D.L. Howell & Associates assisted Henkels & McCoy in securing approvals for the expansion of their operations facility in Cliffwood (Aberdeen Township), NJ. The project entailed a roughly 2000 SF office expansion to their current office building and 12 new parking spaces to support the new office space. The approvals were complicated by decades-old zoning relief and the need to confirm whether conditions associated with that relief were adequately complied with. DLH submitted plans to the Township and Freehold, NJ Soils Conservation District for approval. In late January, DLH attended a Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting where site plan, variance, and waiver approvals were all granted. Final plan revisions will be made to comply with the conditions of approval and the project should be on track for construction this Spring.
Approximately two years after Land Development approval through New Garden Township, the Manfredi Cold Storage Expansion is nearing completion. Manfredi Cold Storage is a full service environmentally controlled storage facility providing cold storage for products making their way from eastern sector port facilities to destinations across the country. The expansion is the second of two in the last five years involving food grade refrigerated and frozen warehouses currently storing products from over 22 countries around the world. Also operating out of the expanded facility and supporting the warehousing capability are International Repack, Manfredi Logistics Service, Inland Transportation and National Refrigerated Freight.
The project entailed securing Local, State and Federal government approvals for the following five buildings onsite: 110,292 SF Cold Storage Warehouse, 10,800 SF Multipurpose use including office, breakroom, bath and locker room facilities to support 24 hour trucking operations, 2,400 Drivers Lounge and a second 18,000 SF Multipurpose use including office, repacking facilities and temporary warehousing.
Part of the 110,000 square foot building expansion project involved the incorporation of a full-service rail spur enabling product delivery and transport via East Penn Railroad Company who maintains switch capabilities with two Class 1 carriers, CSX and Norfolk Southern.
The magnitude of proposed impervious coverage associated with proposed roof area and concrete trucking circulation area made providing adequate stormwater management a challenge. Stormwater systems needed to be shallow and expansive to meet NPDES infiltration loading ratio requirements. The sheer size of the underground stormwater facilities made staging of construction activities a major engineering accomplishment. Multiple sequences of construction and staging were worked through in great detail to ensure that existing operations could continue and that proposed building construction and associated heavy equipment would not compromise the location of proposed stormwater management facilities.
DL Howell routinely secures approvals in southern Chester County, many of which involve mega-mushroom producing facilities, commercial office park developments, and residential developments.
Contact us to discuss your development approval needs!
Construction begins on the new Bush Collision Center on Matlack Street in West Chester. DLH assisted the applicant through the land development process in West Goshen Township, Chester County. The development plan proposed a retrofit of the former Bell Atlantic facility including the rehabilitation of several existing garage bays, modification to the existing front building façade and expansion of the rear building to make room for an expanded collision center.
The project stormwater design was complicated by an existing undersized stormwater facility, shallow rock and limited area for expansion. DLH worked with the Township Engineer to implement a modification to the existing stormwater system that provided adequate rate control and water quality benefits.
Approval of the project and proposed upgrades will allow for a more aesthetically pleasing site via improvements to an outdated lighting design and added landscaping materials.
To date, the framework for the new front entry has begun, footers have been poured and existing asphalt has been removed. Proposed improvements to the existing stormwater basin have also begun.
With site construction well underway at the start of 2017, The Estates at Dowlin Forge Station races towards home startups anticipated in early summer. The 140 acre site located just west of the Brandywine Creek will spawn a total of 204 units. DLHowell was retained by the site developer in 2016 to help navigate their way through a web of unforeseen site improvement issues encountered at the East Brandywine project site. Not long after breaking ground, site contractors were faced with shallow rock throughout the sloping site and wide ranging topographic tolerances due to heavy underbrush associated with the previously logged tract. In order to minimize the amount of blasting r
equired for the installation of utilities and roadways, DLHowell strategically re-vertically aligned certain improvements to reduce the need for costly blasting of bedrock while at the same time not incurring a compete overhaul – and formal re-approval – of the project. Prior timber harvesting of the site before development resulted in a dense under story vegetative growth which impacted the accuracy of aerial topographic flights.
DLHowell, in conjunction with HowellKline Surveying, worked with developers and site contractors to provide supplemental field run topographic surveys in critical areas around the site perimeter to ensure limits of earthwork were acceptable. With the construction schedule unable to slip and in an effort to keep pipe crews working, daily exchanges of information between field survey crews and engineers often occurred “from field to phone”… resulting in instantaneous engineering and design change releases. Not often is it that you see surveying, e
ngineering and installation occur in the same day, which certainly kept things interesting for all parties involved. In addition, DLHowell routinely coordinates with the appropriate regulatory agencies to keep them up to speed on proposed design changes allowing site work to proceed and keep home building on target for summer.
To efficiently and effectively develop land in the 21st century, it takes what feels like an army of professional consultants. Each contributing their own critical sliver of expertise without which the project could not become a reality. However, of all the consultants who team up to move a project from raw ground to final approval, the Civil Site Engineer (CSE) acts as the hub around which all the other disciplines revolve. The CSE, in most circumstances, is the first player picked and the one relied upon heavily to call the right plays.
In an approvals world where fiscal impact studies, historical studies, in-depth hydrogeologic analysis and traffic impact reports (just to name a few) are commonplace, it is absolutely critical to have one individual who possesses a general understanding of all to orchestrate their involvement properly. For example, an effective CSE may not be conducting laboratory testing on site soils or calculating load bearing pressures but will know enough about geotechnical engineering to make sound decisions with respect to the placement of structures, roadways, and stormwater facilities; an effective CSE may not be calculating overturning moments on retaining walls but will know enough about structural engineering to determine where retaining walls should and shouldn’t be placed, minimize their height and properly position them with respect to other structures that could negatively impact their structural stability; an effective CSE may not select the plant species that make up a planting or riparian buffer but will know how large the buffer needs to be to support those species and how the size of the required planting buffer will impact the site layout. I could go on and on here but I won’t.
This isn’t to say that the CSE is just a paper pushing micro-manager…. A good CSE will bring their own set of technical expertise to each project and routinely engages in any of the following engineering design related tasks on a daily basis:
Civil Site Engineer Core Design Responsibilities:
Commercial Building/Parking Layout
Horizontal Roadway Design
Vertical Roadway Design
Zoning Analysis & Municipal Code Review
Erosion Control Design
Water Quality Design
Hydraulic Design of Conveyance Systems
The takeaway for Land Developers here is that you should take your time in selecting the Civil Site Engineer. They play an incredibly important role in how the project will unfold as well as in the timing and cost of the final project approval. The optimal individual is someone who has a very in-depth working knowledge of the design elements they are responsible for (see above bullet point list) but also knows enough about each of the other disciplines to effectively coordinate if those consultants are needed, when they are needed and to what extent they are needed. Most importantly, they need to be able to do both simultaneously.
The following is a short list of what to look for when searching for a good Quarterback… or CSE:
Relationship with Municipal officials and ability to negotiate with tact
In-depth knowledge and experience in core design responsibilities
General working knowledge of other engineering or related disciplines that may become necessary to secure project approval (i.e. historical, survey, environmental, etc.)
Ability to identify critical path consultants and time manage their work product
Question the genuine need for non-mainstream professional consultant work that may or may not be required by code
Ability to perform core engineering responsibilities while simultaneously directing the activities of the team and do it on time and on budget