Category Archives: Codes & Regulations
Posted in Architecture | Codes & Regulations | Current Events by Steven M. Beattie, RLA (Senior Project Manager) on May 16, 2013
Ever since I received classroom instruction at West Virginia University in the mid-1990s, accessibility has been a key component to my design process. Of course, back then we merely worried about the basics by providing ramps, curb cuts, and accessible parking spaces. Today, accessibility is a complicated, multi-level set of regulations and design guidelines that reach into every aspect of our society and daily lives – as they should. Over the years, I was guilty of questioning the regulatory guidance and why we needed to provide such a comprehensive approach which complicated design, sometimes limited the final design, and absolutely increased construction costs.
Today, I’m proud to say that I fully embrace accessibility, and make it the very first priority on any site design. In addition to the comprehensive checks and balances now in place to ensure accessibility that force compliance, I have witnessed over the years all types of people struggle in some of the same places I designed. Additionally, you can learn a lot when you have two young children and a stroller to push around. It was these experiences that have me now incorporating Universal Design Principles, as accessibility guidelines truly help all users, no matter your physical or cognitive ability.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Blogging | Client Service | Codes & Regulations | Communication | Education | Leadership | Social Media by Justin Keister, PE, LEED AP (Director of Site Engineering) on March 25, 2013
I recently had the privilege of spending a couple of hours with some local high school students who are members of the Building Leaders for the Susquehanna Valley program. This group was picked among some of the brightest local students and they meet on a monthly basis. Their February session included an exercise where they were given a hypothetical 200-acre property in “Bright Hope”, USA and divided into groups to propose a development on the tract. After a brainstorming session, each of the five groups unveiled their plans, which ranged from a hospital to a golf course to a power plant.
Over lunch, I joined professionals from the Central PA Chamber of Commerce, Union County Planning Department, Bucknell University Small Business Development Corporation, and Susquehanna Visitors Bureau to quiz a group on their ideas and to provide real-world insight to refine their proposal. After some tweaks (from coal-fired power to natural gas at my table), each group took turns giving a final presentation to the entire group.Comments (1) | Permalink |
Posted in Codes & Regulations | Current Events | Initiatives | Politics | Transportation by Steve Muller (Manager of Client Development) on March 4, 2013
When Governor Corbett proposed his 2013 budget in early February, the PA transportation industry was pleased to see that one of his main initiatives is for funding transportation improvements. It has been a long time coming since release in August of 2011 of a comprehensive report from the Governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Council. This report made a strong case for funding the $ 3.5 billion gap in transportation funds needed yearly in our state. (See an earlier LDG Blog for more information: The Transportation Funding Advisory Council)
New revenue is sorely needed to maintain and improve our transportation infrastructure in PA. In Governor Corbett’s words, “Our most costly option would be to do nothing.” In a February press release, the Governor pitched his approach to funding transportation, as proposed in his budget and outlined these initiatives:No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Codes & Regulations | Housing | Innovative Solutions | Water/Wastewater by Matthew J. Peleschak, PE (Project Manager) on October 24, 2012
Very few home buyers ask for a sewer inspection before buying a home. Buyers know to get a home inspection, but sewer lines are usually an afterthought, if they cross a buyer’s mind at all. Yet it’s one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes can conduct, and can save the buyer both headaches and money.
Municipalities are always looking for creative ways to reduce costs to their constituents. Wastewater treatment is a significant cost for municipalities and offers a great potential for savings. To this end, private property inspections of sanitary sewer systems can help to reduce cost by improving efficiency. Many of the Northeast’s sewer systems have been in place for more than 60 years, which is past or almost past their useful design life. Systems of this age have been constructed of clay pipe, which has typically deteriorated to a point where significant amounts of excess clear water, called Infiltration/Inflow (I/I), is entering the system. The term infiltration refers to clear water that enters the system from a groundwater source, while inflow refers to clear water that enters the system from above ground sources such as downspouts and sump pumps.Comments (1) | Permalink |
Posted in Codes & Regulations | Current Events | Politics | Transportation by Steve Muller (Manager of Client Development) on July 11, 2012
Last summer and into the fall, we heard about Governor Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Council (TFAC) and their recommendations to fund the necessary transportation improvements in Pennsylvania. You can read my previous post regarding the TFAC here. Well, a foundational part of the TFAC report was approved two weeks ago by the PA Legislature, and on Thursday, July 5th, Governor Corbett signed this legislation into law.
The key bill, House Bill 3, allows public-private partnerships, or P3′s, to be formed where private equity is used to fund transportation improvements in PA. This private investment will fund roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure improvements, instead of using tax-payer dollars. The private investment group then gets a return on their investment through user fees or tolls that they are allowed to levy on the transportation element that is improved. This offers the investor a consistent revenue stream, and gets Pennsylvanians a roadway, bridge, railway or other transportation on a faster time table than can be done with public revenue streams.Comments (2) | Permalink |