years pioneering the modular industry places us in a unique position to offer support to anyone wanting to make a leap into modular. Pre-fabrication is quickly becoming a sought-after method of construction for those looking towards more sustainable construction practices and expedited timelines. Modular construction in the United States currently accounts for 3% of all new construction... we'd like your project to be the next percentile.

"Synergy is the only word in our language that means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the separately observed behaviors of any of the system's separate parts or any subassembly of the system's parts..."

-Buckminster Fuller


Our capable Investigative Engineering staff has been providing services for the insurance industry and other clients since our inception. We can address a variety of issues pertaining to failing structural members as well as code assessment issues and repair.

“Forensic Engineering is the application of the art and science of engineering in the jurisprudence system, requiring the services of legally qualified professional engineers. Forensic engineering may include investigation of the physical causes of accidents and other sources of claims and litigation, preparation of engineering reports, testimony at hearings and trials in administrative or judicial proceedings, and the rendition of advisory opinions to assist the resolution of disputes affecting life or property.”

- Milton F. Lunch


We currently hold 44 Professional Engineering registrations across the country.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

RST Firehouse

Design: RST Firehouse

Our experience in Fire Station design came about from the devastating California Wildfires of 2007. Several of us were evacuated and unable to return to their homes for a week not knowing whether or not our homes were still standing. From this and the media attention focusing on inadequate fire fighting resources in Southern California we set out on our own to research and develop an affordable fire station that could be built quickly. Click here to see our Modular Fire Station Design Package (PDF).

RST expandaHOME

Design: RST expandaHOME

We designed the expandaHOME as a concept house that could be a model of affordable sustainability. The home is designed to grow along with its occupant's needs - allowing for an attractive pricepoint for a first home. We are currently in talks with manufacturers across the country to form a network of easily deliverable expandaHOMEs to any region.

RST Surfshack

Design: RST Surfshack

We designed a series of Surf Shacks utilizing standard ISO shipping containers for easy deployment and installation in Costa Rica. Special attention was paid to the security of the dwellings and the transportability for sea-freight. Our design features 1,000 sf. of comfort area and an accessible roof to take in the views.

RST Connect Homes

Structural: Connect Homes

We've been working with Jared Levy and Gordon Stott of Connect Homes for a long time, so when they sought out to revolutionize the process by which custom, sustainable and architecturally rich modular homes were created and sold, we couldn't not be a part. We've worked hand in hand with them in the design and manufacturing decisions for these homes and everyone's taking note.

RST High Tech High

Structural: High Tech High

We were brought on board for the structural design of HTH:CV, built at Southern Modular of California. The school utilized tube steel frame modules utilizing moment frames. We also coordinated the integration of the site-built and modular structures. Additional engineering was provided for the site-built canopy, photovoltaic attachment and rooftop-safety system. HTH:CV won a 2011 AIA COTE Award as one of 2011's top ten green projects.

Waldorf School of Orange County

Structural: Waldorf School

The expansion to the Waldorf School of Orange County utilized 32 modified shipping containers to complete new classrooms surrounding an assembly hall. This was the first containerized solution of its kind used in Educational Construction in California. The shipping containers allowed for a cost and time savings to the school and we are looking at bringing this method to several other sites. See a video of the school expansion here.

RST Structural: Marmol-Radziner

Structural: Marmol-Radziner

We've performed the structural design of Marmol-Radziner's custom pre-fab homes across the country. Utilizing steel moment frames and concrete with cantilevered columns, MRP's homes have been rewarding challenges for our structural team, facing obstacles such as LA's hillside ordinance and unique foundation systems and shoring have made these homes some of our most memorable projects.

RST Structural: Appalachian State University

Structural: Appalachian State University Dorms

Working with Berkshire-Hathway owned Clayton Homes, the new 4-story dormitories at Appalachian State University went up in 2010. This exciting project pushes the envelope of traditional modular construction in the United States mixing a hybrid solution of site-built and off-site components. Clayton Homes contacted us for our experience in multi-story modular projects.

RST Structural: Spinnaker Hotel

Structural: Spinnaker Hotel

We developed a modular concept for the 18-story Spinnaker Waterfront Hotel with the hotel's development team. Our study utilized a unique system to allow for the 18-story design utilizing modular units.

Structural: Relocotable Silo

Structural: Relocatable Silo

We designed a 70 ft. relocatable silo for Guntert & Zimmerman's New Zealand operations. This project was notable for giving us a chance to get to know another country's building codes. The silo is designed as a relocatable unit that can be shipped easily to another location. Seismic and wind design to match Australia building codes.

Structural: Haven Homes

Structural: Haven Homes

We've been the engineer of record for a number of Haven Homes' beautiful residences along the east coast designed for high-wind with horizontal and vertical diaphragm irregularities and complex lateral load paths. We've also assisted Haven Homes in updating their structural system to meet new codes for the states of New York, Pennsylvania and several other states.

Structural: The Carneros Inn

Structural: The Carneros Inn

The Carneros Resort Inn in Napa Valley was a unique project KIT Homes contacted us for. The inn was developed on what was once a mobile home community and is now a world-class destination in Napa Valley. We handled the structural design of the inn's two-story modular residences and hotel cabins notable for their second story reinforcement due to the spa, tower and balconies. Additional engineering was provided for the units' concrete stem-wall foundations.

Structural: Veristeel, Inc.

Structural: Veristeel, Inc.

We've assisted Veristeel in developing their highly unique panelized and containerized construction system for the last several years. Helping them with the structural design, feasibility of and ICC approval process, we're excited at what's still to come from this innovative construction system.

Structural: Structural Systems

Structural: Structural Systems

We've developed a number of Structural Systems for modular manufacturers of both residential and commercial structures for several states. States where we have current structural systems include: California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, New York and Pennsyvlania, among others.

Structural: Maritime Museum

Structural: Maritime Museum

The Sala Burton Maritime Museum is designated as a national landmark building located on the waterfront of the marina district in San Francisco. We were priviledged to assist Silas Custom Metal with the structural design of the museum's curved window storefront. The large banks of multi-paned curved windows provided a framing challenge for us and the contractor.

Structural: Santa House

Structural: Santa House

The Norwegian-styled 'Santa' House was a temporary seasonal structure built by Silver Creek Industries set at a Las Vegas shopping mall for the Christmas season. We designed the wood frame structure utilizing steel moment frames. Our foundation design used a system of steel-angles and anchors to the parking lot to allow the Santa House to be relocated without damaging the pavement underneath.

Structural: Custom Modular

Structural: Custom Modular Home

We performed the structural design and modular translation of a custom, two-story modular home utilizing site-installed roof trusses. Our services included developing a full set of construction documents, coordination between project team and out-of-state manufacturer and providing auxillary support to local contractors after delivery.

Structural: Modular Restrooms

Structural: Modular Restrooms

We are proud to have assisted The Public Restroom Company with the structural design of many of their high-quality CMU modular restrooms across the country. These units are unique in their foundation design that is poured as part of the module and engineered to allow for no site-foundation preparation.

Structural: Livinghomes

Structural: Livinghomes

We were pleased to assist Livinghomes with several of their houses, including the WIRED Livinghome shown here. The Ray Kappe designed house was unique in its its open floor plan with horizontal & vertical discontinuity. Additional foundation design of a deep-pile system on a sloped site under jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles added complexity in meeting the Hillside Ordinance for the City of LA.

Forensic Engineering

Forensic Engineering

We've helped a number of insurance clients and restoration specialists with such things as structural failures, seismic retrofits and fire remediations. The picture shown here was for the structural retrofit of several two-story condominiums damaged by fire, including the design of replacement shear walls and the building's wood diaphragm lateral system.

Structural: Telescopic Modular

Structural: Telescopic Modular

We were asked to design a roof system that would transport with a clearance of twelve feet and raise to fifteen feet once set for Modtech Holdings. We came up with a unique system of a telescoping roof to meet shipping requirements.

Structural: Michelle Kaufmann

Structural: Michelle Kaufmann

We were fortunate enough to assist Michelle Kaufmann with the structural design and modular translation of her first few Breezehouses and Glidehouses - acting as a liaison between designer and manufacturer. Our help included the structural design, modular translation, developing construction documents and shop drawings.

Structural: Bay Townhomes

Structural: Bay Townhomes

We were the EOR on a development of the Bancroft Row two-story modular townhomes in Oakland, CA. Our design for these townhomes was unique in using a hybrid-panelized system for the first floor walls to support the second-story modules. Garage and foundation design also performed.

Structural: Walter Reed Medical Center

Structural: Walter Reed Medical Center

We designed a two-story, 32,000 sf. transition facility for Walter Reed Medical Hospital in Bethesda, MD. This project was fast-tracked to meet the Army Corps of Engineer's construction timeline.

Structural: Naval Reactor Facility

Structural: Naval Reactor Facility

The Naval Reactor Facility project was a large project with demanding time-constraints set by the Army Corps of Engineers. We were responsible for the structural design of the two-story, brace-framed building built by Satellite Shelters. Please read our case study (PDF) on it

Structural: Tridipanel House

Structural: Tridipanel House

We performed the structural design of this Tridipanel residence - an emerging building system utilizing foam and concrete designed by Ceraban Design. We performed calculations to verify the feasibility of the Tridipanel frame and utilized steel beams and colums to maximize openings and allow exposure to the yard and deck areas.

Structural: Equipment Anchorage

Structural: Equipment Anchorage

We have assisted a number of industrial clients with equipment anchorage for their equipment. Some of our most notable include seismic anchorage design for several of Mission Linen's facilities in California and a series of glass racks designed to support massive glass panels up to 14 feet tall and 90,000 lbs in the event of an earthquake.


We were founded in June of 2002 by Ralph and Silvana Tavares, in Downtown Riverbank, initially with four people providing Design Services, Structural Design, Consulting and Project Management. Although our clients are from all facets of the Construction Industry, our interest and extensive experience working for and with several Modular Manufacturing Facilities throughout the United States has allowed our clientele in the Pre-Fab / Modular Industry continue to grow. Now with 12 people and a second office in San Diego, California, we hold Professional Engineering Licenses in 45 States, Architectural Licenseure in NY, and are currently doing most of our work designing and engineering Pre-fabricated buildings.

We firmly believe that the construction industry in the USA has grown stagnant, using the same construction techniques for the last 100 years. We as a Country can do much better by adopting the technology of Pre-engineered manufacturing construction and alternative, more sustainable construction systems - methods being utilized very efficiently within the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Germany and Japan.

Contact Us

16875 W. Bernardo Dr.
Suite 285
San Diego, CA 92127

Contact any of us at our
first name@rstavares.com

858 444 3344

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  • Ralph Tavares awarded MBI's 2012 Outstanding Achievement
    MBI's Outstanding Achievement Award< is given each year to one individual in honor of his or her exemplary contribution and service to the commercial modular buildings industry. We are honored to have been presented this prestigious award. Read the announcement here (HTML)
  • R&S Tavares: Pushing the Envelope on Design
    Construction Leaders Today decided to do a piece on some of our experiences. Read it Here (HTML)
  • RST Engineered Floating Structure
    Kama-EEBS panels were chosen for the world's first Floating Building, engineered by us. Read the press release here: Here (PDF)
  • Naval Reactor Case Study
    Read our case study on the Naval Reactor facility project we did in conjuction with Modtech and Satellite Shelters. Here (PDF)
  • WIRED Livinghome in WIRED Magazine
    R&S Tavares engineered WIRED Livinghome by Livinghomes and WIRED Magazine. Here (HTML)
  • Marmol-Radziner Desert House in DWELL Magazine
    Article on RST-Engineered prototype pre-fab house for Marmol Radziner Designers. Here (HTML)


Ralph Tavares, PE

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Silvana Tavares, AIA

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Manny Frisch, SE

Senior Associate
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Mariana Cardoso

Financial Controller
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Chad Conrad, AIA

Senior Associate
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Nabel Daniel, PE

Staff Engineer
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Tim Mekaru, PE

Staff Engineer
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Allen Ramirez, EIT

Staff Engineer
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Pedro Tavares, Assoc. AIA

Project Manager
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Richard Chiavetta, M.Arch

Project Manager
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