By John Phillips, ENV SP
When catastrophes like storms, earthquakes, fires, or terrorist attacks occur, the first response is automatic: addressing casualties. The second response, which is nearly as urgent, should be ensuring that critical infrastructure is still in place, starting with power and water.
When power and water systems malfunction, the immediate effects of a disaster multiply in a myriad of ways. Power and water failure can impact critical medical care, slow down food distribution, and create conditions for crime.
Unfortunately, many communities in the world have infrastructure that is anything but resilient. Mature regions often have aging, under-maintained systems, and systems that are over capacity. Developing economies may have the opposite problem. They struggle to put infrastructure in place and then scale it to support rapid population growth.
So, what does it mean to have resilient i... (more)
By Eleanor Allen, Parametrix Board Member and CEO at Water For People
Although water is abundant in nature, the amount of water available to drink and sustain life on earth is fixed and is becoming increasingly more strained as demand for water increases with population growth and development. Leveraging reliable and robust
technology, financing, and data to innovate every part of the water cycle – from sourcing to treatment to consumption to reclamation – is an absolute necessity to protect and manage our finite supply of water for future generations.
At the Future of the Profession event hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019 (which also happened to be World Toilet Day!), leaders from across the industry were invited
to discuss how technology is changing the water industry and what this means for the futu... (more)
By Darby Watson
Smart and Connected Communities use the internet of things and data collection to manage assets and resources efficiently to improve people's lives. While cities and communities rise to embrace new technologies, they must also make sure that the results are equitable and provide for a more sustainable and inclusive future.
At the Future of the Profession event, hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019, we invited leaders from across the industry to discuss what smart and connected communities mean for the future of cities. Panelists included Bryan Nace of GHZ Communications, Nico Larco, AIA of University of Oregon, and Steve Marshall of City of Bellevue.
The session began with each panelist introducing their are... (more)
By Bardia Nezhati, PE, PTOE
Intelligent mobility is a rapidly growing trend in urbanized areas to connect people, services and communities through the power of technology. It involves reimagining infrastructure-heavy approaches across all transportation modes and enabling the power of data and analytics, advanced technologies, and artificial intelligence. It has the potential to transform the way we move people and goods while saving lives, improving mobility, promoting su... (more)
In this series, we follow the employee-owners of Parametrix to see what a day on the job for them entails.
We recently caught up Parametrix employee-owner Alex Johnson at the Shake Mill Revetment Repair project for King County in North Bend, WA. He walked us through what's happening at the project and what his role as a Resident Engineer includes.
By Richard Roché, RG, LHG
Each year, Parametrix selects three projects of the year that exemplify our core values, mission, client service, and innovation. The Airport Solar project was named among the top three 2019 Parametrix Projects of the Year. Read about the project below.
Parametrix recently conducted a natural resources survey on the site of a solar energy electricity generating facility near Lakeview, OR. The team also monitored water resources, including mapping playas and potential wetlands within the 160-acre site.
The project included over 100 miles of mapping
Due to the very complicated site hydrology and soil conditions, challenges regarding defining playa edges, and evolving regulatory guidance, the project technical... (more)
Eastgate P&R Rapid Charger Station
By Steve Olling, PE, PMP, ENV SP
The concept of a zero-emission bus fleet isn’t as far off as you might think. In fact, transit agency King County Metro has been using zero-emission trolley coaches in Seattle for nearly 80 years. The agency has also been recognized as a national leader in early adoption of diesel-electric hybrid buses.
King County Metro is well on their way to meeting their goal to have a zero-emission fleet by 2040. The agency has begun using battery electric coaches, along with continuing to use and modernize their electric trolley fleet. This meets around 11% of their goal already. Starting in 2020, Metro plans to only purchase zero-emission buses as older buses retire and to increase fleet size to meet growing service needs.
The agency will transition to a fleet of all-electric trolley and battery-electric buses ... (more)
Groundbreaking of Boze Elementary School in Tacoma, WA. Photo Courtesy of Tacoma Public Schools.
By Jim Dugan
Tacoma Public Schools' Boze Elementary School is the first ever public K-12 school approved by the State of Washington to use the design-build method of project delivery. Since the school received approval in July 2017, multiple school districts have submitted for design-build approval to deliver public K-12 schools.
Construction is now underway on the new school to replace the original Boze Elementary, built in 1969. The budget for the new school, which will serve up to 550 preschool through 5th grade students, is $35.3 million. The project is being funded by a school construction bond passed by voters in 2013. When the bond was passed, it was based on a $295 per square foot construction cost. By 2019, construction costs had inflated to more than $450 per square foot. Innovation an... (more)
Log jacks sit along the Wynoochee riverbank with the City of Montesano wastewater treatment plant in background
Montesano, WA is a town of around 4,000 located 40 miles southwest of the state capital. For years, the City’s wastewater treatment plant has been peacefully located along the banks of the Wynoochee River. However, now movement of the river
threatens to overtake the treatment plant. The bank continues to erode at an alarming rate of 17 feet per year. If this pattern were allowed to continue, the river could breach the plant, sending millions of gallons of raw sewage spilling down
the Wynoochee, into the Chehalis River, affecting many communities along the way and eventually making its way to Puget Sound.
Rendering courtesy of Hewitt Architects, Inc.
By Brad Phillips
Each year, Parametrix selects a Project of the Year that exemplifies our core values, mission, and vision. At the Employee-Ownership Celebration on October 12, the Downtown Redmond Link Extension project was named the 2019 Parametrix Project of the Year. Read about the project below.
Sound Transit is extending light rail 3.4 miles from the future Redmond Technology Center station to Downtown Redmond, WA. The project includes two new stations and a 1,400-stall park-and-ride garage.
Parametrix was selected as the prime consultant for the planning, preliminary engineering, environmental clearance, permitting, public involvement, multi-agency concurrence, and design-build procurement packaging. This includes managing over twenty subconsultants across multiple disciplines, with 15% small or dis... (more)