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THE COVER Water Infrastructure Improvements in Eastern Romania – story on page 10 CHANNELS ENVIRONMENTAL + SUSTAINABILITY 12 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 3 Lessons the Construction Industry Is Learning 14 Adaptive City Planning Tackles the Uncertainty of Sea Level Rise 16 Energy Efficiency as a Tool for Decarbonization 17 Building Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Using Geosynthetics STRUCTURES + BUILDINGS 19 Driving Toward Sustainability in Construction 20 Innovation in Support of Education TRANSPORTATION + INFRASTRUCTURE 23 Breaking New Ground On Equity 25 Driving Change and Influencing a New Generation of AEC Professionals WATER + STORMWATER 26 Coastal Resilience in the US: the Importance of Short-term Adaptation for a Sick World 27 Controlling Stormwater Chamber System Design 29 Flood-Resistant Building Design and Local Climate Change Resilience Initiatives BUSINESS NEWS 32 Onboarding During COVID 19 Pandemic 34 5 Key Challenges for Construction Projects in 2022 and How to can Approach Them 35 Increasing the Number of Women in the Construction Industry SOFTWARE + TECH 37 Getting Site Preparation & Mobilization Right for Advanced Digital Construction Management 38 Using Collaboration Software in a New World of Work
departments 8 Events 41 Reader Index
Columns 5 Industry Insights: Sustaining the AEC Industry in a New Environment Tyler Thompson 6 Looking Back, Moving Forward: When the Cuyahoga
River Burned Luke Carothers
VOLUME 8 ISSUE 4 csengineermag.com
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Sustaining the AEC Industry in a New Environment
The AEC industry has a unique relationship with the environment and sustainability. We are the designers of the world around us, but buildings account for nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions every year. However, in many ways, the AEC industry is leading the way in the fight against climate change. Part of this entails examining our own processes and the reverberating effects they have on the natural world. Likewise, this process of self- examination can also be applied when talking about our ability to both recruit new talent to the AEC industry and retain the staff we already have. There is a tendency to blame the current lack of growth in the AEC industry on the ongoing
effects of the pandemic. However, data from our 2022 Recruitment & Retention Report of AEC Firms indicate that our problems with R&R started before the pandemic and were only exacerbated by it. Prior to the pandemic in 2019, we were already experiencing a slight decrease in growth rate versus 2017-2018. Once the pandemic hit, this momentum was exaggerated, but it’s clear that the pandemic is not the only catalyst for this decline in growth rate of firms. This is only supported when you look at the AEC industry compared to others. Our data shows a massive spike in layoffs in 2020 (3.1 percent), but this number is relatively low compared to spikes in the U.S. unemployment rate of roughly 15 percent in April 2020 and roughly 7 percent in December 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This forces us to ask the question: what is behind the decline in the growth rate of AEC firms? Voluntary turnover, which entails staff leaving a firm under their own accord, decreased during the pandemic, but this is likely because of the unpredictability of the job market and a sense of security in their current role or position. Now, as expected, voluntary turnover has returned to pre-pandemic standards. This is worrisome because the same trend isn’t reciprocated in the “Joining the Firm” rate. The “join the firm” rate is still decreasing. According to data from our 2022 Recruitment and Retention Report of AEC Firms , this trend began in 2019 after a banner year in 2018. This again shows a trend that was exacerbated by the pandemic, not started by it. AEC firms are having difficulty retaining talent, which has led to firms including more open positions to fill relative to the last two years. If you compare the open position measures to pre-pandemic levels, it mostly compares to 2017, the year before the AEC industry experienced a boom in employees, which should give hope that history can repeat itself. In addition, our data indicates that faster growing firms have been able to take advantage of their staff growth momentum while declining firms are struggling to keep up. The increase in open positions has also led AEC firms to be more reliant on and willing to listen to employee recommendations for candidates. As a result, AEC firms are spending more time and resources to create plans and procedures around incentive plans for this effort. Our data indicates that 79 percent of AEC firms offer some form of referral compensation for employees, which is the most common bonus plan. In 2021, 15 percent of firms responded “no” when asked if they compensate current employees for referring candidates. This number decreased to 11 percent in 2022. The other notable trend is that while firms offering a referral bonus after a set time increased, firms offering a referral bonus with “no stipulation” decreased. This suggests that firms are more clearly defining their referral compensation plans as their importance is recognized. When firms aren’t relying on anonymous applications or employee referrals as a recruitment strategy, they either have their own in-house staff or hire an outside firm. This is typically dependent on staff size–usually a reflection of company revenue–and how much money can be dedicated to recruiting strategies. All firms with more than 100 employees had an in-house recruiting staff and the large majority of firms with 50-99 employees (89 percent) did as well. While the bigger firms have their recruiting staff, they still may use outside firms as an additional source or strategy to their growth plans. However, firms with 25-49 employees are interesting in that they are the only staff size category that is more likely to hire an outside firm than have their own internal recruiting team. This is interesting when compared to the “join the firm” rate and suggests that firms sized 25-49 are experiencing a block or pause in staff growth. However, in the face of these looming challenges, the AEC industry is starting to rise to the challenge and adapt to changes in the modern working environment by reexamining the policies that attract and retain talent at their firms. As firms continue to examine their own strategies and policies for R&R, the sustainability and long-term health of the AEC industry depends on the innovations born from the current moment. The success of recruiting new talent and retaining current employees depends on our ability to correctly assess our new working environments and respond accordingly. Changes in R&R policies show us that that AEC industry is taking steps in the right direction, but these short-term steps must be backed by long term goals and vision.
TYLER THOMPSON is the Research Manager at Zweig Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
looking back, moving forward When the Cuyahoga River Burned
Cutting through the heart of Cleveland and Akron,Ohio, the Cuyahoga River once served an important role in the indus - trial development of the United States. In 1827, engineers changed the course of the river, creating a man-made mouth that provided easy access from the river to the port. To further support growing industry, the Corps of Engineers also dredged the bottom of the river West of Cleveland and straightened riverbanks in portions. This, as well as the river’s close proximity to the Ohio & Erie Canal, made the banks of the Cuyahoga prime real estate for railroads and manufac - turing companies. These transportation networks made Cleveland and Akron incredibly important cities for the time, sitting at the cross- roads of many industries that were foundational to the expansion of the United States. Industrialists and enterprising business owners began establishing factories along the river’s banks. Companies such as Standard Oil, BF Goodrich, and what would eventually become Quaker Oats used the banks of the Cuyahoga River to launch empires in their respective industries. As a result, both Cleveland and Akron exploded in their industrial development with little space being left along the river’s banks. With this influx in both industry and population, local officials had to figure out how to move industrial and sewage waste away from the area. The most obvious and costly solution was to use the waters of the Cuyahoga. In the best cases, industrial waste was hauled away on barges that were prone to sinking or otherwise spilling its contents into the river. In many more cases, industrial waste and sewage were simply dumped straight into the river. By 1900, the Cuyahoga River had caught fire no less than three times. For many residents, this was just the cost of doing business. It was common knowledge amongst locals that you should not swim in the river if you knew what was good for you. In this way, the ecological status of the Cuyahoga River has had an inverse relationship with the rise and fall of industrialization along its banks. In the late 1950s, industry in Cleveland and Akron began to wane as manufacturers moved their plants elsewhere. By the start of 1969, Cleveland had lost nearly 60,000 manufacturing jobs, and the loss triggered a sense of urgency to change. When times were good, the putrid smell and taste of the Cuyahoga River was that of money, but that turned to a medicinal taste as the reality of the future began to set in. In June of 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire for the 13th and final time. Ignited by sparks from a passing railcar that landed on an oil slick, the Cuyahoga’s final fire only lasted about 30 minutes before being put out by fireboats, and it only caused about $50,000 in damage. This final fire was only a match flame compared to other fires on the river, but it was enough to spark a movement. Although the city’s active cleanup measures had begun the year before, the event provided the perfect framing for a larger national conversation about environmental protection. The following year in 1970, Time Magazine published an article about waterway pollution in America, using a picture from the massive 1952 Cuyahoga River blaze that caused upwards of $1.3 million in damages. The dramatic image of the Cuyahoga River burning was etched into the public image, and massive efforts began to not only clean up the Cuyahoga, but all of America’s waterways and environmental landscapes. The same year, the Envi - ronmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established at the federal level to manage environmental risks and regulate environmental policy and action. By introducing legislation such as the Clean Water Act in 1972, the EPA established a baseline for cleaning up rivers like the Cuyahoga. In addition, local agencies stepped in to begin cleaning up the Cuyahoga River. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has invested over $3.5 billion towards the river’s purification and sewage infrastructure. Investments such as this have gone a long way in making the Cuyahoga River safe once again, but areas of the river still experience pollution from urban runoff and other factors. Yet, in 2019, fish caught in the Cuyahoga River were deemed safe to eat, which would have been unthinkable to a Cleveland resident alive at the time of the last fire. In 1998, the Cuyahoga River was designated one of 14 American Heritage Rivers, which recognizes not only the cultural significance of the Cuyahoga on the region’s development, but also the further need to revitalize the river ecologically to continue that development. Once a site of industry, the Cuyahoga River has a vastly different future ahead, drawing more and more recreational visitors every year.
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.
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you…the thinkers, the leaders, the people redefining what’s possible to show us how far this technology can take us. The Symposium is the perfect time to reconnect with old friends, discover new ones, catch up on the latest developments, and make your voice heard. https://www.auvsi.net/faa2022/registration
Spatial Digital Twins: Trends, Opportunities and the Way Forward April 5 – Virtual With a solid foundation in the manufacturing sector, it’s now time to analyze the transition of digital twins to a spatially enabled world – out of the factory to the streets, cities, countries and globe. Join us for the launch of the WGIC Report on Spatial Digital Twins. https://www.assetmapping.events/spatial-digital-twins Sustainability Symposium 2022: Roadmap to Decarbonization April 20-21 – Virtual We are in a climate emergency. Scientists from across the globe have confirmed that human-induced carbon dioxide emissions are intensifying climate change, and that we need a full-scale elimination of all greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius—ideally, 1.5 degrees. If we surpass that threshold, which could happen in as little as five years, we’ll encounter irreversible impacts leading to widespread species extinction and ecosystem collapse. Fortunately, creating a net-zero carbon economy is no longer out of reach or expensive. We invite you to join us for the Sustainability Symposium 2022: Roadmap to Decarbonization on April 20-21. At this virtual event, you will learn how we can expedite the transition to a cleaner, greener, and better future in which we can all enjoy a flourishing economy that is not only free of carbon emissions, but offers the opportunity for incredible capital gains for those with just a little ambition and imagination. https://www.greenbuildermedia.com/sustainability-symposium-2022- roadmap-to-decarbonization XPONENTIAL exists to help you separate the signal from the noise and write the next chapter of automated innovation with clarity and confidence. Powered by the global reach of AUVSI, XPONENTIAL is the only gathering for leaders and end users in every industry to share use cases, experience new technology, strike up new partnerships, and solve real problems. Our community has been working for decades to reimagine the way humans work and live. Now, in the face of a global pandemic, we reimagined our event to provide fresh insight and connections. https://www.xponential.org/xponential2022/public/Enter.aspx AUVSI Xponential April 25-28 – Orlando, FL Every day at the FAA we’re getting closer to making advanced drone operations routine. From the report by the Beyond Visual Line of Sight Aviation Rulemaking Committee (BVLOS ARC) to creating means of compliance for operations over people and Remote ID, to real-world results from the BEYOND program, exciting things are happening across the drone landscape. As a drone operator, you have a lot at stake in these advances, and you’ve been with us every step of the way. This year the FAADrone Symposium is all new and all about FAA Drone Symposium April 28 – Orlando, FL
M&A Next Symposium april 28-29 – Charleston, SC
Discussion Topics Include: Strategy Development, Why M&A for the AEC industry, Impact of M&A on Firm Culture, Strategic Partners (when, how, who to approach). https://zweiggroup.com/products/m-a-next-symposium-2022 may 2022 The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) will host the 2022 CFSEI Expo on May 16-18, 2022 at The Curtis – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Denver, Colorado. After two years, the Expo returns to an in-person format that will include several educational sessions; announcements of the CFSEI Design Excellence and Creative Detail Award winners and the John P. Matsen Distinguished Service Award winner; and an exposition featuring state-of-the-art innovations, technologies and principles in cold-formed steel framing. https://www.buildusingsteel.org/2022/03/2022-cfsei-expo-to-be-held- may-16-18-in-denver/ 2022 CFSEI Expo may 16-18 – Denver, CO The twelve topics selected was guided by good practice design including consideration for how structural design and applicable codes, material properties, and well-defined professional specifications can impact in-service outcomes. Participants will earn 15-hours of continuing education credit (1.5 CEUs) and a certificate at the completion of the course. The audience for this course is engineers involved in the design of wood construction projects, residential designers, metal-plate- connected (MPC) wood truss designers, engineered wood product (EWP) designers, general contractors, and building code officials, plan reviewers and inspectors. https://www.cpe.vt.edu/sdtwc/index.html It's back! Join us at Simulation World to discover how simulation enables creators to explore limitless possibilities and take advantage of digital transformation opportunities. Simulation World 2022 is the first in a series of events planned for this year designed to inspire and educate executives, engineers, R&D, and manufacturing professionals about how engineering simulation strategies are helping innovators Take a Leap of Certainty to bring their world-changing ideas to life. https://www.simulationworld.com/?promo=7013g000000HVi6AAG& tr=true&utm_campaign=brand&ut m_medium=media-referral&utm_ source=cs-engineering&utm_content=digital_sim-world-2022_free event-listing_event-virtual_register_na_en_global Structural Design Topics in Wood Construction may 17-18 – BLACKSBURG, VA Simulation World 2022 may 18 – Virtual
june 2022 The Principals Academy june 16-17 – Miami, FL
include some of 2022’s greatest challenges – the AEC workforce, risk management, governance, and more. https://zweiggroup.com/products/aec-executive-roundtable-2022 july 2022
The Principals Academy is Zweig Group’s flagship training program encompassing all aspects of managing a professional AEC service firm. Elevate your ability to lead and grow your firm at this impactful two-day program designed to inspire and inform existing and emerging AEC firm leaders in key areas of firm management leadership, financial management, recruiting, marketing, business development, and project management. Learning and networking at this premiere event challenges traditional seminar formats and integrates participatory idea exchange led by Zweig Group’s CEO Chad Clinehens, PE, and Zweig Group's Managing Principal, Jamie Claire Kiser. Zweig Group’s leadership team draws from our 30+ year history working with AEC firms to teach the latest approaches to managing and operating successful firms – using our comprehensive data set of industry benchmarks and best practices. The Principals Academy is like a two-day mini-MBA for design and technical professionals and is the most impactful two days you can spend learning to build your career and your firm. https://zweiggroup.com/products/the-principals-academy-2023 HxGN LIVE Global 2022 promises to be our best conference yet with a hybrid in-person and virtual event taking place from 20-23 June 2022. The programme will be structured around audience-centric summit topics enabling you to discover and learn about innovative technologies and proven solutions driving our autonomous future forward in your professional field. This format will serve as a platform for inspiring thought-leadership discussions and a springboard for building customer communities around each summit topic. Whether you join us in Las Vegas or attend our virtual event from your home or office, you’ll have exclusive access to all that HxGN LIVE Global has to offer. https://hxgnlive.com/global HxGN Live Global june 20-23 – Las Vegas, NV The 2022 AEC Executive Roundtable is a unique opportunity for AEC firm leaders to engage and interact with industry peers to discuss current issues facing firms today, explore industry trends and next practices, and confront the biggest challenges they face leading their firms. Through a combination of short informative presentations and panel discussions, along with multiple topic focused roundtables, this event will allow leaders to truly find the knowledge and insight they are looking for. Zweig Group’s leadership team moderates the program, guiding group conversations, encouraging integration, and networking, and ensuring attendees gain valuable insight, new ideas and tools – and a new network of colleagues – to foster effective leadership at their respective firms. Come prepared to discuss your biggest challenges and successes during this highly interactive session. With you in control of the subject matter, roundtable discussions strike at the heart of what you need to effect change in your organization. Areas of focus will AEC Executive Roundtable june 22-24 – Dallas, TX
Elevating Doer-Sellers july 14-15– Houston, TX
Business Development for AEC Professionals equips professionals in architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental firms to grow the business while serving clients. Elevating Doer-Seller 2022 is hosted by three industry leaders: Chad Clinehens, PE, Dan Williams, PE, and Stephanie Warino, P.G., WV LRS, PMP. This interactive seminar presents business development techniques proven to drive value in your firm. Rooted in data and case studies, Elevating Doer-Sellers focuses on what works in today’s AEC firm utilizing practical and proven techniques that resonate across your organizational chart. https://zweiggroup.com/products/elevating-doer-sellers-2022 August 2022 Practical leadership skills are vital to the health and success of every company in any industry. Effective leaders motivate their teams to achieve exceptional results, inspire others to be better than they thought possible, and create an environment where their team is focused and working towards a common vision. Zweig Group’s team of management experts – who have extensive experience working with AEC firms providing solutions to the challenges facing AEC firms today – deliver practical solutions that technical professionals can put to work immediately to lead their firms to success. https://zweiggroup.com/products/leadership-skills-for-aec- professionals-2022 september 2022 Leadership Skills for AEC Professionals August 11-12 – New Orleans, la
Commercial UAV expo september 6-8 – las vegas, nv
Commercial UAV Expo Americas is the definitive event for professionals integrating or operating commercial UAS. With top- notch education, thousands of attendees, and more exhibitors than any other commercial drone event, it’s the best opportunity of the year for anyone who needs to keep up with commercial UAS technology,
trends, and developments. https://www.expouav.com/
Improving the Ecological Health of Galati County through Water Infrastructure Improvements
By Luke Carothers
Galati County is situated on the eastern side of Romania, and, although the region’s population is relatively small with just 536,000 residents living in the 4,466 km² area, the region has been continuously inhab - ited by human populations since the neolithic era. The region’s capital city–Galati–was settled sometime between the sixth and fifth centuries BCE as an important meeting place on the Danube River. However, despite this long history, much of current Galati County has not been developed in terms of wastewater treatment facilities and drinking water distribution networks. Plans were announced for a massive improvement to Galati County’s water and sewage infrastructure. United States-based Hill International was selected to provide project management services and works super- vision for the project. In addition to providing project management services, Hill International will also handle project publicity, sludge management strategies, implementation of a GIS system, and indus - trial wastewater management. Bodgan Mocanu, Hill International’s Technical Director, notes the environmental and social impact of this project on the people living in Galati County. According to Mocanu, this sort of development was previously unheard of in the region, where most water improvement projects were local, small-budget projects. In the past, much of the region’s development was focused on the industrial sector, and, as a result, the region remains Romania’s leading steel producer. Political changes have made a definite impact on how infrastructure proj - ects were and are developed in Galati County and the rest of Romania. Mocanu notes that prior to 1990, there was substantial political motivation to develop the region from an industrial perspective. After the disbanding of the USSR, there was an immediate need, according toMocanu, to begin developing the region in a way that directly benefited the people living there. The first step in this process was updating the water infrastructure that was already in place and connecting it with other systems to form the basis of county infrastructure. Funding for these projects was only increased when Romania joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. Romania’s inclusion in the EU meant political pressure and financial support to comply with Directives that are meant to improve the lives of people living under its jurisdiction. The water infrastructure project in Galati County addresses the EU Directives regarding drinking water quality, urban wastewater treatment, and the safe evacuation of sludge.
The project involved not only procuring the necessary equipment to complete the improvements, but also in ensuring that the project met the funding requirements laid out by the EU. This first phase also included a public awareness campaign, which Hill International helped develop to inform the region’s population about the proposed construction works. The Galati Water Improvement project is focused on addressing the current state of the systems in place and updating them according to need. In some parts of the county, such as Cosmesti and Serbestii Ve - chi, this means rehabilitating their raw water pumping and chlorination stations. In other places, such as Liesti and Movileni, new drinking water treatment plants are being constructed. Still other places such as Slobozia Conachi existing water distribution networks are being extended. However, this represents just a fraction of the upgrades that are being constructed during this project. As the second phase of the project continues, Mocanu points out that rural communities will see increased benefits. Mocanu notes that, while there are developed areas of the county, many small communities have never had centralized waste management systems. More still, the more rural of these communities have never had a centralized drinking water system, relying on local sources for their drinking water. On top of receiving centralized drinking water and waste management systems, these communities will also benefit economically from the second phase of the project. Resources generated from the project will support indus- tries such as agriculture through features like activated mud. According to Mocanu, the emphasis on creating a water infrastructure network that spans the entire county is crucial to serving the numerous pockets of rural populations dotted throughout the area. While much of Galati County is rural, the area does contain two municipalities–Galati and Tecuci. Unlike the other communities in the region, these two municipalities had comparatively more water infrastructure, but, as Mocanu points out, there was still a need to further develop these cities and introduce a greater level of environmental sustainability.
Green development is at the heart of this project. Updating previous water infrastructure projects that were intended to support the indus- trial sector to meet modern standards represents a watershed moment for the region. Mocanu explains that, prior to this project, there was no vision of what an ecological status even meant for this region. Now, with monitoring systems and infrastructure in place, the region has taken an important first step in its ecological development and control. This is especially important when Galati County’s impact on surround - ing counties. The Siret River, which flows through the county from North to South before joining the Danube River, is not only an impor - tant county for Galati, but also many surrounding counties. Many of the older sewer and wastewater systems were designed to flow directed into the Siret, which had significant negative ramifications for the in - dustries that relied upon the water such as transportation and fishing. The Siret River is also a significant source of drinking water for much of Eastern Romania. As such, the improvements in Galati County have a wider impact on the health and economic status of a large swath of Romanian citizens. The ecological health of the Siret River is set to improve by 60 or 70 percent according to Mocanu. Prior to this project, Mocanu says “the ecological health of the county wasn’t even considered.” This project not only drastically improves the ecological health of Galati County, but it also provides an avenue for additional ecological funding through the EU.
Mocanu also points out that, in addition to improving quality of life, these improvements open up Galati County to the larger world. Galati County is a hotbed of discovery when it comes to the ancient and medieval worlds as well as being home to numerous beautiful histori- cal structures. Mocanu believes that tourism in this region has been largely hindered by the lack of access to waste facilities and clean drinking water. Now, with more standardized access to these facilities, Galati is poised to open itself as a tourist destination in Eastern Europe. Improvements are scheduled to continue for the next few years, with an anticipated completion date in August 2024. These improvements will continue to improve the lives of the people living in Galati County, and will positively impact the ecological health of the region and that of its neighbors. 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.
april 2022 csengineermag.com
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Climate change isn’t the only good reason to explore alternative sus - tainable building methods. It’s also a great business practice. Green building raises the value of built assets – which is great news for con - struction companies and clients alike. Here are three lessons the construction industry is learning about how to reduce, reuse, and recycle in the name of sustainability and environ- mental preservation. 1. Reduce: Know When to Engage in Source Reduction The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes construction and demolition materials as one of the most impactful waste streams in the country. Some of these include: • Concrete • Asphalt from roads or shingles • Metals such as aluminum and steel • Glass • Wood • Salvaged fixtures such as plumbing and windows Some 600 million tons of this debris get deposited in landfills each year. For perspective, this is twice the amount of general municipal waste produced by U.S. citizens and businesses. Source reduction involves several practices designed to reduce the amount of demolition waste resulting from a building retrofit, as well as the new materials needed to complete a given construction task. Here are some of those practices: • Builders and clients should emphasize preserving existing structures instead of defaulting to new construction. • Architects and builders should design new construction and retrofits for greater longevity. • The industry must shift to employing construction techniques that make disassembly and material reuse easier for future owners. • Construction professionals should shift to alternative framing techniques and cull unnecessary interior flourishes and finishes to reduce material usage. Before reclaiming and reusing building techniques, the construction industry must reckon with the material and planetary cost of knocking down functional buildings and replacing them will all-new construc- tion. Reducing humanity’s need for physical materials begins with repurposing and source reduction. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 3 Lessons the Construction Industry Is Learning
Reducing a construction project’s ecological footprint can extend even to the building implements and techniques used on-site. Ensuring heavy equipment operators understand ideal operational conditions and essential maintenance for their machines means these assets work with the intended efficiency and ecological impact. 2. Reuse: Build With Greater Numbers of Reclaimed Materials The construction sector’s first order of business is source reduction for new construction. The second priority must be learning how to reuse reclaimed and repurposed, materials after being incorporated into an existing structure. Source reduction seeks to eliminate material sourcing as much as pos - sible. Building with reclaimed materials ensures that, when builders must source new materials, they seek reclaimed, repurposed or re- cycled materials before ordering newly fabricated components. The local market for reclaimed and salvaged building materials differs significantly by region, but builders have every reason to seek local reuse centers and waste exchanges. Some of these marketplaces exist wholly online, while other architectural salvage yards require frequent in-person visits to see what’s newly available. The EPA has resources available that can connect builders with organi- zations that recycle and repurpose construction materials in their area. This is not a full list of salvageable materials, but it should provide an idea of what’s possible when builders and their clients seek repurposed materials first: • Doors, windows, countertops, bathroomvanities, and kitchen cabinets The market for reclaimed lumber and other building materials is rising for several reasons. It’s not just good for the planet – clients also realize there’s a unique charm in incorporating materials into their homes and businesses that have already proven themselves and have a history. 3. Recycle: Learn How Design Must Support Adaptation and Reuse Engaging in construction to emphasize the longevity of materials and the useful lifetime of the building is paramount. Building designs themselves are changing to support this mission. Today, the physical design of a building and the choice of materials must support future adaptations of the building as well as the eventual dismantling and reuse of its structural and superficial components. Here are the broad strokes of how this can work in practice: • Builders and owners maintain more detailed structural draw - ings and accountings of the materials used. This way, future • Plumbing and electrical fixtures • Metals for siding and roofing • Wood, tile, carpeting, and synthetic flooring • Bricks and concrete • Wood and lumber
How Will These Impact Construction’s Future? Reducing, reusing, and recycling isn’t just a climate-conscious mind - set. It’s also a great way for companies to retain a competitive advan - tage and uncover hidden savings. Construction businesses that start building circular supply chains today will be in a better position than their peers when climate pressures and green-focused regulations come to bear even more intensely on the building industry. • Cost savings: Builders wishing to reduce their material sourcing and daily operational costs and pass the savings on to their cli- ents would do well to familiarize themselves with emerging ways to repurpose existing materials and build with reuse in mind. • Competitive advantage: Certifications like LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) are reserved for builders who take the long view when engaging in construction. LEED is the most widely used rating system for green builders and it exists in 162 countries. Clients are looking for this type of expertise and builders must know how to deliver. • Environmental aid: Consumers increasingly favor eco-con- scious companies of all types, making green builders some of the most highly sought-after organizations in the industry. The industry must continue to adopt sustainability at every level. As humankind reckons with the unfolding climate crisis, the old axiom of reduce, reuse, recycle should continue paying dividends and helping this sector change with the times.
owners have a better idea of how to dismantle the structure if necessary and which items can easily be used again. • Construction professionals should familiarize themselves with open-span structural systems, modular building techniques, and other assembly paradigms that make building adaptation, reuse, and material reclamation more straightforward. • Designing a building in a way that reduces the number and types of materials required can substantially reduce the eco - logical footprint of initial construction, as well as make ongoing maintenance easier and less wasteful. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop - ment (HUD), buildings that are highly repurposable and easily decon - structible and reusable share the following characteristics: • They are predominantly wood-framed, featuring “stick by stick” construction and heavy timbers like Douglas fir, American chestnut, and others. • Any specialty materials should be high-value and easily repurposed. • Any bricks should contain high-quality work with lower-quality mortar, making for easy demolition and repurposing. • Buildings should be structurally sound and built to last. Even if it’s destined to be deconstructed and repurposed, a structure that’s hardened against pests and the elements will produce a greater yield of recyclable components. The U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency has a rapid assessment tool for builders . It should help identify and prioritize structures and materi - als for demolition and potential salvaging.
april 2022 csengineermag.com
Historically, engineers have designed cities’ infrastructure to a baseline climate. However, given the inevitability of and rapid acceleration of climate change, this baseline is shifting. “Sea levels along the United States coastline are projected to rise a foot on average over the next three decades, which is equivalent to the total rise we’ve seen over the last 100 years,” notes D.J. Rasmussen, a climate change risk & resilience consultant in global built environment consulting firmArup’s San Francisco office. “Because of the inertia of contributing factors, including increasing global temperatures associated with greenhouse gas emissions, coastal floods will become an inevitable problem for hundreds of millions of people living in low lying areas for centuries to come.” Adaptive City Planning Tackles the Uncertainty of Sea Level Rise By Liza Moriconi
Constructed wetlands along the East River serving as both green infrastructure and park amenity for Hunters Point South in Queens, New York City. Photo: Arup
nature-based solutions, and retreating includes pulling back from the shoreline. “Making these decisions is a result of a robust engagement process with stakeholders and community groups, especially with pub- lic projects,” says Vincent Lee, an associate principal and Global Water Skills Leader in Arup’s New York office. “With one of the waterfront developments we supported New York City in developing, a portion of the waterfront used a resist strategy to protect visitors in the public space and the residents in new housing. In another part of the park, Arup used a restore approach to cultivate coastal wetlands, providing benefits to both the natural environment and New Yorkers seeking refuge from the concrete jungle.” With long term planning, using a hybrid strategy provides a variety of options for infrastructure planners. Arup is also contributing to vari- ous planning projects that are connected to a large-scale transportation infrastructure project geared toward urbanizing Honolulu in an effi - cient and resilient way. Recently, they worked on a masterplan for a new transit-oriented development in Honolulu, which creates a linear park out of an existing flood control canal. “You wouldn’t know if you looked at it, but the park design is providing an increased level of pro- tection for the area by embedding a seawall underneath the landscape,” shares Hogan. “This work couples resilience with revitalization and sustainable transportation. I love to see projects that are not only proac - tive in putting infrastructure in place to defend against the worst to come with climate change, but that also achieves other co-benefits and enhances the public realm at the same time.” When deciding which pathway is the best proactive method to protect against sea level rise, infrastructure planners must take into account the option with the least potential regret. The goal is to avoid a “stranded asset,” or an infrastructure investment that did not survive the entirety
To provide proactive planning measures, Arup uses a resilience- focused planning approach called “Flexible Adaptation Pathways,” which focuses on providing dynamic and adaptive planning solutions for many climate-change-related uncertainties. “Flexible Adaptation Pathways are often compared to a subway map because they can offer multiple routes to arrive at the same destination,” says Jack Hogan, a senior risk and resilience engineer in Arup’s San Francisco office. “In some ways, a static planning process can be destined to fail. Instead of trying to predict the water level in 100 years, this approach pro - vides the opportunity to change course and switch from one strategy to another as we gather more climate data to achieve the least potential regret.” The adaptive planning approach recognizes that every situa - tion is different, and there may be better defensive approaches suitable for different projects. “Deliberate adaptive planning is entirely differ - ent from how leaders have approached natural hazard preparedness. Instead of implementing a solution and forgetting about the problem until something goes wrong again, Flexible Adaptation Pathways keep attention on the issue over time,” adds Rasmussen. Flexible Adaptation Pathways chart specific decision outcomes on a timeline for infrastruc - ture planners to visualize how something, like a seawall or levee, might perform against different sea level rise scenarios. It can also provide insight into when a specific infrastructure investment should be made or when a switch should be made to another strategy. In developing coastal resilience, there are three main strategies a city might look to: resisting, restoring, and retreating. These solutions are not mutually exclusive, and using a hybrid approach typically provides the best line of defense against sea level rise. Resisting includes de- fining a specific level of protection, restoring includes implementing
of its intended lifecycle. The Flexible Adaptation Pathways approach supplies options for making infrastructure investments that are flexible, to better stand the test of time and avoid potential regrets. Flexibility is an ideal planning parameter that is paramount in climate change adaptation. “Superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call for New York City,” says Lee. “We’ve started to see a fundamental shift in the way cities are addressing climate change adaptation.” With the uncertainty of the potential effects of climate change, investing in a plan that can be eas- ily adapted provides the greatest potential for success. “There is an ethos in adaptation planning that embraces the process rather than the outcome,” notes Hogan. The Flexible Adaptation Pathways method ad - dresses continuing adaptation plans by monitoring decisions outcomes and growing or altering options as new challenges arise. “Last summer, Hurricane Henri came through New York City and broke the rainfall record in New York City, and then Hurricane Ida hit a couple weeks later and broke Henri’s record,” says Lee. “It’s not just people living near the floodplain, Ida exposed aging and undersized infrastructure that was designed for a different climate.” The Flexible Adaptation Pathways method allows for a response strategy to better react to un - expected challenges that may arise in the future.
Overall, proactive planning against sea level rise and other threats posed by climate change provides a much better response strategy than reactive planning. Arup aims to supply infrastructure planners with the toolkit they need to defend their cities from sea level rise. Hopefully, this will ignite a fundamental shift in the way cities across the world address climate change adaptation, as there is much more to protect cities from than just sea level rise. Sea level rise is just one example of the effects that climate change will have on our world, and since it's not a question of if, but when, we need to have all the tools necessary to adapt to any and all threats.
LIZA MORICONI is an intern for Civil + Structural Engineer Media, as well as a senior Civil Engineering student at the University of Arkansas. She can be reached at email@example.com.
april 2022 csengineermag.com
Energy Efficiency as a Tool for Decarbonization
With the looming crisis of climate change, decarbonization has been a frequent topic of discussion. Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought indoor air quality to the forefront of building design. Diehl believes Aircuity sits at the nexus these two major areas of concern for the AEC industry: decarbonization and indoor air quality. There has been much talk in recent years about how the industry can achieve de- carbonization goals, and this is evidenced by the growing number of net zero projects being announced. While the process of decarbonization may seem intuitive to some, Diehl emphasizes that it must begin with focusing on energy efficiency. Before engineers begin thinking about how and where to install elements such as solar panels, it is necessary to work to minimize how much energy the building needs to function. Understanding the “road map” forward to achieving decarbonization goals requires a thoughtful planned strategy and execution, and it starts with an “efficiency first” mindset. HVAC is the next frontier for im - provement. Ventilation management is the largest and easiest area for immediate improvement using proven technology and strategies that deliver reliable ROIs with many other soft benefits. Diehl believes that the impact of such systems as solar panels will be greater after deter- mining their lowest necessary output. This places a greater emphasis on making systems such as air ventilation more efficient. As more projects push for net zero designation, the focus on starting from an energy efficiency perspective only strengthens our push for decarbonization as energy technologies continue to develop. Diehl de - scribes this approach as “wringing all the waste out of [the building]” so that systems such as solar panels, microgrids, and clean energy sys- tems can be implemented to the fullest degree. For example, a building that has removed these inefficiencies can make use of multiple systems working in tandem with something like solar panels providing the base power and a microgrid to support it through peaks in usage. The pressure to build these net-zero projects comes largely from a se - ries of incentives and punishments, which DiIehl describes as “carrots and sticks.” In places like New York City, Boston, and California, pen - alties are being incurred on projects for their carbon usage and energy efficiency through actions such as taxes and fines. On the other hand, many utility companies are introducing utility incentive programs that provide rebates for these more efficient projects. Diehl notes that in places like New York, up to 70 or 80 percent of projects are funded through such rebates because the utility companies realize the useful - ness of reducing overall usage. As the push for decarbonization continues, the mindset of placing ener - gy efficiency first provides a clear path for expanding our efforts. This mindset not only leads to better building practices, but it also gives incentive to governments and utility companies to continue investing in these more sustainable projects.
By Luke Carothers
governments around the world are introducing legislation to move towards net-zero carbon emissions by the Year 2050. In light of this, the AEC industry is capitalizing on previous work and pushing the con - versation forward through the ever-growing number of net-zero carbon projects. One of the biggest hurdles in the way of the AEC industry’s push towards decarbonization is energy consumption. Experts esti - mate that nearly one third of all energy consumption is wasted. This has serious implications for net-zero carbon goals, placing strain on clean energy systems and moving us further away from those goals. Within the built environment, one of the biggest areas of energy in- efficiency is providing indoor air quality for buildings. Dan Diehl is the CEO of Aircuity, which is a 20-year leader in reducing carbon emissions and creating healthier indoor environments. Diehl began his career in the built environment in 1990, working out of college as a mechanical engineer. His career has spanned many different areas of the built environment, such as working on new construction projects, energy retrofitting, and performance contracting work. Diehl also spent nearly a decade working in lighting and lighting efficiency. Sensing that ventilation optimization was the next big opportunity to tackle in the built environment, Diehl began working at Aircuity, and has been there for the past 14 years. Although Aircuity was founded in 2000 as an indoor air quality mon - itoring company, their technology was brought to market in 2007, meaning that the company was just starting out when Diehl joined in 2008. Diehl joined the Aircuity team just as their current installed platform was being launched, helping the product enter the market for the first time. Introducing the concept of demand control ventila - tion required shifting from the previous way of doing things, which involved setting “prescriptive or fixed” air change rates in labs and other critical environments. The process of setting these prescriptive or fixed air change rates in critical environments incurs a “huge energy penalty”, according to Diehl. Bringing in air from the outside using large fans, conditioning it, heating or cooling it, and/or dehumidifying it is an incredibly energy intensive process. This is only amplified when talking about critical environments such as labs and research facilities that require 7 to 15 times the cost of energy use and intensity compared to an office build - ing. For Diehl and Aircuity, these clear examples were the entry point into the larger market, and now, 14 years later, their client list spans the globe from U.S.-based projects at the University of California, Ir - vine, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Northwestern University, Eli Lilly and Google, along with lab projects abroad in Southern Australia to the Great Mosque of Mecca.
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.
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