News & Events

Taking Simulation Software On The Roads With Synchro & SimTRAFFIC

 

Traffic modeling programs are vital to engineers across the globe, serving engineers, researchers, and planners as they manage and enhance transportation systems that have become increasingly more complex and congested.  Synchro (macrosimulation) and SimTraffic (microsimulation), both developed by Trafficware, are two of the most widely used programs.

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Civil Engineering & Site Design: A Definitive Guide

Planning & Site Design

Civil Engineering-Planning & Site Design: A Definitive Guide

Civil engineers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the very foundations of our society. We develop roads, bridges, water and utility systems, waterways and seaports, airports, as well as infrastructure for countless homes, buildings, and services. So how do complex, sometimes massive projects like these even get started? In today’s blog, we’re going to find out!

This Definitive Guide to Civil Engineering-Planning & Site Design explains the major steps we as civil engineers take in planning and designing a construction project from start to finish. Whether it’s a municipal, residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional development project, the processes involved generally remain the same.

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies are among the first thing to take place during the initial design stage of any project. It tells us if the overall project proposal is viable, and what fundamental challenges will need to be solved. Experienced civil engineers help you define the scope of your project, conduct risk assessments, and cost analyses while reviewing the technical and organizational needs.  This phase also provides clients with an array of tools used to further plan their project, such as information on the municipality, utilities, permitting, and required approvals to name a few.

Conceptual Design

During the Conceptual Design phase, the engineer works hand and hand with the client to develop the overall layout for the site.  While the specific design criteria are in mind, the plan is more intended to show the overall layout than the acutal specific design parameters.  This enables the client to help bring what are often thoughts and visions to paper and can be a very exciting part of the project.  Here we also work with the existing site features to ensure Natural Resources are protected and live in harmony with the planned project. Often times this phase goes hand and hand with the Feasibility Study Phase.

Site Design

During the civil engineering site design services process, civil engineers explore the challenges of your project and develop solutions to allow the project to progress. Site design can include items such as an environmental impact of the project, permitting, subsurface characteristics, wetlands delineation, and zoning. Civil engineering site designers work with all of the overlapping disciplines associated with the project, including architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors.

Grading & Drainage Design

Site grading and drainage design is an essential element of the land development process that provides the layout for various entities while ensuring safety and the proper flow of water. This phase takes into account roadway and parking lot slopes, building pad elevations, and surface water flow to name a few.  The existing grade of a site is important to assess in the early stages of a project in order to develop a site properly while ensuing value engineering and cost savings during construction.  For example, a poorly planned site may need to pump water and/or sewer, adding a great expense to your project. All buildings require approved grading plans in order to proceed with construction.

Erosion and Sedimentation Control Design

Erosion and Sedimentation (E&S) control designs prevent hazardous and unwanted erosion on construction sites, where land is disturbed. E&S control is a  concern throughout a construction project and must be carefully planned to ensure all regulations are met.  The size and scope of the project define what E&S controls and permitting will be required.  These requirements change slightly based on the Municipality and County where the project lives, different size projects may have their own requirements. Here, the right engineer on your project will allow you to devise means and methods that can save you thousands of dollars in construction costs alone.

Utility Layout

Utility layouts show the system details of utilities such as water, sewer, gas, and electric lines. They can show both existing and proposed underground lines, the locations of buildings, driveways, and parking areas on the property, and the demand of each utility, among many other details.  Utility planning involves many outside agencies, this is one major aspect where the communication skills of your engineer are important.

Stormwater Management

Stormwater management is handled by engineers who propose, design, and supervise the stormwater systems of a construction project. We ensure drainage and stormwater management systems are appropriately implemented while safeguarding you and your neighbors from potential flooding caused by increased impervious areas.  Impervious areas are features that do not allow water to penetrate them, such as buildings, asphalt roads, concrete sidewalks, etc. Stormwater infiltration is one aspect of stormwater management that specifically deals with how water re-enters the soil and feeds back into streams, lakes, and other natural waterways. This project phase allows you to explore using unconventional building materials such as pervious paving, which enables you to reduce your impervious surface footprint and the size of your stormwater management requirements.

Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture focuses on the analysis, planning, design, and management of both natural and constructed environments. Landscape architecture includes parks and recreation projects, streetscapes, conservation and preservation, transportation corridors, institutional properties, and specialty lighting and security. All major projects have this aspect as part of the Municipal requirements for set minimums and can be handled directly by your engineer.  A Landscape Architect is sourced when you want to take your landscape to the next level.  Landscape architects work closely with civil engineers throughout the site design and planning processes.

Streetscape Design

Streetscape design looks at the size, placement, and features of roadways. Pedestrian-scale streetscape design considers building materials, brickwork and paving, signage, lighting, landscaping, crosswalks, and decorative elements to create defined separate spaces for people and vehicles. Landscape and streetscape designers work closely together to develop properties that have the right balance of form and function to suit the unique needs of the occupants.

Construction Specifications

Construction specifications describe the products, materials, and building methods needed to complete the project. They don’t include the complete details of a project, like material costs and quantities, so they’re generally used in combination with other project details, schedules, and drawings.

Construction Management

Here we oversee the site work of the project during the construction phase.  We conduct pre-construction meetings to ensure all parties are on the same page and are set up for success before a shovel hits the ground.  We review contractor shop drawings and material submittals to ensure what is built meets or exceeds the specifications of the design.  We also answer questions and respond to Requests for Information (RFI’s) submitted during construction. Site visits and observation is also provided during critical stages/site activities.  An engineer who is good at project solving and thinking on their feet is critical for this phase.  This is where all the hard work is finally realized and the final product is built.

Get Your Project Started

As you begin to plan your next project, start thinking about each of the elements above. The key to success in any of these areas is to have the right civil engineer on your side. From traditional markets like government and infrastructure to emerging markets like sustainability and LEED, we deliver the best engineering solutions and customer service to each project.  Seeing a project from the initial concept through final construction is something that can be very satisfying and we love being a big part of that process.

For more information about Carroll Engineering’s Planning & Site Design Services, please contact:

Pennsylvania ProjectsJohn L. Koutsouros, P.E., Planning and Site Design Department Manager directly by email at jkoutsouros@carrollengineering.com or by phone at 215-343-5700 ext. 355.

New Jersey ProjectsThomas J. Fik, P.E., CME, LEED AP by email at tfik@carrollengineering.com or by phone at 908-874-7500 ext 216.

The Difference Between Structural Engineering & Civil Engineering

Structural engineering and civil engineering are two disciplines within the field of engineering that deal with the analysis, design, and construction of infrastructure projects. But despite their similarities, there are some clear differences that set them apart. All structural engineers are civil engineers, but not every civil engineer is a structural engineer.

In this blog, we take a quick look at structural engineering and civil engineering and explore what makes each critical to project success.

What is Structural Engineering?

Structural engineering involves the analysis, design, construction, and maintenance of structures that reinforce or counteract loads. A deep understanding of structural engineering is vital to the safe development of both existing and proposed structures. From bridges to culverts to parking garages, structural engineers are focused on the load-bearing design and material elements that allow construction projects of all sizes to take shape. At Carroll Engineering, some of the projects we work on that fall under structural engineering include:

  • Bridge design and rehabilitation
  • Deep foundations
  • Retaining walls
  • Building design and renovation
  • Bridge and building condition assessments

Carroll’s structural engineering capabilities allow us to provide comprehensive condition assessments and floor live-load ratings for existing buildings, roofing assessments, and material recommendations.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is the overall engineering discipline that deals with the constructed world around us. That means all public and private buildings, roads, airports, and water systems. It includes engineering sub-disciplines such as construction engineering, traffic engineering, water/wastewater engineering, and environmental engineering. Civil engineers at Carroll work on a vast range of engineering and infrastructure projects of varying scales, including:

Our civil engineers collaborate with other engineers, architects, planners, designers, and builders to develop major institutions, commercial buildings, public and recreational facilities, industrial projects, and residential projects.

Getting the Best of Both Worlds

Some engineering firms specialize in civil engineering, others in structural engineering, and others in any of the countless other engineering disciplines. At Carroll Engineering, our extensive experience and dedication to quality come together for full-service engineering solutions that are customized to meet the unique needs of your project.

Visit our Structural Engineering Services and Civil Engineering Services pages to learn more about how Carroll Engineering can help with your next project.

CARROLL ENGINEERING TAKES TO THE SKY WITH DRONE TECHNOLOGY

Take the opportunity to see the entirety of your site from a bird’s eye view, with the help of Carroll Engineering’s drone technology. We have been utilizing the drone’s ability to capture aerial views of clients’ projects from start to finish, pre-planning initiatives, site mapping and offer real-time video captures for hard to see areas using accuracy and speed. Our licensed drone pilot uses his experience to remotely pilot the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), as it collects aerial data through its pivotal imagery sensors. For instance, when used in a drone survey, a client can request measurements at certain distances and in other specified volumetric distances. Project managers can inherently benefit from utilizing the drone information for day-to-day project updates and staying informed to make quicker reaction times to any project delays that can arise.

Here are some areas employing the accuracy and quality of Drone Technology:

  • Municipal Planning
  • Planning and Design for Water Resources
  • Engineering for Public Facilities, Bridges, and Roads

Check out our drone in action with these videos from our YouTube page:

Feasterville Water Tank – Ladder and Roof Inspection
Feasterville, Bucks County, PA
Click to watch video

Uhlerstown Covered Bridge – Bucks County Bridge #203
Uhlerstown, Bucks County, PA
Click to watch video

Upper Mount Bethel Township Community Park
Upper Mount Bethel, Northampton County, PA
Click to watch video

Have a project in the pipeline that needs an aerial capture?

For more information on our drone service, please contact Joel Ardman, Vice President by email at  jardman@carrollengineering.com

or call 215-343-5700 ext 243.

For more information about all of our services, please visit our website at www.carrollengineering.com.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY AT RISK

When the danger of walking surpasses that of driving in a vehicle, flying in an airplane, or riding on public transportation lines (trains and buses), there is cause for concern for the on-going rise in pedestrian fatalities. Death statistics from 2017 show that every 88 minutes a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle. While overall vehicular fatalities have been trending down for years, the percentage of “outside the vehicle” fatalities (involving pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists, and other non-occupants) has increased from a low of 20% in 1996 to a high of 34% in 2018. Sadly, this represents the greatest number of pedestrian deaths since 1990. Pedestrians are at a high-risk level of being put in danger, even when obeying proper traffic laws and controls.

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CARROLL ENGINEERING CORPORATION EXHIBITS AT THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS 2020 SPRING CONVENTION

 

 

MCATO Spring Convention 2020Township officials gathered on the morning of Friday March 6th, 2020 for the Montgomery County Association of Township Officials (MCATO) Spring Convention, which is the first of two annual events held each year.

The event was located at the Crowne Plaza in King of Prussia, PA. Township Officials first visited with the exhibitors, then took part in the discussion of various issues affecting the municipalities throughout the Montgomery County region. Attendees got to hear about the newest Public Safety additions to Montgomery County, including the Mobile Communication Center and Drone Truck.Attendees also had the ability to see the truck and tour first-hand outside the event in the parking lot from Montgomery County’s Public Safety Director, Tom Sullivan.

Next, the Montgomery County Health Department advised on the contingency plans for COVID-19 being implemented and answered questions on safety precautions as well as the procedures in place for testing and quarantining. Following this presentation, PSATS Director of Legislative Affairs, Joe Gerdas, spoke on various Legislative Updates, and encouraged attendance at PSATS 2020 Educational Conference & Trade Show taking place on May 3rd through May 6th in Hershey, PA.

Joel Ardman, Vice President and Manager of our Sales and Marketing Department, and Alison McNamee-Herman, Marketing Associate, represented Carroll Engineering Corporation as exhibitors. Carroll Engineering is proud to serve various municipalities in Montgomery County.

 

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Spotlight on Warminster Township, Bucks County & West Whiteland Township, Chester County

Warminster Township was originally part of Southampton Township before its borders were established in 1711. Warminster was mostly settled by English and Scotch-Irish colonists after William Penn received a grant of land in the area from King Charles, II.  It was the site of the Battle of Crooked Billet during the Revolutionary War, which resulted in a resounding defeat for George Washington’s colonial troops. Continue reading