• City Structural, Inc. provides structural engineering services for residential construction.

    • Multi-Unit Buildings
    • Single-Family Homes
  • We optimize performance and economy to provide you with a cost-effective design that incorporates the forefront of structural engineering and residential construction.
  • Serving San Francisco, CA and the San Francisco Bay Area


Want to get in touch with an Engineer?

  • Contact Us for a preliminary consultation by email, or to schedule a Site Visit at your property.

Residential Renovation

Planning a residential renovation project?

  • Contact Us to discuss your project and any of the following services:
  • Horizontal or Vertical Addition
  • Revision to Architectural Layout
  • Additional Dwelling Units (ADU)
  • Interior Remodel or Wall Removal
  • Decks, Rooftop Decks, or Skylights
  • Foundation Repair or Replacement


  • Voluntary Structural Strengthening is always recommended, and can be included upon request.

Soft-Story Retrofit

Own a multi-unit building?

  • Contact Us  to better understand the soft-story retrofit process and your options associated with
    project scope, sequencing, construction budget, and other details.

New Construction




  • SEAONC Soft-Story FAQ   –    Structural Engineers Association of Northern California soft-story FAQ.
  • SF DBI Soft-Story FAQ   –  San Francisco Department of Building Inspection soft-story FAQ.
  • ESIP Program  –   San Francisco’s 30-year plan for seismic resiliency.
  • CAPSS Program  –   San Francisco’s Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety.
  • FEMA P-1024   –   Standard cripple-wall retrofit of residential buildings, developed and prescribed by FEMA.


  • Principal Engineer

  • Mike Abell, P.E.


    • Professional Civil Engineer # C81125 (California)

    • SEAONC – Structural Engineers Association of Northern California
    • SEAONC EBC – SEAONC Existing Building Committee
    • SEAOC – Structural Engineers Association of California
    • ACI – American Concrete Institute
  • History

    • Mike Abell founded City Structural, Inc. in 2014 to serve the soft-story retrofit of multi-unit buildings in San Francisco. City Structural, Inc. has since grown to assist residential renovation, retrofit, and new-construction projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.
  • Philosophy

    • By integrating the forefront of structural engineering into customized engineering applications, City Structural, Inc. delivers optimal structural design with exceptional service and economy.


I have worked with a number of contractors and structural engineers since purchasing our first home a year ago. Mike Abell is by far the best structural engineer in SF. Our home was built in 1939 on a steep hill and the original foundation and framing had become a bit frail over the years. Having absolutely no knowledge of sound structural engineering principles myself, we met with three other contractors prior to meeting Mike who subsequently tried to upsell us on things like “soil study” and “pour a new foundation”. It wasn’t until meeting Mike that we realized those other contractors were likely embellishing the perilous state of the home’s structure. Mike visited our home multiple times to assess, measure and document each nook of the house and its foundation. He drew up very thorough plans and proposed a solution for us that was sound, safe and reasonably affordable. Mike also has a strong network of wonderful local contractors to actually implement Mike’s engineering work. If you have any work that you even think might need a structural engineer to assess, please give Mike a call. He’s a wonderful person and you won’t be disappointed.ed.

I have worked with Mike Abell on a seismic retrofit project for an apartment building I own in San Francisco, and for a home renovation project. Mike has been responsive, and provided some great alternatives that I had not considered. In some cases, I thought I was more limited than I actually was in design possibilities and Mike showed me options that allowed me to do what I wanted to do in my budget. If you are in need of a structural engineer, I would highly recommend Mike as he is articulate, competent, and effectively communicates timelines and options. Mike has also had great recommendations for contractors that he has worked with in the past. He went above and beyond to meet with the contractors and explained what needed to be done. Outstanding work and an outstanding person. If I could, I would give Mike 6 stars!!

We highly recommend Mike Abell! Our HOA hired him earlier this year to draw up architectural plans for a seismic retrofit of our 1885 Victorian building. Our property was a little complicated, seeing as there had been some minimal upgrades done decades ago on only part of the property, in addition to current requirements to accommodate a tenant and multiple owners. Mike was extremely courteous towards everyone, easy to work with, a great communicator and negotiator. He was able to come up with some fantastic and affordable solutions for our project and file permits in a timely manner. The contractor he recommended we use to perform the retrofit was also fantastic and Mike was in constant contact with the contractor so that everyone was always on the same page. We are all very pleased with his work and would definitely hire him again for future projects!

I own a building on Berkeley’s inventory of soft story buildings. I hired Mike to design a plan to both improve the safety of my building and meet Berkeley’s stringent criteria for removal from the list. Mike’s unique approach resulted in a scope that will cost significantly less than half of my expected cost. In my decade of experience investing in multi-family in the bay area I’ve never worked with an engineer who was so willing to think outside the box to come up with smart and economical solutions like Mike does. I highly recommend you hire him.

Mike Abell has been one of the best vendors to work with during our home renovation process. Mike was the structural engineer for the foundation and structural work. He worked alongside my contractor and architect, helped to move and speed up the process (permit submittal and approval) and even followed up to ensure that the project was progressing according to plan. Mike is a true professional, his communication skill is top notch. He knows how to set the right expectation and deliver results. We are very happy with his work and would love to recommend and hire him again for any future structural work. Thank you Mike!

We reside in a six-unit Edwardian condominium complex that found itself on the San Francisco earthquake ‘Soft Story’ retrofit list. Our HOA interviewed several structural engineers of which Mike was one. We all were smitten with his obvious knowledge, presentation skills, bid pricing and eagerness to perform. After awarding the project to him he didn’t disappoint our expectations; in fact his responsiveness and deliverables exceeded them. He continued to assist throughout construction and his cost projections, thereof, were spot on. If you’re in the market for a structural engineer, look no further. He comes with my highest recommendation!


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