C+S April 2023 Vol. 9 Issue 4

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VOLUME 9 ISSUE 4 csengineermag.com

publisher Chad Clinehens, P.E. | 479.856.6097 | cclinehens@zweiggroup.com media manager Anna Finley | 479.435.6850 | afinley@zweiggroup.com ART director Maisie Johnson | 417.572.4561 | mjohnson@zweiggroup.com Editor Luke Carothers | lcarothers@zweiggroup.com

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Civil + Structural Engineer (ISSN 23726717) is published monthly by Zweig Group, Fayetteville, AR. Telephone: 800.466.6275. Copyright© 2022, Zweig Group. Articles not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Zweig Group. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Subscriptions: Annual digital subscription is free. To subscribe or update your subscription information, please visit our website www.csengineermag.com/subscribe/ or call 800.466.6275.

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April 2023



THE COVER The City of Climate Solutions: Indigo River and New York City - Story on page 10 CHANNELS ENVIRONMENTAL + SUSTAINABILITY 12 Sustainability from the Ground Up 14 Funding for Remediation and Redevelopment Projects is Abundantly Available to Public Officials 16 Geocell Technology Proves Effective in Solving Soil Stabilization Challenges for Solar Farms on Underutilized Lands 18 Scope 3 Emissions – More Than Suppliers 19 Preparing for a Greener Future 20 Public Works Department Achieves 100 percent On-Site Recycling with Ransome Attachments STRUCTURES + BUILDINGS 22 Changing the Market in Mumbai: The Island City Center TRANSPORTATION + INFRASTRUCTURE 23 FRP Composites Provide a Lighter Path for the Northampton Street Bridge 25 An Electric Future: The Port of Long Beach WATER + STORMWATER 26 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Leads the Way in Natural Solutions for Coastal Flooding New York & New Jersey 30 California and Atmospheric Rivers BUSINESS NEWS 32 Sustainability, Profitability and the Legacy We Leave 34 More than Just Numbers. Women Bring Unique Skills to Improve Project Outcomes 36 Offsite vs. Onsite Construction Part 1 38 Towards a Transformation: Deloitte’s 2023 Sustainable Buildings Report


departments 8 Events 39 Benchmarks 40 Reader Index

Columns LOOKING BACK, MOVING FORWARD 6 Growth and Consumption: the Built and Natural Environments Luke Carothers INDUSTRY INSIGHTS 7 Practicing Mentorship: Bettering Relationships to Elevate the Industry Ezequiel Tovar



April 2023


looking back, moving forward

Growth and Consumption: the Built and Natural Environments

As the designers of the built environment, the AEC industry has long struggled to define its relationship with its inevitable partner: the natural environment. For the majority of human history, this partnership was heavily sided towards the natural environment. Through the years however, humans developed new techniques and structures that could not only shelter humans from the power of the natural world, but harness small portions of its processes to fuel further growth and development.

Early farmers developed ways to harness natural flooding cycles to improve their crops and support more robust and sustainable agricultural practices. This and subsequent advances al- lowed human populations to grow and thrive in new ways. By 300 BCE, the first large-scale environmental engineering projects began taking place. On the Italian peninsula, the Roman Civilization constructed their first aqueduct and began developing a sophisticated system of sewers and plumbing. These infrastructure developments were among the first to stray beyond harnessing a portion of the natural world into actually shaping those forces. In the case of the Roman Civilization, the ability to redirect and focus the flow of water over great distances via aqueducts not only provided a healthier population, it also affected local ecology. The introduction of agriculture into regions where it was previously unsupported in any large scale expanded our ability to cultivate crops and increased the ability to support plant life. Romans were also able to move water on a local level, constructing a sewer system in the capital city that drained water from surrounding marshes to carry waste from the city into the Tiber river. Over the next two thousand years, civilization strove to maintain this relationship between the natural and built environments–in which the breadth of human ingenuity was confined by the bounds of a natural process. However, as cities and settlements grew larger and larger, this balance shifted as the natural processes we harnessed for thousands of years could no longer support the rate of population growth. By the middle of the 19th cen- tury, three cities had grown to populations of over one million: London, Beijing, and Paris. As a result of the inability to safely dispose of waste, citizens of cities like London faced significant health hazards in the form of noxious gas, undrinkable water, and repeated outbreaks of diseases like cholera. Itself an ancient city, London had long relied upon the river Thames to dispose of their waste. After centuries of use as an open sewer, the Thames was in terrible shape, frequently breeding and emitting bacteria that caused rampant disease amongst the population. The City of London responded by constructing the world’s first modern sewage system, which markedly improved the lives of London residents and improved the ecological health of the Thames and North Sea. To achieve this feat of constructing the 100-miles of sewers that formed the original system, engineers found an easy solution: converting existing Thames tributaries into parts of the system. As such, these rivers, while they served a new purpose, had been “lost” from an ecological perspective. This represents a defining moment in modern humanity’s relationship with the natural world. By removing these elements from the natural environment and placing them entirely in the built environment, humanity had shifted its relationship with the natural environment to one of consumption. Provided the tools and technology available, this shift towards a consumption relationship between the built and natural environments was hu- manity’s way of continuing its natural growth path. And, certainly, it was this shift in our relationship with the natural environment that fueled influential moments in human history such as the Industrial Revolution. However, more than a century and a half of this relationship has severely diminished the natural half. This has had severe consequences for the natural systems that have supported human life since its beginning. Nearly a quarter of the way through the 21st century these natural systems have declined to the point that they can no longer function in a way that supports human growth. Places like the Mississippi River Delta, which serves a vital role in absorbing the energy of hurricanes and tropical storms as well as countless other functions, are shrinking rapidly because of direct human interaction with the natural environment. Countless similar stories are unfolding throughout the world. Just as engineers from Rome, London, and countless other examples throughout history have done, the AEC industry is leading the way to a newer, more sustainable relationship between the natural and built environments. Using the tools and technologies available, AEC professionals are now more capable than ever before of understanding the environmental impact of their projects and shaping them in a way that is less harmful to natural systems. In doing so, the AEC industry is not simply reducing environmental harm but rather redefining humanity’s way of interacting with the natural world. Luke Carothers

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 lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.



April 2023

Industry insights

Practicing Mentorship: Bettering Relationships to Elevate the Industry

The AEC industry is a collaborative environment that makes you understand how crucial people are to its success. It’s like the gas in a car. With it, the car functions, without it, it’s motionless and rusts away. That is why it is so important for both young and experienced professionals to find a mentor. Mentorship ignites something within us that helps accelerate development and allows us to reach better opportunities. With a sound mentor, individuals can activate a unique momentum that carries throughout their professional and personal life. There are also special moments that are shared with mentors and things that will always be remembered. The phrases, sayings, and advice that mentors impart will always stick in your mind–it’s invaluable. Forming this type of relationship with someone will be a stepping ladder to both your career and their's. Observation, not old age, brings wisdom.

A good mentor is a lifeline and a source of rich experiences. Learning through their success and fail- ures will catapult a young AEC professional way ahead in their professional life. This will make more room for their growth. But it’s not just the act of observation that will take learning to new levels, but rather the art of inquiring. Getting into the weeds of obtaining the knowledge that will propel some- one forward. It's like opening a bank vault–you have to take your time and be as precise as possible. Mentorship, like the AEC industry, is an evolving topic, changing as we learn more about ourselves and the way we interact with one another. Here are some observations which I believe are foundational to finding mentorship in the AEC industry. 1. Find someone who you like and click with. Whether because of their style, personality, or way of teaching. It better cements your relationship when there is chemistry. When there is humor and laughter it makes everything more enjoyable and allows for the relationship to naturally take place. 2. Reach out. You have to be willing to seek out these mentors that will add value to your life. Showing interest and appreciation towards them will be the glue to the relationship. You also never know who in your firm could be your mentor. That is why being amicable and allowing yourself to get to really know the seasoned individuals of your firm can be a force multiplier. Instead of viewing them as a co-worker or your superior there may be an opportunity for a mentor/mentee relationship. Do you really know all the experienced people at your firm? How many individuals did not have the initiative to personally get to know their coworkers, that they lost the chance of being mentored by someone with vast experience and expertise? Asking these questions and following up will go a long way towards unlocking the potential of relationship building. 3. Listen. This demonstrates the desire to learn. As the saying goes, “ you have two ears, two eyes, and one mouth–use it in proportion”. How many times do we actually listen? Listening with focus will allow you to better understand and learn. 4. Build a reputation and trust with your mentor. This takes time. You need to present and represent yourself in an honorable way to gain any sort of credibility. Getting to a point of being 100 percent comfortable is the goal you want to achieve. This requires consistency. The more interac- tions the better. Setting up regular meetings keeps the energy going forward while earning trust. 5. Be a sponge by asking questions of specific scenarios. Putting deep thought into your questions can yield a high return. The better the quality of questions that you ask, the more you will get out of the interaction. Let your questions be a positive reflection on you. Experienced professionals can notice the difference. You also learn by writing it down. As one of my professors from college once said. “The greatest lie I ever tell myself is that I’ll remember it.” Putting it to paper is a good exercise to do. So be different by learning smart. 6. Pay it forward. When you reflect back to the mentors that helped you along the way, it is now your turn to do the same. You are the one who will have to carry the baton. As an obligation to your mentors, do not retain but give. You will have the honor to continue the legacy of the people who guided you. The purpose of mentorship is to ensure that the knowledge transfer through experiences and work happens. Not only does this benefit the new generation, but it helps the mentor. Why? Because you are giving back in a way that few individuals truly do. To give is better to receive. It also reminds you of the beauty of your profession and how you are making an impact on the upcoming generations. Our work in the AEC industry relies on our ability to collaborate and collectively apply our skills and knowledge to design the world around us. This reality, coupled with changes in the way the AEC industry does business, imply that we should be placing an even greater emphasis on men- torship than ever before. As a means of Elevating the AEC Industry, mentorship is a powerful tool that, like all other skills that allow us to shape the built environment, must be practiced and developed. Ezequiel Tovar

EZEQUIEL TOVAR is an analyst within Zweig Group’s Ownership Transition team. He works directly with AEC firms to develop and implement successful ownership transition efforts with financial modeling, valuations, and comprehensive strategic planning.


April 2023


events + virtual Events

April 2023

May 2023

ACI Concrete Conventio April 2-6 – San Francisco, CA

Xponential May 8-11 – Denver, CO

ACI is pleased to be hosting its ACI Concrete Convention in-person, in San Francisco, CA, USA, on April 2-6, 2023. The convention will have a robust schedule that includes traditional in-person activities. Select programming will also be available on-demand to attendees who choose to participate remotely. All committee meetings and all social events will be limited to in-person attendees. https://www.concrete.org/events/conventions/currentconvention.aspx With the increased use and deployment of uncrewed and autonomous systems, concerns about privacy often come up. Whether it is personal privacy, civil rights, or civil liberties, collecting and using data safely and appropriately is of utmost importance for legal concerns and public acceptance. Join this webinar to hear from leaders in the privacy space on overcoming concerns and ensuring appropriate and legal collection and use of data. https://www.auvsi.org/events/webinars/auvsi-presents-data-privacy AUVSI PRESENTS: DATA PRIVACY April 12 Messe München will once again be the industry meeting place for the construction industry: with 250,000 visitors and over 2,000 exhibitors from almost 50 countries, BAU is one of the leading events for the construction industry worldwide. The Nemetschek Group uses this large stage to present its solutions for more efficiency and sustainability along the entire construction life cycle together with the ten brands ALLPLAN, Bluebeam, CREM Solutions, dRofus, FRILO, Graphisoft, Nevaris, SCIA, Solibri and Vectorworks. https://bau-muenchen.com/en/ This course is designed for individuals who never had the opportunity to study design of structures in a university-level course, but are involved in the design, construction, and inspection of wood buildings. The primary focus and objective of this course are a knowledge of wood design basics and understanding of the many factors routinely used and required by the 2018 National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction. https://www.cpe.vt.edu/sdwnds/index.html BAU 2023 April 17-22 – Munich, Germany Design of Wood Structures introductory course April 26-27 – Blacksburg, VA The WES Annual Conference brings together women and allies from across all disciplines for a two day conference. The event will showcase the inspiring role models and demonstrate how organizations are striving to improve diversity and empower women in engineering. This year the theme will focus around safety and security. https://www.wes.org.uk/events/wes-annual-conference-2023 WES Annual Conference April 27-28 – Birmingham, England

XPONENTIAL is a yearly gathering of global leaders and end users in the uncrewed systems and robotics industry. Founded on the belief that cross-pollination drives innovation, it features opportunities to connect and problem-solve with experts across markets and domains. At XPONENTIAL, more than 8,500 of the world’s top experts in autonomous technology come together to change the course of human progress. We’re proud to welcome technologists, users, policymakers, and strategists from over 20 industries and 60 countries. No matter where you fly in from, XPONENTIAL will help you stay competitive and take advantage of immediate opportunities. https://www.xponential.org/xponential2023/Public/Enter.aspx Equip yourself today to meet tomorrow's threats. At AUVSI Defense, military officials from across all branches, federal security personnel, and industry leaders discussed the most critical issues surrounding the integration of uncrewed technologies — including acquisition, global competition, and industry/government collaboration. https://www.auvsi.org/auvsi-defense-2022 AUVSI DEFENSE 2022 May 8-11 – Denver, CO Join thousands of the brightest minds in digital construction to learn, innovate and connect in-person. On 17-18 May 2023 at ExCeL London, DCW will put the spotlight on the tech and tools solving the built environment’s most pressing challenges. See hundreds of expert speakers and inspiring brands all in one place. Register your interest today and be the first to hear about next year’s show. https://www.digitalconstructionweek.com/ As we unlock the potential of geospatial information, it’s more important than ever to connect and collaborate to drive the profession forward. GEO Business 2022 hosted 120 global brands and cutting-edge start- ups showcasing the newest tech, tools and solutions for geospatial. Plus, a CPD accredited education programme with 200 sessions offered everything you need to get up to date with the latest developments. GEO Business is back at ExCeL London on 17-18 May 2023. Register your interest to be the first to know when free registration opens. https://www.geobusinessshow.com/ Digital Construction Week May 17-18 – London GEO Business May 17-28 – London

15th International Workshop on Micropiles May 31-June 2 – Vail, CO

The workshop provides an opportunity for members to meet, present and exchange data, and share experiences and developments. The program includes technical presentations covering states of practice; advancements of micropile construction, materials, research and



April 2023

development; and educational/promotional activities. The workshop also features the 11th Lizzi Lecture, the 9th Lizzi Scholarship and the 4th World Cup of Micropiles. The technical program chair is Ty Jahn, P.E., Condon-Johnson Associates. https://www.ismicropiles.org/workshops.asp June 2023 The CEO Roundtable Retreat 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. Zweig Group’s CEO Chad Clinehens, PE, 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. https://zweiggroup.com/products/ceo-roundtable-retreat-1 July 2023 CEO Roundtable June 22-23 – Napa VAlley, CA This one-day training course covers the critical focus areas every AEC Industry project manager should be familiar with and is presented in lecture, tutorial, and case study workshop sessions. Attendees will leave armed with a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics, skills, and techniques successful project managers must have to flourish in their role. https://zweiggroup.com/products/project-management-summer-2023 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 with this 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 Jamie Claire Kiser, Zweig Group's Managing Principal, Phillip Keil, Zweig Group's Principal and Director of Strategy, as well as the firm’s top line up of advisors. https://zweiggroup.com/products/the-principals-academy- summer-2023 September 2023 Project Management for AEC Professionals july 12 – Boise, ID The Principals Academy july 13-14 – Boise, ID

Reserve your seat at the table as Zweig Group’s M&A thought leaders share insights and provide deep learning through an interactive experience focused on current and “next” practices in the world of M&A. This highly interactive event is designed to provide M&A education and practical application through interactive roundtable discussions, thought leadership from expert panelists, and focused networking to connect leaders from across the country. You will end the day better informed about the opportunities for M&A as a growth strategy. www.zweiggroup.com/products/2023-m-a-next-symposium Registration is open for the annual in-person conference in Frisco, September 13-15. The 2023 winners of the Hot Firm list, Best Firms To Work For, Marketing Excellence, Excellence in Client Experience, Rising Stars, Top New Ventures, and the Jerry Allen Courage In Leadership Awards will be celebrated at the iconic black-tie awards gala. www.zweiggroup.com/pages/annual-elevateaec-conference ElevateaEC conference & Awards Gala September 13-15 – Frisco, TX Business of Automated Mobility Forum: Flight Path to UAM September 27-28 Join SAE and AUVSI, along with industry and government stakeholders, for collaborative discussions to accelerate the evolution to a safe and efficient low-altitude transport system. Engage on the critical topics to realize the potential of UAM, including regulatory outlook, vehicle development and production, operational management, UTM, safety and security. https://www.auvsi.net/bamforum/home October 2023 The CSO Roundtable Retreat 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. 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. https://zweiggroup.com/products/chief-strategy-officer-roundtable Chief Strategy Officer Roundtable October 11-12 – Bentonville, AR

M&A next Symposium September 13 – Frisco, TX


April 2023


The City of Climate Solutions: Indigo River and New York City By Luke Carothers

Like many coastal cities around the world, the stakes are much higher for developing climate solutions in New York City. Facing direct threats stemming from climate change, New York City has developed into an epicenter for climate change planning, action, and research. One firm built to thrive in such an environment is Indigo River. Found - ed in 2018 by Dena Prastos, Indigo River is a Waterfront Solutions company with specialists in a growing number of disciplines includ- ing architects, landscape architects, naval architects, urban planners, climate adaptation specialists as well as civil, geotechnical, structural, marine, and coastal engineers. United by a common purpose to improve the waterfront and driven by the impact on their own communities, Indigo River is at the fore- front of progress in their growing fields. Indigo River’s dedication to this common purpose is gaining a growing influence on the built environment of New York City’s waterfronts and shorelines. Indigo River is currently working with entities such as the Governors Island Trust, Scenic Hudson, and New York City Economic Development Corporation to both improve the city’s waterfronts and prepare a new workforce for jobs in green fields. Facing direct threats from climate change, New York City is respond- ing by launching projects such as the Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island that will not only help the city and its surrounding communities by researching and developing climate solutions, but also by providing workforce training and green jobs. Located off the south- ern shore of Manhattan, Governors Island has a long history of use for military purposes dating back to the 17th century. Since the military ceased operations on the Island in 1995, multiple improvements have been made to open the space up to the public including ferries and walking paths as well as museums and public spaces. In September 2020, plans were announced to develop a Center for Climate Solutions on the Island. This center will bring together communities of research- ers, educators, advocates, innovators, and policymakers to create, test, and implement climate solutions. While the Center for Climate Solutions is currently in the process of awarding the final scope to an academic institution, Prastos and Indigo River are helping prepare the Island to be the focus of climate solu- tions locally and globally, Indigo River was awarded the contracts to redesign and re-envision two of the Island’s primary piers: Yankee and Lima. Awarded in late 2022, this project is still in the early stages, but Prastos is quick to pick out the importance of this project–both symbolic and practical.

In the practical sense, the redesign of Yankee and Lima piers is a tremendous opportunity to build an important piece of infrastructure within the city. Hosting millions of visitors per year prior to the Center for Climate Solutions, Governors Island is only accessible via these piers, making them vital to the current and future functions of the



April 2023

Island. Prastos believes such a project is the perfect opportunity for Indigo River, as it aligns with their core beliefs. In such a rare op- portunity, the symbolic meaning of this pier redesign project is on par with its practical implications. Being one of the primary access points for the Island’s millions of visitors, Indigo River is responsible for a design that reflects its status as a leader for climate solutions. This is a task that Prastos doesn’t shy away from, emphasizing the importance of creating a “landing onto the climate solutions center of the world.” As New York City positions itself as a leader in climate solutions, there is a simultaneous push to continue improving its waterfronts for both ecological and recreational purposes. Indigo River is also playing a large role in this endeavor, partnering with groups such as Scenic Hud - son to improve waterfront access. The largest environmental group in the Hudson Valley, Scenic Hudson has decades of expertise in preser - vation, land use, community advocacy, and strategic planning. One of Scenic Hudson’s ongoing projects is the Westchester RiverWalk, which is a proposed 51-mile trail. So far, 32 miles of the trail have been completed, and Indigo River is part of the team providing a criti- cal link in the trail. Indigo River is providing owner’s representative services to Scenic Hudson for the development of the Westchester Riverwalk Connec - tion–a 0.9-mile shared-use trail along the Hudson River shoreline in Tarrytown. On top of providing a crucial link, this proposed project will provide an alternative to automobile travel–including a direct pe- destrian and bicycle connection to the Tarrytown Metro-North Station. During the project, Indigo River will manage environmental review and associated studies in coordination with a consultant team. They will also manage project permitting and design development. By lend- ing their waterfront expertise to the design and permitting of the trail along the Hudson River, Indigo River is again aligning the symbolic with the physical, as this new trail will not only greatly improve access to the riverfront but will do so in a way that reflects Indigo River’s driving passion for improving such spaces. While Indigo River’s commitment to improving waterfront spaces is evident in their influence on the built environment, it is also evident in equal measures through their commitment to workforce develop- ment. In what Prastos calls a “moment of opportunity,” Indigo River has recently entered into offshore wind. This opportunity was born out of a synthesis of experience with land-side port planning and a desire to invest in minority and disadvantaged communities. Indigo River is part of a joint venture aimed at improving the workforce for offshore wind; launched in March 2023, the first part of this venture between the New York City Economic Development Council (NYCEDC) and TMI Waterfront Solutions was an offshore wind training program for Minority, Women-Owned, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (MWDBEs). The goal of this program, named OSW NYC Waterfront Pathways Program, is to eliminate barriers and ease participation in contracts. Indigo River's role in the program shows their dedication towards their core values as they seek to pivot the waterfront construc- tion and offshore wind industries. Another component of this joint venture is seeking to eliminate many of the barriers that currently exist in offshore wind workforce training. In

an effort to eliminate any barriers imposed by a single location, Indigo River is part of a group that purchased a barge and fitted it with an off - shore wind training school. By providing workforce development and training on a floating platform, Prastos believes this converted barge is an important step in providing environmental justice to disadvantaged communities. According to Prastos, a mobile workforce development tool is important because it lessens the need for potential users to rely upon transportation. In this manner, this paradigm-shifting idea changes the way the AEC industry defines its assets and forces us to challenge our way of doing things. As New York City continues to build spaces and attract talent to make it the center of climate change research for the United States, and perhaps the world, the changing of its built environment serves as vanguard. Updates and changes in the built environment reflect progress in this status, and Indigo River’s influence in this regard is increasing with the announcement of each new project. As a tangent result of this influence, Indigo River is seeking to build a future that not only protects us from climate change, but one that is free of the barriers that defined the past.

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 lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.


April 2023 csengineermag.com

Sustainability from The Ground Up By Fariborz M. Tehrani

The ground supporting a structure plays an essential role in what is pos- sible for that project. The stability of soil can determine a structure’s height, weight, and even how sustainable or resilient its construction can be. This vitality can be especially true for projects requiring ground improvement, retaining systems, and other ground and foundation sta- bilization forms. These projects may incorporate more raw materials in their planning and may also need heavier-duty foundation systems to provide an adequate base. Both needs can potentially enlarge a project’s carbon footprint or make sustainability benchmarks difficult to achieve. However, for structures built on soft soils, engineers and building professionals can reduce a build’s ecological impact by considering what materials are used as geotechnical backfill. For example, light - weight aggregates made from expanded shale, clay, or slate (ESCS) significantly reduce structural demands and possess a high internal friction angle, further reducing lateral loads. This reduction, in turn, eases material needs for foundation support. Due to their low density, ESCS lightweight aggregates can also reduce transportation costs—fi - nancially and ecologically. In fact, from mining to placement, ESCS presents a sustainable option for projects that require soil remediation or ground improvement with substantial needs for moving the earth. Responsible mining and low-impact manufacturing Sustainable construction encompasses more than the use phase of a building product—it stretches into a product’s future with end-of- life considerations and into its past to the extraction of the very raw materials it is made from. This consideration can include responsible mining practices. Responsible mining involves determining if a mine is an appropriate use of land and if its development is environmentally responsible, beneficial to workers and affected communities and other societal and ecological considerations. For ESCS, the mining process can benefit local environments and communities by slowing the rate at which ma- terials are taken from one area and transported to another. For example, naturally occurring geotechnical fill materials such as gravel or limestone require a one-to-one ratio between extraction and use—every cubic yard or meter of specified material requires an equal amount to be extracted from the earth. This ratio can easily exceed the unit value when considering waste and losses associated with un- processed mining materials. Hence, this approach can quickly strip an area of resources and profoundly impact local ecosystems. However, because shale, clay, and slate are expanded two to three times their original volume, they can reduce the speed at which a mine extracts materials without reducing the total amount of geotechnical fill provid -

ESCS lightweight aggregate reduces lateral loads on MSE walls. Photo: Courtesy of ESCSI

ed to job sites. Further, the engineered process technology minimizes waste and recycles losses in production to maximize productivity and reduce mining footprints. While ESCS requires rotary kiln firing to expand the raw materials, the energy and carbon emissions represented in this process are offset by the reduction of raw material needed as well as the other sustainable benefits across the material’s life and how it reduces material needs in adjacent and complementary building systems. Reduce fuel needs and emissions caused by transportation In addition to needing to extract fewer materials from mines, engineers who utilize ESCS lightweight aggregates as a geotechnical backfill can also expect to see significant reductions in transportation costs compared to other materials. This saving is due to the low density of the aggregate. Whereas traditional quarried materials have a typical dry loose bulk density of 95 – 135 pounds per cubic foot (1500 – 2200 kilogram per cubic meter), ESCS aggregates land between 35 – 55 pounds per cubic foot (560 – 880 kilogram per cubic meter).

Figure 1. ESCS reduces transportation footprints to one-sixth of those for conventional backfills. Photo: Courtesy of ESCSI



April 2023

Works with foundation systems to improve overall building design Finally, ESCS lightweight aggregates have a predictably low density and high internal angle of friction, which can exceed 35 degrees, to significantly reduce lateral earth pressure and dead loads by up to 50 percent. This characteristic is why ESCS is often used to increase the stability of soils in previously unusable or difficult-to-build-on project sites. That said, the reduced dead loads and lateral forces also help facilitate more sustainable construction practices when a project is assessed as a complete whole. Due to its ability to stabilize soils, ESCS lightweight aggregate can reduce the material demands of retaining walls, piles and foundations. For example, when designing a new terminal at Port Ca- naveral, engineers used lightweight aggregate to reduce the diameter and gauge of pipe piles. While several factors drove this decision, it resulted in fewer materials consumed to build the terminal and less construction waste overall. Therefore, ESCS also addressed the high energy input and emission of other construction materials like concrete and steel. Additionally, the lighter gauge foundation systems also contributed to reduced fuel costs to transport materials to the site. Similar results can be seen in highway stabilization projects, projects on riverfronts that need soil remediation and more. ESCS lightweight aggregates alleviate the strength require- ments of neighboring systems to reduce material use and waste—a benefit that increases as foundation size and complexity increase. Sustainable building aggregates impact every part of a project From extraction to placement, ESCS lightweight aggregates can help reduce the environmental impact of construction. Taking fewer materi- als from the earth, reducing fuel consumption for transportation and mitigating material use and waste across the entire structure, geotech- nical fills made from ESCS help mitigate the environmental cost of a project. Therefore, the material can be a viable option for engineers when ground retainment or improvement is necessary for a project and sustainable construction is a goal. While fill material may not be the most talked-about part of sustainable construction, it nevertheless can contribute to more ecologically con- scious building practices. Its role will become necessary as developers look to marginal sites with soft or suspect soils for new construction. However, the shift toward sustainable development highlights the ap - plication of ESCS in all projects concerned with public health, safety and well-being. DR. FARIBORZ M. TEHRANI, PH.D., PE, ENV SP, PMP, SAP DSW, F.ASCE is a Full Professor in CSU and the Director of ESCSI with expertise in sustainable and resilient SEMM. Fariborz is a voting member of ACI, ASTM, and TRB, EMI’s Liaison in ASCE STC, and EMI ORC Vice Chair. He is the recipient of ASCE Region 9 Outstanding Faculty Advisor, CHESC Best Practice, and Fresno and San Francisco ASCE Research Awards. Fariborz received BSc from SUT, MSc from AUT, and MS, Deg. of Eng., and PhD from UCLA.

Figure 2. The overall fuel, energy, emissions and freshwater savings of ESCS use are significant. Photo: Courtesy of ESCSI

Not only does this minimize the number of trucks, railcars, or ships needed to transport the material (thereby streamlining construction schedules), but it also reduces the amount of fuel needed to get the aggregates from manufacturer to site by 50 to 67 percent. That is, while the heavy weight of normalweight aggregates prevents reaching even a struck capacity of many hauling bodies, the low density of ESCS allows heaped capacity and, therefore, facilitates better fleet manage - ment with less cost of wear and tear on hauling carriers. On the one hand, this can positively impact a project’s bottom line since lower loads result in higher fuel efficiency, and less fuel generally reduces overall construction costs. Moreover, it drives sustainable practices as reduced fuel consumption translates to fewer nonrenewable resources consumed and less greenhouse gasses emitted. Supports long-term soil stability without contaminating local ecosystems While ESCS is substantially less dense than other quarried materials, it is not the lightest geotechnical fill available. However, unlike other, lighter geotechnical materials, its ability to reduce the environmental impact of transportation is bolstered by its chemical inertness, easy compactibility, and ability to reduce material needs of overlapping systems. When a project site requires ground improvement, it is crucial that the geotechnical materials used do not leach harmful or potentially harmful chemicals into soils and waterways or contain them within their bod- ies. ESCS, as a geotechnical fill, is chemically inert, non-degradable, non-corrosive, and free draining, all of which ensure the material can handle strain from areas below the water table and locations prone to flooding from heavy rainfall. Likewise, ESCS can be easily compacted to save fuel costs as well as reduce fuel and energy needed, greenhouse gasses emitted, and freshwater used in compaction efforts. Lightweight ESCS aggregates can use lighter compacting machines with higher fuel efficiency while achieving 95 percent compaction rates.


April 2023 csengineermag.com

It should be noted that both state and federal officials are funding projects to remedy environmental and safety issues that have persisted for many years. New funding will also recycle many public assets and make them revenue-producing in the future. Federal and state funding sources are openly and aggressively incentivizing private sector inves- tors to help cover the costs for these types of projects. New funding for remediation projects is one example. In December, state leaders in Connecticut announced the availability of $24.6 million in funding for clean-up projects with the objective to attract private sector investors in 16 municipalities throughout the state. Without re- mediation, the selected sites are unusable and often hazardous due to blight, pollution, and contamination. The plan is to transform numer- ous parcels of land into attractive sites for redevelopment. The Connecticut funding is designed to leverage an additional $625 million in private-sector investment. In the city of Meriden, a silver manufacturing factory that was vacated nearly three decades ago is one of the first remediation targets. In Ridgefield, a redevelopment project is halted until existing sewer infrastructure and remediation efforts can be completed. An old train station will be renovated, and the site area will be revitalized. Private sector partners with remediation expertise will be in high demand in 2023. Virginia leaders recently made public that $24 million will be dis- bursed to remediate and attract investment partners to 22 former in- dustrial sites for redevelopment. Virginia’s governor announced that grants from the state are available for projects to remediate structures that blight surrounding developments. One targeted site must be re- habilitated before the city can move forward with redevelopment of the entire downtown region. An $86 million project in Alexandria, Virginia is scheduled for launch in the second half of 2023, and it is critical to a large redevelopment project that is underway. After acquiring a vacant, blighted mall prop- erty for $54 million, city leaders are now committed to delivering a $1 billion hospital and medical campus to an underserved area. The vacant mall must be demolished and the site remediated before the project can be completed. In California, state funding for transportation alternatives will fund remediation projects tied to redevelopment initiatives. The California Transportation Commission will contribute $1.7 billion in 2023 for various types of projects that will result in the recycling of public as- Funding for remediation and redevelopment projects is abundantly available to public officials By Mary Scott Nabers

Photo: City of Birmingham, Alabama

sets. Some municipalities in the state can use the funding to create or enhance assets related to transportation. Such initiatives include multi-use paths, new sidewalks, and pedestrian street lighting for un- derserved neighborhoods for revitalization. A $684 million project in Memphis, Tennessee includes redevelop- ment plans that will redefine the entire cityscape. Three monumental venues are targeted for work in 2023. Plans outline renovation work on the FedEx Forum, AutoZone Park, and Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium along with the construction of a new venue to host a profes- sional soccer club. Before work can begin, the city must demolish the Mid-South Coliseum which was closed permanently several years ago. Part of the funding for Memphis’s $684 million multi-venue re- development will come from private sector investors and the city’s hotel/motel occupancy tax. City leaders in Louisville, Kentucky have $10 million from the fed- eral government to launch a site preparation project in 2023. Work is planned for a remediation project on a former chemical production plant that closed in 1994. After 75 years of producing toxic lacquers, varnishes, enamels, epoxy-based coatings and acrylics, the site must be cleaned of all soil pollution. The Louisville Gardens multi-purpose arena in Louisville, Kentucky is targeted for redevelopment with a private entertainment group. The objective is to turn a historic building into the focal point of a long- term economic development strategy. City leaders have tagged the project with a cost projection of $65 million and the plan is to deliver theater space, soundstages, a retail area, and a public museum. The Louisville Gardens building originally opened in 1905 and because of its historical aspect, it is expected to attract even more interest from private sector investors. Enthusiasm for the building’s redevelopment is also bolstered by the governor’s decision to offer a tax credit of 30- 35 percent (approximately $75 million annually) for the construction of production studio infrastructure. The effort will be designed to revi- talize an underused area of the city. A $50 million project in Birmingham, Alabama will be launched to provide for redevelopment of the city’s north side. A partnership that



April 2023

will steer millions from both the city of Birmingham and Jef- ferson County, while also consolidating $30 million in existing bond funds, will deliver a $50 million amphitheater. The new fa- cility, along with Birmingham’s broader redevelopment efforts, are conditioned on-site remediation. A vacant hospital campus that left a persistent blight on the surrounding region’s economic development must be remediated before other redevelopments can proceed. Another California project of high interest will be launched in Los Angeles in 2023 and is projected for completion in late 2025. Cost for the effort is placed at $47.5 million. This project will prepare sites for redevelopment in a notoriously blighted neighborhood that has suffered decades of disinvestment. The city plans to re- verse those trends with over 2 miles of multi-use trails, an urban canopy of at least 500 street trees, approximately 540 LED pedes- trian streetlights, and 27,000 square feet of rehabilitated sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. The redevelopment will culminate in the construction of a new public plaza. Remediation and redevelopment projects will be rampant over the next several years. Each project will require numerous types of partnerships with contractors. Most upcoming opportunities have already produced detailed planning documents that are available for interested potential partners. MARY SCOTT NABERS is President/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. (SPI), a full-service business development firm specializing in procurement consulting, government affairs, research and public-private partnerships (P3s). A former statewide office holder in Texas, Mary founded Strategic Partnerships, Inc after leaving government and later was the co-founder of the Gemini Global Group. Mary is a recognized expert in public private partnerships and the author of Collaboration Nation - How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government and her most recent book Inside the Infrastructure Revolution – A Roadmap for Rebuild - ing America. She was selected to membership in Icons of Infrastructure and is a regular speaker at industry conferences throughout the country. She writes for a number of national publications and blogs on a weekly basis. Mary holds an MBA degree from The University of Texas.

D e S I g N IN g F o R T H e e x P e r I e n c e h u m a n


April 2023 csengineermag.com

Channel Sponsor: Presto Geosystems | www.prestogeo.com

With the increasing demand for clean energy, there is a growing interest in repurposing underutilized lands for solar farm developments, particularly abandoned mines, capped landfills, brownfields, and other unused areas. These locations offer a unique opportunity to transform unused spaces into sources of renewable energy, and can be particularly enticing because they are often situated near established transmission infrastructure. This makes the interconnection process simpler and more cost-effec- tive than connecting to remote greenfield sites. In addi- tion to contributing to the shift toward sustainable energy sources, the development of solar farms on underutilized lands can create jobs, generate revenue, and bring new life to areas that have been neglected or forgotten. Geocell Technology Proves Effective in Solving Soil Stabilization Challenges for Solar Farms on Underutilized Lands

However, poor soil conditions can pose significant challenges for solar farm developers. To ensure the long-term suc- cess of solar projects, factors such as erosion control, stormwater management, and site access must be carefully considered during the design and construction phases, especially when repurposing underutilized lands for solar farm developments where the site conditions may be less than ideal. GEOWEB® Geocells: A Versatile Site Development Solution for Solar Projects Geosynthetics, specifically geocells, can be highly effective in mitigating the challenges posed by poor soil conditions during the development of solar farms. By reinforcing the soil and providing a stable base for access roads and balance of system (BOS) components, geocells can help distribute loads evenly and prevent soil erosion. Geocells can also be used to improve stormwater management, drainage, and filtration, ensuring that the solar farm site remains stable and functional in wet conditions. Proper planning and execution, including the use of geosynthetics, can contribute to the long-term success of solar projects, reducing maintenance costs over time and minimizing environmental impact. In this article, we will discuss two projects that utilized the GEOWEB geocells in the development of solar farms. Building a Solar Farm Site Access Road Using GEOWEB Geocells Residents of Brandywine, Maryland, recognized the benefits of redeveloping a closed quarry site into a community solar farm. However, poor soil conditions made it extremely challenging for crews and machinery to access the site for construction and future maintenance. The EPC contractor for the project contacted Presto Geosystems and local material supplier Colonial Construction Ma- terials to devise a solution that would meet their needs. To support heavy equipment during the construction phase and to ensure the required bearing capacity for emergency vehicles in accordance with local and state regulations in the long term, they opted for the GEOWEB® Load Support System with a vegetated infill to construct a permeable access road leading to the solar farm. With the on-site support of Colonial Construction Materials, crews deployed the GEOWEB geocells over a non-woven geotextile to construct a geosynthetic-reinforced foundation layer for the unpaved road. The geocells were then in- filled with a mixture of on-site material, imported stone, and topsoil to build a vegetated roadway capable of support- ing heavy vehicle loads. The GEOWEB geocells afforded the EPC contractor and project owners the ability to beneficially reuse on-site material to reduce imported material volumes, thereby offering a significant savings to the overall project construction costs.



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