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ACEC/MA Announces Finalists of 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards

Lombardo Welcome Center
Lombardo Welcome Center
I-95 Roadway and Bridge Improvements
I-95 Roadway and Bridge Improvements
Community Solar and Energy Storage Facility
Community Solar and Energy Storage Facility
Emerson College's Little Building
Emerson College's Little Building
BOSTON, MA — The American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) has named Jacobs, Tighe & Bond, AKF, and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) as finalists of their 2020 Engineering Excellence Award.

The 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards were recently announced and will be celebrated at the 2021 ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence and Awards Gala. The awards celebrate innovation, ingenuity, and excellence in engineering achievement.

Jacobs: I-95 Roadway and Bridge Improvements
This project was the last phase of a 20-year effort by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to widen the I-95 (Route 128) corridor to four travel lanes and a full shoulder in each direction. The project provided an increase in the capacity of the mainline, primarily through improved merge and diverge operations. The elimination of travel on the shoulder provides a smoother traffic flow and safer environment by returning the shoulder/breakdown lane to its intended purpose during the eight hours it was previously used as a travel lane and by providing adequate merge and diverge areas.

As of project completion, I-95 now has a consistent cross section of eight lanes from Canton to Peabody. Additional roadway improvements included widened shoulders at the median, a new interchange at Kendrick Street, new collector/distributor roads between Kendrick Street and Highland Avenue, auxiliary lanes in each direction between Highland Avenue and Route 9, and a reconfiguration of the Route 9 interchange. The project required construction of three replacement bridges and one new bridge, widening of a historic bridge, and demolition of an abandoned railroad bridge. Over 11,000 feet of retaining walls were built in 18 locations throughout the project area. In addition, over 10,000 feet of noise barriers were constructed in seven locations.

Tighe & Bond: Community Solar and Energy Storage Facility
Tighe & Bond’s work with ENGIE North America (ENGIE) and the collaboration with other organizations has led to the completion of a complex project that showcases what can happen when innovative engineering and a commitment to clean energy and environmental protection come together. The transformation of the Mt. Tom coal-fired plant to a fully remediated and safe site has enabled ENGIE to move forward with its plan to use the property for future industrial/commercial/energy development. The completion of the solar and energy storage project in 2018 has continued to positively impact the City of Holyoke. In August of 2019, the city was recognized by educational nonprofit Smart Electric Power Alliance as having the third most annual energy storage watt-hours per customer in the entire nation.

Overall, the closure of the former coal-fired power plant included two main concepts: transforming a former industrial site by demolishing the existing facility, remediating many areas of the property; and addressing over 50 acres of on-site coal ash while reusing a portion of the site for renewable energy generation and storage.

AKF: Lombardo Welcome Center
Boston firm AKF provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering, and renewable energy design, energy modeling, net zero energy consulting, and commissioning for Millersville University’s new 14,600-square-foot building that is now the home to the university’s admissions, marketing, sustainability, and student housing departments. The Lombardo Welcome Center is helping Millersville University achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and is a showcase of sustainability for students, staff, and over 10,000 prospective students that visit the university annually. The first Zero Energy Certified building in Pennsylvania, Lombardo Welcome Center actually achieved net positive energy in its first year, regularly generating over 200 percent of its annual energy needs, making it one of the top five most positive energy buildings in the country. While most building systems were designed to be “invisible,” a solar PV array serves as a physical reminder of the building’s purpose, further encouraging energy-conscious behavior.
SGH: Emerson College's Little Building
Situated on a busy corner facing Boston Common, Emerson College’s Little Building needed work to upgrade the student dormitory and address the failing facade. With the Little Building housing over 700 students during the school year, it was critical to limit the time this building would be offline. The SGH team collaborated with the Boston Landmarks Commission to develop a plan for renovating the 12-story structure and replicating the deteriorated facade, while improving thermal performance and occupant comfort. By using prefabricated panels, the project team was able to replicate the façade, improve the building’s performance, and minimize the field construction time, allowing the Little Building to open to students on time for the fall 2019 semester. With this project, Emerson College was able to revitalize an important campus building, allowing students and the surrounding community to benefit from this project for years to come.

“The Engineering Excellence Awards program recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value, and ingenuity,” said Jennifer Howe, President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts and Principal and Vice President at Symmes Maini & McKee Associates. “Entrants are rated by an independent panel of judges from the architectural community, the construction industry, academia, the media, and the public sector on the basis of uniqueness and originality; future value to the profession and perception by the public; social, economic, and sustainable development considerations; complexity; and successful fulfillment of the client/owner’s need, including schedule and budget. We congratulate them and thank them for their contributions to improving the quality of our everyday lives.”

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