Backbone is a Structural Engineering Design Practice

We deliver elegant, safe and cost-effective solutions by fostering synergies with all stakeholders and integrating design excellence with construction know-how



Engineering that celebrates outstanding architecture and artwork

Commercial & industrial

Innovative, buildable and cost-effective structural design solutions

construction ENGINEERING

Effective response to all construction needs


From post-tensioned structures to complex geometries and analysis

Seismic strenghtening

Retrofit that respects the history of the buildings

our approach

At Backbone Structures, we embrace each challenge in an energetic and collaborative fashion. We believe that every project is unique in its own way. Our design process always starts by truly understanding the main drivers, risks and its physical and financial constraints.

We then embark in a funnel-shaped design expedition. We start by developing a number of structural concepts where we explore different systems, materials and construction methodologies. A selected number of concept(s) then progresses into the preliminary design stage. We believe that these early stages are the most important of the design process. We pride ourselves on delivering well-developed preliminary designs that allow accurate pricing at an early stage. The final phases are all about attention to fine detail. Our goal is to ensure that our deliverables are easy to follow, fully coordinated and 100% buildable.

Backbone Structures strives to ensure that all deliverables are of the highest standard, involving regular director reviews throughout the lifetime of the project. As a structural engineering firm, we have the technical expertise to undertake complex structural engineering analysis and designs, and equally important, is our desire to deliver projects that are safe and easy to erect - safety in design is a priority for us.  

Finally, we believe it is important to engage, consult and work with the community and tāngata whenua (people of the land). By respecting the extensive knowledge of Māori cultural heritage, we remain committed to protect and preserve Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural and cultural environment.

Above all, we are hard-working and passionate about the work we deliver and the structures we help our clients create.


Tiago Almeida | Director

Tiago has led numerous large-scale projects and has designed structures for complex projects in New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Europe and Africa. Much of Tiago's work has required him to develop new approaches to solving engineering problems. He takes a holistic and collaborative approach to projects and is flexible and easy to deal with.
Tiago is proud of his contribution to projects awarded with the Concrete NZ Commercial / Industrial Building Award and Rail Heritage Trust Restoration Award.
Tiago's passions can be summed up as the three T’s – tennis, technology and travel

Tiago Lamy | Director

Tiago completed his masters in Porto, Portugal and UC Berkeley, California where he focused on earthquake engineering. He then started his career in 2006 as a Bridge Engineer in Lisbon working with the international award-winning engineer Armando Rito before moving back to Porto where he led the structural design of a wide range of projects. New Zealand was calling and so Tiago made the move in 2012 where he was able to contribute to the Christchurch Rebuild. Between 2016 and 2018 Tiago worked in London as the lead engineer of the structural presetting of the  iconic Battersea Power Station re-development.
Tiago craves for complex engineering problems but also enjoys the three S’s - sailing, snowboarding and surfing.

Jonathan Boersen  | Associate

Jonathan is an award-winning Structural Engineer having won both the residential and overall NZ Concrete Society awards and NZ Timber Design award. He specializes in high-end architecture and uses every trick in the book to ensure the aesthetics are in no way compromised. Jonathan believes that if you want to build something truly special, architecture must be unrestrained by convention and is to be enabled by great structural engineering design.
Jonathan is passionate about architecture and even fully designed two of his own houses.

In partnership with:

  • Backbone Structures Portugal

    Structural Engineers

  • Backbone Structures Portugal is the result of established collaboration with two coordinated companies in Portugal - Poliedro and Sopsec. Founded over 30 years ago, both have unanimous recognition of excellence by clients and peers for their expertise in Structural Engineering and have a proven record of experience in international markets, including New Zealand.

  • KGA Geotechnical (NZ)

    Geotechnical Engineers

  • KGA Geotechnical specializes in the field of geotechnical engineering and can provide geotechnical input for all stages of development, from initial feasibility through to subsurface investigation, design, construction and certification.  

  • Thomas Consultants (NZ)

    Civil Engineers

  • Thomas Consultants is an award-winning land development professional consultancy that provides top quality services in civil & environmental engineering as well as ecological, property, contaminated soil testing, property acquisition services, town planning & resource planning, CAD draughting & GIS.

get in touch

Contact us now to find out how to get started, ask any question or just say hi!
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