Alpha Structural, Inc., the leading structural engineering and construction firm in Los Angeles, just reached its 30th year in business serving homeowners and commercial property owners alike.
Founder and CEO Dave Tourjé grew up in Eagle Rock resident from a young age until late adolescence, when he moved to Mount Washington. He attended Eagle Rock High and worked at Fosters Freeze; a teenage life similar to what many local teens are currently living. He couldn’t have known at that time what a resounding influence he would have on the construction industry, specifically in the trade of foundation repair.
Dave went on to be one of the pioneers that formed the trade of foundation repair itself while working in the hills of Mount Washington in the 1980s. Working on the steep hillside homes of that area and the problems that come with them, he became a skilled tradesman in this niche trade; fixing and building hillside homes, repairing failing foundations and more. Tourjé and a small handful of his construction comrades of the time would even make their own job materials in his garage since they did not yet exist in stores. Dave recalls the early beginnings:
“There were just a few guys doing it, so it was kind of a pioneering time and I helped pioneer the whole trade. I can’t say I was the pioneer because there were a couple people, but I was definitely part of the very few that originated the trade, and a lot of my designs are proprietary.”
Those same materials intrinsic to the foundation repair trade are now manufactured and sold in every hardware store around the world today.
Due to Tourjé’s technical expertise, as well as the demand for structural repair increasing after the California earthquakes of the 1980s and ‘90s, he founded Alpha Structural, Inc. in 1992 and steadily grew the company’s size and influence.
In 2000, Alpha Structural had outgrown its mom-and-pop sized office and moved into their larger office building on Colorado Blvd. Many locals can recall the primary shapes and colors of their logo adding a splash of red, yellow and blue above the building. It was there that Alpha Structural experienced its greatest expansion of that time when, in 2015, the City of Los Angeles released the Soft-Story Retrofit Ordinance mandating many apartment building owners to get their buildings up to current seismic codes. At that point Alpha Structural was already the recognized leader in the industry and was more than ready to handle the bulk of these seismic upgrades for property owners. They performed thousands of these seismic upgrades and, in doing so, helped not only to get property owners code compliant, but also to safeguard tenants from disaster if Los Angeles experienced a hard-hitting earthquake at that time.
Alpha Structural’s expansion continued in 2018 with the need for an even larger space, which led Tourjé to purchase and renovate the iconic Security Pacific Bank building in Sunland, CA to its former glory. As an artist himself, Tourjé has a keen aesthetic eye and ensured no detail was left forgotten when restoring the building to be Alpha Structural’s new headquarters.
Further expansion later took them South to Orange County where they recently opened a second branch. In November 2020 while other construction firms, and all businesses for that matter, were facing new challenges through the pandemic, they were proud to have continued their expansion, opening a new office in Santa Ana.
Today, Alpha Structural is the trusted leading design/build firm licensed to do both the engineering and construction of all of Los Angeles’ structural repair needs. From collapsing retaining walls, to foundation replacements, to beautiful hillside decks in the Eagle Rock hills, to landslide repair and life-saving seismic upgrades to homes and apartment buildings, Alpha Structural is the most equipped to help Angeleno homeowners with every structural need.
Looking back at the pioneering of the foundation repair industry starting with Tourjé working on the hillside as a young adult, he reflects on the influence he has had on the trade and the coincidence of how it came to be:
“None of this would have happened if I didn’t grow up in Mount Washington. Because I was isolated, I had to make new friends, and the friends I made were in construction and they worked around Mount Washington. So it put me in the hillside environment that I currently work in. In other words, I developed skills in hillside construction work because I lived in Mount Washington”.
To this day, there are thousands of happy homeowners that are glad for Tourjé’s decision to pioneer and later dominate the trade of foundation and structural repair.