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THE COVER Aerial Alabama: ALDOT UAS Team Wins the 2020 EDVY Contest – story on page 10 CHANNELS ENVIRONMENTAL + SUSTAINABILITY 12 Unwomanned Systems in Wetland Delineations 15 LEED, Sustainable Waste Management, and Green Construction STRUCTURES + BUILDINGS 19 Fast Topo Maps Keep Boulder Canyon Highway Project on Track 20 Finding the Right Design and Construction Delivery for Structured Parking WATER + STORMWATER 22 Eyes in the Sky, Boots on the Ground 24 Stormwater Drainage System Designed to Handle Underground Shifting BUSINESS NEWS 27 Why Big Silicon Valley Tech Can Never Solve the Construction Industry’s Tech Challenges 28 Flying Safely and Compliantly: Five Steps to Launch a Successful Drone Program 30 Maximizing Data and Predicting Outcomes SOFTWARE + TECH 32 Overcoming Complexity and Driving Efficiency in Bridge Design with Parametric Design 34 Applying Artificial Intelligence to Construction 35 5 Recommendations to Cultivate Digital-forward Innovation in the Built Environment 38 Digital Merges with Physical When Virtual Reality Meets BIM SURVEYING 40 On the Face of It 17 Basaksehir Pine and Sakura City Hospital TRANSPORTATION + INFRASTRUCTURE
departments 8 Events 42 Reader Index Columns 5 Letter from the Publisher Jamie Claire Kiser 6 Beyond the Battlefield: A History of Drones Luke Carothers
VOLUME 6 ISSUE 12 csengineermag.com
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from the publisher
As we prepare to close out another year, a letter like this one ought to be full of enthusiasm and inspiration for the year ahead with holiday merriment sprinkled in for good measure. Many—myself included—were eager to wrap 2020 up, throw it in the trash, light it on fire, and move on to brighter things ahead in 2021. Good riddance. However, as I write this from my home office, planning a holiday season without family and friends, it’s somewhat tough to be of good cheer. It feels lhe end isn’t as aligned to closing promptly on December 31st as I had somehow naively anticipated. For those who are also feeling the weight of the ongoing doldrums, my very best advice is to find a new way to connect to your profession that brings you renewal, energy, and a feeling of working together to solve a problem. That may be becoming active in a committee or taskforce through SEA, ACEC, or another professional organization, mentoring through a program like ACE, serving as an alumni capacity to support your college or another educational institution, or perhaps finding a call to action in an industry association that speaks to a passion of yours. I can say that for me, the ElevateHER cohort program provided deeper meaning than I could have had any way of knowing how much I would personally need. After launching ElevateHER in September 2019 to tackle recruiting and retention issues that hold the AEC industry back from attracting and retaining every bright mind, members of the inaugural 2020 cohort from across the country gathered in-person during the first week of March to define the topics they would team up to tackle in depth over the next six months, working remotely with their team members to research and define implementation-ready responses that would be rolled out at our annual Elevate AEC conference in the fall. Just one short week after our cohort met, cities and states began to shut down and quarantines were ordered. Suddenly, the wave of optimism about yet another record year for the AEC industry’s growth and outlook changed completely, and some firms quietly cut budgets and furloughed or laid off staff. The layoffs impacted several cohort members directly and caused others to worry that spending time and resources on something like ElevateHER when many were suffering professionally and personally was a luxury, a feeling that only intensified following the senseless killing of George Floyd and the subsequent urgency to address systemic racism in our country. We certainly questioned the appropriateness of continuing the ElevateHER cohort program, especially as it became clear that our in-person conference would not be possible. But at the same time, it was also true that the Zoom update meetings with the cohort teams to discuss their projects and work through challenges and ideas were among the highlights of my week. Working together with a team united behind a vision and committed to the betterment of an industry provided a massive infusion of inspiration, easing the isolation that I found maddeningly frustrating as a leader. More than a Zoom happy hour or virtual networking event, I found real meaning and a sense of purpose in supporting the cohort teams tackle real issues with actionable outcomes. I left our ElevateHER team meetings feeling both intellectually engaged and excited at the possibilities, sentiments that surely carried over to my next meeting or task, and indeed found myself mulling over conversations and ideas well after the end of the workday. As the year progressed and the anxieties continued to mount, many of my professional connections expressed feeling isolated, burned out, and uninspired heading into the fall. I, on the other hand, felt the exact opposite. Buoyed by confidence in the ability of small groups of people who were total strangers just months before to ignite revolutionary conversations that turned into solutions and bolstered by the effectiveness of curiosity coupled with action, reimagining something as foundational and institutional to Zweig Group as our signature annual conference was easier—and dare I say it—a bit fun, too. As other industry conferences reported lackluster registration as they shifted to a virtual format and various peer networking groups fizzled out and lost engagement with each passing week, we actually gained conference registrations every single week during our eight-week virtual experience, doubling the attendees between the first and last day of our conference. I am firmly convinced that we were able to deliver a wildly successful virtual conference at least in small part because our leadership saw the shift from in-person to virtual as just another puzzle to sort out, another cohort team project that we were lucky enough to be assembled to solve together. Today, as we prepare to finalize our conference and events schedule for 2021, we are able to break free from the mindset of the way we have always done things, keeping the best of what worked in 2020 and rethinking this entire segment of our business in light of what we have learned this year. There are only passing moments where I feel a sense of mourning that we do not know when we will next be able to gather in person with our professional community. This letter is a very long-winded way of sharing a simple insight and suggestion for all of our readers: find your ElevateHER. Respond to your own call to action, whatever it may be, and work on building your own legacy that will leave your profession better than you found it. The ancillary benefits to maintaining your own spark and the energy overflow from renewing your connection to your profession are innumerable and the return is well-worth the investment of your time. Enthusiastically yours, Jamie Claire Kiser
JAMIE CLAIRE KISER is managing principal and director of advisory services at Zweig Group. Contact her at email@example.com.
Looking back, moving forward
On the cutting edge of the AEC industry, UAS/V or drone technology has carved out a plethora of uses in helping engineers complete projects, transfer and collect data, and review progress. Just as numerous, however, are the terms with which we use to describe what the technology actually is. This is likely due to the rapidly changing conversation surrounding its uses. As our uses for drone technology in the AEC industry grow, so does our definition for it. So, where do we draw the defining line? What history informs our understanding of the current climate? Unsurprisingly, drone technology was born in a military theatre when Austrian soldiers attacked the City of Venice. Hoping to stave off additional casualties, Austrian military engineers filled balloons with explosives and primed them with long copper wires that would extend to a controller for detonation. These engineers planned to harness the wind and detonate the explosives after they had cleared the Venetian walls. The results were mixed; there was a shift in the wind and many of the balloons detonated above their own lines. What is surprising, however, is that these events preceded the Wright brother’s first successful manned flight by 61 years. Their flight also had an impact on the development of unmanned aerial systems, giving form to flight and allowing the first pilotless winged aircraft to be developed in Britain: the Ruston Aerial Target. Although the Aerial Target was based on designs by Nikola Tesla, it was little more than a flying bomb. Drones had been developed in terms of form, but not necessarily in terms of function. The development of UAS/V technology over the course of the 20th century is, again, largely a product of military application. The United States military began using drones as a means to map and survey large portions of enemy territory without risking their pilots during the Korean War. It is in this capacity that the technology began to show applications beyond the immediate military circumstances.
Beyond the Battlefield: A History of Drones Luke Carothers
Although there was much public interest in things like remote-controlled model airplanes in the 1960s and 1970s, commercial drone usage didn’t begin until after the turn of the century when government agencies began using drones for things like disaster relief and fighting wildfires. At the same time, civilian companies began using drones for simple tasks such as spraying chemicals, surveying land, and inspecting above-ground pipelines. In 2006, drones were cemented as a commercially viable tool when the FAA issued their first commercial drones permit, but the adoption process was slow once again. Averaging just two FAA commercial drone permits a year for eight years, it looked as if drones would be another forgotten fad. After eight years of steady, low-level interest in commercially licensed drones, several large technology companies expressed interest in using drones as a means of delivering goods. Most notable among these is Jeff Bezos and Amazon who outlined plans for a drone-based delivery system in 2013. The result was an avalanche of drone permit applications. This leads us to the current moment. Many drone enthusiasts would tell you we are living in the golden age of drone technology and usage. After averaging just two commercial drone permit applications a year until 2015, the FAA issued a whopping 1,000 permits in 2015. That number more than tripled in 2016 when the FAA issued an additional 3,100 permits with the number growing each year. The future of drone technology is uncertain but bright. What started as a hobby for some is now a fully viable avenue of technological exploration. As of 2020, many firms and government agencies are not just using drones to improve their business, drones are their business. These firms and agencies have created specialized internal departments that not only use drones on their own projects, but license them out to other firms. Like many technologies that can trace their roots to a military origin, UAS/V technology can be transformed from a tool of destruction to one of creation and preservation. What started as a means to take is developing into a tool that has the power to give—to give life and to give new insight into the troubles that face our industry.
LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Payment Integration Automates the Receipt Process and Improves Cash Flow Tuesday, December 15, 2020 The availability to pay electronically has become increasingly popular in B2B. Accepting ACH payments eliminates the traditional paper check and gets money in the bank sooner. But what if your organization took it one step further with payment receipt integration into your ERP?
Join us for this webinar as we discuss how payment receipt integration: • Speeds payments • Automates manual coding and reduces manual steps • Improves cash ow and cash ow visibility
We’ll also show you invoicing and accounts receivable tools that minimize your eorts and improve security and compliance. If you use Deltek Vision® or Vantagepoint®, you won’t want to miss this! Register Now!
events + virtual Events
committee chair of the newly published standard and invited experts, as well as discuss reasons for the technical revisions. Additionally, the Standard's chair will present a brief but detailed technical overview of the provisions and demonstrate a relevant design example. Attendees are encouraged to join the discussion for the extensive live Q&A portion of the session. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLPU58f1yUxzOatcKBNokUQ/ Hydraulic Design of Water Tunnels Webinar december 7– 8 pdh This webinar offers fundamentals in hydraulic design of water tunnels with the following objectives: - To understand hydraulic functions of power tunnel, sewer tunnel, water supply tunnel, diversion tunnel, long culverts, and surge tunnel/shaft - To get familiar with the design of water tunnels -To get familiar with less known design issues such as tunnel optimization, sediment transport and erosion in tunnels, hydraulic jump in tunnels, cavitation in tunnels, and sewer overflow - To introduce design tools https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-december-2nd-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt Exploring Innovative Solutions in AEC: AR, VR, MR, gaming applications and beyond december 9 Design and construction validation using full size immersion allows the first way to actually get a sense of a project and test systems without having a full-size mock-up built IRL. Yes, money can be saved at great value but some more important benefits are also had in employing a Virtual Practice; Better Work. The use of AR/VR for complex design projects can expose and reduce potential design flaws as well as convey difficult to comprehend design concepts to stakeholders. https://www.aecnext.com/webinars/exploring-innovative-solutions-in-aec/ geo-institute 5th annual web conference, tehchnical case studies december 7-11– 1 pdh per event Each day, a diverse set of case studies will be presented by experienced geotechnical professionals. Each session will run approximately 2 hours with opportunities to ask questions. Registrants can earn 1.0 Professional Development Hours (1.0 PDHs) for each event viewed. Individual registration only. https://www.geoinstitute.org/events/5th-annual-g-i-web-conference How Payment Integration Automates the Receipt Process and Improves Cash Flow december 15– 1 pdh The availability to pay electronically has become increasingly popular in B2B. Accepting ACH payments eliminates the traditional paper check and gets money in the bank sooner. But what if your organization took it one step further with payment receipt integration into your ERP? We’ll also show you invoicing and accounts receivable tools that minimize your efforts and improve security and compliance. If you use Deltek Vision® or Vantagepoint®, you won’t want to miss this!
Extending Infrastructure Life Using FEVE Bridge Coatings december 1– 1 pdh In this one hour course, we will discover the strengths and advantages of FEVE fluoropolymer topcoats for both new bridges and maintenance re-coating of existing bridges. We will review the decades-long history of real-time and accelerated testing of FEVE fluoropolymer coatings in Japan due to their extensive use on bridge infrastructure. We will also assess the life-cycle cost advantages of FEVE coating systems despite their higher initial cost compared to other coatings. https://csengineermag.com/extending-infrastructure-life-using-feve- bridge-coatings/ All engineers who work on buildings should understand the basics of the EnergyConservationConstructionCodeofNYS.Envelopeperformance, in particular, is more important, challenging, and interesting that many architects realize. We'll review code requirements including recent performance-increasing changes, clarify compliance path options including trade-off options and averaging insulation values, foundation and slab insulation requirements, considerations for fenestration, mass and stud walls, and metal building systems, summarize residential and commercial air barrier requirements including testing and verification, and details to minimize structural thermal bridging. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-december-2nd-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt Engineers, Envelopes, and the Energy Code december 2– 1 pdh 2020 marks the 10th year since New York State's Energy Code first required air barriers to be part of thermal envelopes in buildings. Yet many architects and engineers still do not have a good grasp of how they should be designed and detailed, and many contractors are not clear on how they should be installed and verified. This session will cover the basics of air barrier systems as well as a summary of the most common types. For each, we'll review the pros and cons, as well as installation and detailing challenges. We'll cover field installation verification and testing. We will also debunk some myths about air barriers and identify some materials that do not properly function as air barriers, and why. https://www.nspe.org/resources/pe-institute/live-educational-events/ nysspe-december-2nd-webinar-series-klepper-hahn-hyatt This series is a new, 6-part sequence of education, virtual sessions designed to showcase the six, unique, about-to-be-published SEI Standards that govern the niche markets of electrical transmission and substation structures, nuclear facilities, athletic field lighting structures, wind tunnel testing, blast design, and cold-formed stainless steel design. In each 90-minute session SEI host Jennifer Goupile, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE, will examine the big-picture state of the market with the Air Barriers: The Thermal Frontier december 2– 2 pdh #SEILIVE starting december 2
https://csengineermag.com/how-payment-integration-automates-the- receipt-process-and-improves-cash-flow/ FROM2020 TO 2021 AND BEYOND: THEMERGING OF 3D, AEC, BIMAND GEOSPATIAL december 15 2020 has been a year like any other. Continuous changes to processes, tools and technology have transformed tasks that might have taken months or years to now be possible over weeks or even days. How will some of these technologies and changes define the future of the AEC and geospatial industries? Is the “normal” that some have talked about getting back to even worth restoring? What innovations and evolutions of the technology and sector are the experts on the lookout for in 2021? Join our panel of visionaries to explore all of these topics along with a look at the future of built world and geospatial technology plus live audience Q&A. https://www.aecnext.com/webinars/from-2020-to-2021-and-beyond- the-merging-of-3d-aec-bim-and-geospatial/ Using Matterport’s 3D Data Platform to Create Interactive BIM december 17 With Matterport, users can capture single registered point clouds quickly and utilize laser scan data to expedite BIM creation in Revit by up to 40%. Complimented by 24/7 access to perfect, immersive visual references to job sites, Matterport provides a comprehensive solution to creating an efficient and accurate BIM process. Join us to learn more! https://www.aecnext.com/webinars/using-matterports-3d-data- platform-to-create-interactive-bim/ january 2021 International Conference on Building Cracks aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Building Cracks. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Building Cracks. https://panel.waset.org/events/2021/01/tokyo/ICBC ICBC 2021 : International Conference on Building Cracks january 7-8– tokyo, Japan International Conference on Analysis and Design of Protective Structures january 11-12– singapore International Conference on Analysis and Design of Protective Structures aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Analysis and Design of Protective Structures. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Analysis and Design of Protective Structures.
younger member week 2021 january 25-29
ASCE values the involvement and ideas of early career professionals and sees its younger members as the future of the Society. Younger Members help shape the profession at all levels. As members and leaders of Sections, Branches and Younger Member groups they support one another by providing individual and group resources; opportunities for professional and leadership development; community service and advocacy; and social and professional networking. If you are a student, we have a section for you too. https://www.asce.org/younger_members/ ICCAE2021: InternationalConferenceonCivilSocietyandArchitectural Engineering january 28-29– New york, Ny International Conference on Civil Society andArchitectural Engineering aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Civil Society and Architectural Engineering. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Civil Society and Architectural Engineering https://waset.org/civil-society-and-architectural-engineering- conference-in-january-2021-in-new-york March 2021 As a structural engineering professional, you can find the latest information, innovation, products, and technology at Structures Congress. Learn best practices to push the boundaries of structural design, and bring back new ideas to improve your practice, help clients problem-solve, and be more innovative. Join us to experience all that SEI/ASCE offers to lead and innovate in Structural Engineering. Interact with and learn from the experts on Blast, Bridges, Buildings, and more, and earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs). https://www.structurescongress.org/ structures congress 2021 march 10-13– seattle, wa
The Competition After a massive 2020 EDVY contest that garnered votes from more than 60 countries worldwide, the Alabama Department of Transportation’s UAS team took the crown, edging out two stellar submissions from Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam (LAN) that featured two projects: The Northeast Transmission Waterline in Houston, Texas and Exploration Green in Clear Lake, Texas respectively. The 2020 EDVY contest began back on March 13th, which, in a year that has pushed the conversation about the benefits of unmanned systems to the forefront, seems like ages ago to most people in the AEC industry. Despite shutdowns, lockdowns, quarantines, and everything else that this year has given us, this award should give us something to look forward to on the horizon. In just a few short years, UAVs, drones, and other unmanned systems have gone from a novelty hobby with a few specific uses in the AEC industry to an entire, burgeoning field of study and development. As of this year, many firms within the industry have their own internal departments specifically dedicated to unmanned systems, and many of those that don’t outsource the same services to UAS/V companies who service engineering and construction firms. The potential for unmanned systems in the world of engineering is limitless, and they are capable of taking the industry to previ- ously unseen heights. As the potential is limitless, so the uses are equally diverse. From topographic mapping to monitoring water loss and underground shifting, the application of UAVs to problems within the industry is growing exponentially. The Winning Video The ALDOT UAS team’s winning submission exemplifies this bur- geoning technology growth in the industry. Lasting two minutes and fifty seconds, the winning video is a compilation of projects from AL- DOT over the course of a year—titled “ALDOT: AYear in Review”. ALDOT’s UAS team was able to couple numerous breathtaking drone footage shots with an action-inducing soundtrack to display not only the natural beauty of drone-footage but also its ability to change our perspective and provide new insight that cannot be gained from the Voters from Argentina to Luxembourg and everywhere in between have made their voices heard, crowning the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) this year’s competition winner. By Luke Carothers Aerial Alabama: ALDOT’s UAS Team Wins the 2020 EDVY Contest
ground. Stylized transitions serve not only a purpose of looking good, but also serve to transition the viewer from one practical application to the next. Additionally, ALDOT’s video shows the vast range of environments in which UAS/V technology can be applicable. By switching from shots of wide, rural projects to urban projects as well as projects over water, AL- DOT’s video is yet another testimony to the variety of UAS/V applications. The Winners The Alabama Department of Transportation began using drones for various projects in 2016, but it took until 2019 for the program to be
natural disaster recovery, and video and still imagery. Furthermore, team members are also training to use drones as a means of assisting bridge inspections. The team has even used drones to find and investigate beaver dams that were causing flooding on some Alabama roadways. According to Woodham, ALDOT establishing a UAS department has changed the way the department operates. He notes the change in AL- DOT’s ability to acquire and deliver data for both pre-construction and post-construction projects. In a time where remote communicate and data-sharing are prime centers of focus, ALDOT’s adoption of UAS/V technology allows District Managers and other personnel to conduct their business in an easier, safer, and more efficient manner. Additionally, UAS/V technology allows ALDOT personnel to deter- mine stockpile quantities in under an hour when, prior to the adoption of UAS/V, the same task took multiple days to complete. This level of efficiency speaks to the blossoming potential of UAS/V technology as a means of increasing efficiency and public safety. Such a wide-variety of uses for UAS/V technology means ALDOT’s 5-person UAS team is constantly busy, but this isn’t stopping them from staying on the cutting edge. In addition to constantly working to develop better ways to acquire, process, and deliver UAS data, Wood- ham and his team are looking to add LIDAR capabilities to their fleet in the near future. Watch the winning video here. UAS Team left to right: Jonathan Woodham, J.D. D’Arville, Mike Kyser, Casey Asher and Steve Brantley.
official when it began assigning official pilots. ALDOT’s UAS Man- ager Jonathan Woodham believes that, like other technologies, UAS/V usage faced some resistance when it first began being implemented in his agency, but people are starting to come around to it. However, although individuals like Jonathan Woodham have understood the various applications of UAS/V technology to the field, others in the in- dustry are beginning to buy-in to the technology and view it as another tool to help complete everyday tasks. For ALDOT, the uses of UAS/V technology are numerous and grow- ing. For now, the ALDOT UAS uses drones for projects such as: construction and environmental project site monitoring, surveying and mapping, 3D modeling, traffic flow monitoring, stockpile volumetrics,
LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at email@example.com.
Use of drones and other technologies in wetland delineation work is rising. Technology affords greater speed and accuracy at a time that is- sues like fluctuating regulations and the impacts of climate change are making wetland delineations more complex. And growing recognition of the importance of wetlands as valuable climate mitigation assets adds urgency to this work; protecting wetlands is a burgeoning part of the carbon offsets industry and will likely be a significant driver in wetland science job creation in years to come. But finding solutions to the complex challenges facing wetlands (and indeed, the world), takes far more than technology. Making this tech- nology more accessible to a gender diverse array of workers that are moving into industries like engineering and wetlands is also critically important. Women are frequently left out of media portraying drone pilots, one article noted. According to Microsoft, as reported on the site Women and Drones, women who had “STEM role models are 1.4 times more likely to pursue opportunities within these fields, yet only 40 percent of girls [currently] say they have a role model in STEM. If we want to see more girls in STEM, it’s OUR responsibility to inspire them.” Jeremy Schewe, PWS, Ecobot’s Chief Scientific Officer, invited two drone pilots into a discussion on the gender diversity gap in the pilot- ing of drones for wetland fieldwork. Caitlin Burke is an Ecologist at Resource Environmental Solutions. Kelly Brezovar is a Professional Wetland Scientist, Environmental Team Lead and Senior Environmen- tal Scientist at Hollaway Environmental + Communication Services. How are drones used in the wetland delineation process? Kelly Brezovar: We use drones for doing preliminary assessments for wetlands, and occasionally for evaluating bird nests. Drones give us a birds-eye view of the property. We do our wetland planning and our work planning based on what we see aerially. It makes the process more efficient. We also use it for public involvement to track project progress. We fly the drone over a project, see where it’s at, and then overlay those layers to show what we’ve accomplished in nine months. The footage provides a great visual representation of our efforts. Caitlin Burke: We’re not at the point where drones are delineating the wetlands for us – which is good for job security – but I'm using it to supplement my reports. You can see a general demarcation of the wetland boundary using the aerial imagery and videos captured by the drone. Especially on large sites, it’s helpful to have that imagery once Unwomanned Systems in Wetland Delineations Women Drone Pilots Take Flight in Burgeoning Wetland Delineation Work By Jeremy Schewe, PWS with Caitlin Burke and Kelly Brezovar, PWS
you’re back in the office and get a general sense of where that bound- ary is. It helps me zero in on places to take data points. How has field work evolved since you have been in this industry, and what role does technology play in that evolution? Kelly Brezovar: When I first started doing delineations, everything was done by hand. We would measure distances by counting our foot- steps. As the biologist, I would be taking notes and a colleague would follow me around with a very cumbersome GPS system. Now we have wetland delineation software like Ecobot to enter and store our datapoints, which both improves efficiency and reduces er- rors, as well as drones which help familiarize us with the topography of the land. Earlier drones would merely take images from above, which meant the areas weren’t properly georeferenced. We had to put markers on the areas we were surveying so we could properly georeference them once we got back to the office. Now we have drones that can connect to the internet, satellites, and can properly georeference the data points and images. We recently completed a seagrass survey using the drone. I was able to pop it up in the air, have it looking directly down and taking snaps along pre-planned transects . We were able to patch together a very accurate, real-time aerial map of what was there. Before drones, we would have been in a boat, in waist-deep water, walking around and holding a GPS unit in the air making every effort not to fall and destroy the unit. Drones save us a lot of time and effort. Caitlin Burke: When I first started in this industry, we didn’t have drones – at least at my company – but we did have a way to capture aerial photography. One of the owners of our company was a pilot and he would fly his personal airplane over our project sites and another coworker would lean his camera out the window and take pictures of our project sites. They would have to set a whole day aside and hit ev- ery project site on that trip. Now you take the drone with you and you can grab better and more accurate imagery in a much shorter amount of time.
- usually hardwood stands of trees where bats roost or caves where they hibernate. Heavily wooded areas where bats might be migrating through and roosting would be prime habitat to protect. The process works in a similar way to wetland crediting. If you’re an energy com- pany and you’re building a solar farm, your wind turbines are proposed to have a certain amount of impact to bats which you may have to mitigate for by purchasing credits from a bat habitat mitigation bank. How are drones involved in those mitigations? Caitlin Burke: Drones help you get a sense of the topography of the site. If we’re doing stream bank restoration, the imagery is so clear. You can zoom in on erosion in the stream bank and pinpoint areas for restoration. If you’ve got a large farmed site where there might be farmed wetlands or broken drain tiles, you can see saturated soils easily from aerial imagery. I think it will come in really handy for us to fly those sites at the beginning of a project and take photos throughout the stages of the project as well. Then you can have a nice time-lapse of the wetland bank construction. What do you foresee as the future for drones in the field of environmen- tal science and environmental engineering? Caitlin Burke: At this time, drone footage is mostly used for market- ing and promotional purposes and for supplementing reports, as well as documentation for agencies. In the future, I’d like to use it more for analysis. There are apps we can connect the drone to that would allow us to collect topographic data, calculate volumes, cut and fill, which could be helpful for streambank restoration work in the floodplain. If the drone can provide accurate elevations, you can calculate those volumes just by flying the site. That’s where I see the use of drones headed in our industry. There is also an emerging technology out there to identify vegetation types using drone programs. I haven’t used anything like that yet but I can see that it’s coming. Tell me about being a woman in this industry. Caitlin Burke: I’m used to being the only woman at field meetings – and that’s okay. I’ve always had great mentors, both male and female. My current (male) boss encourages me to make sure my voice is heard, and I haven’t felt like it’s been an issue. I know we need more women in STEM and more mentors for younger women trying to get in STEM and stick with it. I’m getting involved in a virtual drone event for high school aged girls called FlyGirls, with the Cobb County School District (Georgia) to create excitement about drones and STEM fields in general. Every girl has received a drone and gets to do different projects using their drones. I will have the opportunity to engage with the girls, talk about how I use drones in the real world and hopefully spark some excite- ment about that. I have been fortunate to have strong, female mentors in my life (in and out of STEM fields), and this has given me the confidence to know
I did not have an app for collecting wetland field data until the past year. It’s always been paper and pencil. The Ecobot app ties in nicely with GIS programs we already use. I’m a big GIS fan – I do all my own mapping for wetland delineations and for all the reporting I do. Before Ecobot I had been using the ESRI Collector app for mapping boundaries, and it’s nice to have these apps that talk to each other. We use Ecobot to collect the field data and grab the wetland boundary and it all gets uploaded right back into ArcGIS and it’s all there for my reports. It’s enhanced my efficiency greatly in the last year that I’ve been using it. Would you say technology improves the accuracy of your reporting as well? Caitlin Burke: Yes, I would agree with that. We’ve all been in situa- tions where you can’t read your own handwriting, especially if you try to transcribe your notes a week later. I would prefer to spend more time in the field taking more careful data using a wetland delineation software that stores it for me than scribbling something down and rushing to get back to the office and forgetting what that data point looked like. So I definitely think it’s increased accuracy as well. How else do you use drones in your work? Kelly Brezovar: We use them when looking for wetlands or potential impacts to wetlands in hard to reach areas. For example, when oil and gas companies are conducting horizontal directional drilling, we use the drone to help us conduct environmental inspections and look for any inadvertent returns, such as plumes occurring in waters that aren’t readily accessible. Caitlin, your work takes wetland delineation a step further. Tell us about wetland mitigation banking and your role there. Caitlin Burke: I also work on wetland mitigation bank document preparation. As a company we seek out land that would be an ideal site to construct a wetland mitigation bank or restore wetlands for per- mittee-responsible mitigation. Oftentimes, that involves a farm field where you can break the drain tiles and restore the natural hydrology to the site and have wetlands pop back up. I’m oversimplifying it – there’s more work involved, such as permitting and documentation required to get a bank approved to the point where we can begin to sell the credits to clients needing to mitigate for wetland impacts. I’m just starting to get into bat habitat mitigation sites. It’s similar to wetland mitigation, but it’s selecting a site that is a prime bat habitat
that I am capable of a career in this field. I hope to pay it forward and serve as a mentor and a resource for young women who may need that little extra push or encouragement. It is so important that we work to change the perception that STEM fields are geared towards men, and to create the supportive and wel- coming environment that we all would benefit from. Why is it important for women to be surveying land? Kelly Brezovar: It’s important to maintain diversity and encourage people from all types of backgrounds, degrees, study areas, age groups, races, and genders to participate in science, land conservation, and land management. Keeping a wide array of diverse scien- tists from different backgrounds makes the science better and more effective. As a native Texan with a heritage of German, Mexican, and Native American descent, I feel like this cultural background, in addi- tion to my being a woman, gives me a unique perspec- tive of the land I survey. Do diverse teams achieve better results and, if so, how? Kelly Brezovar: When working out in the field or preparing reports with someone so different than yourself, you gain knowledge you would have never considered and the opportunities for innovation are endless. For instance, I am more specialized in coastal habitats, wetlands, wildlife, construction, and coastal mitigation whereas my colleague Chris Garza is more specialized in forestry, botany, coastal prairies, ento- mology, fungi, and ecological restoration. My drone knowledge also pairs well with Chris’ GIS and map- ping experiences to ensure we capture all angles for more efficient flight. Chris is much more analytical whereas I am more big-picture, and we work well as a team to effectively and efficiently survey land and are able to better fly, delineate, and understand the ecological conditions and values. All in all, we are both
Kelly Brezovar: I began working with drones in 2011, but it was hard to get on the docket for flying it because a lot of people who had been flying it for longer had seniority. So I decided to get my own drone. In November of 2017, a friend suggested I get a drone pilot, so I did. The following month, I got my pilot license and continue to finesse my skills and explore new ways to use this technology. JEREMY SCHEWE , a Professional Wetland Scientist, is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Ecobot. CAITLIN BURKE is an Ecologist at Resource Environmental Solutions. KELLY BREZOVAR is an Environmental Team Lead and Senior Environmental Scientist at Hollaway Environmental + Communication Services.
striving to collect data that gears towards our diverse interests, while adequately capturing the land for either preservation, restoration, miti- gation, or permitting. Caitlin Burke: In a diverse workplace, there is greater collaboration and ease of communication. This inherently leads to more thoughtful discussion and better solutions for clients. I do find that I am able to build professional relationships more easily with young women like myself. I might be able to communicate with female clients or regulatory agents in a way that my male colleagues cannot. This also allows the team to engage with and potentially attract a more diverse client base. Finally, Kelly, how did you get interested in flying drones?
Construction and demolition (C&D) waste is a major concern, with 569 million tons generated in the United States in 2017 alone. That is more than twice the amount of municipal solid waste generated in the same period, making it an issue that goes far beyond just the construction industry. That said, there are various ways to reduce and divert C&D waste when considering a project’s full lifecycle. To do so, it’s best to examine each stage — planning, construction, and demolition — through the lens of the waste hierarchy: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Energy Recovery, Disposal. Doing so alone can be a daunting task, so most construction profession- als opt to use a green building framework for their sustainable waste management. One of the most recognized and widely used is LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which employs a series of required and optional credits to keep projects sustainable. LEED is applicable to all kinds of construction projects and grouped into five main categories: Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Interior Design and Construction, Operations and Maintenance (O+M), Neighborhood Development, and Homes. Within these categories, projects can earn credits in five main areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Earning non-required credits gives a project points, and these points are tallied to award a LEED Certification. There are four possible lev- els, ranging from LEED Certified (40 and 49 points) to Platinum (80 plus points). Planning Ahead for Sustainable Waste Management Making a construction project more sustainable starts before you’ve even broken ground, with planning being arguably the most important stage in going green. When looking at waste, the focus is on materi- als — what you use, how much, where it comes from, and what can be done end-of-life. Some of the most common materials are potentially the worst choice when looking at the full lifecycle of a building. Concrete, for example, is by far the most widely used construction material in the world, but it has a heavy carbon footprint, with cement accounting for roughly 8% of global CO2 emissions. To make matters worse, it's no better from a waste perspective, with concrete unable to be reused in any meaningful way. It can be recycled LEED, Sustainable Waste Management and Green Construction By Shannon Bergstrom
into products such as aggregates, but much still ends up in landfill, and if looked at through our hierarchy, a reusable product, such as bricks, would be a better choice. Bricks still embody significant emissions but can be reclaimed and reused over many generations. Thinking about end-of-life material reuse also involves thinking about tearing a construction down before you’ve even put it up, which can seem very strange. However, considering how little time many builds stay standing, it’s imperative for any project looking towards more sustainable construction waste management. For example, one study of U.K. residential buildings found that 46 per- cent of those demolished were only 11-32 years old, while a study of office buildings in Japan found the average lifespan to be between 23 and 41 years. When buildings are knocked down in less than a single generation, we have to consider how resources can be reused. Knowing a building may come down in merely a matter of years also means you need to question the source of your materials. Ideally, reusing materials from demolished buildings should go hand-in-hand with the use of less toxic and more sustainable alternatives that we will go into later. This reduces the amount of raw material extracted, processed, and shipped as well as bringing down C&D waste across the entire industry through the use of natural materials that can either If salvaged materials aren’t right for your project, then perhaps consider low-waste alternatives. Instead of concrete, look into the possibility of using hempcrete, a composite of hemp hurds (shives) and lime, sand, or pozzolans, for non-load bearing sections of a building. This material actively reduces waste in other sectors (namely agricul- ture), absorbs CO2 whilst being grown, and at the end of its life is non- toxic. Similarly, some construction materials can’t be easily salvaged and reused, such as fiberglass insulation. Unfortunately, this insulation also can’t be recycled and can lead to build-ups of toxins in landfills, which can then leach into the ground. In situations like this, the best way to avoid a waste disaster is again planning for alternatives such as wool, hemp, or soy-based foams. be reused or recycled/composted. Using Sustainable Materials
In addition to exploring what you’ll build with and where it comes from, it’s also important to pay close attention to how much you need. Ordering excess material for a project can lead to direct waste through it simply sitting on a site, increased energy and transportation waste by shipping unnecessary goods, and financial waste because you’re buying stuff you don’t need. As well as quantity, also plan for variants of any material—don’t get 12ft planks when 10ft will do. LEED can help with this planning stage through its extensive frame- work. One such credit designed for this is “Construction and Demo- lition Waste Management Planning,” which is required for BD+C: New Construction. Additionally, there are five points available for the “Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction” credit, which is focused around planning, specifically “by reusing existing building resources or demonstrating a reduction in materials use through life-cycle as- sessment.” On-Site Waste Management for Sustainable Construction Once the planning stage is complete and you’re actually on-site, there are many areas for potential waste generation. A first general step is the creation of a designated waste management area with a waste manage- ment partner. All waste from a site can be funneled here, where trained operatives are able to follow the waste hierarchy, separating out reus- able materials that can go back to the site, recyclable materials that can be sent for processing, and anything that goes to landfill. However, before anything ends up at the designated waste manage- ment area, we should look to the top of our waste reduction hierarchy: reduce. And one way to reduce the wastage of materials is through the improvement of skills. There will always be some slip-ups, of course,
but ensuring you work with a skilled and reliable team can mean a reduction in the amount of materials and items being wasted from mis- cuts, mismeasurement, drops, and more. Additionally, while you should avoid excess material in your planning stage, there will often be some surplus during construction. Explore the opportunities for returning excess or even waste material to sup- pliers. Offcuts can sometimes be sent back and resold for use in other projects, while take back services could mean far less usable waste being sent to the landfill. Finally, packaging can be a real issue, and while many consumers are trying to reduce this type of waste while grocery shopping, the same is not true in the construction industry. Take the time to look for materials and products that come with less packaging — this can help on-site waste and its associated management costs. Like with the planning stage, you can use the LEED framework to help stay on track. Specifically, there is the two-point credit “Construction and Demolition Waste Management,” which outlines strict measures for diverting waste streams or reducing your total waste. Waste Management at End-of-life: Demolition & Deconstruction As mentioned earlier, you should plan for any project’s end-of-life, but it is also worth considering how to reduce waste when you are bringing that end. Around 90 percent of all C&D waste comes from demolition, so reducing it at this point can have a massive impact, whether you’re clearing space for a new construction or just bringing a building down. To do so, look towards deconstruction rather than demolition. This involves stripping a building to salvage its usable materials. It is es- pecially applicable for wood-framed buildings, those with high-value elements, those that are structurally sound, and those with good bricks but bad mortar. Deconstruction not only reduces the amount of waste generated at the end of a building’s life but also creates materials that are redirected into new construction projects (either your own or others) to reduce the amount of raw materials needed, bringing us full circle. Like with the on-site LEED framework, the Construction and Demoli- tion Waste Management credit can help implement the required waste diversion and reuse needed to achieve sustainable construction waste management when bringing down a building. Construction and demolition waste is a major issue, but it can be tack- led by addressing waste points throughout the lifecycle of a building. Planning ahead, good site management, and better demolition tech- niques through the lens of the waste hierarchy can lead to significant reductions and greener, more sustainable construction.
S t r u c t u r a l E n g i n e e r s A x i o m # 7 Structural Engineers Axiom #7
Professional Liability is essential. Overpaying is not. Professional Liabi ity is Essential. Overpaying s Not.
I t pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. It pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay.
Get a quote—overnight. Visit: www.fenner-esler.com Click “Need a Quote” Call toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK (866-737-7683 x. 208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org im@Insuranc 4Structurals.com ww .insurance4structurals.com Get a quote—overnight. Visit: w.insurance4structurals.com Click “Need a Quote” ll toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK ( 66-737-7683 x.208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: tim@Insurance4Structurals.com
SHANNON BERGSTROM is a LEED Green Associate, TRUE waste advisor. She currently works at RTS, a tech-driven waste and recycling management company, as a sustainability operations manager. Shannon consults with clients across industries on sustainable waste practices.
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