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|June 3, 2020 ||
Vol. 49 No. 55
A GBA-Member Firm generously provided suggested changes to a sewer pipe design in order to keep construction moving forward on a five-story senior-living facility. Four years later, swelling clays caused the sewer line to back-up and the lower-level slab began showing heaving related distress. That good deed with other project related complications resulted in a $25 million claim that required an extensive defense of contract limitations of liability, standards of care, and project documentation.
Learn from others. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past! GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. That is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA continues to produce new ones.
GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members.
GBA Publications Committee
Learn from others. Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past! GBA Case Histories are being used by our members for loss prevention discussions in support of professional development and mentoring. That is why GBA case histories are so valuable, and why GBA is updating them all, while adding new ones, too. Five more Case Histories have been re-issued.
GBA CASE HISTORY 86:
A “dream home” built on expansive soil and nonexpansive sandstone began to move about eight months after construction. The builder was bankrupt and the other parties, except for the geotechnical engineer, were insufficiently insured. To get into the geotechnical engineer’s deep pockets, the homeowner’s attorney brought in a “hired gun” expert who knew just what to say.
GBA CASE HISTORY 87:
A long-term, significant client – a regional grocery store chain – was replacing an existing outlet in a somewhat remote area. The store was one of the client’s less profitable, so the owner's representative encouraged all involved with design and construction to keep costs low. Unfortunately, the general contractor seemed somewhat distracted, as did the architect. As a consequence, the Member Firm had to deal with an inadequate submittal-review process and poor scheduling. Ultimately, the Member Firm had to contribute about $70,000 to recognize its own performance shortcomings.
GBA CASE HISTORY 88:
A GBA-Member Firm performed a geotechnical-engineering study for a 35-lot subdivision. The developer – a long-time client of the Member Firm – sold the land and development plans to a colleague. The colleague developer then sold one of the lots to a homebuilder. Member Firm personnel assumed that the lot was being developed more or less as they had originally called for, and that was a bad mistake. It cost the Member Firm $95,000 to extricate itself from a situation it should not have gotten involved in to begin with.
GBA CASE HISTORY 89:
A major health-maintenance organization (HMO) engaged the GBA-Member Firm to conduct a geotechnical-engineering study for a new office building to be constructed on a site underlain by old fill and expansive soil. Because specifications were inadequate, serious pavement distress occurred, followed by a dispute. Fortunately, the Member Firm’s worst fears were not realized, but that was a stroke of luck.
GBA CASE HISTORY 90:
The Member Firm’s project manager studied a problem site that the owner purchased at a discount and developed an economic means of making the land usable for a new factory. The owner declined the Member Firm’s field services, however, and instead vested that responsibility in the earthwork contractor. Later, the contractor and the owner’s representative called the project manager, asking him to significantly reduce cut-and-fill requirements because the contractor’s representative said he was encountering “pretty good material.” The bad news: It cost the Member Firm $275,000 to correct the problem. The good news: Were it not for the firm’s fast, aggressive response, the loss could have been far, far worse.
GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members.
More information about refreshed Case Histories 86-90: HERE
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Thank you to all who took time to fill out GBA’s extensive membership survey. In total, 445 responses were received, and the information you provided will help us to focus on improved engagement and on member services you find most valuable.
Congratulations to our randomly selected $200 Amazon gift card winners.
The Board of Directors will be using your input as they plan our future.
- Randy Post (Golder)
- Duane Reichel (Soils and Engineering)
- Steve Huff (Duffield Associates)
GBA Member Firms will soon be looking beyond the COVID-19 crisis to recovery, revitalization, and resurgence of their businesses. If you are a dynamic, engaging speakers with valuable content to share with industry leaders, GBA invites you to submit an abstract for our upcoming conference. Our members gather at conferences to network, share best practices, learn how to improve their business performance and elevate the profession.
Download Call for Abstracts Submission Form
More Information: HERE
GBA Emerging Leaders
GBA dropped the 5th episode of the podcast series titled COVID Concerns which focuses on preparing to reopen your office. This series captures conversations with industry leaders on important topics that will help you lead your geoprofessional consulting firm, large or small, in response to the global pandemic.
The recently published 5th episode focuses on GBA’s Emerging Leaders as they discuss the impacts of the pandemic to their work.
GBA Podcast Subscription Information
|Membership Dues Renewal Progress
We are fortunate to have generous and supportive members. Despite the current global crisis, over 72% of member firms have made a commitment to pay membership dues. GBA Staff continues to reach out to those that have not responded so we can continue to serve the needs of all our members. With gratitude!
As of 20 April 2020, Gwendolyn P. Sanders succeeded John R. Eustis as the seventh President in Eustis Engineering’s 74-year history. Mrs. Sanders previously served as the manager of Eustis Engineering’s engineering department since 2004 and has served on the Board of Directors since 1998. She also functions as a mentor to the engineering staff.
Mrs. Sanders has been involved in and managed every aspect of a geotechnical engineering project, namely developing appropriate scopes of work for projects, planning and coordinating the field investigation, assigning laboratory testing, performing geotechnical engineering analyses, collecting and processing geotechnical field instrumentation data, preparing detailed reports with engineering analyses and recommendations, reviewing reports prepared by other professionals, and consulting with clients.
“I am honored to serve as the next President of Eustis Engineering and am excited about the possibilities we can achieve as a company.”
Froehling & Robertson
We are delighted to announce that Noah Roberts has been promoted to Director of Information Technology (IT) for F&R. Noah Roberts joined F&R in 2010 as a System Support Specialist after being honorably discharged from the United States Marines Corps. Noah served 5 years with two overseas deployments in the Marine Corps where he designed, implemented, and maintained computer systems all around the world. This knowledge coupled with his motivation, strong work ethic, and critical thinking abilities quickly advanced him through the ranks in IT while establishing himself as a reliable and responsive problem-solver for F&R. Noah’s strong background in Networking and Security has played a key role in the evolution of F&R’s IT infrastructure over the last ten years, which allows us to communicate seamlessly and serve clients efficiently every day.
Engineering Consulting Services
Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) is pleased to announce that David Spangler, PE, has been appointed Subsidiary Director of Geotechnical Services for ECS Florida, LLC. Mr. Spangler has more than 23 years of experience in the geotechnical industry. He joined ECS in 2015 and most recently served as the Geotechnical Department Manager in the Jacksonville office and has acted as Principal Engineer on projects throughout Florida from the Panhandle to the Keys.
Amid the ongoing public health pandemic, EPA has issued two fact sheets suggesting it may conclude that a federal drinking water standard for perchlorate is not warranted. In a June 2019 blog post we reported that EPA asked the public whether it should set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for perchlorate. Setting an MCL for this substance could affect both public water systems and other regulated entities. But EPA’s preliminary move last week appears to suggest that EPA is preparing to conclude that an MCL may not be warranted for perchlorate.
Engineering Consulting Services
Engineering Consulting Services (ECS) is pleased to announce the addition of addition of Ed Greenlee as Subsidiary Director of National and Regional Accounts in the ECS Midwest Region based in Cleveland, OH. Mr. Greenlee will lead the development of national and regional accounts across all service sectors within ECS. Mr. Greenlee’s focus will be to develop and expand the geotechnical, environmental, construction materials testing and facilities service offerings within the Midwest and nationally.
“We are excited to bring Ed onto the ECS Midwest team to head up the Midwest client development of national and regional accounts. Ed brings his 30 plus years of national and regional sales experience as well as a local market presence to our Cleveland, OH office,” said Chris Lopez, PE, Senior Vice President, ECS Midwest, LLC.
A white paper capturing the State-of-Knowledge on Selenium Water Treatment Technologies, was released by the North American Metals Council’s Selenium Working Group (NAMC-SWG) as authored by Golder. This is the second technical addendum to the white paper on Selenium Removal Technologies that was developed by the NAMC-SWG in 2010. This recent report explores implemented technologies for the treatment of selenium associated with industrial activities.
GZA, a leading multi-disciplinary firm providing geotechnical, environmental, ecological, water, and construction management services, has been retained by Kearsarge Energy and the Town of Montague, Massachusetts, for engineering services supporting the brownfield development of a new 3-megawatt solar energy farm.
The project, which will also involve capping a long-abandoned landfill in the Western Massachusetts community, brings to over 2,400 the total megawatts of solar generation capacity GZA professionals have helped to develop in 13 states.
EM Magazine has added a new section called, Waste Management Corner to expand its waste management content coverage. Sanborn Head is pleased to have the first article published in this special section, “PFAS Exchange between Landfills and Wastewater Treatment Plants: The PFAS Cycle?,” by Stephen Zemba and Harrison Roakes.
The articles appear in the May 2020 issue of EM Magazine a copyrighted publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA).
ProRail, the government agency that manages the Dutch railway network, has awarded Fugro and two other partners a 3-year framework contract for geotechnical investigations to support renewal works of existing railway lines across the Netherlands.
Within the framework contract, Fugro will be working closely with ProRail to identify and develop innovative solutions, such as faster cone penetration test (CPT) techniques, that will increase efficiencies and reduce the overall number of line closures.
Fugro has been working with ProRail on rail safety and efficiency for more than 10 years and their geotechnical investigations, such as CPTs, drilling and laboratory testing, provide vital insight into the subsurface conditions of the rail lines. The Geo-data acquired from Fugro’s investigations also help reduce delays and geotechnical risk during renewal works.
U.S. mechanics lien filings have risen significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all but the most essential projects in many states. The number of liens filed through March 2020 jumped 40% since January.
Tunnel construction is one of the most demanding civil engineering applications for construction equipment. With major tunnels driving further and deeper into the earth, advances in equipment and techniques are necessary to meet these new challenges.
Tiny organisms can extract water from rocks. A report published this month on this research finding shows how life can flourish in places without much water, including Mars, and how people living in arid regions may someday be able to procure hydration from available minerals.
With so many countries in lockdown and so many people working (and learning) from home, online usage has risen significantly but so far, the internet is holding up well.
When you finally head back to the office, it won’t be like you remember it.
Physical distancing, from the garage to the elevator to the break room, promises to help make the pending mass return to the workplace both reassuring and maddening as people learn to work together again while remaining six feet apart.
When you finally head back to the office, it won’t be like you remember it.
Dam safety is a significant issue in most states. The recent failure of two mid-Michigan dams illustrate this.
Read More [includes video content]
Two thirds of the planet’s surface is covered in water, but if you took every drop and formed it into a single sphere, here's how big would it be.
See the Visualization Model Here [includes video content]
It appears as though the coronavirus pandemic is going to have one more big, unforeseen impact: disaster response. As hurricane and fire season begin, COVID-19 is going to limit and slow disaster relief—and increase the importance of personal preparedness.
Civil and Structural Engineer Magazines 2020 Engineering Drone Video of the Year finalists have been named. You can pick up some compelling production inspiration from viewing the nominees.
While economic forecasts vary and broad uncertainty lingers, some sectors of commercial real estate may emerge from the coronavirus crisis stronger than before. Owners of data centers and industrial space could emerge stronger from the current crisis.
Do you need an occasional distraction from your many hours isolated at home? There is a list of a few apps and online games that are addictively fun, but won’t rot your brain.
The demise of a public-private partnership responsible for a terminal expansion at Denver International Airport casts a new light on P3s and the struggles at Maryland's Purple Line light-rail project. The design-build joint venture Purple Line Transit Constructors plans to leave the project, citing unresolved disputes over delays and rising costs over the past three years.
“Against the backdrop of a two-century period of faster and faster transformation, the coronavirus is compressing and further accelerating the arc of events” – Steve LeVine
That quote from a recent Article via Steve LeVine captures what is happening very well. History warns us that predicting what happens post-crisis is wrought with peril. As the article states, in the 16th and 17th centuries, smallpox, measles, and other diseases brought by the Spanish wiped out up to 90% of the South and Central American population, utterly transforming the historic order. But the global flu pandemic of 1918 to 1919 appeared to establish no new norms. Mr. LeVine posits that Covid-19 appears to be a hybrid in impact — vastly speeding up some trends while dispelling others. A quote by Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, captures it well: “Such acceleration is a natural byproduct of crises like pandemics, which tend to jolt the current system.”
Random Acts of Kindness
We need to distance ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help each other. During difficult times, we often see the most beautiful acts of kindness. If you’re home and looking for things to do to keep busy, scroll down for a list of resources to help! We will get through this sooner if we take care of ourselves and each other (without risking contagion). Kindness is a powerful tool. Let’s use it.
An NPR analysis of a key air pollutant showed levels have not changed dramatically since the pandemic curbed car traffic in the U.S. NPR science reporter Rebecca Hersher and NPR climate correspondent Lauren Sommer explain why — and what really makes our air dirty.
Here's their story.
Words of Wisdom
"Leadership is service to others.”
~ Denise M. Morrison
Denise M. Morrison (born January 13, 1954) is an American business executive who served as president and chief executive officer of Campbell Soup Company from 2011 through 2018. Named the "21st Most Powerful Woman in Business" by Fortune Magazine in 2011. Morrison retired from Campbell in May 2018
President: Kenneth R. "Ken" Johnston, (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA), 781/278-3700|
President-Elect: Thomas W. "Tom" Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA), 530/887-1494|
Secretary/Treasurer: Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E., (ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA), 703/471-8400
Chuck A. Gregory, P.E. (Terracon / San Antonio, TX), 210/641-2112
Martin LaRoche, P. Eng, M.Sc. (Kiewit / Montreal, Canada)
Guy Marcozzi, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, F. ASCE (Duffield Associates, Inc. / Wilmington, DE) 302/ 239-6634
Christopher Matthew "Matt" Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc. / Greensboro, NC), 336/553-1245
Matthew "Matt" R. Poirier, P.E. (Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc. / Concord, NH) 603/ 229-1900
Steve Wendland, P.G. Steve Wendland, P.E., R.G., D.GE (Kleinfelder, Inc. / Prairie Village, KS ) 913/475-5851
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