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Tom VanDorpe
Tom VanDorpe MS, SE
Senior Principal

Tom VanDorpe has 25 years of professional experience in structural design and construction.  He has been the structural engineer-of-record for numerous construction projects, including a mixed-use development consisting of 1500 apartment units combined with a 750 parking space subterranean concrete parking garage.  Mr. VanDorpe has been recognized addressing the special challenging mid-rise construction projects, particular “Podium” and “Wrap” developments, incorporating “Type III Modified” construction.  At VCA, Mr. VanDorpe is fortunate to help lead a world-class engineering group that works closely with top-name developers and architectural firms in the industry.

Mr. VanDorpe has a keen understanding of the enforcement of building code amendments and policies of many local jurisdictions. During his tenure with VCA, Mr. VanDorpe has gained experience in Building Department administration and has worked as contract plan review engineer in over 20 local jurisdictions. In 2003 Tom VanDorpe was promoted to President of VCA Code Group and oversaw the firm’s 20,000th plan review. The work of VCA Code Group encompasses all types of construction and occupancy groups.

Mr. VanDorpe also serves on a number of committees involved with the development and interpretation of structural building codes. He is Past-Chair of SEAOC Light-Frame Systems Committee, and is a member of the SEAOC Seismology Committee and SEAOC Evaluation Reports Committee. Mr. VanDorpe has written several SEAOC Blue Book Articles and regularly speaks to industry groups. Mr. VanDorpe has been retained as an expert witness on several matters related to structural building codes and construction practices and also has been active in performing structural evaluations of existing structures. Tom served with Habitat for Humanity for 5 years and was the engineer-of-record on a number of their projects.


  • BSIE Polytechnic University at Pomona
  • MSE California State University at Long Beach

Professional Accreditation

  • Civil/Structural Engineer in the states of California, Arizona, Washington and Ohio.
  • Certified ICC (International Code Council) Plan Examiner
  • Certified Building Official

Professional Affiliations & Activities

  • Habitat for Humanity – Orange County, Site Development Committee (1992-1998)
  • ICC Orange County Regional Code Uniformity Program, Committee Member (2000)
  • SEAOC Seismology Committee (Representing Southern California Section 2003-Present)
  • Chair, SEAOSC Light-Frame Systems Committee (2003-Present)
  • Moderator, Panel Discussion on Rigid versus Flexible Diaphragms. 02/03
  • Presenter, Light Frame Structures on Concrete Podium Construction, 02/04
  • Moderator, Panel Discussion on Steel Moment and Braced Frames in Predominantly Plywood Shear Wall Systems, 02/05
  • Presenter, Design of Wood Shearwalls with Openings, 02/06, 04/06
  • Presenter, Practical Design Considerations for Wood-Framed Structures, 3/07
  • Lead Author, Wood-Framed Design in Seismic Areas: Re-tooling for the 2006 IBC in Light of Current Design Practice, 9/07
  • Presenter, Transition Issues for engineered Light-Framed Structures: 1997 UBC -2006 IBC, 1/08, 3/08
  • SEAOC Seismology and Structural Standards Committee, LFSC Chair (2002-2006)
  • Contributing Author, SEAOC “Recommended Lateral Force Requirements and Commentary
  • Panelist, Building Industry Association Construction Committee, “The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Podium Construction”, 2006
  • Panelist, 20th Annual Building Industry Show (BIS), "Cost Effective Design," 2008
  • Co-Presenter, Making the Building Codes Work for Your Company, BIA/OC Government Affairs Committee, 2009
  • Wood Education Institute (WEI), Member of Development Board, 2007-Present
  • Vistage International, 2003-Present
  • Founding Member, Think Tank Roundtable, 2009

International Code Council (ICC)
American Concrete Institute (ACI)
California Building Officials (CALBO)
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Building Industry Association of Orange County (BIA-OC)
Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC)
California Building Standards Commission (BSC)
California Housing and Community Developing (HCD)
Los Angeles Chapter of ICC (LABCICC) Orange Empire Chapter of ICC (OECICC)
California Association of Building Energy Consultants (CABEC)
Certified Access Specialist Institute (CASI)

VCA Code | 1845 W. Orangewood Ave, Suite 210| Orange, California 92868 | Tel: (714) 363-4700 | Fax: (714) 363-4747 |