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Robert Duval featured in New England Real Estate Journal’s 2017 Retail Forecast Spotlight

The January 27 – February 2, 2017 issue of the New England Real Estate Journal, features an article written by TFMoran’s president and chief engineer Robert Duval, PE, LEED AP. TFMoran is the exclusive civil engineer for the 2017 Retail Forecast Spotlight. The article, Mixed-use developments are becoming more popular than the traditional shopping center, appears in the Shopping Centers section of the publication, which can be viewed by linking here, or reading the text below.

Mixed-use developments are becoming more popular than the traditional shopping center
Robert Duval – TFMoran, Inc.

Many, if not most, recent large retail projects have been moving into “mixed-use development” centers rather than traditional shopping centers. A mixed-use development is, according to Wikipedia – “a type of urban development that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections.”

There are three key concepts here – the blending of multiple uses, integration, and pedestrian connections. All three are required for a true MUD. Without multiple uses you have… well, a shopping center. Without integration, you have just a collection of different uses with no interaction; and without pedestrian connections (which is really a form of integration) there is no advantage over driving down the street from one place to another.

From an engineering perspective, the advantages of integrated development over conventional shopping centers are substantial. For example, traffic volumes developed by shopping centers is fairly well understood, and is usually determined by plugging your total retail space into the appropriate formula for shopping centers and voila – you have your result.

On the other hand, for mixed-use centers there is a second step that involves looking at interaction between pairs of related uses – for example restaurants and cinemas, cinemas and apartments, apartments and offices, offices and restaurants, and so on, based on the concept that one vehicle trip may have multiple purposes, and these trips are shared among the various uses, rather than totaled up.

These multi-purpose trips can often reduce total trip generation by a third or more, thus significantly reducing off-site traffic impacts and costs of mitigation. Similar analyses of parking demand will also show reductions in parking demand, often in the range of 5% to 10%. These parking reductions can reduce costs and increase efficiency beyond just the pavement savings; as impervious surface area decreases, so too does the cost and extent of stormwater infrastructure to capture, detain, and treat all that unnecessary pavement.

Also, by integrating multiple uses into a single property, whether by consolidating parcels or simply by master-planning in a way that can ignore lot lines, greater land use density can be achieved by avoiding internal lot line setbacks, inefficient parking layouts, as well as unnecessary driveways and utility connections.

All the foregoing advantages of traffic, parking, and drainage are irrelevant if easy, convenient, and safe pedestrian connections are not provided between the major uses. New England weather being what it is, it is not realistic to expect that pedestrians will willingly park thousands of feet from their destination year-round. Therefore, direct, easily traversable pedestrian routes should be part of the earliest site planning exercises.

From a permitting point of view, as in so many other aspects of land development, the market is ahead of the regulation. In many communities, mixed-use developments will find they are prohibited by conventional “exclusionary” zoning ordinances and may require variances or zoning amendments to get off the ground.

However, the reception of mixed-use projects from planners and regulators is generally positive. Most communities understand the benefits of mixed-use development – in terms of increased tax revenue and employment opportunities with fewer negative impacts. Mixed-use centers, by their very nature, tend to locate in city centers within or adjacent to older, under-utilized manufacturing or commercial areas. This development thus provides the twin benefits of revitalizing city centers and reducing the need for new “greenfield” development. As a result, many communities already allow for this type of development in their zoning codes, and others are working on it.

As community planners catch up, we can expect more mixed-use developments to appear in our city centers (which, by the way, was the original purpose of a “city center”). The resulting increase in commer­cial activity will in turn create the positive employment and residential opportunities and more efficient use of infrastructure so important to the future health of our cities and towns.

Robert Duval, PE, LEED AP, is president and chief engineer for TFMoran, Inc., Bedford, N.H.

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TFM Welcomes Civil Project Engineer, Dylan Erickson!

Dylan Erickson has joined TFMoran. as a Civil Project Engineer in the Bedford office. Dylan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in Durham in 2015. His coursework included environmental sampling and analysis, stream restoration, and advanced physiochemical water treatment. Dylan’s work experience includes civil/site design, stormwater management, drainage and utility design, and environmental site assessments for commercial and residential projects. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association and Environmental & Water Resources Institute.

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TFM Staff News Featured in hp’s “FastFacts Friday”

“FastFacts Friday” presented by High Profile’s Business Development Manager, Anastasia Barnes, is e-mailed to subscribers (at no cost) every Friday. FastFacts Friday features the weekly headlines in New England Facilities Development News.

TFMoran staff news was featured on Friday, January 20, 2017!  To view the stories on TFMoran’s latest Professional Engineer, Robert Vida, and TFM’s recently hired Civil Project Engineers, Maureen Kelly and Shaun Vando, click this link and scroll down.  Congratulations to High-Profile, who is celebrating their 20th year!

Robert Vida, PE Robert Vida, PE – Structural Engineer

TFM Civil Engineer, Maureen Kelly Maureen Kelly – Civil Project Engineer

Shaun Vando, TFM Civil Engineer Shaun Vando – Civil Project Engineer

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Congratulations to Robert Vida for passing the SE exams!

Robert Vida, PE recently passed the Structural Engineer (SE) exams and received his Professional Engineer (PE) license for the State of New Hampshire. Robert has practiced structural engineering for 5 years and currently serves as a Structural Engineer and BIM Director for TFMoran, Inc. Robert is a Revit® Structure Certified Professional and attends the annual Revit® Technology Conference North America. He has a Masters of Engineering degree in Structural Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The SE exam is an optional two-day exam for structural engineers that is the next level beyond the PE exam. Although not yet mandatory in New Hampshire, other states have begun to require the SE exam. TFMoran and Robert look to continue the trend and provide their clients with excellent engineering services.

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Shaun Vando joins TFM’s Civil Department

TFMoran welcomes Shaun Vando to the Civil Engineering Department. Shaun serves as a Civil Project Engineer with over 18 years of experience. He has an Associates degree from Middlesex Community College, and has studied Advanced Rendering at the Boston Architectural Center. Shaun’s extensive experience includes site design for retail developments, transportation and multi-use projects.

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TFM Welcomes Maureen Kelly to the Civil Department

TFMoran announces that Maureen Kelly has joined the firm as a Civil Project Engineer in our Bedford office. Maureen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She was the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society Chapter President during 2014 and 2015. Maureen is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Her experience includes watershed analysis, drainage assessment, stormwater retention, and for residential and commercial structures.

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The BOB Awards: Vote for TFM!

TFMoran is proud to be the recipient of the New Hampshire Business Review’s BOB (Best Of Business) Award for four consecutive years, and we would love to make it five!

Please consider voting for TFMoran in the Engineering Category, Question 10 in the on-line survey. You must vote for at least 15 categories in order for your vote to count.

Voting ends at midnight on January 22nd.
Thank you for your consideration!

Please click this link to start voting.

About the BOB Awards:

The BOB Awards are a New Hampshire Business Review awards program that celebrates the best New Hampshire companies in more than 90 business-to-business categories and are chosen by our readers.

The BOBs are your chance to tell us, other readers and the rest of the state which companies in New Hampshire have the best products and services for businesses – categories include: Accounting Firm, Digital Media Marketing, Law Firm, Advertising Agency, MBA Program, Dining with Clients (by Region), Young Professionals Networking Group, and more!

Voting started on December 1, 2016 and will end at midnight on January 22, 2017. The party will be held on Thursday, March 2, 2017 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.