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.” 

Q&A: What is the most challenging project you are currently involved in?

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.