Kanab Geotechnical and Structural Design Firm Assists With Salt Lake Temple Renovations

Pete CodellaArticles

Located in Kane County, Utah, Brierley Associates provides geotechnical and structural design services to clients throughout the United States. With 21 offices nationwide, the firm specializes in creating space underground. 

The Kanab office specializes in supporting building information modeling and computer-aided design and drafting work on projects from across the country. “Our office staff focuses primarily on developing two- and three-dimensional engineered solutions for complex projects associated with underground construction in dense urban corridors,” says Jake Koelliker, Brierley Associates’ building information modeling manager in the Kanab office.

From large skyscraper projects in San Francisco to the firm’s current work on the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the firm showcases a diverse set of civil engineering projects.

Salt Lake Temple Project 

The five-person office in Kanab was recently awarded its most high-profile project yet in Utah — working on the Salt Lake Temple for the Church. The scope of work for Brierley Associates entails reinforcing the perimeter around the temple grounds and the temple’s footings.

The firm is responsible for designing the ground support that allows the temple to be placed on seismic isolators, enabling temple workers to dig down to different levels and demolish the existing structure to build the new structure.

The temple work includes integrating the firm’s design with structural and seismic design. This work enables the temple to be held up while workers gut it out and redo the interior and foundation while putting it on seismic isolators. 

“It’s a very complicated project because of the nature of it and how old the temple is and how public it is and keeping portions of the temple open and active during construction,” says Koelliker.

Loving Rural Utah Life

Koelliker enjoys small-town life. When the opportunity came his way to work for Brierley Associates, he took advantage of it. Living in Phoenix with his young family, he always craved a less hectic, rural lifestyle. 

“Our family wanted to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city. I was commuting about 70 miles, which was almost 3 hours every day driving back and forth from work,” Koelliker notes. In Kanab, he lives less than a mile from his office, and it’s a 2-minute commute, so he gets to go home for lunch and is more involved with his family and community. It’s been a win-win for his family and career satisfaction.