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EXCELLENCE IN ENGINEERING Volume 20, Issue 1 | February | March 2013






The GeorGia enGineer


GeorgiaEngineer Publisher: A4 Inc. 1154 Lower Birmingham Road Canton, Georgia 30115 Tel.: 770-521-8877 • Fax: 770-521-0406 E-mail: Managing Editor: Roland Petersen-Frey Art Direction/Design: Pamela Petersen-Frey Georgia Engineering Alliance 233 Peachtree Street • Harris Tower, #700 Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Tel.: 404-521-2324 • Fax: 404-521-0283 Georgia Engineering Alliance Gwen Brandon, CAE, Director of Operations Thomas C. Leslie, PE, Director of External Affairs Georgia Engineering Alliance Editorial Board Jimmy St. John, PE, Chairman GSPE Representatives Sam Fleming, PE Tim Glover, PE ACEC/G Representatives B.J. Martin, PE Lee Philips ASCE/G Representatives Daniel Agramonte, PE Steven C. Seachrist, PE GMCEA Representative Birdel F. Jackson, III, PE ITE Representatives Daniel Dobry, PE, PTOE John Edwards, PE ITS/G Representatives Bill Wells, PE Shaun Green, PE Kay Wolfe, PE WTS Representative Angela Snyder ASHE Representative Jenny Jenkins, PE SEAOG Representative Rob Wellacher, PE

The Georgia Engineer is published bi-monthly by A4 Inc. for the Georgia Engineering Alliance and sent to members of ACEC, ASCE, ASHE, GMCEA, GEF, GSPE, ITE, SEAOG, WTS; local, state, and Federal government officials and agencies; businesses and institutions. Opinions expressed by the authors are not necessarily those of the Alliance or publisher nor do they accept responsibility for errors of content or omission and, as a matter of policy, neither do they endorse products or advertisements appearing herein. Parts of this periodical may be reproduced with the written consent from the Alliance and publisher. Correspondence regarding address changes should be sent to the Alliance at the address above. Correspondence regarding advertising and editorial material should be sent to A4 Inc. at the address listed above.



Advertisements A4 Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Albany Tech. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Atkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Ayres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Burns & McDonnell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Cardno TBE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 City of Atlanta | Department of Watershed Management . . . . . . . . . 33 Columbia Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 CROM Prestressed Concrete Tanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Deemer Dana & Froehle LLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Engineered Restorations Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Facility Design Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Foley Arch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 GEL | Geophysics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Georgia Concrete Paving Association. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Georgia Institute of Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Georgia Power Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Greater Traffic Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Hayward Baker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover Hazen and Sawyer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 HDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Heath & Lineback Engineers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 HNTB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Innovative Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 JAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Keck & Wood Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 M.H. Miles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Mercer University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Middleton-House & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Photo Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Pond & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Prime Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Reinforced Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 RHD Utility Locating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Rosser International. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 RSH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Schnabel Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Silt-Saver Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Southern Civil Engineers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Southern Polytechnic State University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Stevenson & Palmer Engineering Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 STV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 T. Wayne Owens & Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Terrell Hundley Carroll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 THC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 TTL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 United Consulting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 University of Georgia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 URS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Wilburn Engineering LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Willmer Engineering Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Wolverton & Associates. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Woodard & Curran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


The GeorGia enGineer

THE GEORGIA ENGINEER February | March 2013


2013 Engineering Excellence Awards


Atlanta’s Grand Central Terminal


Integration & Collaboration: The Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility Improvements Project


Leading in the Twilight Zone


RM Clayton Cogeneration Project Thrives as Sustainability Initiative


GDOT Announces Coming Changes in Pavement Design


Cost Segregation ~ An Opportunity to Add Value


Engineering Entrepreneurship


Lower Cost, Lighter Carbon Footprint: Designing an all-wood Podium Building


Top Ten Tips for Running a Great Meeting


What’s in the NEWS









ngineering Excellence is an annual design competition provided by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia and held in conjunction with Engineers Week. Engineering Excellence recognizes engineering achievements demonstrating the highest degree of merit and ingenuity. Read about each winner’s project on pages 8 through 19 of this special issue of The Georgia Engineer magazine.v

















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ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2013 Engineering Excellence is an annual design competition provided by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia and held in conjunction with Engineers Week. Engineering Excellence recognizes engineering achievements demonstrating the highest degree of merit and ingenuity. Entries are rated on the basis of uniqueness and originality; future value to the engineering profession; social, economic, and sustainable development considerations; complexity; and successful fulfillment of client/owner’s needs, including schedule and budget. Engineering Excellence offers all competition entrants a valuable opportunity to be recognized by showcasing their talent, their experience, and their profession.v

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2013 The Ascend JoinT VenTure And The Ais JoinT VenTure connecT GeorGiA To The resT of The World WiTh The MAynArd holbrook JAckson Jr. bouleVArd reconfiGurATion ProJecT | GRAND AWARD The Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. Boulevard reconfiguration at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) was completed by the Ascend and Aviation Infrastructure Solutions Joint Ventures in May 2012. The Ascend Joint Venture is comprised of Atkins, Prime Engineering, Delon Hampton & Associates, and Street Smarts (Stantec). The AIS Joint Venture is comprised of Long Engineering, Michael Baker Jr. Inc., and Pond & Company. Sub consultants Brindley-Peters and Associates, Harrington Engineers, The Loretta Washington Group, Key Engineering, and Wilmer Engineering also assisted in the project. Due to a sharp increase in international travel that has occurred over the last decade, HJAIA concluded that a new International Terminal with separate access from Interstate-75 was needed in order to continue the first rate service experienced by those who utilize the airport. The Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. Boulevard was designed and constructed in order to connect Georgia with the rest of the world via this new international terminal. 8

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The two joint ventures used several innovative techniques to overcome a myriad of design challenges in creating a new entrance to what has been the world’s busiest airport for fourteen consecutive years. The project reconfigured two parallel service roadways into one interconnected network that utilized a unique three tiered elevated roadway system to convey terminal patrons to their destination. The collaborative project exceeded the expectations of HJAIA. Jorge Cortes, Assistant Director of Design Planning and Development for HJAIA stated, “the thoroughness and quality of the design documents produced were the basis for competitive bids with very few change orders throughout the construction phase.” Cortes also noted that “the completed Elevated and At-Grade roadway system provides an impressive and efficient new entrance to the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal and second entrance to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The roadway system serves as the passenger’s first impression of the International Terminal facility which provides a sense of welcome, ease, and excitement.” v

ATlAnTA MeTroPoliTAn colleGe AcAdeMic sciences buildinG ATlAnTA, GeorGiA | STATE AWARD The new Atlanta Metropolitan College Academic Sciences Building is a 55,767 square foot, two-story building located adjacent to the main entrance of campus. The construction budget was $11.9 million and it was completed in April of 2012. Uzun & Case Engineers, the structural engineer of record, worked for Paul Cheeks Architects in association with Cooper Carry Inc., project design architects.

east and southwest corners of the roof and are structured with large structural steel beams. Both cantilevers have trellis features built into the roof for architectural design effect. These cantilever beams extend back over several columns continuously to allow for stiffer back-spans, controlling deflections. The fact that the spans are so long made the calculations even more exacting and critical.

The architect and owner desired to have some very strong and dramatic visual elements for this building, as it was located at the main campus entry. The resulting building structure consists of a structural steel braced frame with the second floor structure as a composite concrete slab on steel beams. The roof structure is primarily bar joists with metal decking. Foundations are spread footings on improved and compacted soil. The three dramatic design elements to this building, which were desired by the architect and owner, are the walkway canopy and the two extraordinarily long cantilever roofs.

This project shows how structural engineering design can be applied beyond the normal range to create extreme elements in order to realize an architectural concept for the benefit of the Atlanta Metropolitan College and its students.

The canopy over the walkway is supported by small structural frames oriented perpendicular to the street rather than to the canopy orientation in order to accommodate architectural design. As in typical walkway canopies, the structure of these elements was kept at a minimum to allow more transparency. The walkway canopy rises from the second floor at one end to meet the building main roof at the other as one enters the campus and is intended as an architectural design feature. The two roof cantilever elements each extend more than 45 feet past the point of support and are intended as dramatic elements at the end of the walkway canopies. The cantilevers also taper along their length to form a point at the ends and have a trellis element built in. The cantilever roofs are located at the northFEBRUARY | MARCH 2013

The Academic Sciences Building is intended to be a cornerstone of the campus main entry, positioned as a visual anchor and gateway. The courtyard was oriented to the street to engage public interest in the scientific activities within. The courtyard cladding materials were thus chosen to be transparent glass, while the other faces were masonry. The canopy on the courtyard side that leads from the main entry of the campus to the heart of the campus rises to suggest opportunity through its perspective. The intent is that the students passing under this canopy will become engaged with the visual science activities in the building, as seen through the transparent windows. The Atlanta Metropolitan College Academic Sciences Building met the client’s budget requirements of $11.9M while producing an iconic building for the main campus entry. The architectural expression of showcasing the science learning within and the positive message of opportunity through its perspective create an engaging environment for teaching learning for the future generation. v 9

benJAMin e. MAys hiGh school renoVATion | STATE AWARD The newly renovated Benjamin E. Mays High School represents how an aged building can be transformed into a modern learning facility through creative engineering at a fraction of the economic and environmental cost of replacing the entire facility. A student sitting in the new media center at May’s High School, looking out through its 60-foot-tall glass curtain wall into the courtyard, while bathed in natural light from the clearstory windows just below the roof itself supported by elegant cable-stayed steel king post trusses, would find it hard to imagine how this space was experienced by his or her older siblings only a few short years before. Prior to the renovation, this space had no view of the courtyard or the sky above. The low ceiling consisted of drop in tiles and fluorescent lights. In short, the space was dark, disorienting, devoid of natural light, and not conducive to learning. In order to accomplish such a stunning transformation, Uzun and Case Engineers, working in close collaboration with Perkins + Will Architects, had to overcome a myriad of challenges associated with modifying and renovating a 30 year old structure. These challenges included devising a new lateral resisting system, reinforcing the existing floors with carbon fiber reinforced polymer wraps and external post tensioning, and performing sophisticated fire analyses to meet the fire rating requirements of the current building code. The result has set a benchmark for what is achievable through the renovation and reuse of existing structures in the Atlanta Public School system. The completely renovated 340,000 square-foot facility includes a new media center, cafeteria, entry lobby, theater, practice gym, and four new career based academies.v

clouGh coMMons cisTern TreATs, sTores And disTribuTes hArVesTed sTorM And condensATe WATer | STATE AWARD The sustainability program for the Clough Commons project at Georgia Tech included harvesting storm and condensate water for flushing toilets in Clough Commons, and for irrigation that resulted in the Clough Commons Cistern. Facility Design Group conceived, planned, and designed the 1.4 million gallon underground Cistern to treat, store, and distribute harvested storm and condensate water. Facility Design Group provided full structural and civil engineering design services, specific architectural services, and contract administration services for the G. Wayne Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons (Clough Commons) project on the campus of Georgia Tech. The five-story, 220,000 square foot building houses classrooms, science laboratories, academic services, common areas, and is connected to the Georgia Tech Library. Named in honor of President Emeritus G. Wayne Clough, the Clough Commons project cost $85 million, and opened in the fall of 2011. Clough Commons is currently in the final stages of receiving Platinum LEED Certification so sustainability was paramount for its planning, design, and construction. The building’s sustainable features include locally sourced materials, native landscaping, green roof, rooftop solar panel array, innovative water recycling (89 percent projected reuse), and the Clough Commons Cistern. The Cistern is located underneath the northern portion of Tech Green, so it was imperative that its presence not interfere with Tech Green’s social aspects. With a footprint of about 10,383 square feet, one would not know the Cistern exists without being informed of its presence. v 10

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lAdy AnTebelluM PAVilion | STATE AWARD The Lady Antebellum Pavilion in the Evans Towne Center Park has already become one of the most recognizable ‘Showcase Structures’ in the Augusta, Georgia area. Initially conceived as a park bandstand, the unique design, function and setting propelled it into international recognition as the namesake venue for home-grown singing sensations Lady Antebellum and Josh Kelley, and designed by Johnson Laschober and Associates. Completed in 2011, the pavilion is constructed of architecturally-exposed structural steel consisting of three primary curved steel trusses, radiating tube steel girders, and structural columns inclined in opposing directions for brace-free stability. The structure, topped off by an environmentally-friendly, exposed tongue and groove structural wood roof deck, sits on top of a fully accessible five-foot, elevated stage. The structure also envelops a comfortable backstage and green room area for the performers, which serves as the backdrop for their stage performances. The Pavilion, situated with lawn seating for 4,000, can also be set up with priority and bleacher seating as well as secure areas for performers. The group Lady Antebellum christened the pavilion in October of 2011 with a dedication charity concert. This event drew the largest crowd ever assembled for one event in the county’s history.v

eMory hosPiTAl MidToWn icu exPAnsion | HONOR AWARD A new state-of-the-art intensive care unit and the connecting patient bridge at Emory University Midtown Hospital opened its doors in June 2012. This $4.975 million endeavor features a 10,200 square foot renovation of 12 Intensive Care Unit and hi-tech support spaces in the Peachtree building, and a construction of a new patient transport bridge. While the ICU is designed to provide the most advanced technology in critical care design, the importance of the bridge to the hospital and community can’t be overlooked. This 2,400-foot structure physically connects the Intensive Care Unit in Peachtree Building and the CT Surgical Suite in the MOT Building while symbolizing the importance seconds make in the daily battles for patients’ lives. The bridge reduces staff time in transporting patients with very delicate outlooks, minimizing those patients’ risks during transit and offering them a greater chance of recovery. In addition to its functionality, the bridge stands as a connecting building block that is a compositional element within the existing landscape and courtyard. The form compliments the surrounding building masses and, while it is a formidable structure, it ‘hovers’ above the courtyard, therefore minimizing its presence. From a design standpoint, this project presented numerous challenges. The design team of Uzun & Case Engineers, Cooper Carry Architects, and FreemanWhite Architects was confronted with preserving an existing fish pond, not disturbing critical utilities, and ensuring comfortable passage between the existing buildings. This imposed constraints that were very complex in terms of vertical, horizontal, and support geometry. The Emory University Hospital Midtown Intensive Care Unit Renovation and Bridge Expansion project met and exceeded the client’s ambitious project goals. v FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013


forT JAckson sTArshiP QuAd dininG fAciliTy | HONOR AWARD Woolpert/KZF LLC was awarded for the firm’s efforts on a design-build contract for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering Savannah District (USACE). Working closely with its construction partner, Balfour Beatty Construction, the Woolpert/KZF team provided full design services including project management, civil engineering, architecture, interior design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, fire protection, life safety, and plumbing engineering for the quad dining facility at Fort Jackson near Columbia, South Carolina. “Woolpert is honored to be part of this team with KZF and Balfour Beatty as a recipient of this year’s Engineering Excellence Award,” said Dave Rickard, Woolpert senior vice president and director of design services. “We are particularly proud to have played a role with our design partner KZF in helping the 5,200 troops at Fort Jackson achieve greater efficiencies in their day-to-day functions so they can meet their mission.” The dining facility project consisted of replacing and consolidating four 1,300 soldier dining facilities from existing adjacent troop barracks into a new, single, 124,780square-foot facility. This unique arrangement allows the quick and efficient movement of the 5,200 troops per meal three times a day.v

GA Tech TrAnsiT hub | HONOR AWARD Sustainable and innovative design of the central Transit Hub at Georgia Tech wins recognition from Georgia Engineers Week. In the spring of 2010, Georgia Institute of Technology retained Southern Civil Engineers’ design team to design a new drop-off area for Tech Trolley bus. The site selected for this transit hub project is central to the Georgia Tech’s urban campus, adjacent to the Student Center and at the crossroad of several pedestrian corridors through campus. The site is also one of the oldest areas on campus. The site, once considered merely as a thoroughfare, has become the central hub for transportation and a destination for students and faculty members as it seamlessly weaves pedestrian and vehicular circulation. It has become functional in uses as it can accommodate trolleys and coach buses for various campus events along with pedestrians and bicycles. It has become a beautifully preserved natural landscape that strengthened the integrity and history of the campus identity Quoted by Howard Wertheimer, Director of Capital Planning and Space Management for Georgia Institute of Technology, “Georgia Tech has experienced phenomenal growth since we hosted the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996. During this time, we have doubled our square footage to nearly 15M gsf and increased our student population from 12,000 students to over 21,000 students. During this time, as we carefully designed wonderful buildings on our campus, we invested an equal amount of time and energy designing the space between buildings, creating a campus that is both memorable and culturally responsive to the human and ecological landscape. Having just completed a 220,000 gsf building in the center of our campus that is connected to our main library, we realized the importance of linking this academic center with our transit system. We systematically developed a comprehensive design for central campus, linking it to the rest of our 400 acre campus with a new multi-modal Transit Hub. Designed to accommodate our three types of transit vehicles, along with a robust accommodation for pedestrians and cyclists, our new Transit Hub has far exceeded our expectations.” v 12

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GeorGiA Tech kessler cAMPAnile founTAin resTorATion | HONOR AWARD After sitting idle for 16 months, the Kessler Campanile Fountain at Georgia Tech was back in operation for the 2011 fall semester as scheduled. Being designated as an Olympic Historical Monument, the restoration maintains the original design intent of the fountain’s operation while enhancing its operation. In preparation of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a plaza with the architectural fountain was constructed on the campus of Georgia Tech that became in need of restoration. The plaza is located at the northeast quadrant of the Student Center Complex and includes an amphitheater radiating from the fountain. Facility Design Group provided complete Architectural and Engineering Services for construction document design and construction administration services for the fountain. Working closely with specialized vendors, they examined and solved a multitude of issues, which included replacing the fountain’s deteriorated concrete, specifying new operational equipment, and constructing a new walk-in underground bunker for the fountain’s new operating equipment in limited space that had to blend with existing landscape. A unique enhancement is programming a wind speed monitor with new fountain pumps to choreograph the fountain by the wind. Other enhancements for the Fountain’s water treatment system included adding a media pressure filter, UV lights, and automating bromine feed. v

MAcon WATer AuThoriTy lennox-To-corbin inTercePTor seWer | HONOR AWARD A 30-inch sewer line runs from north Bibb County near I-75 and the Arkwright, Riverside, and Bass interchanges. The line reduced from 30-inch to 12-inch under railroad tracks at the Lennox Pump Station, which lifted the sewage to a shallower 21-inch sewer line. Increased development, the 30-inch-to-12-inch ‘bottleneck,’ and the under-capacity Lennox PS caused numerous sewer spills into the Ocmulgee River since the 1980s. Hofstadter and Associates Inc. designed the Lennox-to-Corbin Interceptor Sewer for the Macon Water Authority, which desired to reduce the volume and frequency of sanitary sewer spills upstream of the water treatment plant intake. The new 36-inch gravity sewer intercepted the deep 30-inch line at a new Lennox Flow Splitter Structure, eliminated the ‘bottleneck,’ and bypassed the Lennox PS. It continues 16,098 linear feet downstream between the railroad and river buffer to a new Corbin Collection Structure where flow from the new 36-inch line and three additional 24-inch lines is distributed into the Corbin PS. At a 60-foot ‘choke-point’ between a home and the river the 36-inch sewer avoids sewer, water, and gas mains. With only nine inches available for vertical adjustment along the entire corridor, 95.7 percent of the pipe is installed at the minimum grade of 0.046 percent in order to fit below a 48-inch storm drain and above a 64-inch water main. Since the new pipeline entered service in March, 2011 there have been no sewage spills, including after the April 16, 2011, tornado which touched down directly on the recently abandoned Lennox PS. Millions of gallons of sewage did not spill into the Ocmulgee River. v FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013


rooseVelT MeMoriAl AirPorT iMProVeMenTs | HONOR AWARD WK Dickson & Co. Inc. was presented with the Engineering Excellence Award by ACEC/GA for their work on a transformative grouping of projects at the Roosevelt Memorial Airport including: a 2,000 foot extension of the runway from 3,000 feet to 5,000 feet to accommodate business jet aircraft; the construction of new T-hangars to attract and accommodate additional based aircraft, and the firm’s role in Meriwether County’s acquisition and refurbishment of a large existing box hangar on the airfield. Business jet traffic translates into potential economic opportunities and jobs for the community. Additional based aircraft and an airport-based business, which will be located in the renovated main hangar, translate into revenue for the county. The development of a major automobile assembly plant nearby encouraged local leaders to move forward with plans to significantly expand their airport with the goal of attracting new industry and, therefore, new jobs. The planned expansion would ensure that the facility would become the significant economic generator envisioned for the community. WK Dickson’s engineering expertise, as well as their experience in aviation planning, and familiarity with FAA and GDOT, enabled them to assist with the leveraging of federal, state, and local resources. The firm worked proactively to bring key decision makers together to ensure that the projects moved forward smoothly and efficiently. The completion of these projects has set the tone for the future growth of the facility and the community it serves. All involved stakeholders were required to make a significant commitment to turn this small facility into an economic engine for the community. v

sAinT-GobAin iso 14001 cerTificATion | HONOR AWARD In a collaborative effort to proactively manage the potential environmental impact of plant operations, Wenck Associates Inc. assisted the Saint-Gobain Corporation in obtaining ISO 14001:2004 certification of an environmental management system (EMS) at its Watervliet, New York, abrasives manufacturing facility in 2010. Working under an accelerated schedule to obtain certification in one-third of the usual time, in June 2010 Wenck launched the project by first assessing the facility for potential environmental impact and identifying existing systems in place at the facility that could be incorporated into the EMS. Wenck then assisted in selecting an overall EMS representative for the plant and members of a cross-functional team (CFT). The team was composed of key personnel who had in-depth knowledge of the operations in their departments and who could expedite EMS implementation and training. Once the team was formed, project manager and lead technical consultant Tara McCullen provided in-depth ISO 14001 training to educate team members about EMS implementation and to arm them with the information they needed to put key EMS elements in place. Then they worked together to review more than 200 environmental aspects of plant operations and rank them for significance using the guidelines for ISO 14001, a set of international standards for environmental management systems. Objectives, targets, and programs within the EMS were developed next, with progress meeting benchmarks communicated company-wide to foster organizational pride in the EMS process. EMS documentation and plant-wide training followed, providing internal and external auditors with the materials they needed to verify that the facility’s EMS met the requirements of the ISO 14001:2004 program. The Watervliet plant was awarded its ISO certificate in November 2010. v 14

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TerMinAl desiGn And consTrucTion-PlAins All AMericAn PiPeline, lP | HONOR AWARD Look at the news for any length of time, and you’ll see that energy generation, development, and use are a critical issues of our times, affecting political, social, and economic policy. Prime Engineering Inc. had the opportunity to design and build a trailblazing terminal facility that will serve as a keystone for national energy production and delivery. To help clients Velocity Ohio Midstream, LLC and Plains All American Pipeline, LP take advantage of this market, Prime Engineering Inc. was selected to design and build the first midstream oil products terminal located on a greenfield site atop the fuelrich Eagle Ford Shale Formation near Cotulla, Texas. This new truck-loading terminal needed to allow receipt of condensate or crude product via pipeline and delivery of either or both products to tanker trucks. The terminal needed to be designed to take advantage of ‘fracking,’ a technique that extracts oil and gas from shale in a method intended to be more environmentally conscious than traditional drilling methods. This technology, if successful, could prove to be a vitally important transition technology between standard fossil fuel extraction methods and clean energy. Prime Engineering was tasked with designing and constructing the ten-bay truck loading terminal to ensure a total onsite storage capacity of 150,000 bbls of natural gas condensate liquids and daily throughput of 90,000 bbls. To meet a challenging schedule and reduce time to market, Prime Engineering used 3-D modeling techniques and software to create detailed designs in a variety of layouts. Doing so allowed the client to view, change, and select an appropriate layout in real time, letting design take place ahead of schedule.v

WideninG of sr 324/GrAVel sPrinGs roAd oVer i-85 | HONOR AWARD Gresham, Smith and Partners announces the completion of the replacement bridge for the State Route 324 bridge over Interstate 85. The project, designed by GS&P, is part of the existing Gwinnett County Department of Transportation’s widening of State Route 324 from State Route 20 to State Route 124 from a two-lane, rural section to a four-lane, divided urban facility. The replacement bridge serves to improve safety and operational efficiency and to provide for future transportation needs along I-85. “Prior to completion of the State Route 324 replacement bridge, there were safety issues for drivers and pedestrians and there were no provisions for the future widening and upgrade of Interstate 85,” commented Kent Black, P.E., Gresham, Smith and Partners. “Our experienced team provided design services that increased sight distance in the bridge approach area, created safer user conditions, accommodated for anticipated travel volume increases and all future widening along I-85, and enhanced operational efficiency and flexibility.” State Route 324 is a major connection for commuter traffic to access I-85 and I-985. It is also one of a number of east-west routes that traverse Gwinnett County linking residential areas to I-85 and I-985. The replacement bridge was designed with two travel lanes in each direction, curb, and sidewalks and a 24’ raised concrete median. The concrete median can be removed to accommodate dual left turn lanes for a potential fullaccess or HOV interchange in the future. In addition to widening SR 324 to accommodate the anticipated traffic volumes, this project increased the radius of the vertical curve to improve sight distance across the bridge. Both side roads were relocated to intersect SR 324 further from the bridge to increase intersection separation as well as to accommodate a future full-service interchange with I-85. The future layout of I85 and the interchange were closely coordinated to ensure adequate intersection spacing along SR 324 and clear span under the new bridge. v FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013


ThoMAs leslie, P.e. | 2013 LIfETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Tom has worked as an environmental engineer for federal and regional governmental agencies and as an officer in a private sector engineering company. While in private practice, Tom served as President of ACEC/Georgia and Chair of the Southeast Section of the American Water Works Association. In these positions, he represented his firm and the engineering profession with a high level of professionalism and contributed in a meaningful way to the water resources industry. He was well known as a person who took his responsibilities very seriously but who also treated everyone with the utmost courtesy and respect. This made him very effective in those roles, and he had major accomplishments in each of them. In 1994, Tom took on a new role that provided him an opportunity to use his engineering background and people skills to serve the engineering profession and the business of consulting engineering in a different but also very meaningful way. He served as Executive Director of ACEC/G and GSPE and as the President of the Georgia Engineering Alliance from 2000 until 2007. As Director of Governmental Affairs for GEA in recent years, he has represented the engineering community exceptionally well, taking engineering issues to the state legislators and agency administrators. He is considered a highly credible source of information with great insight into what is important to engineers and is also beneficial to the state of Georgia. Tom has ably led the efforts to find areas of common interest among numerous engineering societies in Georgia. He participated in the creation of the Georgia Engineering Alliance, Georgia Engineer Magazine, Georgia Engineers Summer Conference, and the joint Georgia Engineers Legislative Coalition. His effective and dedicated efforts have greatly enhanced the respect given to the engineering profession. v

JAMes cAse, P.e. | 2013 GEORGIA ENGINEER Of THE yEAR Jim Case was born in 1955 in upstate New York. His father was an electronics engineer with IBM whose job eventually took the family to Boulder, Colorado. Jim studied architectural engineering at the University of Colorado, after which he was accepted to the architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania. However, after a short time at Penn, Jim realized that his true calling was structural engineering. He then transferred to Cornell, where he received a Master of Engineering degree in 1980. Jim started his career at Leslie E. Robertson & Associates in New York. However, after his marriage to Lucia Clark in 1982, he took a position with John Portman and Associates in Atlanta. Jim joined Nielsen & Uzun Engineers in 1985 and later started Case Engineering in 1987. In 1993 he rejoined Tamer Uzun, Martin Cuadra, and Larry McDowell to form Uzun & Case Engineers. Starting with six people, Uzun & Case Engineers has grown to become the largest structural engineering firm in the Southeastern US. Jim attributes Uzun & Case’s success to its talented and diverse partners and staff. They are the embodiment of the firm’s commitment to excellence, its reputation for creativity, and its teamwork orientation. Jim’s training in architecture and engineering has led to a lifelong interest in exploring the intersection of the two disciplines and a commitment to helping clients achieve their design goals. Whether it is an elegant stair, a daring post-tensioned structure, or a traditional building, Jim strives to arrive at synergistic solutions that are intuitive, correct, and buildable.v 16

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sTeVe sTronG, P.e. | 2013 ENGINEER Of THE yEAR IN INDUSTRy A South Florida native, Steve is a graduate of the University of Miami in Electrical and Computer Engineering with minors in math and philosophy. He was attracted to engineering at an early age and taught himself basic FM transmitter and receiver design at the age of eight and started his working career as a technician at a computer store at the age of 12. He was teaching students, first other children, then adults, computers starting at the age of 13. Steve, through his career, continuously gained leadership experience and responsibility to his current role as chief operating officer at Televes USA, a telecommunication equipment design and manufacturing company. His technical experience ranged from electrical power to defense to communications and consumer electronics, with the majority of his time spent in terrestrial and satellite RF communications related endeavors. Steve was even the assistant director of the public astronomical observatory at the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium while in college. Steve’s father taught him at an early age the value of volunteering his time. He started at age 12 running a food booth at a four-day church festival where he was responsible for supplies, money, and other workers, all of whom were adults. He has volunteered through the years with various government and non‐government emergency management, search and rescue, philanthropic, and professional organizations. Steve co‐founded both domestic and international search and rescue organizations. He has served in leadership roles with the IEEE, GSPE, Georgia Engineering Foundation, Amateur Radio Emergency Service, and the US Air Force Auxiliary. He took his EIT and PE exams in Florida and holds an FCC Amateur Extra Class Radio License.v

John AlAn heATh, P.e. | 2013 ENGINEER Of THE yEAR IN PRIVATE PRACTICE A native of Middlesbrough, England, John graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1976 with a B.Eng in Civil and Structural Engineering. Upon graduation, he began his professional career with the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council and discovered his passion for bridges through involvement in the design and construction of the River Trent Bridge. This was the first bridge of its kind—precast segmental post tensioned concrete box girder – built in the United Kingdom. His work on that project led to his recruitment by the renowned bridge design firm, Figg & Muller Engineers Inc., in early 1981. He and his new bride, Juliet, relocated to the USA. Here, John worked as resident engineer at a casting yard in New Orleans, Louisiana and then on site near Mobile, Alabama for the construction of the new Dauphin Island bridge. With a 400-foot main span, this bridge boasted the longest concrete span in the Southeastern United States. He followed this by serving in a similar role for the construction of the Red River Bridge in Alexandria, Louisiana, which extended that record span range to 550’. In 1984, John took the opportunity to reduce the constant travel demands of construction field work and accepted a new job with TGQ in Atlanta, Georgia. It was during his time at TGQ that John designed several bridges for a downtown Atlanta interchange. So began his 30-year period of continuous service for Georgia Department of Transportation. From this experience, John was able to seize the opportunity to establish a new company, Heath & Lineback Engineers Inc. (H&L). John founded H&L with the goal of delivering quality transportation design services to regional municipal, county, and state agencies. H&L thrived under John’s leadership. He instilled his values into the company and laid a path for success through an emphasis on ethical behavior, providing education and support for staff, serving all clients with professional pride and delivering maximum value without sacrificing quality of service or product. He ensured that all clients, vendors, and staff were treated fairly, evenly and transparently. John and Juliet live in Marietta, Georgia, where they can reflect on their greatest achievement - their three sons, all engineers, who work or attend university in Atlanta.v FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013


kun suWAnArPA, P.e. | 2013 ENGINEER Of THE yEAR IN GOVERNMENT Kun Suwanarpa is the Interim Director of the Fulton County Department of Water Resources. Ms. Suwanarpa began her career in Bangkok, Thailand after graduating from Chulalongkorn University with a Bachleor Degree in Civil Engineering. In 1971 she accepted a scholarship from the Australian Government which took her to Canberra, where she worked for the Department of Works and Aeronautics. In 1974 Ms. Suwanarpa received a Master’s in Sanitary Engineering from Georgia Tech. She went on to work in consulting and for the EPD. After earning her Professional Engineering License in Georgia in 1978, her focus became the utility business. Kun Suwanarpa joined the Fulton County Government Department of Public Works as Deputy Director in 1999 and after six years was promoted to Assistant Director for Water Services. As of 2010, Ms. Suwanarpa assumed the responsibilities of all water service divisions. In January, 2012 Kun Suwanarpa was named Interim Director of the Department of Water Resources. When she is no working Kun enjoys traveling, reading biographies, playing Sudoku, inline skating, and contributing time to supporting others. v

2013 dr. crAiG foresT | 2013 ENGINEER Of THE yEAR IN EDUCATION Craig Forest is an Assistant Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech with program faculty appointments in the departments of BioEngineering and BioMedical Engineering. From 2007-2008, he was a research fellow in genetics at Harvard Medical School. He obtained a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in June 2007 at the BioInstrumentation Laboratory, led by Prof. Ian Hunter. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 from Georgia Tech and an M.S in Mechanical Engineering in 2003 from MIT. He was a Sandia National Laboratories MEMS Fellow and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and was awarded the Georgia Tech Institute for BioEngineering and BioSciences Junior Faculty Award (2010). In 2007, he was a finalist on the ABC reality TV show ‘American Inventor.’ At Georgia Tech, he is cofounder/organizer of one of the the largest undergraduate invention competitions in the US—The InVenture Prize, and founder/organizer of one of the largest student-run prototyping facilities in the US—The Invention Studio. His research interests include genetic applications of bioMEMS, neuroengineering tools, optics, and precision machine design. v 18

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Jeff collins, P.e. | 2013 yOUNG ENGINEER Of THE yEAR Jeff Collins is a 2001 graduate of the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Since graduation, he has gained valuable experience throughout his working career. Jeff now holds a Professional engineers license in Georgia and Indiana. He also holds a National Land Surveyor in Training license, as well as, a Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Level II Certificate. Jeff began working with Rochester & Associates Inc. in March of 2005 as a junior engineer performing parking lot designs, intersection improvements, roadway improvements for industrial parks, streetscape projects, hydrology and flood plain studies and grading and site plans for new sites. Over the past eight years, he has grown into a senior engineering position and now manages some of Rochester’s most complex projects. His high standards for quality assurance and quality control on high profile and multi-year projects have shown he is truly an outstanding young engineer who is wise beyond his years. Jeff married a southern girl who was determined to stay in Georgia, and they have two wonderful daughters.v

dAVid T. PeTers | 2013 ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGy STUDENT Of THE yEAR David T. Peters is a traffic engineer intern for Transcore, where for the past five months he has assisted other engineers in the implementation and setup for an intelligent transportation system across the country. He has set up these systems for four cities, well over two hundred intersections. Currently, he is on his way to get a BS in Civil Engineering Technology from Southern Polytechnic State University. Before finishing high school, David had acquired two certificates from Chattahoochee Tech for Drafter’s Aide and Assistant Drafter. From fall 2011 to spring 2012, David was the president for SPSU’s American Society of Civil Engineers, vice-president of SPSU’s Institute of Transportation Engineers, recruiting officer for SPSU’s American Concrete Institute, and cocaptain for the concrete canoe as well as helping facilitate the Rubble House project under ASCE and the CET department. Currently, David is the ITE president for SPSU. While being president of ASCE, David was able to get every participating student to Florida even though ASCE’s account balance started out in the negative while keeping a sum of over $750 in the account after his term ended. However, even though the two main competitions reached a record low for SPSU, concrete canoe and steel bridge were managed by different captains and advisors, and David was able to get the school up two ranks by managing the smaller competitions. At the same time, David was able to beat Georgia Tech in the ITE Traffic Bowl and went on to Kentucky for the regional competition; yet he was not able to get past the preliminary rounds. As well as keeping the HOPE scholarship throughout his college career, David was awarded the ITE scholarship in 2011, the ASHE Jim McGee Memorial Scholarship a few months ago, and the GDOT Scholarship a month ago.v

2013 FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013







The GeorGia enGineer

By Thomas C. Leslie | Georgia Engineering Alliance | Director of External Affairs

rand Central Terminal in New York City opened on February 1, 1913, and is celebrating its 100th anniversary all year. It is actually the second Thomas C. Leslie Grand Central at this exact location. With great vision (and enormous wealth and power), Cornelius Vanderbilt, acting through the New York Central Railroad, built the first Grand Central in 1871 in an almost rural section of Manhattan at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. At the time it was the largest railroad facility in the world. The Second Grand Central was an innovative design, driven by legal constraints and radically creative thinking. In 1902 steam locomotives were prohibited from entering Manhattan due to safety concerns; the alternative was electric-powered engines. Two levels of underground rail lines were constructed up to 80 feet below street level, with a footprint of 79 acres. Streets supported by long columns were built above the rail lines which contemplated construction of commercial buildings in the air rights over the rail yard. The plan worked beautifully and over the following 15 years or so, a 30-block area controlled by the railroad became one of the most desirable sections at the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The terminal itself covered only one block of this area and was an extravagant temple to the Vanderbilts and the railroad era. By the 1960s, rail passenger service in the U.S. had greatly diminished. The owner of Grand Central declared bankruptcy, and the terminal was to be sold to a developer who proposed a high-rise on top of Grand Central with only a remnant of its elegant façade retained. The ensuing progress v. preservation debate finally ended at the U. S. Supreme Court. Grand Central was saved from demolition, carefully restored, and operationally updated. It has returned to its role as a very busy transportation hub where AMTRAK provides a smaller, but growing intercity service and suburban commuter rail service has a direct connection to the New York subway system. Grand Central is a vital element of the booming Manhattan prosperity. Atlanta’s Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal was first given serious consideration in a 1992 study by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The MMPT was proposed to be constructed over the rail yards in an area called the Gulch. By fits and starts, the MMPT has moved to a public-private partnership where a developer team would provide for access to MARTA’s Five Points transit station and commuter bus, local bus, street car, and inter-city rail services. A team is developing a conceptual design in conjunction with an array of public partners (GDOT, MARTA, Atlanta, GRTA, and CAP). The developer team will consider how the project relates to adjacent land in a larger 119-acre planning area. In the end, the developer would build platforms above the rail lines for commercial development that is compatible with transportation plans and surrounding areas. The conceptual design and environmental documents (NEPA) are scheduled to be complete by the end of 2013 with construction beginning in late 2014. The MMTP and Grand Central Terminal have many common features, albeit separated in time by 100 years. Very few of us in our town have a notion of a MMTP; we have only been at it since 1992. As times have changed, Atlanta demolished the gracious Terminal Station and Union Station and three-to-four others previously (with help from General Sherman in one instance); but these were only train stations. Times continue to change, and the current endeavor at a transportation hub seems compatible with our time. If all this leads us to something like Grand Central for Atlanta, then I want to get started. v FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013


Multi-discipline teams worked side by side.

Integration & Collaboration: The Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility Improvements Project By Crystal DelleChiaie | PC Construction Company A Contract Model for Success The objective of the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources was fairly straightforward: upgrade all treatment processes at the existing Yellow River Water Reclamation Facility (WRF), increase plant capacity from 14.5 MGD to 22 MGD, and improve the effluent quality. While this project could be viewed as just another major treatment plant renovation, the path taken to achieve that goal was anything but ordinary. The facility was originally constructed in 1979 and was functionally obsolete. The $250 million construction project included highlevel, advanced treatment methods to meet the stringent discharge limits required in Georgia. All work had to be completed without operational disruption and required phased decommissioning followed by new construction. Gwinnett County specifically wanted a fully integrated project team that would work together to manage the implementation of multiple design and construction phased packages through a rolling Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) procurement process. By utilizing multiple GMPs, Gwinnett County recognized they would be able to better coordinate available funds with the design process. The County elected to move forward with a modified construction management-at-risk (CMR) delivery method and contracted separately for design and construction services. This decision turned out to be the defining element in the project’s overall success. The Team Hazen & Sawyer was hired to create a basis of design report for the competing designers to use as a guideline. The design proposal was solicited and the engineers, Jacobs—the engineer of record—in collaboration with CH2M Hill and Precision Planning Inc. (PPI), were selected through a qualifications-based process. Within the next year, the project team was finalized with selection of PC Construction Company (PC) as the contractor. 24

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Relationahips and Personalities The project team was made up of many people who brought different skills to the project and the delivery process. As work progressed, identifying those individuals who were best-suited for this type of delivery was critical. “The specific people on the project really make a difference,” said Mike Joseph, PC Project Manager. “If you throw a few of the wrong personality types in there, it just doesn’t work.” Getting the project under way was certainly an adjustment for many team members. Three diverse groups—the contractor, the designers, and the owner—came together with preconceived notions about the contract and how the process would flow. A conscious effort was required to break down the normal barriers that exist on a traditional design-bid-build project. A Common Goal One of the first steps in getting the team working as a single unit was combining the teams under one roof. Every trailer housed a mix of Gwinnett County, Jacobs, CH2M Hill, PPI, and PC people. “The goal was that if someone walked through the door, they wouldn’t know who you worked for,” recalled Kristin Wilson, PC Field Office Manager. Rick Fisher, PC Project Executive said, “We had people sitting next to people they normally wouldn’t work with. For example, quality control people were placed in our superintendent’s trailer. That was the enemy in the old days. Normally we are in the role of protecting that line but here, steps were taken specifically to blur it.” Accounting and Administration The project’s accounting functions were also integrated from the onset. The contract required PC to maintain an open book for all aspects of the project. The team maintained joint records in one place to avoid duplication of effort and provided all project team members with access to the information. This document control system proved to be effective throughout the duration of the project. It was determined that separating the cost for work by GMP was essential to monitoring and estimating accurate work comFEBRUARY | MARCH 2013

pletion costs. Working with multiple budgets was a learning process for everyone, involved additional work for the accounting group, and created confusion at times. As the project progressed, everyone adjusted to the processes and adapted to challenges encountered along the way. The Green Light on Construction Challenges arose as PC wanted to keep construction rolling while needing answers and support from the design team who were, at the same time, aggressively designing other aspects of the project. The tradespeople had to make similar adjustments. “Normally on a hard bid job, you do what your job is and nothing else,” said Hector Ortiz-Macias, PC Foreman. “It’s not like that here. If you ask for help, other trades will come right away.” Submittals were also handled differently. PC worked directly in the engineers’ 3D models to develop shop drawings and other project documents, and had immediate access to submittal reviewers in the trailer complex to clarify details. Once the engineers received submittals, they reflected the details discussed previously by the group. Team Successes The flexibility allowed by the construction contract and the continuous team approach to problem solving, innovation, and collaboration allowed the team to achieve many suc-

cesses throughout the course of the project. The Flood: On September 21, 2009 the Atlanta metro area was hit by what many considered to be the worst rainstorm in nearly 300 years. The existing pump station was damaged and no longer operable, and the electrical equipment associated with the new pumps had been compromised. The team had to work fast to get the new pumps into service. Working around the clock, crews had the new pumps in service within three days. What could have been a disaster turned out to be a tremendous success story and a great example of how the contract arrangement made the effort easier to execute. 3,400 Cubic-Yard Concrete Placement: The structural floor for a 20-million-gallon water equalization tanks presented unique challenges. Atlanta traffic and road work could delay the arrival of concrete. So the team started the placement at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday. For 14 straight hours, one readymix truck arrived every two minutes. Portable lighted signs and police directed traffic to ensure the trucks arrived without holdup. Maintenance Facility: The team needed a warehouse to store construction equipment and tools. When they discussed the options as a team, it was suggested that—rather than

Aerial View of YRWRF Sitework


building a temporary, makeshift building— they construct a metal building that could be converted to the Maintenance Facility at the project’s completion simply by incorporating masonry to match the existing architecture. Adam Minchey, Gwinnett County DWR Special Projects Manager, said, “That was a simple value-added component, but it really showed how we approached the greater project. That is just one example of hundreds if not thousands of ideas the team came up with—and that is essentially part of the delivery method— collaborating up front.” Involvement of Plant Personnel: The contract for this project encouraged a close working relationship between the plant personnel, Jacobs/CH2M Hill/PPI, and PC. Because of the interaction among the groups, the testing and start-up of the facilities was executed very effectively. Plant personnel were also involved with the design work, and they made suggestions and changes along the way. Cost Savings: A few examples of more than $10 million worth of cost-saving efforts associated with this project include: • The salvage and resale of existing plant

Celebration Day As Effluent Flows

materials and equipment provided approximately $1 million in savings. •

Plant Odor Control and MBR facilities were constructed using structural steel versus cast-in-place concrete. This decision saved as much as four months of time in each area, and resulted in savings over $100,000. The flexibility of this contract allowed PC and Jacobs/CH2M Hill/PPI to work together to procure the specified process equipment. By combining forces in this way, the project saved $500,000 on the purchase of pumps and $180,000 on the purchase of mixers.

Existing valves and pipe were reused for new construction and temporarily during construction of the new plant facilities, saving the project $40,000.

PC was able to leverage their purchasing power for stainless steel pipe, and saved the project over $200,000.

Gwinnett County opted for PC to carry the quality control personnel at half the cost of typical construction management, which saved approximately $1 million. Elimination of an overall quality control manager saved Gwinnett County an additional $600,000.

Project Completion Nearly 500 workers covered this congested 128-acre site during peak work periods. Together, they moved 350,000 cubic yards of soil materials, placed over 65,000 cubic yards of concrete, laid 63,000 linear feet of underground piping, placed 15 new facilities into service, and brought in a complete new power service from off site. The new plant was put online one year earlier than would have been possible utilizing a design-bid-build process, and the multiple GMP structure set for this project allowed the team to utilize the job history to reduce costs. Adam Minchey summed it up: ”I have 22 years and $1.5 billion worth of construction projects that I’ve overseen and I’ve never worked on a project that was anywhere close to this successful.” v 26

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Leading in the Twilight Zone By Dr. Ruth Middleton House & Doris I. Willmer, PE, PACEC, LEED® AP You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of the mind. You are moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You have just crossed over into…the Twilight Zone. od Serling’s 1959 series told tales of ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Fiftythree years later those people are us. Today, like Serling’s heroes, we are confronted with the unexpected: • Something we expected to happen does not. •

Something we didn’t expect to happen does. Something we never thought about …comes out of nowhere.

Like Serling’s heros, we want to be part of a good outcome, even if it is a surprising one. To do that, we’ll need to change our expectations. Our built-in expectations of roles, responsibilities, and routines give us the predictability we have depended upon. However, dependence on predictability creates blindspots. These blindspots, then, delay our recognition of troubling data; they numb us to the significance of critical issues. Wicked Problems have no clear definition and no clear solutions. Uncertainty is high; tried and true formulas just won’t work. Transactional leadership (reward and punishment) alone won’t deliver results. Success in turbulent times requires these transformational leadership skills: • Consciousness. Transformational leaders are mindful of what is going on around them as well as what is going on within them. •

Conviction. People will follow a leader they trust. They will follow someone who believes what they believe.

Creativity. A creative leader in the


Twilight Zone won’t solve a puzzle by fitting together pre-cut pieces. A creative leader in the Twilight Zone will piece together a crazy quilt by asking new questions and by looking at familiar things in unfamiliar ways. •

Charisma. People who apply key Charismatic Leadership Tactics (CLTs) can unite and mobilize followers in ways that others cannot. Among other things, they are more likely to use metaphor and tell stories.

Collaboration. The hardest part is the first step: listening for understanding to the person with whom you absolutely disagree.

Crisis audited the nation’s capacity to deal with the unexpected during Katrina. The country came up short. Better to inventory capacity ahead of time and build the needed skills before a crisis comes. To take inventory of your transformational leadership skills, review the questions below. Then start building your capacity. Each question is paired with an action item. To be prepared for the unexpected, take at least one of actions every day for a week or more. What’s Wrong with this Picture? Remember that feature in many children’s magazines? Keep asking the question. It can help you anticipate coming change. Spot and note at least one inconsistency in a system or in a person’s behavior. Track the frequency of the inconsistency and note the circumstances under which it occurred. What did you say? When you communicate with others, you are communicating with yourself too. Your body language can say, “I’m not and I can’t”; or it can say, “I am and I will.” Amy Cuddy’s research concludes we can shift from “not” to “am” by spending just two minutes a day in a confident, expansive posture: head up, chin in, arms open. Deliberately assume confident and ex-

pansive posturing for at least two minutes every day. Do it before every important encounter if you can. Do you have a dream or do you have a plan? Dr. Martin Luther King had an extraordinary ability to attract followers. He didn’t go throughout the country promoting his plan; he went throughout the country describing his dream. He started from the inside out—with his purpose, his cause, his beliefs. Write out your purpose for taking on your Wicked Problem in one paragraph. Then use the rest of the page to list your beliefs that come into play. Share what you have written with at least two other people. Does your purpose inspire instead of direct? What new questions can you ask? Go into a meeting with an individual or a group prepared to ask the central question in a different way. Shift from questions that have only one right answer like “What is 5 plus 5?” Move toward questions that open up many possibilities like “What two numbers add up to 10?” Your question provides the frame for a different kind of answer. How can you look at familiar things in an unfamiliar way? A chindogu is an ‘unuseless’ tool. It’s not completely useless. It could serve some purpose; but the purpose just isn’t all that valuable. Take, for example, a tiny umbrella attached to the toes of your shoes to protect them from the rain. That’s not a big value-add if the rest of you is getting drenched. Then why chindogu? It will limber up your brain to see things in a new way and recognize possibilities you didn’t notice before. Bring up the chindogu concept at lunch with a group. Come up with at least one unuseless invention. What metaphor would you use to describe your Wicked Problem? A ship without a rudder? A bad check? A plane in aerodynamic stall? A strong metaphor can communicate an abstract concept in a concrete way that helps others understand. The GeorGia enGineer



Capture the essence of your Wicked Problem as a metaphor and share it with at least two different people. Or brainstorm for a metaphor in a group meeting. What is your story? A good story can also translate your Wicked Problem into concrete terms. Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson was stumped by a question about the US debt: “How much, exactly, is 16 trillion dollars?” Then he came up with a story that put

it in perspective: “Imagine you were spending one dollar a second. It would take you 31,688 years, 269 days, 1 hour, 46 minutes and 40 seconds to spend 16 trillion dollars.” In one or two pages, write out a story that explains how you and your group came to be dealing with this Wicked Problem or points to the path you would like to take forward. What relationship can you strengthen today by listening and reflecting? Spend at least 15 minutes with this person listening and reflecting only. No blame, no war stories, no probing questions. Next Steps. When you’ve built your capacity for transformational leadership, what next? Come back next issue for Planning Through the Looking Glass. v

References: Antonakis, John; Fenley, Marika; and Leichti, Sue. (2012). Learning charisma: Transform yourself into the person others want to follow. Harvard Business Review, June 2012, 127-130. Bienecke, Richard H. (2009). Introduction: Leadership for wicked problems. Innovation Journal, 14(1), pp. 1-17. Cuddy, Amy. (June 2012). Your body language shapes who you are. Edinburgh, Scotland: TedTalks. AB06243C461A&feature=results_video Seelig, Tina. (August 1, 2012). A crash course in creativity. Stanford, CN: TedxStanford. watch?v=gyM6rx69iqg Sinek, Simon. (2009). Start with why (Kindle Edition). New York: Portfolio/Penguin. Weick, Karl E. and Sutcliffe, Kathleen M. (2007). Managing the unexpected: Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty. New York: John Wiley & Sons.


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RM Clayton Cogeneration Project Thrives as Sustainability Initiative By Jessica Walker, Intern | Deptartment of Watershed Management | Office of Communications and Community Relations

In early 2010, Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management was looking for ways to save money and energy in order to comply with Mayor Kasim Reed’s sustainability goals for the city. The need to flare off the methane gas that results from the wastewater treatment process provided the perfect opportunity. Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is the production of heat and electricity from a single fuel source. A methane recovery, cogeneration project proved a feasible opportunity for the RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center, Watershed’s largest wastewater treatment plant. Now, two years later, the RM Clayton Cogeneration Project is helping the city of Atlanta move toward its sustainability goals, providing both financial and environmental benefits. “This is a comprehensive project that converts waste energy and waste heat into beneficial uses, one being electricity and the other being heating requirements at the plant,” said Watershed Engineering Services Manager Sam Krishnan. The financial benefits of the cogenera32

tion project are clear. RM Clayton spends approximately $4 million annually in electrical costs. The cogeneration project is projected to save the plant $700,000 a year by

providing power for the primary wastewater treatment processes and part of the secondary treatment processes, a saving of over 17 percent. The energy savings also are impressive. The primary treatment processes alone consume one-fifth of the plant’s energy. RM Clayton has significantly reduced its consumption by harnessing energy from the methane gas, and, once additional project elements are complete, plant operators expect the energy savings to exceed the current 20 percent. The environmental benefits of the project are moving Watershed toward a more sustainable future as well. “Waste heat is captured and goes back to heating digesters which allows us to turn off the boilers,” said Deputy Commissioner for Water Treatment and Reclamation Frank Stephens. “So there is a savings of natural gas.” Replacing natural gas consumption with what was previously waste heat conserves natural resources and reduces green-

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house gas emissions. Using methane gas to heat digesters decreases the need for an alternative fuel source. Additionally, as energy production is the largest user of Chattahoochee River water in the state, saving energy saves water. How the Cogeneration System Works When treating wastewater, large organic solids are broken down into less complex materials through a process called digestion. During this process, a significant amount of methane gas is produced, along with carbon dioxide, siloxane, hydrogen sulfide, and moisture. Although methane is a powerful greenhouse gas when released into the Earth’s atmosphere, its high energy value makes it attractive for cogeneration projects. Crowder Construction Company and Hazen & Sawyer, the design firm, proposed and built the cogeneration system that cleans the methane gas and converts it into electricity. The system includes a digester tank, biogas cleaning equipment, a 1.6-megawatt, combustible engine, and the newly equipped existing 60-foot diameter storage sphere for


excess gas. Connections to the plant’s electrical system allow the electricity to provide power to the plant and heat from the engine to the digester. The design-build approach was unconventional for Watershed when construction began in January 2011, but with a $1.5 million grant and a low-interest loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, the department took the leap into unfamiliar territory. The success of the RM Clayton Cogeneration Project propels Atlanta closer to its sustainability goals by reducing its energy footprint by three percent. “The Department of Watershed Management is focused on looking for sustainable practices, being energy conscious, and efficient in our operations,” Stephens said. “We are going to take advantage of emerging technologies to achieve those goals.” The Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers named the project the 2011-2012 Small Project of the Year. v


GDOT Announces Coming Changes in Pavement Design


By Georgene M. Geary, P.E. | State Research Engineer | Georgia Department of Transportation

id you hear the one about the civil engineer who fell asleep and woke up years later to continue working with his old design manuals? This old joke illustrates that civil engineering is not known for the rapid adoption of new practices like other professions. However, in less than two years, civil engineers who specialize in pavement design will see a major change in Georgia. Georgia DOT is currently implementing AASHTOWare ‘Pavement ME Design’ software, a revolution in pavement design. The software was developed over a period of more than ten years, using over 20 years of nationwide pavement data. For the first time, the physical properties of the pavement layers and foundation can be characterized and directly incorporated into prediction models for pavement distresses. Material property behavior and mechanical models are the ‘M’ or mechanistic part of the ME design process. The ‘E’ or empirical part refers to the development and refinement of the models from historical pavement performance data. Georgia DOT is implementing ‘Pavement ME Design’ with the assistance of Applied Research Associates Inc. (ARA), one of the developers of the software. ARA has already worked with a number of other states in their efforts. The GDOT/ARA research project started in October 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in April 2014. AASHTOWare ‘Pavement ME Design’ has also been known as DARWin-ME and MEPDG. After its original development through a National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) project, ownership of the computer program was transferred to AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) for continued maintenance and development. AASHTO rebranded the software in 2012 as part of a suite of AASHTOWare transportation related products. Improvements continue to be made to the software as additional research is completed or issues are 34

identified. Recently, an advisory was sent out to users that the current model for unbound pavement materials underestimates the structural impact of high quality aggregate (e.g. graded aggregate base). The Georgia implementation effort is aware of and will consider any such issues, along with keeping abreast of future improvements. The benefits of implementing ‘Pavement ME Design’ to Georgia are three-fold: 1) roadways and conditions in Georgia will be used to calibrate the models to develop more reliable distress predictions; 2) mechanistic models can optimize pavement structural design and rehabilitation design methods; and 3) modeling new materials or new methods may be possible without hav-

ing to establish costly test sections over long periods of time. The current pavement design used in Georgia (AASHTO 1972) is based on a section of roadway in Ottawa, Illinois that was tested in the late 1950s and early 1960s (AASHO Road Test). The design method developed was highly empirical, meaning that it was the result of experiments that measured several different types of roads and loadings, and an equation was developed that tied the number of loadings (ESALsequivalent single axle loads) to the measured life of the roadway. It is a very simple method and has served Georgia, with some tweaks, since the 1970s. However, some of its limitations are that current traffic and

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loadings are ten to 100 times more than was seen in the 1960s testing and that the pavement design is only applicable to similar pavement sections and materials and methods used in the original experiments. The Georgia DOT now uses different materials, including polymer-modified asphalts, which are not recognized or given any credit by the old method. As noted previously, the current pavement design is based on one location in the US, limited materials, and a limited range of vehicle loadings. The new ‘Pavement ME Design’ software models the roadway empirically and mechanistically. The addition of a mechanistic analysis means that stresses and strains are estimated from the models and accumulated into distress levels over time. The performance of the roadway is computed by totaling the effect of the traffic loadings and climate on material properties over time. The computer models are also calibrated using actual roadways and historical performance data, which is the empirical part of the ME design. The origin of this historical pavement data was through the Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program. This pioneering program was started in the 1980s and has measured performance and loadings of thousands of actual roadway test sections in the US and Canada for more than 25 years. Over 20 different roadways containing LTPP test sections are located within Georgia. Some of these LTPP test sections and other Georgia roads will be used to initially calibrate the models and for future continued calibration of ‘Pavement ME Design’ in Georgia. The effects of weather on pavement deterioration are modeled in the new software and use actual Georgia weather station data for additional accuracy. Georgia DOT is also finishing a research project that looked at actual loads (truck types and weights) found on Georgia roadways so the model will also use actual Georgia vehicle loadings. Other research projects are completed or ongoing that characterize the materials used in Georgia, such as typical aggregate bases, asphalt mixes, and concrete pavement mixes. Typical pavements are expected to last ten to 20 years and more. To test new materials, GDOT cannot realistically wait 20 some years for quantifiable results. ‘Pavement ME Design’, when properly calibrated FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013

for Georgia conditions, will provide a test platform to perform ‘what if ’ scenarios to predict the influence new methods and materials can have on the life of a pavement. It will also allow GDOT to model new pavement types, like Inverted Pavements. An inverted pavement is composed of a cement stabilized base and an asphalt surface layer, with a dense layer of aggregate base sandwiched in between. An inverted pavement test section was placed in Troup County in 2008, and this section could be used to calibrate the model for inverted pavements. The capability to model the use of novel materials and methods during the pavement design process should lead us to expand the use of novel materials and methods, while having a higher confidence that they can per-

form as promised. With more accurate loadings, more accurate material inputs, more representative weather conditions, and better models, Georgia should see benefits by using the right materials in the right locations at the right time, especially in rehabilitation of existing pavements. So keep your eyes open, because changes are coming! This optimization of pavement design will save money for Georgia DOT and provide benefits to Georgia taxpayers in the long run, and is in line with the department’s strategic goals to maximize and preserve our existing transportation infrastructure and to provide outstanding stewardship of transportation funding and assets. v


Cost Segregation ~ An Opportunity to Add Value By Corrine Wooden | Senior Accountant | Deemer Dana & Froehle LLP epreciation plays a major role in taxable income. Depreciation is an expense that reduces taxable income, so any time a business can accelerate depreciation, tax savings can occur in the early stages of the asset's life. The past four years provided substantial opportunities to accelerate depreciation through expanded Section 179 expensing provisions which allow business owners to deduct rather than depreciate certain assets. Opportunities were also available through bonus depreciation provisions which allowed business owners to depreciate certain new assets at a rate of 50-100 percent in the first year. Temporary provisions in the Internal Revenue Code also shortened the depreciable life from 39 years to 15 years for certain leasehold and restaurant improvements, allowing qualified improvements to be depreciated more rapidly. These temporary provisions and enhancements in the tax code were passed in an effort to stimulate the economy, but they are set to be significantly scaled back or expire after 2012. With the expiration of these tax breaks, business owners are looking for other tax saving strategies. This article discusses how you can help those clients who are looking for tax savings through depreciation. Cost Segregation remains a viable tax strategy: Commercial buildings are generally depreciated over 39 years, but certain assets within the building may have a shorter useful and depreciable life. Cost segregation is a method to allocate the cost of a building into its specific components and assign the proper depreciable lives to those components. Substantial tax savings can result by ‘costing’ out these components and applying a shorter depreciable life to some of them. A shorter asset life gives rise to spreading the depreciation expense over a shorter period and thereby increases depreciation expenses early in the asset life. Greater depreciation expenses translate into lower taxable income. 36

Even though accelerated depreciation provisions in the Internal Revenue Code are being scaled back or eliminated, there is still opportunity to take advantage of tax benefits through cost segregation. Those who benefit the most from cost segregation are commercial real estate owners or investors who purchase or construct commercial real property or who make improvements or renovations to an existing property. The depreciable life of an asset is determined by the tax code. Since land has an unlimited life and cannot be depreciated, commercial building owners must separate land costs from building costs. Many owners or investors stop there, and do not separate out costs for components of the building. Instead they apply one single depreciable life to the entire cost of the building and end up sacrificing the benefit of shorter depreciable lives for certain assets. Components of Commercial Real Estate: Generally the ‘structural’ components that relate to the operation of the building have a life for depreciation purposes of 39 years. These assets include: • Foundations • Interior and exterior structural components such as floors, ceilings, load-bearing walls, windows, doors, stairs, and elevators • Plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems that related to the operation of the building

sAve DAte!

• Roofing • Central HVAC systems Assets that may qualify for a shorter 15-year depreciation period include: Land improvements such as: • Sidewalks and curbs • Parking lots, driveways, and roads • Landscaping and shrubbery • Fences, docks, and bridges • Site drainage Certain assets that qualify as ‘tangible personal property’ may be depreciated over a five-to-seven-year period. This is where substantial opportunity exists for tax savings. These assets may include: • Fixtures involved in certain industries or processes • Restaurants: kitchen equipment, exhaust hoods, and walk-in freezers • Specialty plumbing or electrical components that support process equipment (not the building) • Movable walls, and free-standing partitions • Lockers • Cubicles, movable reception stations, and booths for seating • Cabinetry and countertops • Interior signage • Wall covering and window treatments • Certain floor coverings • Power and temperature control for computer systems

2 0 1 3 G e o R G i A e N G i NeeRs summeR CoNfeReNCe

The Spa & Lodge at Callaway, Pine Mountain, GA June 13 – 16, 2013 The GeorGia enGineer

There are several factors that determine whether an asset can be classified as tangible personal property or whether it is considered a permanent structural component. Some of these factors include whether it is capable of being moved, the expected length of affixation, how substantial it is to move it, and if any damage would result from moving it. Professional tax advisors can help in classifying assets into the proper category to be in compliance with the tax code. Cost Segregation Studies: Engineers, architects, contractors, and accountants are among those who typically contribute expertise necessary to conduct a proper cost segregation study and to allocate the costs of a real estate project into their various components. The end product of the study is a detailed report, documenting and breaking out components of the real estate by


cost, classification, and depreciable life. The goal is to identify those assets that can be broken out from the structural components of the building and to assign them shorter depreciable lives. The report allows a client's accountant to maximize the tax benefits by accelerating depreciation on those assets that qualify as five-to-15-year assets. The other benefit of cost segregation comes when a building component needs replacement. A roof, for example, is depreciated over 39 years but may need replacement in 25 years. By having broken out the cost of the roof, the owner may deduct the remaining 14 years of depreciation in the year the roof is replaced. Without having segregated the roof, including it instead in one single cost for the building, the owner would have no basis by which to write off the remaining undepreciated cost in the year the old roof was taken out of service and replaced.

The ideal time to conduct a cost segregation study is in the planning and construction stages of a building or renovation project, when costs are more easily identifiable and can be broken out. Involvement at this stage also allows documentation, such as invoices and photographs, to be preserved and included in the study. The tax savings obtained through a proper cost segregation analysis can be substantial, particularly on large projects or for clients in certain industries such as manufacturing, hotels, restaurants, and hospitals who have substantial process-type equipment and fixtures. When approached with your next contract, consider proposing to assist in a cost segregation study. This extension of your services may result in substantial tax savings for your client and add value to your professional relationship. v



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Engineering Entrepreneurship By Pamela Little | EcoWise Civil Design and Consulting Inc.

ntrepreneurial skills are increasingly being taught in engineering schools in the United States. In 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $10 million grant to be spent over five years on a national center based out of Stanford University to teach and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in engineering. The increase in emphasis may be attributed to the increase in technology and a very competitive global market for engineering services. One way to make sure the US stays in the market is to promote the skills that will create jobs here in engineering and in related science, technology, and mathematics fields. While many of the readers of The Georgia Engineer are already out of college, the reasons we are teaching our young engineers entrepreneurial skills are just as relevant to an older generation of professionals. To stay competitive, we must be innovative; as an industry, as individual companies, and as people. Continued learning is a condition of licensure because the field is constantly evolving. Each year new technologies and new tools emerge for all disciplines. To promote the growth of the profession, it makes sense that we promote our entrepreneurs as the innovators and risk-takers. Finding entrepreneurs in the industry is easier said than done. Engineers are good with numbers, and the odds of starting a successful firm are slim. Statistics vary, but it is expected that 50-80 percent of all start-up firms will fail within the first five years. A more common path to engineering ownership, and thus entrepreneurship, is through the purchase of an existing company. Each year, however, some individuals ranging in age and experience from the newly licensed to the nearly retired choose to create new corporate entities, whether in response to career changes or economic changes, or to simply follow a dream. The following will provide insights from business owners (including myself) representing four engineering firms in Georgia, each with a different focus and at a different stage in corFEBRUARY | MARCH 2013

porate evolution. The profiles are meant to educate and inspire the entrepreneurial spirit in each of us. Taylor Anderson, PE is the President of Blue Landworks, LLC. Blue Landworks, LLC was founded at the end of 2008. The firm has seen close to 100 percent growth between 2011 and 2012, and Taylor expects the upswing to continue in 2013. Taylor got his drive from his father who also owned his own business. He started the firm during a slow economic period and was only able to do so when his wife went back to work full-time to ensure the family could survive financially. Taylor credits his mentors and co-workers Thomas Woodsmall, RLS, and Stuart McClimans, PE as making the firm’s success possible. He has also found his clients to be an excellent source of business advice. His biggest challenge thus far is getting the work done. Taylor is pictured receiving a Gwinnett Chamber 2012 Pinnacle Top 25 Small Business Award with Raymer Sale (left), 2012 Chairman of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, and Jim Maran (right), President and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.


I, Pamela Little, PE, am the President/CEO of EcoWise Civil Design and Consulting, Inc. (EcoWise). EcoWise was founded in late 2009 and is a woman-owned business. I started the company after taking an entrepreneurial course called Plan for Profit from The Edge Connection, an SBA Women’s Center based at Kennesaw State University. With The Edge Connection’s guidance, I prepared a business plan and presentation that allowed me to start my company with the support of six silent partners. I always dreamed of running my own company, and while the journey has been difficult, it has also been educational and rewarding. I credit many people and organizations with helping me get through the first three years and know that I will continue to use their advice and guidance in the future. As a ‘solopreneur’ my biggest challenge has been managing cash flow. I expect to find this challenge grows as the company grows. I am pictured in front of a recent project for which EcoWise provided civil site engineering services. J. Al Pond, PE is a second-generation owner and the CEO of Pond & Company (Pond), an ENR top 500 firm offering a full array of engineering, architectural, planning, and construction management services. Al bought into the company he was working for, Armour & Associates, in 1978 and became president of the firm in 1988. The name was changed to Pond & Company from Armour, Cape, & Pond in 1998. Since 1992 the firm has grown from 25 employees to over 230 employees. The company has always been headquartered in the metro-Atlanta area but now also has offices in Texas, Arizona, Alabama, and Louisiana. Al credits his appreciation of hard work and risks versus rewards from his early experiences growing up on a working farm. Al has found his reward to come from influencing the direction and success of a business. While the company has had its ups and downs, he is always proud of his leadership team working together, but more so during times of adversity. Thuy-Kieu Chang, PE and Kieu-Anh Tran, PE are sisters and co-owners of Q Solutions Inc. Q Solutions was established in 2002 as the result of a desire to control their own destiny while delivering value to their clients and working with teammates that 40

uy-Kieu (left) and Kieu-Anh (right) are pictured in front of their office. shared their values and passions. Q Solutions Promoting entrepreneurship will reduce the is a minority, woman-owned business in the unemployment rate, produce more tax revSBA’s 8a Program. Thuy-Kieu and Kieu-Anh enue, and create leaders in innovation.” believe the greatest reward for their hard ~ Kieu-Anh Tran, PE work is independence.Their challenges come in finding the right people for the right po- “Having a ‘fair tax’ implemented would sitions, collecting outstanding account bal- save companies time and money spent on ances, and finding great clients. Their family, tax forms, particularly on payroll tax friends, and colleagues have supported the forms.” ~ Taylor Anderson, PE start-up and growth of the firm, offering advice on where to grow the business and to What advice would you give to new engineerstay focused on key issues and solutions. ing entrepreneurs? Following are their answers to common questions: How did your engineering background help and/or hinder your success as an entrepreneur? “The largest number of engineering firms today were either started or grown successfully by individuals who enjoy running their own business. Engineering was the path I chose to achieve my dreams.” ~ J. Al Pond, PE “My personal business mentors have all been engineers ranging from a former college professor to previous employers and coworkers. I could not have gotten this far without the advice of a lot of other engineers.” ~ Pamela Little, PE Are there any legislative changes that you can think of that could improve the industry or would promote entrepreneurship? “President Reagan said, ‘The explorers of the modern era are the entrepreneurs, men with vision, with the courage to take risks and faith enough to brave the unknown. These entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.’

“Don’t be afraid to explore what is out there.” ~ Taylor Anderson, PE “Find narrow market sectors where you can be considered a leader or expert at what you provide. You can build on this with new services of clients that match up with what you do well.” ~ J. Al Pond, PE “Create, build, and maintain your network of contacts before you start your own venture. These people will be invaluable as your mentors, clients, friends, and sometimes informal therapists. Stay positive!” ~ Pamela Little, PE “Understand your reason to start a business, because business ownership is not right for everyone. As a business owner you will have to wear many hats and balance them. It is good to identify your ideal target client and then focus on what you know. There are lots of people willing to work with you, however you have to find out who is best suited. Get started with the right staff and the right values. Remember to make it fun for all because starting your business is your passion to enjoy.” ~ Thuy-Kieu Chang, PE and KieuAnh Tran, PE v The GeorGia enGineer

LowER CosT, LighTER CARboN FooTpRiNT: Designing an all-wood Podium Building

Submitted by WoodWorks An initiative of the Wood Products Council, WoodWorks provides free project support and resources related to the design of non-residential and multifamily wood buildings. For projects in Georgia, contact Scott Lockyear, PE, at Questions regarding wood podiums can be sent to Michelle Kam-Biron, SE, at or Karyn Beebe, PE, at


With a ten-story wood building nearly complete in Australia and studies demonstrating the feasibility of going higher still, wood highrises have been the subject of much discussion among architects and in the architectural press. But while we’ve all been looking up, there has been a quiet revolution toward the greater use of wood in mid-rise—because it offers higher density at lower cost than other materials as well as a reduced carbon footprint. Podium structures, which include multiple stories of residential wood-frame construction over a podium deck, have become especially common for architects seeking to incorporate retail, restaurants and parking into their designs. However, while the podium is typically concrete, a handful of designers have lowered their costs even further by designing it in wood.

Galt Place under construction Photo credit: MFMalinowski AIA 42

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A wood podium is comprised of wood structural panels supported by I-joists and glued laminated (glulam) timber beams, topped in gypcrete or other lightweight concrete. Under the International Building Code (IBC), it can be designed in one of two ways. The most common is to design the building as Type V Mixed Use Occupancy with separate occupancies for the wood-frame floors and podium per IBC 508.3.3, which refers to Section 711 for the requirements of the horizontal assembly. Section 711.2 states the floor and roof assemblies shall be of materials permitted by the building type of construction which, in a Type V building, includes wood. The less common method is to go with Type IV Heavy Timber Construction, per Section 509.4, which allows parking beneath Residential Group R. “We’ve seen an increase in all-wood podiums on the West Coast, mostly because of the cost savings but also because it’s the simplest design solution,” said Michelle Kam-Biron, SE, senior technical director for WoodWorks and the lead for mid-rise. “Having the same material from the foundation up lends itself to having one structural engineer design the entire building instead of different firms handling the wood-frame floors and concrete podium. Wood podiums are just as feasible in Atlanta and provide the same benefits, so it stands to reason that, as designers here become more familiar with them, we'll start seeing some examples.” In the southern US, durability of materials is an important consideration. For wood podiums, architects design the building envelope so the wood members are not exposed to the environment. At the four-story Oceana apartment complex in California, designers chose to further protect the wood elements with drywall, sheathing, and stucco on all subterranean surfaces including the shear walls. However, designers of the threestory Galt Place, also in California, took a different approach, leaving the glulam beams exposed for the increased aesthetic appeal and to monitor their performance over time. For the architects of both projects, cost was the main reason to use wood. “When determining the cost of a structure, there are a lot variables, including most notably time, material,s and labor,” said Karyn Beebe, PE, of FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013

APA. “Using wood instead of concrete lowers the mass of the building, which results in more economical podium shear walls and foundations. Using the same material for the entire structure may also mean lower design costs, and the construction team experiences savings in the form of fewer trades on site, which means less mobilization time, greater efficiency because framing is repeated on all of the levels, easier field modifications, and a faster schedule.” Architect Dan Withee, AIA, LEED AP, of Withee Malcolm Architects designed an 85-unit wood podium project in San Diego. He estimates that a concrete podium

can cost $15,000 per parking space compared to $9,500 for wood podium. “Many apartment developers I run into tell me they just can’t afford concrete podium any longer,” he said. At Oceano, the design team estimated that the wood podium was approximately two-thirds the cost of a concrete podium even with the learning process associated with a new system. Although a cost comparison wasn’t done for Galt Place, the design team noted soft cost savings resulting from faster construction time and the need for fewer trades. Beebe says wood podiums also offer

Glulam, I-joists, OSB sheathing and lumber were used to construct the Oceano wood podium. Photo credit: West Coast Aerial Photography, courtesy APA 43

Oceano at Warner Center Photo credit: West Coast Aerial Photography, courtesy APA other benefits. “Field modifications of a wood deck away from the beam line are easier to accommodate because it isn't necessary to x-ray the slab for rebar and/or post-tensioned stand placement. The fact that a wood podium is less massive than concrete is also beneficial in high seismic zones where building mass impacts lateral design loads." The wood podium design allowed both Oceano and Galt Place to use light-framed shear walls on the first level, as well as smaller


foundations than would have been needed for concrete. Design professionals who have built wood podiums say the key to addressing challenges is coordination among the entire architecture, engineering and construction team. For example, the Oceano design included a large amount of stacking structural elements, which doesn’t tend to be the case with concrete podium projects. The architect recognized the challenge at the outset and brought the team together early in the process to encourage collaboration. As the project’s structural engineer, Tom VanDorpe, SE, noted, “Simple is good, as with the stackable design, but this requires extreme coordination.” The team used Building Information Modeling (BIM) to enhance the collaboration process, which allowed them to address 80 to 90 percent of potential field issues prior to construction. One challenge for any podium structure is placement of utilities. On a concrete podium, the utilities generally run in chases below the 12-14-inch slab. Even on projects that stack, including concrete podiums, utilities can be difficult to place. Options include increasing the floor-to-floor height to accommodate a deeper floor slab and utility chase or designing holes in the glulam beams

for utility placement. Shrinkage is another challenge in any wood-frame building over three stories and must be taken into account so it doesn’t impact mechanical and plumbing systems or interior and exterior finishes. Consideration is most important in designs that create an opportunity for differential change—such as multiple wood-frame floors over a concrete podium. “Shrinkage calculations aren't complex,” said Kam-Biron. “However, it’s an area designers often aren’t familiar with and they need to accommodate for differential movement if they’re using different materials. One of the nice things about wood podiums is that the shrinkage and overall structural movement is consistent for the entire building.” “Wood podium construction is simply an extension of what designers have been doing for almost 60 years—tucking cars away under units in one-space depths directly off concrete driveways,” said Michael Malinowski, AIA of Applied Architecture Inc., who designed Galt Place. “The use of an all-wood podium has been called innovative—but in reality it’s a bit retro. It’s so common to assume that a project will have a concrete or steel podium that often the simplest solution is overlooked.” v

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W h a t ’ s

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NEWS Golder Acquires Contracting and Construction Firm InterGEO Golder Associates Inc., the US subsidiary of global engineering and environmental services organization Golder Associates, has acquired the assets of geo-environmental contracting company InterGEO Services, Inc. This enhances Golder’s design/build offerings in the geo-environmental industry in areas that already align well with Golder’s core practice, including linings and geosynthetic materials, ground improvement, mechanically stabilized earth, and sediment remediation. A 12-year-old firm based in the Philadelphia area, InterGEO has the diversity to operate as design/build, general contractor, specialty contractor or construction manager and serves the same primary industries as Golder including waste management, manufacturing, power, oil & gas, transportation, and mining. Golder and InterGEO have worked closely together in larger remediation projects at Superfund sites as well as within the Marcellus Shale, designing and installing surface water impoundments. “InterGEO’s field operations and management staff provide a variety of construction capabilities with a strong commitment to safety, quality, and technical excellence,” said Rick Keenan, Golder’s Construction Division Leader. “This experience complements the existing contracting services we provide in the US, especially in the Northeast Region where construction management and other contracting services are a strong and growing portion of our business. InterGEO’s capabilities and clientele are well suited for growth beyond the Northeast, allowing us to enhance our construction services across the US.” InterGEO’s focus on safety is parallel to Golder’s culture of safety first and has af46

forded it the ability to be pre-qualified by some of the largest companies in the country, including being named as one of only two contractors building mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) berms for key clients in the waste management industry. InterGEO provides many specialized services that are consistent with Golder’s core consulting and design capabilities, including: ground improvement, brownfield redevelopment, sediment remediation, vapor barriers, stormwater management, reservoirs and water treatment lagoons, and erosion control. “We are pleased to be joining Golder as both of our organizations have a passion for innovative yet cost-effective technical solutions within the design/build community,” said InterGEO President Archie Filshill, who will be Golder’s Construction Operations Manager, Northeast Region. v Hargrove Engineers + Constructors Announces Formation of Hargrove Controls + Automation, LLC. Hargrove Engineers + Constructors an-

nounced the formation of Hargrove Controls + Automation, LLC., on Friday, December 14th. The new Controls + Automation division offers creative solutions in advanced technology engineering, safety information systems (SIS), and DCS/PLC configuration. Like its parent company, the new venture is an employee-owned, relationship-focused team dedicated to serving industrial clients with responsive engineering, programming, panel construction, and customized training. Division and Team Leader Matt Burton, P.E., has over twenty years of experience in technology, automation engineering, and information systems. “This division employs an automation culture,” says Burton. “It’s a different dynamic from the EPC culture. Our roles are fluid and our interaction with the client is intensive. It’s a collaborative space that can adjust rapidly to the needs of each client with an environment where teammates are allowed to succeed and grow their skills.” Market sectors serviced by the division include oil refining, natural gas processing, specialty

Parsons Transportation Group was presented the GPTQ Award for Best Rural Design Project at the Transportation Summit.

l-r: Aykut Urgen (Parsons), Genetha Rice-Singleton (GDOT); Russell McMurry (GDOT); and Shawn Reese (Parsons). The GeorGia enGineer

chemicals, pulp and paper, power generation, and automotive industries, with a full complement of skills on all major platforms. While Burton’s group embraces the automation culture, they maintain the team focus that is the hallmark of Hargrove. “Our overriding commitment is to the driving principle we share with Hargrove Engineers + Constructors,” he says, “which is being the right people, in the right place, at the right time.” v Newcomb & Boyd Consultants and Engineers Announces Promotions Newcomb & Boyd announces the following promotions: Mechanical Engineer Robert W. Duncan, PE, LEED AP has become a Senior Associate in the firm. Electrical Engineer Curt D. Bridges, Mechanical Engineer Juli C. Johnson, LEED AP, and Commissioning Engineer Jeffrey P. Sears have become associates in the firm.

Robert W. Duncan United States and internationally. The firm was founded in 1923 as Robert S. Newcomb, Consulting Engineer; the name was changed to Newcomb & Boyd in 1931 when Spencer W. Boyd became a partner. v Lake McIntosh Reservoir Construction Complete; 650 acre water supply will provide ten million gallons of drinking water per day Construction of Fayette County’s new 650 acre drinking water supply reservoir is com-

plete and officially coming on line. The new water source will ultimately provide ten million gallons of drinking water per day to current and future residents of Fayette County. A 35 foot tall, 850 foot long dam impounds the reservoir. The dam was designed by engineering firms Piedmont Geotechnical Consultants of Alpharetta and Mallett Consulting Inc. of Fayetteville. Once the reservoir is sufficiently filled, a pump station will convey the water to the Crosstown Water Treatment Plant for distribution throughout Fayette County. Lake McIntosh, as the reservoir is known, is owned and operated by the Fayette County Water System and will provide additional flood control for a 70 square mile watershed. With three ‘Engineers of Record’ as certified by the Georgia Safe Dam’s Program, Piedmont Geotechnical Consultants is a preeminent dam engineering firm. PGC engineers have over 80 years of combined High Hazard and other dam design and construction monitoring experience in Georgia and surrounding states which includes in excess of 250 dam projects. The Lake McIntosh Dam and reservoir is one of their most recent High Hazard Dam projects. v

Jeffrey P. Sears Newcomb & Boyd is a multidiscipline consulting and engineering firm providing creative solutions for facility design, construction, and maintenance. The firm offers clients a single source for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, energy management, building automation, commissioning and retrocommissioning, systems training, acoustics, audio-visual, communications, theatrical systems, security, and lighting needs. From one office in Atlanta, Newcomb & Boyd serves clients throughout the FEBRUARY | MARCH 2013


The Georgia Engineer Feb-Mar 2013  

Due to a sharp increase in international travel that has occurred over the last decade, HJAIA concluded that a new International Terminal wi...