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New Chicago Location, Same Site Development Services

May 1, 2017 our Chicago office will be located three blocks south at:

135 South Jefferson Street

Suite 135

Chicago, IL 60661

EEA’s Chicago-based civil engineering, traffic & parking and landscape architecture staff can still be reached at:

(312) 463-0551

 

Our Take:  Will County CED Releases 2016 Growth Data

The Will County Center for Economic Development (CED) recently released its 2016 Annual Report. The county acquired 49 new business projects in 2016 which created more than 8,000 new jobs, $751.3 million in new investments and 15.2 million square feet of development. In light of the county’s development growth, we asked two of our project leaders to weigh in based on their professional experience working in Will County.

Civil Engineering in Will County

Rick Sinnott, senior project manager and head of EEA’s Mokena Office has lived and worked in Will County for nearly 30 years. He served on the Will County Stormwater Management Committee, South Suburban Home Builders Association legislative committee and was the chairman of the Mokena Site Plan & Architectural Review RickSinnot_03Committees.

From a civil engineering perspective, Sinnott believes the Will County Stormwater Ordinance will continue to benefit growing development. The ordinance
was created in 2002 to alleviate flooding and to minimize stormwater impacts from development.

“The biggest benefit is that all of the municipalities within Will County are using the same stormwater ordinance, so it has standardized the requirements,” said Sinnott. “My advice however is to always cross check with a licensed civil engineer to verify detention is not underestimated.”

Sinnott was most recently consulted about stormwater detention during the planning phases for a healthcare campus and medical office buildings in Will County.

Landscape Architecture and Conservation in Will County

Steven Gregory, PLA, ASLA, is EEA’s Director of Landscape Architecture. Gregory has worked in the south suburbs, including Will County for more than 20 years. He believes that another advantage of developing in Will County from a residential standpoint, is the adoption of the Will County Subdivision Ordinance. As a member of the South Suburban Builder’s Association (SSHBA), Gregory was previously the Municipal Outreach Committee Chair. He acted as a liaison between the SSHBA and Will County planning staff to revise the Will County Subdivision Ordinance in 2009. This gave him a deep understanding of the area’s development community.

What is the Will County Subdivision Ordinance?  

The recent change to the Will County subdivision Ordinance focuses on incorporating existing environmental elements including stands of native trees, wetlands, floodplains, and other topographic constraints into the design of a project. This concept is part of Low Impact Development (LID). In recent years unincorporated Will County has moved from traditional suburban development to a more conservation focused design approach.

The idea of LID is not a new concept, but before Will County Steven Gregory Eriksson Engineering.incorporated the principles into the ordinances it was seen as a suggestion. Now in ordinance form, it is enforceable and helps the county develop in a manner that is more respectful of natural features.

“By offering density bonuses for implementing conservation design principles, developers are encouraged to build projects with the same density on smaller footprints and strike a balance with either open site space and/or conservation easements,” said Gregory.  “In some cases this allows builders to keep or increase the number of units on a project while maintaining other open areas of the site for passive recreation opportunities.”

EEA is currently working on several projects within Will County, the south suburbs of Chicago and into Indiana. For more information about our civil engineering, landscape architecture and traffic engineering services please contact Principal and Director of Client Relations Tom Petermann at tpetermann@eea-ltd.com.

EEA Staff Promotions

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) is pleased to announce the following staff promotions:

Christopher M. Fish, P.E. was promoted to Project Engineer. 

Patrick Dimmer, P.E. was promoted to Senior Project Engineer.

Congratulations Chris and Pat!

Christopher M. Fish, P.E. (right); Patrick Dimmer, P.E. (left)

Christopher M. Fish, P.E. (left); Patrick Dimmer, P.E. (right)

 

29th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards: Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. 2017 Award Finalist

CREA Award FinalistEriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA), is pleased to announce the firm was selected as an award finalist for the 29th Annual Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards in the category of Consulting Engineer of the Year. The proceeds from the awards program benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

“Our firm’s opportunities to work with Chicago’s top architects, design professionals and real estate developers on retail, mixed-use and other redevelopment projects is truly an honor,” said Mike Renner, vice president and urban redevelopment leader at EEA. “EEA especially values the mission behind this event- to help the local community by supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository.”

EEA completed several commercial real estate projects in 2016, including Rosenwald Courts in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Elmhurst 255 in Elmhurst Illinois, as well as a special redevelopment project for the DeKalb Public Library.

Eriksson Engineering Associates was selected as one of four finalists for the category. All nominations are reviewed and selected by the designated Blue Ribbon Panel. Winners will be announced at the event held on Wednesday, March 16, 2017 at the Hilton Chicago.

Something’s Brewing: EEA Assists Eris Brewery with New Cider House and Brewery

Chicago’s Old Irving Park Neighborhood will soon be home to the City’s first dual cider house and brewery. The Eris Brewery project entails converting a former masonic temple into a multi-story restaurant and brew pub. EEA worked closely with the design team to minimize the cost of the site improvements. Site improvements were phased to keep the project below the City’s stormwater ordinance regulation threshold. The cost savings from the storm water detention allow the Owner to use more of their budget toward building out the pub and brewing world-class cider. Follow the project’s progress on the Eris Brewery Facebook Page. 

Improving School Pedestrian Safety through Traffic Engineering Solutions

Steve_03

Stephen B. Corcoran, P.E., PTOE

By Stephen B. Corcoran, P.E., PTOE

Schools are among a list of destinations in which mid-block crosswalks can create unsafe and unpredictable situations for both pedestrians and vehicles. Increasing pedestrian safety while maintaining reasonable traffic flow, requires careful assessments of school parking lots, vehicular traffic on bordering roads, as well as, pedestrian foot traffic.

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB)

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)

Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB) boost safety at unsignalized intersections and mid-block pedestrian crossings by raising driver awareness of pedestrians. RRFBs are activated by pedestrians with a push of a button trigger flashing signals instructing vehicles to stop while pedestrians are crossing.

Hersey High School

Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois wanted to improve a parent drop off and pick-up parking lot as well as enhance the safety of the 500 daily student crossings across a three-lane collector road.
After assessing the site, EEA redesigned the parking lot to direct exiting traffic away from the crosswalk and recommended the installation of a fence and landscaping to direct students to a single crossing point with a RRFB. The new crossing point consisted of a marked cross walk, advanced signage, signage at the crosswalk and RRFB facing both directions.

High Intensity Activated Crosswalk signals

Hawk Signal

Hawk Signal

High Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signals, are hybrid traffic beacon devices used to assist pedestrians crossing busy streets. Like RRFBs, Hawk signals are activated by pressing a button, but also include highly visible overhead lights, similar to traditional stop lights. The initial flashing yellow lights alert drivers that pedestrians have activated the signal, then quickly turn solid, warning drivers to make a complete stop. When the lights turn red, pedestrians receive a white “walk” sign signaling they may proceed across the intersection. Following the countdown, flashing red lights appear telling drivers that if the road is clear, they may proceed with caution. Following the activation, the beacon goes dark and traffic continues as normal. Pedestrian hybrid beacons provide a safer crossing alternative than traditional crosswalks, especially in mid-block locations, and since devices require manual activation, drivers experience minimal delays.

Highland Park High School

Highland Park High School Aerial

Highland Park High School Aerial

Highland Park High School and the City of Highland Park were seeking a solution for pedestrians to safely cross a street with several curves along the east side of the school’s campus. The road’s limited sight distance meant an RRFB would not provide enough warning to approaching vehicles. Instead, EEA recommended a HAWK signal because it requires all vehicles to come to a complete stop before pedestrians can cross the street to address the challenges presented by the winding road, EEA also implemented advanced flashing signs on the approaching routes to further warn drivers.

Interested in determining if a RRFB or a Hawk signal is right for your school project? A comprehensive traffic study identifying existing school circulation patterns, volumes, and needs can help determine how to increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians with these devices or other solutions

 

Advice: Helping Clients Achieve Landscape Architecture Objectives

By Steve Gregory, PLA, ASLA

Steven Gregory Eriksson Engineering.

Nowhere else is it more important to set expectations with your client than on the landscape architecture component of a project. In my nearly three decades as a Professional Landscape Architect, I’ve been consistently asked to help my clients find what I abbreviate as, “ELM”; environmentally friendly, low-cost, and maintenance free solutions.  Although this acronym is short, solving these project objectives is often not as straightforward. To help your client get as close as possible to meeting these goals, I offer the following suggestions:

Environmentally Friendly: All that is green is not always green. Going green does not mean installing turf grass lawn and letting it fend for itself. Closely examining the long-term care and watering requirements should be central to the design of any landscape. Where turf grass is desired, look for varieties that require less water and maintenance than traditional lawns.

Another way to make the landscape more environmentally responsible is to use as many native plant species as possible. Native plants do require more patience than traditional plantings. Since it takes a few seasons until they peak and look their best, it is important to communicate this timeframe to your client from the beginning.

Low Cost: This is probably the easiest goal to address with most clients since they already have an understanding of costs. Once the project meets the municipal requirements and the client’s direction, then try matching locally sourced plants to the site’s microclimate. This alone will greatly decrease project costs. The key is to include large plants from a quality nursery so that the landscape has a visual impact and can be intuitively understood by the users from first glance.

Maintenance Free: This is where you have to deliver some bad news to the client. There is no such thing as a maintenance-free landscape; however you can offer lower maintenance plants such as native perennials in lieu of decorative annuals. The trick is balancing the lower maintenance and watering requirements of the perennials with the showy exotic plants of more traditional landscapes. Establish with your client the look they are trying to achieve and manage the expectations of decision makers and maintenance staff when incorporating lower maintenance native plants.

EEA incorporates these principles into our designs whenever possible. We simply call it smart design – a holistic approach to site planning and design. Our in-house site consulting services allow us to fully-examine a project site through our team of civil engineering, traffic and parking, and landscape architecture experts.

View our Landscape Architecture Brochure

Steve Gregory, PLA, ASLA is EEA’s Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning.

Ben Ahring Joins EEA as Senior Project Manager

Ben Ahring, P.E.

Ben Ahring, P.E.

EEA is pleased to announce Benjamin Ahring, P.E. has joined the firm as Senior Project Manager.

Ben brings 16 years of civil engineering project management experience and will be based in EEA’s Chicago office. He has led the design of urban redevelopment and public sector projects, including park facilities, schools, police stations, and municipal buildings.

 “Ben’s diverse project portfolio and wealth of expertise make him a valuable addition to our team,” said Mike Renner, Vice President of EEA and leader of the firm’s urban redevelopment and recreation markets. “He takes site design one step further by considering the aesthetic value and the pedestrian experience; addressing the project needs of clients and owners.”

 In his new role, Ben will provide civil engineering project management and site design services to the firm’s clients across several market areas.

Ben graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Ben serves on the Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Watershed Management (MWRD) Ordinance. He is a licensed professional engineer in Illinois.

EEA Receives Canstruction Chicago Award for Second Year in a Row

Canstruction website collage final

EEA and team partners, ECS Midwest, Power Construction & Fitzgerald Associates Architects received the 2016 Structural Ingenuity Award at the ChicagoCAN Canstruction Awards Reception on Aug. 30 for the team’s “Eroding Hunger” canstructure.

Canstruction Chicago judges were asked to make the selection based on the sculpture that, “Pushes the limits of gravity and physics to turn a basic can of food into a structure that makes you say, “Wow, how did they do that?”
This is the second consecutive Structural Ingenuity award the team has received.

Eroding Hunger, “Is designed as three eroding pillars. Designed with daring structural appearance in mind, we hoped to evoke the precarious situation of hungry citizens in our community. Throughout the design process we studied volumes that would not stand in isolation. Yet, when supported by others, the group stands together. The shape opens toward the audience, exposing the sculpture’s interconnected structure as a nod to how we must support each other’s efforts to erode and eradicate hunger in our community.”

Through careful planning, team work and your support we were able to donate 5,350 cans to the Greater Chicago Food Depository!

On behalf of EEA, we would like to thank our supporters and team sponsors for their generosity.

Watch our team’s build night video!

Also see our team featured in Builtworld’s“AEC Rallies to Feed the Hungry” 

Tom Petermann Appointed President of SMPS Chicago

Tom Petermann, P.E.

Tom Petermann, P.E.

EEA Principal and Director of Client Relations, Tom Petermann, P.E., was recently named President of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Chicago Chapter.

Tom kicked-off his one-year term at the SMPS Chicago Annual meeting held on Aug. 25 by delivering a presentation introducing the new Board of Directors and his goals for the 2016-2017 Chapter year.

To learn more about the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Chicago, please visit www.smps-chi.org.