We asked our site/civil expert DJ Hodson…

What made the 340 Fremont Street project unique in terms of coordination and planning?

 The exciting part oImagef the 340 Fremont project for our site/civil team was implementing some of the newer City policies including the San Francisco Better Streets Plan and the Stormwater Management Ordinance.  As the project evolved, the coordination between Langan Treadwell Rollo, Handel Architects, Cliff Lowe Associates (landscape architect), Magnusson Klemencic Associates (structural engineer) and the other key design team members was critical.  Langan took the lead role in preparing the Stormwater Control Plans and Street Improvement Plans and obtaining the requisite approvals.  The interaction with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) during the design process was extremely valuable, as the City did their part in being responsive.  As a result, the project obtained its Site Permit on time to meet an important project milestone.


In addition to our site/civil work, Langan also performed environmental and geotechnical services for the 340 Fremont Street development team.  When we provide this unique combination of services for a project, it makes coordination among the disciplines very convenient and reduces the coordination efforts for our clients.  We have been very successful in combining these services for several development projects in the Bay Area to the benefit of our clients.  

Finding Brownfield Funding

Langan Helps Connect Communities to Redevelopment Dollars

George Kelley, Langan’s Chairman of the Board, likes to say that “We were doing Brownfields before the term was coined!” Given the fact that it was nearly 45 years ago that Langan started supporting the redevelopment of sites currently considered Brownfields, Kelley is probably correct.

Today, Langan continues to work on Brownfield sites in every state where we operate, for obvious reasons–the firm’s suite of technical services and knowledge of the local regulatory processes are ideally suited to help any redevelopment project from due diligence to completion.

Lately in Pennsylvania, Langan is doing even more to support Brownfield redevelopment, specifically through the work of Greg Firely, Senior Project Scientist. His practice helps municipalities with Brownfield sites obtain grants that can kick-start redevelopment.

Often towns and counties are unaware that such funding exists or have limited resources to handle the paperwork required to obtain Brownfield funding. Furthermore, properly filing a Brownfield funding application can be challenging, which is why multiple towns have retained Langan to help them navigate the process.

Firely and his team at Langan track federal and state programs that have set aside money to help municipalities clean up Brownfield sites. He also consults with the towns to ensure that their applications are accurate and compliant with the requirements of the grant source. To date, Langan has helped numerous towns and communities secure approximately $15 million in funding grants, which has in turn led to the remediation and redevelopment of underutilized Brownfields into productive community assets. These redevelopments range from commercial and residential projects to industrial and community parks, all while removing environmental impacts and benefiting the surrounding community.

“One of the reasons I joined Langan is because of the firm’s dedication to Brownfield redevelopment,” said Firely. “In our business, nothing is more gratifying than helping to revitalize communities; after all, we all live, work, and play here too.” 

We asked our geotechnical expert Richard Rodgers…

What is the most challenging project you are currently involved in?

Richard Rodgers, PE, GE

We are working on several challenging and interesting geotechnical projects.  Near the top of the list has to be Phase III of the Trinity Place development under construction at 8th and Market Streets in San Francisco.  The site encompasses a footprint of about 75,000 square feet and is underlain by variable soil conditions and groundwater is at a depth of about 20 feet.  Cary Ronan (Senior Project Manager) and I have been involved in the development since 2007.  Phase I and II buildings have been completed and are fully occupied; both buildings are in excess of 20 stories and pile supported.  Phase III is being constructed adjacent to these existing buildings, will have six levels of basement parking, and will require an excavation of 65 feet.  The primary challenges are to protect and support the two existing structures and adjacent streets and provide resistance to hydrostatic uplift due to groundwater.

The permanent structure will be supported on a reinforced concrete mat with approximately 700 tie-downs to resist hydrostatic uplift.  Design considerations for the permanent structure also include the eventual construction of Phase IV immediately north of Phase III and extending to Market Street.  Current plans are for Phase IV to also have six basement levels.

A soil-cement mixed-in-place wall with lateral support provided by a combination of tie-backs and internal braces has been selected as shoring for the excavation.  Internal bracing will be used where tie-backs are impractical because of the pile foundations of the existing Phase I and II buildings.  The internal bracing affects the design and sequencing of wall and floor slab construction of the basement, which along with planning for Phase IV, required careful coordination with the structural engineer (Magnusson Klemencic Associates), general contractor (Swinerton Builders), and shoring contractor (Malcolm Drilling).

Because of the variability of the soil profile around the site perimeter, and the surcharges imposed by the two adjacent buildings, several lateral earth pressure conditions had to be considered in design of the shoring.

Trinity Place Phase 3

Langan Treadwell Rollo performed the exploration necessary and developed the pressure diagrams in conjunction with the shoring designer Brierley Associates.

Construction of the shoring began in late December and the excavation is planned to be completed by June 2014.

Case Study: Chemical and Biological Reduction of PCE by Pneumatic Fracturing and Injection of ZVI in Saprolite

This article presents a case study of the source-area treatment of tetrachloroethene (PCE) in a low-permeability formation using zero-valent iron (ZVI). Evidence of the stimulation of biological reduction processes within the treatment zone occurred. Pneumatic fracturing and injection of microscale ZVI slurry in the overburden and weathered bedrock zones was performed at a commercial brownfields redevelopment site in Maryland. A 20,000-square-foot source area impacted with PCE at concentrations greater than 15,000 g/L was treated at depths ranging from 10 to 70 feet bgs. An average ZVI dosage of 0.0024 iron-to-soil mass ratio within the overburden zone led to a 75 percent decrease in PCE mass in less than one year. For the weathered bedrock zone, an average 0.0045 iron-to-soil mass ratio resulted in a 92 percent decrease in PCE mass during the same period.  The reducing environment and hydrogen generated by the ZVI may have stimulated Dehalobacter populations, as evidenced by concentrations up to 104 cells per milliliter measured within the treatment area despite a groundwater pH as high as 9. The biological reductive dechlorination of the chlorinated ethenes explains the temporary increase in trichloroethene and cis-1,2-dichloroethene concentrations.

Click here to read the full article.

Eco Risks and Rewards: Environmental Experts Find Ways Forward

Eco RiskDevelopment, in all forms, can coexist with nature. There are, of course, examples in history that speak otherwise, but today’s developers and industrial leaders are far more environmentally conscious than in years past. At Langan, we work with such clients to assess the potential ecological risks to sensitive natural resources that may have been caused from prior site uses, and apply our technical expertise to help arrive at solutions that achieve project goals while also protecting human and ecological health.

Lofty thoughts about balancing ecological health with client objectives for site cleanup and development are always at the front of KariAnne Czajkowski’s mind when conducting ecological risk assessment studies. A Project Scientist based in Langan’s Doylestown, Pennsylvania office, Czajkowski and other scientists in the Environmental Group spend a lot of time navigating waters, hiking through forests and meadows, and slogging through marshes collecting chemical and biological data to support determinations of pre-existing or potential future ecological concerns.

“We make recommendations by carefully characterizing multiple lines of ecological evidence so that clients can make sound risk management decisions regarding how to address both the human health and ecological risk aspects of their environmental cleanup and development projects,“ said Czajkowski, who is an active member of the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council Contaminated Sediments Remediation Teams and a national support instructor for the ITRC Contaminated Sediments-Bioavailability training seminar.

Clients often state that uncertainty is a huge impediment to progress. Therefore, Langan’s ecological risk assessment services help put concerns about ecological risk in context when making decisions regarding risk management and remedy at their sites. The firm has performed countless ecological risk evaluations in many states in an effort to ensure our client’s projects are protective of our waterways, terrestrial landscapes, and associated fish and wildlife resources. Ultimately, our environmental services enable a better understanding of habitats, human and otherwise, and allow clients to reduce ecological and financial risk on their projects. And what could be more rewarding than that?

To learn more about Langan’s Ecological Risk Assessment Services, please contact Steven Ueland, Managing Principal, at sueland@langan.com.

Langan Landscape Architects Connect People, Layers and Places

What do children playing in Philadelphia’s Herron Park have in common with couples shopping in West Hartford’s popular Blue Back Square? Both places were designed by landscape architects from Langan Engineering & Environmental Services. This unique group led by Michael Szura has helped breathe new life into sites ranging from neglected public spaces and blighted waterfronts to memorials, parks and redeveloped Brownfields in the New York metropolitan region.

At Langan, Szura has built something unique: a design-focused landscape architecture group within a consultancy known primarily for engineering and environmental services. Theoretically-speaking landscape architects working in concert with engineers, scientists, and surveyors under the same roof provide synergy to a range of design solutions. And in this case, reality matched theory.

Langan’s landscape architecture projects include MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ; Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, NY; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, NJ; Canal Dock in New Haven, CT; St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA; Mannington Mills in Mannington, NJ; and DMAVA Park in Jersey City, NJ, which will provide arguably the best view of lower Manhattan from New Jersey. Clearly, the firm’s landscape architecture capabilities have added a valuable dimension to the numerous complex projects that the firm undertakes, particularly urban open space enhancement and waterfront redevelopments that help revitalize our cities.

“Every site is unique and has a history or ‘genius of place’ that’s often partially erased or hidden completely,” said Szura. “We find ways to bring those buried elements back to the surface in a relevant way. When we balance those features with the real-time jurisdictional constraints and economic goals of a project, Langan achieves what we consider the true triple bottom line—connecting people, layers and places. It’s where the practical meets the aspirational, translating design ideas into sustainable and memorable built landscapes.”

To view some major projects from Langan’s landscape architecture portfolio, click here.

Environmental Expansion Along the West Coast

When Langan and Treadwell & Rollo joined forces in 2010, it immediately created national and international opportunities that neither firm would have realized on their own. East met West and success soon followed. Yet, North also met South, specifically the length of California. Take for example the firm’s West Coast environmental practice, which in just three years has leveraged its experience on complex environmental and regulatory issues to expand the firm’s reach up and down the state and into the Pacific Northwest.

In California, Langan is becoming an industry leader in vapor intrusion mitigation system design. At the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park in San Francisco, an urban educational center that sits atop the site of a former landfill, Langan designed a passive “green” mitigation system to minimize the possibility of methane migration from the underlying landfill waste into the building. This LEED-certified project, commissioned by the Literacy for Environmental Justice, won the USEPA’s National Achievements in Environmental Justice Award. Meanwhile, in San Diego, Langan is providing environmental monitoring and consulting services during the demolition of existing structures and grading activities related to the construction of a luxury, mixed-use multi-family development.

Such activity helped catapult Langan into the ENR top ten rankings of environmental/geotechnical firms in California.

“The current economic upturn that is spurring redevelopment throughout the west has led to Langan providing property transfer due diligence and remediation of large-scale projects in multiple sectors,” said Dorinda Shipman, PG, CHG, Principal/Vice President, in San Francisco. “We are seeing more opportunities with major corporations to design treatability studies and containment systems, perform in-situ chemical oxidation and employ advanced bioremediation and solidification/stabilization technologies.”

Beyond the Bay Area and Langan’s Southern California office based in Irvine, the firm has made headway into Washington and Oregon. In Seattle, Langan is supporting the redevelopment of a site for Federal Express. And at an industrial site along the Willamette River in Portland, we are currently performing environmental services related to a cleanup under the oversight of the USEPA and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Clearly, these projects prove that our expertise travels well, and Langan looks forward to even more opportunities in the region.

To learn more about Langan’s West Coast environmental services, please contact Dorinda Shipman in San Francisco at dshipman@langan.com.

Turning 15 in Philly

In 1998, Langan Principal George Derrick got a phone call from his client at Richard I. Rubin/PREIT (now known as PREIT). The main subject? Philadelphia. The retail developer had grown accustomed to the level of service provided by Derrick’s team in New Jersey and wondered if Langan could support future projects in and around Philadelphia. Before Derrick hung up the phone, the seed had been sown: Langan would open an office in Philly. Fifteen years later, this Center City office still thrives.

In short order, Langan expanded beyond supporting retail to become a trusted consultant for complicated urban redevelopment projects requiring Langan’s unique mix of engineering and environmental services. The challenges of constrained sites with difficult subsurface conditions in the city were ideal for Langan’s geotechnical group, and the firm’s environmental experts have supported a variety of projects from preliminary environmental site assessments to large-scale remediation, as well as compliance contracts for major corporations in the energy and petrochemical industries.

Chris Hager, Principal, currently leads Langan’s Philadelphia office. He is an expert in urban redevelopment and historic sites, and will become chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s Philadelphia District Council on July 1.

“After focusing on what makes Philadelphia the great city it is, we knew where to put our efforts and our well-rounded portfolio is proof of that,” Hager said. “The city is filled with world-renowned medical facilities, top colleges and universities, two great waterfronts and abundant public parks. To know that Langan has played a role in the development and redevelopment of spaces within the city is truly rewarding.”

Langan’s local team has helped reinvent some of Philadelphia’s most important public spaces, including Race Street Pier, Herron Park and the recently opened Hunting Park. The firm’s landscape architecture team has restored approximately a dozen parks throughout the city, and survey crews have laser-scanned Eastern State Penitentiary, parts of Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, and portions of Lincoln Financial Field.

In addition to all the work in Philly, the office also supports Camden projects, including various tasks at Campbell’s World Headquarters, Cooper Cancer Institute and Cooper Medical School at Rowan University.

Our environmental group continues to support major Philadelphia-area oil refineries and terminals while the land development practice supports clients such as Brixmor Property Group, Kimpton Hotels, Parx Casino and ongoing work with PREIT.

George Derrick was on hand last week to celebrate the Philadelphia office’s 15th anniversary, a decade and half after that important phone call. The mix of clients and partners gathered atop the Hotel Monaco (a Langan roofscape design) was proof of the office’s success, and a sure sign that the future promises continued growth.

Engineering in Istanbul

Turkey has always occupied a pivotal socioeconomic position between the east and the west. The country has become an international destination, spurring unprecedented infrastructure improvements and urban development, as well as anticipation over the prospect of being the host for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Just the type of location where Langan thrives, which is why we opened an Istanbul office in the summer of 2011.

A native of Turkey, Can Karayel, PE, LEED AP spent 15 years in the United States managing projects for Langan before returning to his home country to lead the firm’s Istanbul office. Current local projects include providing site/infrastructure design services for the Tarlabasi Urban Retransformation project, which is a multi-cultural neighborhood located in the Beyoglu district. Commissioned by the Housing Development Administration of Istanbul, this 30,000-square-meter site consists of eight adjacent lots planned for the redevelopment of office, retail and residential spaces with associated site improvements. Langan also provided master plan engineering support services as well as geotechnical and waterfront engineering services for a 470,000-square-meter mixed-use and cruise line port development project in the city’s Zeytinburnu District.

“Istanbul is growing fast with a young demographic and steady migration from rural provinces, which has placed considerable stress on infrastructure, increasing the need for affordable housing,” said Karayel. “Our local knowledge, coupled with Langan’s experience working for major developers and on mega-projects, has enabled the Istanbul office to support a variety of market sectors, including office/high-rise, hotels, mixed-use, heavy infrastructure, aviation, sports, entertainment, education, cultural and healthcare. From Istanbul, we can reach anywhere in Turkey, Russia and Central Asia, and this office also serves as a gateway between local Turkish developers and contractors for work in the Middle East and North Africa.”

In addition to site/civil, environmental, and geotechnical consulting, Langan‘s globally-renowned earthquake engineering practice is being summoned to Turkey, which is a seismically-active region. In fact, the threat posed by earthquakes has prompted the need to redevelop and retrofit existing building stock, and the government has made the retransformation of these vulnerable areas a major priority.

Speaking of priorities, Istanbul is bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympics, and Langan possesses the right professionals and experience to support the work that will be needed should the city be awarded the games. George Leventis, who leads Langan International, and Ramin Golesorkhi, the Principal-in-Charge of the firm’s earthquake engineering practice, spoke at the Stadia & Arena 2013 event held in Istanbul this month. Leventis was the Director General of Olympic Works for the Organizing Committee of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Golesorkhi heads the team providing geotechnical and earthquake engineering for the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California (home of the San Francisco 49ers and site of the Super Bowl in 2017). Langan’s portfolio of sports projects also includes MetLife Stadium, Barclays Center, and multiple soccer stadia in Iraq.

Raze to Rise

In order to realize the future, we sometimes must level the past … and that usually means demolition engineering. However, while the word “demolition” conjures images of countdowns to implosions, at Langan we know that modern demolition engineering takes more than simply blowing up blighted buildings.

Langan’s demolition engineering approach integrates opportunities for cost and schedule savings to avoid the duplication of activities during construction phases. Starting with a hazardous materials survey, our environmental experts prepare abatement/removal design documents as needed, and provide air monitoring services during abatement. Langan’s engineering staff performs various design and permitting activities, including demolition, shoring and bracing, and integrated site preparation planning. Perhaps most importantly, throughout the process, Langan places a major emphasis on the development of procedures for the effective reuse of materials.

“We incorporate environmentally progressive, functional recycling practices into our designs, such as the reuse of crushed concrete and masonry for backfill of basements or voids from former foundations,” said Leonard Savino, PE, a Principal based in Langan’s headquarters in Elmwood Park, NJ. “This not only reduces material disposal costs for our clients, but avoids unnecessary excavation, which saves time and reduces truck traffic disturbances in local communities.”

Langan’s demolition designs apply to virtually any site or structure. For large-scale sites, Langan can fast-track site preparation by coordinating interior and exterior remediation with phased demolition activities, as was the case with the former Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The former 80,000-seat stadium was divided into eight parts separated by construction joints to allow for the simultaneous demolition of one segment with the remediation of another. This method expedited the demolition schedule and helped the Giants and Jets to be ready for their opening day kick-offs at the new MetLife Stadium, which is a mere 35 feet away from the old stadium.

For more information about Langan’s Demolition Engineering services, please contact Leonard Savino at lsavino@langan.com.


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