Case Study: Three Ways a One-Stop Shop Adds Value for Owners

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Anyone who works in commercial development knows that speed is the name of the game, particularly when designing and building stand-alone fast-food or retail establishments. ECS recently completed a project in Maryland that required civil engineering improvements, including a site retaining wall to support grade changes as well as the installation of two bio retention ponds/tanks to help manage stormwater on the site. The collaboration of in-house ECS teams on this project resulted in additional value added to the owner that would not otherwise have been recognized.

Initially, ECS was engaged to provide geotechnical engineering and third-party construction materials testing.  As the design progressed, it was realized that the retaining wall did not fall into the scope of the base building engineer or the civil engineer. Later, during construction, it was observed that a site-specific engineering design had not been performed for the bio tanks and therefore remediation was required. ECS, already being involved in the project, used in-house structural engineers to perform the wall and tank design.

This example project demonstrates how using an engineering firm that offers multiple services in-house provides added value to the owner, developer, and design team.

Better Communication

The geotechnical engineering report identified poor soils and recommended helical piers to support the site structures. The retaining wall design required an understanding of bridging a foundation between helical piers. During construction, several issues with the helical piers arose and because ECS was also the third-party inspector of record, the engineering team received early notification and field calls to help remediate issues as they arose.

Faster Turnaround

To remediate the constructed bio retention tanks, ECS provided creative solutions to work with the existing installed structures and strengthen them by installing supplemental supports and grade beams. The ability to consult in-house geotechnical engineers accelerated this process.  During construction, multiple grade changes occurred and ECS provided flexibility in continuously alternating the design until an optimum balance between civil grades and wall structure was reached.

Lower Costs

ECS structural engineering was engaged late in the process and helped to remediate an improper design which had been constructed. Working within the constraints of the existing structure to alter and strengthen it is more difficult than new design and requires greater coordination. However, if a firm is engaged to handle all of these tasks from the outset, results will be better coordinated and costly re-design and repairs will be prevented.

ECS provides all of these services that can benefit a developer throughout the project’s lifecycle. Contact Alexis Herr, P.E For more information or to schedule a consultation.