It’s May! We’re Still In This Together.

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) is with you during this unique time, whether it is to evaluate a project site, to implement improvements, to provide market research and analysis, or even to provide some comedic relief. As your advocate, we wholeheartedly believe that we’re all in this together.

Market Watch

Electrical Vehicle Ordinance for New Construction
The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance mandating Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) readiness on new-construction multi-family and commercial properties. The ordinance requires accommodating EVSE on 20% of any supplied parking spaces for newly-built residential buildings with five or more units and onsite parking, and commercial properties with 30 or more parking spaces. 
Read more: Chicago Enacts Electrical Vehicle Ordinance for New Construction

Senior Housing Will Need to Fight More Than the Virus
The industry’s response to Covid-19 is a war with three fronts: keeping residents and staff safe; keeping businesses financially sustainable; and combating reports from news outlets that the long-term care space is unsafe for residents at this time. 
Read more: Senior Housing Will Not Return to Normal After COVID-19

Water Quality Could Change in Unoccupied Buildings 
It’s possible that water left sitting for long periods of time could contain excessive amounts of heavy metals and pathogens concentrated in pipes nationwide, say researchers at Purdue University who have begun a field study on the impact of a pandemic shutdown on buildings.
Read more: Water Quality Could Change in Buildings Closed Down During COVID-19

Want to know more about Legionella? EEA’s Technical Director Tom Hill has a webinar in the works covering this very topic. Contact Tom at thill@eea-ltd.com if you are interested in viewing his presentation.

Making WFH Work  

Helpful Tips, Music, and Food
After nearly two months working from home (WFH), EEA has some tips to help you get your work done as well as feed your cravings.
Read more: EEA’s Work From Home Tips 

Avoid Zoom Fatigue 
If you’re finding that you’re more exhausted at the end of your workday than you used to be, you’re not alone. Harvard Business Review has five research-based tips that can help make video calls less exhausting.
Read more: How to Combat Zoom Fatigue 

Just for Laughs  

To keep our spirits up, EEA has been celebrating Spirit Week. We encourage you to have your own Spirit Week, just be sure to tag us on social media! If you’re looking for some ideas, check out our videos. 

EEA Spirit Week 1
EEA Spirit Week 2 

Stay Home, Save Lives.   

EEA hopes you are staying safe and healthy. We cannot thank those on the front lines enough for the essential efforts they are putting forth to keep our collective lives moving forward.


EEA COVID-19 RESPONSE

To our valued Clients and Partners:

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) would like to reassure everyone that our operations have not been substantively impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To protect the health and welfare of our employees and to ensure that our service to you is not interrupted, we have instituted new protocols and procedures on self-isolation, travel and events, remote working, and the hygiene of our office environment. EEA has also reduced all non-essential in-person meetings and site visits and has instead arranged virtual meetings and teleconferences. These procedures have been put in place effective immediately and will continue until further notice.

We are closely monitoring the situation and the recommendations of health officials. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me any time at 847.223.4804 Ext. 12.

With your understanding and cooperation, we can all help flatten the curve.  I hope you stay safe and healthy throughout this crisis and take time with your families.

Sincerely,

Glen Eriksson
President/CEO
Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd.

Tom Petermann takes 3rd Place in 2020 White Sox Speed Pitch Challenge

On February 13, EEA’s Tom Petermann participated in the 2020 Chicago White Sox 2020 Speed Pitch Challenge at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Tom’s pitch clocked in at 78 mph, beating his 1st place, 76 mph pitch from last year’s challenge.

He celebrated his victory with Hope Petermann, Linda and Tom Petermann, Rob Podgorny, and Bill Dickinson.

Congratulations, Tom!

Pat Dimmer Promoted to Principal of EEA

EEA is pleased to announce Patrick Dimmer, PE has been promoted to Principal of the firm. 

“Pat has built a reputation of trust and responsiveness with our clients as well as our staff,” shared Glen Eriksson, Founder and President of EEA. “His unwavering commitment to our firm and his selfless, can-do attitude are something to be admired. We are thrilled to recognize Pat with this opportunity to become a shareholder and look forward to the contributions he will make to our leadership team and EEA.”

Pat Dimmer joined EEA as Design Engineer in 2005 and now serves as Senior Project Engineer.  He is best known to our clients for his critical problem-solving skills and vast technical knowledge of stormwater management and floodplain issues. He has further distinguished himself by balancing project leadership and technical excellence by becoming an invaluable mentor, fostering the growth and development of other team members.

Eriksson Engineering Associates Launches Wisconsin Office

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) recently opened its doors in downtown Milwaukee at 229 E. Wisconsin Ave. After establishing multiple Midwest offices during its 24-year history, EEA’s expansion into Southeastern Wisconsin was driven by their growing number of projects in the region and their team members who already call the state home.

“Milwaukee has an undeniable energy, and its momentum is fueled by a community who supports change and encourages growth,” said Glen Eriksson, President and CEO of Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. “People are invested in the city’s future and committed to honoring its heritage. We are too, and we’re excited to now be a part of it.”

EEA offers civil and traffic engineering, as well as landscape architecture services exclusively to architects and developers. With a full suite of design services under one roof, EEA aims to streamline the workflow process, resulting in faster, cost-effective solutions to complex issues.

The firm has a comprehensive portfolio of work that includes urban and residential development and redevelopment, health care, commercial, recreation, and public and private education projects. With diverse experience working on projects throughout the Midwest, EEA brings a new perspective and creative site solutions to the rapidly-growing Milwaukee market.

Founded in 1995, EEA currently has locations in Illinois and Indiana. The Milwaukee office is staffed by a mix of Milwaukee-based team members and traveling regional project managers, with plans to expand to meet the needs of its Wisconsin clients.

With the MWRD’s Revised Ordinance Comes Opportunity (If You Act Quickly)

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) announced significant changes to the Watershed Management Ordinance that has implications for property owners and developers throughout Cook County.

These changes are directly linked to newly published rainfall data and are impacting stormwater management practices across the state of Illinois. The MWRD is not the only agency adopting changes since the release of the data. Lake County and DuPage County are expected to follow suit.

About the MWRD and the Impacts of the Ordinance    
The MWRD has the authority by the state of Illinois to regulate and oversee stormwater management in Cook County (excluding the City of Chicago). The new Watershed Management Ordinance revisions reflect observed changes in weather patterns and analysis of vulnerable flooding areas in the county. It is the agency’s responsibility to uphold public health and safety standards on projects under its jurisdiction.

EEA expects the requirements for stormwater detention to rise across Cook County.  These changes will increase project costs associated with managing larger amounts of water on site and releasing it at slower rates.  However, an opportunity exists for landowners and developers who act quickly.

An Opportunity to Plan Ahead  
The MWRD will begin enforcing these ordinance revisions for all projects submitted after January 1, 2020. Expediting submittals to the MWRD prior to this date offers design team partners and owners an opportunity to avoid these increased costs, and construct their projects under the current rules.  This incentivizes owners who are currently designing to act quickly to maintain project budgets and land use plans.  We encourage our clients considering land development projects in Cook County in the near future to take advantage of this cost-saving opportunity.

For more information about submitting your project prior to the 2020 deadline, contact your current EEA project team member or reach out to our Technical Director, Tom Hill, at thill@eea-ltd.com or at (847) 223-4804 ext. 23.

The new 100-year storm: 3 ways the Bulletin 70 update will affect your project or facility

Does it seem like the 100-year storm is happening more regularly than it should? In light of the recent rainfall data updates included in the Illinois State Water Survey’s (ISWS) Bulletin 70, 100-year storms are occurring more frequently.

Bulletin 70 was last updated in 1989. This document sets 100-year storm standards that guide floodplain policies, development regulations, and stormwater requirements across much of Illinois.

Upon reviewing the new bulletin, our team concluded that the new standards for the 100-year storm will have design and cost implications trickling all the way down from state and county programs, to municipal regulatory agencies, to developers, facility owners and design teams.  

Potential Impacts to your Project or Facility

1. Redrawn Flood Plain Maps: Flood-prone areas may be reclassified as regulatory flood plain, increasing development costs and potentially triggering mandatory flood insurance coverage.

2. Larger Detention Systems: Some local stormwater agencies are already pursuing changes to their requirements based on the updated bulletin.  As regulatory agencies change their ordinances, projects will require more costly stormwater management systems to account for larger volumes of stormwater runoff.

3. Land-use Obstacles:  Adjustments to the flood plain maps could deter property owners from developing their land if sites are deemed within expanded flood plain zones.

For more information about how updates to Bulletin 70 could impact your project or facility, contact EEA’s Technical Director, Tom Hill, at thill@eea-ltd.com or at (847) 223-4804 ext. 23.

PHOTO TOUR: Palos Health South Campus

By Anne DiNardo, Executive Editor – Healthcare Design

Excerpt from Healthcare Design article:

Palos Health redeveloped and expanded an existing outpatient campus in the southern Chicago suburb of Orland Park, Ill., in conjunction with academic healthcare partner Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Ill.). The campus formerly housed a mix of medical offices, which were built over the last 30 years in three disjointed buildings.

Working with architecture firm Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED; Southfield, Mich.), the team created a campus master plan that unified the existing spaces and incorporated an 80,000-square-foot new addition…

Click here to read the full article and view the slideshow

EEA’s Tom Petermann Wins White Sox Speed-Pitch Challenge

Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune

On Wednesday, EEA’s very own Tom Petermann won the Chicago White Sox Speed-Pitch Challenge at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Tom was one of 100 individuals trying to light up the radar gun and win a trip to spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Battling less than ideal conditions, Tom fired a winning 76 mph pitch on his first toss, only to be tied by another competitor shortly after. The competition came down to a dramatic one-pitch playoff where Tom clinched the victory by clocking a 73 mph pitch – edging out his competition by 1 mph.

Tom is a principal at EEA, a former Rolling Meadows High School pitcher, and life-long White Sox fan. He’s looking forward to his spring training trip and will be taking his No. 1 fan: his dad.

Congratulations, Tom! 

Click here to view the Chicago Tribune article.

Your Joint Conference Site Scoop: Three Zoning Topics That Could Apply to Your Next Project

We are following up on our article in the Illinois School Board Journal Sept/October Issue “Navigating uncharted waters: School district facilities and local zoning,” with three zoning topics that continue to present challenges and further the zoning conversation in Illinois.

  • Zoning Compliance including Tree Preservation
    Municipal zoning ordinances sometimes include tree preservation requirements intended to protect forested areas. Requirements may include the replacement of existing trees, or mandatory preservation of mature trees. Working together, landscape architects and civil engineers can satisfy these requirements with creative solutions that also enhance the aesthetics, ecology and water quality on school sites.
  • Building Permit Applicability
    We share the concerns of many school districts regarding the scope and application of municipal zoning reviews. Some municipalities have adopted ordinances that include both zoning and building regulations.  Interpretations of what constitutes a “school building project,” versus an ancillary use on a school site may contribute to further confusion.  Legal counsel can offer valuable guidance to help districts maintain an appropriate level of autonomy and independence.
  • The Rise of Solar Power
    Solar energy systems are offering exciting options for sustainable power and are growing in popularity across school districts in Illinois. Opportunities to reduce operational costs and generate revenues are leading many districts to consider building mounted and at-grade solar arrays.  Many communities are not yet familiar with solar arrays, and these projects can face unique regulatory challenges.  Setting up meetings early can help prepare municipalities for your upcoming project and address any concerns.

What has your experience been like with the new Illinois zoning changes? Stop by booth #510 at the joint conference to share your thoughts.

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. Welcomes Three New Team Members

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) is excited  to announce the addition of three new civil engineers to our team of consultants.

Angela Cascio is based in EEA’s Chicago office. She is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. Angela brings two years of industry experience and relocated from Albany, NY for her new role at EEA.

Laura Rosenbauer moved to Chicago in June after graduating from Smith College in Northhampton, MA. In addition to earning a degree in engineering science, Laura also holds a minor in landscape studies. Before joining EEA’s Chicago office, Laura was an intern at the Department of Buildings at Chicago City Hall.

Raj Kothakapu is working out of EEA’s headquarters in Grayslake, IL. At Purdue University, Raj studied civil engineering with a concentration in construction engineering. His previous experience working for an owner’s representative firm gives him a well-rounded perspective of site development engineering.

Meet Our Team: George Dreger, PE

Principal and Indiana-based Senior Project Manager
George Dreger is among EEA’s most well-traveled staff. A few years ago, following a series of weekend getaways to southern Indiana and the Greater Louisville area, he started to consider putting down some roots in the region when the timing was right.

This year, the timing was right. George, a partner at EEA, moved to Indiana and is expanding the firm’s reach into the state as a local on-the-ground resource for current and future projects.

During his 23 years at EEA, he has worn many hats, including the firm’s first technical director, and now, an Indiana-based Principal and senior project manager.

Why did you decide to make the move?
Our new home of Charlestown, IN is a beautiful area, with friendly people, and is a relatively easy drive to friends and relatives around Chicago, Louisville, Bowling Green, Lexington, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Dayton, Cincinnati, are all within a 115 radius- offering my wife and I a lot of opportunities for weekend travel.

What inspired you to choose Engineering as a career path?
I actually didn’t start my career in engineering. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in geology. I enjoyed how the subject examined how natural resources come together and what makes the earth work on a very large scale; however, by the time I graduated, the economy was tough, and there was a shortage of job opportunities in the field. I ended up going back to school and pursued a degree in civil engineering. Luckily for me, I was better suited as an engineer.  

What is your role at EEA?
At heart, I am an engineer’s engineer.  I gladly admit to being a “geek”, and still love to sink my teeth into a complicated design, problem or calculation. When the firm started growing about 15 years ago, I became the Technical Director. I maintained QA/QC, standardized our work, helped mentor our less experienced engineers. Our founder taught me the importance of mentoring our engineers to be well rounded site development consultants.

Eventually, I missed the regular contact with our clients, and returned to a project manager role.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love talking about our work.  It is gratifying when our team can help answer tough project questions and be a trusted source. Also, hearing positive feedback from clients about our less experienced team members is very rewards.

On a more personal note, EEA’s push to grow markets and branch out geographically has allowed me to be a part of the firm’s momentum.

What is your favorite EEA project to date?
A few years ago, Stevenson High School received a LEED platinum certification for an existing facility. I went to the celebration at the school and took a tour of the building and site.  During the tour, students described the LEED features and someone asked the student guide a LEED question they couldn’t answer.  I chimed in to help answer the question, and at that moment it felt good to be a part of the team that helped the school complete the project.

What do you like to do outside of EEA? (hobbies, etc.).
I am known as a beer snob in the office, and I brew my own beer. My wife and I also enjoy traveling and going to Europe every other year.