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|September 25, 2019 ||
Vol. 49 No. 37
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.
The owner of a gasoline station retained an environmental consultant to perform a Phase II ESA at the request of prospective purchasers, acting through an intermediary. When problems were discovered later, the consultant wound up as a target in a maze of litigation.
The GBA member was retained by a general contractor for a major utility project. Corners were cut and failure occurred. Although the GBA member was relatively blameless, it had agreed to an unwise indemnity in its contract and faced the potential of litigation that would likely cost it more than $1 million before reaching a settlement.
A GBA member assigned an inexperienced field representative to observe a grouting project. The field representative began giving directions to the contractor, who was unfamiliar with local regulations and had staked out the project incorrectly, filling the sewer lines with grout.
The GBA-Member Firm’s civil-engineer client erred when transferring information from the member’s report to a set of plans. Serious problems resulted and the geotechnical engineer took strong proactive measures to resolve issues between the civil engineer, client, and contractor.
Knowing that its proposal was accepted as submitted, a Member Firm did not examine the contract it received from its client, a municipality. There, in the “boilerplate,” was a reference to a construction specification that greatly expanded the Member Firm’s responsibility. When a major problem occurred, the Member Firm, unaware of its additional responsibility, failed to exercise it, thus not doing what could have been done to have kept the problem from growing. The end result: The Member Firm paid $500,000 to settle the case.
GBA Case Histories are FREE to all Members. Access all GBA’s Case Histories HERE
GBA Board of Directors
Volunteers that serve on the GBA Board of Directors dedicate significant time and energy providing leadership to our Association. After a unique set of circumstances, Chuck Gregory is serving his 3rd term on the GBA Board. He leads GBA’s Publications Committee and focuses on making new and updated reference material available for all members.
Read about Chuck Gregory’s deep roots in the Lone Star State: HERE
GBA is looking subject matter experts to share their knowledge and experiences to industry leaders from our member-firms during our 2020 Spring Conference April in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
RESILIENCE: Preparing for the Next Downturn – Many economists are forecasting a downturn, if not a full-blown recession, over the next 12-24 months. We have seen one of the longest expansionary phases in recent history and our members have flourished, but there are several leading indicators that cloud the horizon. Naturally, geoprofessional business leaders are considering how to best position themselves for harsher economic conditions and this Conference will help us to focus.
If you are interested in speaking at our conference and can help us better understand the importance of collecting, storing, retrieving, and protecting data with impacts to projects, business development, financial systems, human resources, safety, and security, please send us your abstract before October 18, 2019.
Read More GBA 2020 Spring Conference Call for Abstracts
The most Popular Article from our last issue of GBA NEWSlog:
First Responder Recalls 9-11*
*Unfortunately, this link was working sporadically on the day of our last issue but it was still the most popular article in GBA’s November 11, 2019 issue.
| THANK YOU - FALL CONFERENCE SPONSORS|
GBA would like to take this opportunity to thank our Fall Conference Sponsors. Sponsors allow us to stay current on services provided to geoprofessionals and their financial support helps offset some of the expenses that make GBA Conferences uniquely valuable.
Please learn more about our conference sponsors and consider them for your future business needs.
Agile Frameworks provides collaborative, cloud-based corporate, field, and lab information management enabling Profitable Engineering® for the construction and engineering services sector. Agile offers capital project owners, construction, and engineering consulting firms the industry’s most impactful tools and automated processes to maximize efficiency, growth and profitability.
A special thanks to Agile Frameworks for sponsoring the networking lunch on Friday, October 4th during GBA’s 2019 Fall Conference.
ElmTree System is a complete business management system designed for engineering labs that test construction materials. Customized, comprehensive, and easy to use, ElmTree helps materials testing labs operate more efficiently, effectively – and profitably.
A special thanks to Elmtree System for sponsoring the Business Roundtables on Friday, October 4th during GBA’s 2019 Fall Conference.
Keynetix – Now part of the Bentley Family of Geotechnical Products
Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Data Management is what the Keynetix and gINT teams do at Bentley and our software has evolved over the past 20 years to seamlessly handle all aspects of geotechnical data workflow, whether you are looking for an on-site logging system, a corporate archive or anything in-between.
We have created a cloud-based geotechnical data management platform designed to provide streamlined project collaboration throughout every stage of the geotechnical data journey.
It enables geotechnical managers to:
Use report standardization as a brand asset.
Implement Agile Site Investigation
Realize the potential of your geotechnical data
Banish double entry of geotechnical data
Roger Chandler will be available at their conference booth to help you understand how this exciting new technology can transform your geotechnical data uses.
Kordata has developed state-of-the-art SaaS platform to address a wide range of enterprise data collection needs. From pipeline inspections, to materials testing, and even livestock tracking, our solution is built to be easily configured to fit each customer's unique data and workflow.
A special thanks to Kordata for sponsoring the breakfast on Friday, October 4th during GBA’s 2019 Fall Conference.
Menard is an international specialty ground improvement construction company, and part of the Soletanche Freyssinet group, within the Vinci Company. Menard works nationally and internationally providing ground improvement services. Menard’s techniques include Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC) Rigid Inclusions, vibro stone columns, dynamic compaction, rapid impact compaction, soil mixing, wick drains and earthquake (EQ) drains. Through the use of ground improvement, it may be possible to eliminate piling and allow for the use of shallow foundation systems.
is a design-build specialty geotechnical contractor offering expertise on ground improvement for sites with poor soil. By combining value engineering and innovative techniques, we deliver practical alternatives to deep (pile) foundations.
Spectra QEST is a software development company specializing in solutions for the construction materials, testing, inspection and production industries. Founded in January 1984, Spectra QEST offers the most comprehensive construction materials quality platform on the market. With offices in Adelaide, South Australia, and Sacramento, California, it services customers in North America, Europe, Australasia and the Middle East.
Spectra QEST helps its customers transform their laboratory operations by providing them with the QEST Platform: a centralized, standardized and integrated system. The Platform facilitates significant gains in quality, efficiency and standardization for businesses ranging from single laboratory operations to large, multi-site organizations.
GBA sponsorship offers companies a very personal way to connect with geoprofessional decision makers. GBA members derive tremendous value from conferences, and sponsors enjoy many of the same benefits.
More Information About Sponsorship Opportunities
Here’s a secret – if you want your project to drag out and cost you more money, or even kill it, you should ignore your abutters. I have been to countless planning board public hearings where we hoped none of the abutters would show up or even convinced ourselves – how could anyone oppose such a great project?
Nothing makes a planning board more uncomfortable than having an abutter standing before them demanding that a project be rejected because of traffic, noise, devaluation of property, additional tax burdens, stormwater runoff. I could go on and on.
Weston & Sampson
Boston experienced significant coastal flooding during two Nor’easters in 2018, including a record high tide of more than 15 feet during the January Nor’easter. This flooding inundated the downtown area, closed MBTA Aquarium Station, and stranded motorists. Images of Seaport Blvd. and Northern Ave. flooding became commonplace. The investment in properties in the Seaport district has been unprecedented in the city’s history and major studies have been funded to evaluate protection measures from sea level rise and storm surge in this area and other neighborhoods of Boston.
Commercial real estate properties will require innovative and tailored solutions for resilience. Resilient design can allow properties to adapt, thrive, and survive both chronic and catastrophic changes in the natural environment.
More exciting things are happening at NOVA! Their operations have now expanded to include a new office opening in Augusta, Georgia.
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC is pleased to announce that Teresa Levisay, PE, has been promoted to Geotechnical Principal with the firm. Ms. Levisay originally joined ECS in 2007 and serves as a Geotechnical Group Manager in ECS’ Chantilly, VA, office. In addition, Ms. Levisay has experience managing term contract projects for Fairfax County Department of Public Works, Fairfax County Stormwater Planning and the Fairfax County Maintenance and Stormwater Management Division.
Knight Piésold Brazil is proud to announce that it has officially opened an office in the country, located in the city of Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais, in the southwest of Brazil. This is the company’s first formal office, which became fully operational in June 2019, having had a presence in the country since 2014.
Pennoni, a multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm, welcomes Robert Bevins, PE, PMP, to serve as the firm’s new Director of Federal Programs.
As a 29-year veteran and Captain in the U.S. Coast Guard, Bob is an expert in government facilities planning, design, construction, repair, and public works services, having executed projects and run facilities throughout the United States and its territories. His wide breadth of experience also includes numerous leadership roles in the acquisition, design, maintenance, repair, and logistics support of ships and IT systems. Throughout his career he has championed the inclusion of design elements in acquisitions that ensure sustainability and maintainability throughout the life cycle of system assets.
President: Arthur “Art” Hoffmann, P.E., D.GE (Gannett Fleming, Inc./ Harrisburg, PA), 717/763-7211|
President-Elect: Kenneth R. "Ken" Johnston, (GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. / Norwood, MA), 781/278-3700|
Secretary/Treasurer: Thomas W. "Tom" Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F.ASCE (Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA), 530/887-1494
Saiid Behboodi, P.E., G.E., (PBS Engineering + Environmental / Portland, OR), 503/417-7707
Chuck A. Gregory, P.E. (Terracon / San Antonio, TX), 210/641-2112
Christopher Matthew "Matt" Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc. / Greensboro, NC), 336/553-1245
Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E., (ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA), 703/471-8400
Martin LaRoche, P. Eng, M.Sc. (SNC-Lavalin / Montreal, Canada)
Matthew "Matt" R. Poirier, P.E. (Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc. Concord, NH)
A lot of firms produce videos for messaging, training and marketing using outsourced videographer services. These services take time and be can expensive. For some purposes, the key to making effective videos for your business is right in your hand, your smartphone. There are some practical tips for making a smartphone video appear professional.
View Video Here
Engineering Change Lab
Engineering Change Lab USA (ECL-USA) will be holding its next summit meeting on October 21 and 22, 2019 in Boston. The summit will explore two primary themes. The first theme is a continuation of the work of ECL-USA on technological driving forces that are transforming the way engineers do their work. The second theme will be a deep dive into the future of consulting engineering.
Read More and Register to attend
Cook County Record
Connecticut-based construction crane maker Terex has staved off a $248 million lawsuit brought by the family of a civil engineer who was severely injured when the arm of construction crane fell on him in 2014 while on the site of a bridge project for the recent reconstruction of Interstate 90 in Elgin.
As of March 2019, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been found in at least 610 locations in 43 states, that's according to a recent study done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). PFAS chemicals, used in hundreds of consumer products, have been linked to weakened childhood immunity, thyroid disease, cancer and other health problems. A recent update to an interactive map by the EWG and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute shows publicly-known pollution from PFAS chemicals nationwide.
Explore Map and Read More
Laser scanning is tempting as a catch all technology to document existing conditions, but quality assurance/quality control and support are absolutely key to making it work for your firm. While new technology is captivating, realizing the benefit of its capabilities relies upon effective implementation.
Most employees aren’t encouraged by the idea that their boss is constantly watching them, but that doesn’t deter employers’ enthusiasm for monitoring devices. How can both sides feel secure that their interests are protected?
Video conferencing is becoming an essential component to the modern business world. A recent Forbes study found that 80 percent of executives say video conferencing is taking over audio conferencing as the go-to form of internal team communication, and 84 percent think it is outpacing audio conferencing in communicating with external stakeholders. That, combined with the fact that some analysts predict 50 percent of the workforce will work remotely by 2020, means it isn't difficult to understand why being on top of your video conferencing game is important.
Video learning continues to grow as it is the preferred medium of learning and development (L&D) professionals for supporting microlearning, connecting with Millennials, and expanding mobile learning options for employees.
Today video training has the case study endorsement of Fortune 100 blue chips like IBM and Microsoft. It has the research-driven support of leading analysts at Forrester, Bersin, and Gartner. Video training is no longer a novel idea. It’s the new normal.
Watch Video and Read More
More GBA firms are using telematics hardware and software to track their fleets. These systems help firms understand vehicle use, driver behavior, issue status reports, and manage compliance with state and federal requirements.
Watch Video and Read More
It's often said that the easiest thing in the world is to be yourself, but ironically for most people, it's can the hardest thing to do. After all, wearing a mask feels much more comfortable as it protects you from the fear of nobody liking you in the first place. However, after a while, pretending to be someone that you are not can become very draining, disingenuous and can even leave you in a very lonely and isolated place.
As an executive leadership mentor and coach for over 15 years, I have noticed that organizations that are managed and led by toxic leaders often experience discord among employees and a breakdown of their cultural norms, which may lead to a dysfunctional working environment. On the other hand, organizations with compassionate leaders at the helm tend to experience harmony and cohesiveness among employees, which leads to a prosperous, harmonious, efficient and effective working environment.
Words of Wisdom
“Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.”
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