Category Archives: Site Design & Land Development
Posted in Architecture | Current Events | Site Design & Land Development | Sustainable Design | Urban Development by Andy Keister, PE, PLS (Chief Operations Officer) on December 12, 2012
The parking lot at Lycoming College before and after LDG’s redesign.
The rapid pace of change seems to affect everything in the engineering and construction world, even something as established as parking lots. First, let’s talk about design methods.
When I started doing retail/commercial site design 20 years ago, configuring a parking lot was a hit or miss process that involved analyzing multiple stall, aisle, and angle options in an effort to meet the client’s required stall count while complying with local zoning requirements. Once you developed a layout that met the numbers you needed, it was time to work around any stormwater and grading constraints that the site might offer, which may or may not require you to change your original layout.
Recently, AutoCAD introduced add-ons that allowed a designer to input all design variables such as stall size, angles, aisle widths, direction of travel, and boundary constraints. With a few clicks of the mouse, you could see several design options and stall counts. Now we’ve progressed to the point where our design software not only allows us to optimize our parking stall layout, but at the same time it can create preliminary grading and stormwater plans and estimate the cost for the site work.Comments (1) | Permalink |
Posted in Alternative Energy | Communities | Energy Conservation | Innovative Solutions | Site Design & Land Development | Sustainable Design by Jillian Ibbs (Marketing) on June 12, 2012
The Laurel Hill Wind Energy Project is a Duke Energy Corporation initiative, located along Laurel Hill Ridge in Jackson and McIntyre Townships in northern Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Upon completion, the facility will consist of thirty individual wind turbines within a seven-mile long lease corridor. Altogether, the turbines will produce 69 megawatts of electricity.
Larson Design Group handled the land development design for the project, including boundary and topographic survey, Geographic Information System (GIS) base mapping, zoning application preparation, construction observation, erosion control plans, post-construction stormwater management plans, water/wastewater design, permitting, site re-vegetation plans, and alignment studies. LDG is also assisting Duke Energy with full-time construction management tasks.
The turbines are impressive structures. Manufactured by Siemens, they measure 424 feet tall at their highest point and run at any wind speed between approximately 8 and 55 miles per hour. A new two-mile long, 34.5-kilovolt overhead electric transmission line will convey electricity from the turbine corridor to a new switchyard and substation, which was designed and is being constructed in accordance with PenElec’s specifications. The switchyard will be turned over to PenElec for operation and maintenance after project completion. The turbine blades, which are 163 feet long, are fitted with serrated edging to aid in noise reduction. Each rotor blade automatically pivots in its socket to ensure it will catch maximum wind power from any direction.
The wind farm is expected to be completed in October of 2012. The electricity they will produce has been sold to Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, which serves over 100,000 residents and businesses.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Architecture | Building Systems | Communities | Site Design & Land Development | Transportation by David I. Balzer, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP+ (Project Coordinator - Brand Architecture) on February 1, 2012
Existing Piollet Mansion – 2011
Located at the intersection of Route 6 & 187 in Wysox, PA, the building sits at a key juncture that is heavily used by both local and natural gas truck traffic, making it a prime location. Sure it may be easier and less costly to simply tear it down and start from scratch, but that has never been a realistic option. The building’s history combined with the strong local support to restore it only reinforced Randy’s decision – to save as much as possible without hindering the proposed new store. The challenge then became to balance the restoration with the need to expand and modernize the building, then tie it all together without costing a fortune. Quite a challenge indeed.
But before we got too far, I proposed conducting an Architectural feasibility study which would document the existing conditions and determine what truly could or could not be saved. Randy agreed and a team was sent to perform a detailed building survey, documenting every wall, door, window, structural beam, truss, etc. Many of the original features are intact, but have fallen into disrepair and require considerable restoration. However, the building “shell”, which consists of the masonry bearing walls, foundation, roof & floor systems, is in pretty good shape and can be reused with some structural improvements.No comments yet | Permalink |
Posted in Architecture | Communities | Project Management | Site Design & Land Development | Structural Engineering by David I. Balzer, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP+ (Project Coordinator - Brand Architecture) on January 18, 2012
Piollet Mansion, 1950′s
A few months ago Randy Williams, the head of Dandy Mini-marts, came to me and said “I have a really great project for you Dave.” He began to explain how he recently acquired the old Piollet House, a historic Mansion and landmark in Bradford County, PA, and wanted to convert it into a new Dandy store. Dandy is one of our Brand Architecture clients and we’ve worked closely with them on many stores in the past, but none like this. I was pleased that we were given the opportunity, but I also knew the challenges associated with such a big undertaking. However, I shared Randy’s enthusiasm and appreciation towards this historic building and was eager to begin work.
Here’s a little history on the building… > Read the rest of this article
> Read the rest of this article
Posted in Architecture | Communities | Current Events | Innovative Solutions | Project Management | Site Design & Land Development | Structural Engineering by David I. Balzer, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP+ (Project Coordinator - Brand Architecture) on December 22, 2011
Recently, we’ve been involved in a unique restoration project in Wysox, PA for Dandy Mini Marts. The project involves the restoration of a local landmark; the old Piollet House. I’ll be devoting a series of upcoming posts that will provide further insight into this exciting project. The following video segment features WVIA’s Bill Kelly interviewing Dandy Mini Marts’ Randy Williams and provides some excellent background on the project. Stay tuned…No comments yet | Permalink |