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High-Profile features TFMoran in December 2017 issue

Check out featured TFMoran stories in High-Profile’s December issue page 30 NHBR Honors Dylan Cruess and page 50 Red Cross Thanks TFMoran for Support in the December 2017 issue of High-Profile monthly.  Or, read stories below:

Page 30

NHBR Honors Dylan Cruess

Manchester, NH – Dylan Cruess,
TFMoran’s chief operating officer, was
presented the 2017 Business Excellence
Award in Real Estate and Construction
by NH Business Review.
The award reception was held on
November 1 at the Radisson hotel in
downtown Manchester. This event
recognizes the imagination, hard
work, innovation, and achievements of
New Hampshire business owners and
operators.
“Dylan’s leadership, work ethic,
passion for community involvement, and
vision for TFMoran are why he is being
honored with this award,” announced
Mike Morin, NHBR’s award presenter.
“Mr. Cruess and the leadership team
at TFMoran have steered the company
through a period of unprecedented
growth since taking over in 2013.”
“Encouraging teamwork among all
employees is one essential ingredient to
the company’s success,” Cruess explains,
“as well as a positive work culture and
giving back to the community.”
“Because of his unusual background,
he understands the engineering,
surveying, and project management more
than a typical COO,” Morin adds“That
understanding has enabled him to
continue the original client-focused vision
of TFMoran while strategically growing
the company to new levels.”

Page 50

Red Cross Thanks TFMoran for Support

Bedford, NH – On November 9, Maria
Devlin, CEO, American Red Cross-NH
& VT, visited the TFMoran corporate
office to thank the company and staff
for generously supporting the Hurricane
Harvey and Irma relief efforts.
Both the Bedford and Portsmouth
offices were presented with a contribution
plaque. Devlin explained how the relief efforts
were progressing from the devastating
hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida.
“The employees of TFMoran have
shown time and time again that they are
willing to pitch in to help out the people
in need whether they are in the next town
or half way around the world,” said Dylan
Cruess, COO of TFMoran. “That’s the
kind of people we are proud to employ
here, compassionate and generous.”
TFMoran, Inc. and its staff have
contributed to the Hurricane Harvey
and Irma relief efforts by donating to the
American Red Cross. Together the staff
donated $2,885, which combined with
TFMoran’s $2,500 gave a total donation
of $5,385.

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High-Profile Features TFMoran Structural Preservation Project

One of TFMoran’s Structural Engineering projects is featured in the November 2017 issue of High-Profile, which will be distributed at the ABX2017 this week in Boston. We invite you to read the article below, or view the article in pdf format by clicking this link Ivory Keys Apartments High-Profile Article

TFMoran Preserves Piano Mill for Residential Use

Leominster, MA – In conjunction with Maugel Architects, Inc. of Harvard, Mass., TFMoran, Inc. of Bedford, N.H. provided structural design of the renovation of the historic Jewett Piano Case factory located at 140 Adams Street in Leominster, Mass. The plan to convert the timber-framed mill building into Ivory Keys Apartments, a 43-unit affordable residential apartment building, was spearheaded by Ivory Keys, LLC, an affiliate of L.D. Russo Inc. of Harvard, the developer and constructor of the project. The entire four-story mill structure was framed of wood, rather than brick masonry at the exteriors, which is more typical of mill buildings standing today.

Before the project began, the century-old historic mill building was in disrepair and vacant for several years. An extensive field investigation and evaluation conducted prior to beginning the project to determine the feasibility uncovered several issues, including a nearly one-foot lean of the building, water damage and lateral instability issues.

The project plans include foundation work and incorporating steel frames into the building to correct the lean, lateral instability and years of neglect.

In addition to structural repairs, a significant effort was made to preserve the nature of the historic mill. This included preserving the aesthetics of the exterior. Also, interior spaces will respect the history of the building, including preserving many pieces of the interior and exposing some existing timber structure as architectural features. The attractive and structurally sound Ivory Keys Apartments will offer studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom living options.

The renovation and addition of the 140 Adams Street project will complete the redevelopment of the commercial buildings in the Adams Street neighborhood.

Construction is well underway, and apartments are anticipated to be move-in ready for the spring of 2018.

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The Bedford Bulletin features Kids Safety Day

TFMoran’s COO, Dylan Cruess and daughter Cate were captured on camera at the annual Kids Safety Day and published in The Bedford Bulletin. To view the article and read more about this great event, please click on this link The Bedford Bulletin October 19, 2017 issue -Kids Safety Day Article  or read text below. And, a Big Thank You to The Bedford Bulletin for covering local events!

October 19, 2017 [Bullet] Neighborhood News [Bullet] The Bedford Bulletin [Bullet] Page 19

Kids Safety Day provided child ID packets

Sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures provided the backdrop for Primary Bank’s second annual Kids Safety Day, which was held on Sunday, Sept. 24, at the bank’s Route 101 location.
The event, held in conjunction with the Masonic Youth Child Identification Program and Manchester-based Washington Lodge No. 61, presented families with the opportunity to put together comprehensive child identification packets, which could be taken home, kept in a safe place and given to law enforcement officials should their child ever go missing.

A record number of children took advantage of the program at this year’s event, according to Dylan Cruess, member of Washington Lodge No. 61 and chief operating officer of Bedford-based TFMoran. More than 300,000 children have participated in MYCHIP since its inception in 1988.

“We had 52 children go through our Child ID program this year. That’s the highest number of children we’ve ID’d during one of these events in over five years,” said Cruess, himself a father of a 4-year-old daughter. “We couldn’t be happier with this year’s turnout. It’s wonderful to see more and more families taking advantage of this service, and we’re so pleased to be partnering with Primary Bank in an effort to keep our community a little bit safer.”

Although similar in content to child identification packages of past generations, which consisted of a physical description, outdated photo and ink fingerprints, today’s kits include a brief videotaped interview with the child, not only capturing the child’s image but also their voice and mannerisms. While fingerprints are still collected, children today hold their fingers to an electronic pad similar in appearance to a miniature computer mouse, generating computerized fingerprints. Once the entire 10-minute process is completed, all the data is put into an envelope and given to the parents to take home for safe keeping.

“I’m so happy we had the opportunity to do this with our daughter today,” said Kaitlyn Choi of Candia, who attended the Kids’ Safety Event with her daughters Emma, 2, and Aly, 6 months, and husband, Andrew, a Manchester police officer. “Emma had a lot of fun and now we have peace of mind knowing we have everything we need to give to the police if we ever need to.”
Although child safety is a serious topic, the day itself was filled with fun. The eastern end of the 101 Plaza parking lot took on a festive feel for the day. Max the mascot from the Manchester Monarchs and Fungo from the Fisher Cats both made appearances. Children had fun in a giant bouncy house and practiced their skills on miniature sports fields before getting their face painted and picking out a balloon animal.

Bedford emergency vehicles, including two fire trucks and a police vehicle, were also available for curious children to explore.

Primary Bank staff handed out fresh-popped popcorn and bottled water, and Harvest Market employees grilled burgers and dogs.

“We couldn’t be happier with today’s event,” said Bill Stone, president and CEO of Primary Bank. “It’s great seeing the community come together and enjoy the day. But the fact that we can have fun like this while providing such a beneficial service to families from in and around Bedford makes it even better. We’re just so pleased to be part of this great community.”

Dylan Cruess and his daughter, Catherine, 4, took part in Primary Bank’s Kids Safety Day. Cruess is a member of the Masonic Washington Lodge No. 61, a co-sponsor of the event.

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Jen Porter, TFMoran Civil Engineer is “Spotlighted” by NEREJ

New England Real Estate Journal published their First Annual Women in Real Estate Spotlight on September 29, 2017. Jen Porter, PE, who serves as a Civil Project Engineer for TFMoran, was featured among many professional women in the industry.  Jen’s 19 years of engineering experience includes the site design of commercial, industrial, residential and institutional projects. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Bucknell University. Congratulations to all the professional women featured in the NEREJ Spotlight!

We invite you to read Jen’s responses by clicking on this pdf link NEREJ _ 2017 Women in Real Estate Spotlight  or read the text below.

Jen Porter, PE
Project Engineer for TFMoran, Inc.

19 years in Engineering

How have you navigated obstacle to achieve success in your career?
Looking back, obstacles were tackled by good management, open communications and jumping on the next available opportunity. Starting in the engineering field right out of college, I had no practical experience, only my BS in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University.  I was fortunate to find an entry level position at TFMoran and that they were willing to train me.  I started reading every plan set or report I touched, attended workshops and put in extra hours at night to learn AutoCAD.  I asked A LOT of questions.  Years later, I am involved with multiple tasks on TFM civil projects: concepts, site design, drainage analysis & utility design, traffic analysis, and permitting.  The last 10 years have been spent balancing working full time and being a mom of two.  The office doesn’t slow down if kids are sick or have school events.  I’ve put in many late hours balancing work and family.  TFM has supported me as a working parent and has allowed flexibility to work outside of typical office hours.  This delicate balance is a constant challenge, but in the end, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  TFM is a great company and I am proud of the work that we do.

How do you play to your strengths to your advantage in your career?
In a fast-paced engineering company, you need to be a team player, dependable and always be ready for challenges. I was a competitive hurdler on the Track Team in high school and college, and while Track & Field is somewhat of an individual sport, everyone is working toward a common goal:  the better my performance, the better my team did.  The same teamwork approach is a great value in the work place.  My career choice to remain in my position as a project engineer is because I enjoy the role as a “worker-bee”, using my individual success, work ethic and experience for the good of the team.  From designing projects from the initial concept phase through the construction documents, I believe that behind every good Project Manager is a solid project engineer and design team they can depend on.

What trends are you seeing so far this year?
Right now in our Civil department, we are working on several mixed-use projects, educational projects, some residential developments and commercial/industrial projects.

What do you do for fun?
I play on a co-ed soccer team, love to hike with my family and laugh with my kids.

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$5,385 TFMoran Donates to Hurricane Relief

TFMoran, Inc. and TFMoran staff have contributed to the Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief efforts by donating to the American Red Cross. Together the staff donated $2,885, which combined with TFMoran’s $2,500 gives us a total donation of $5,385.00!

Hurricane Harvey was a Category 3 hurricane that devastated eastern Texas and western Louisiana. Harvey hit the gulf coast of the U.S on Friday, August 25, 2017, bringing 130 mph winds and over 52 inches of rain! Experts estimate up to $180 billion in damage. Residents of the affected areas have lost all their belongings, leaving them homeless, hungry and lost on where to go next. The Red Cross has sent volunteers, donated money and food, and set up shelters. Almost immediately after the storm hit, volunteers headed into Houston to help, getting people safely into shelters and supplying them with food and blankets.

Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Irma started out as a Category 5 hurricane hitting parts of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti on September 5, 2017, leaving heavy flooding and damage. Next, the Florida Keys suffered severe damage on September 8th and 9th as Irma became a Category 4. Making its way to the mainland, Miami and southern Florida, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 3, with winds of over 110 mph, heavy rains, and fierce winds for the entire state. An estimated 15 million people in Florida were without power with an estimated $100 billion damage. Florida’s Governor ordered  approximately 6.3 million people to evacuate before the hurricane hit.

The latest from the American Red Cross website:

At-a-Glance: Our Response to Harvey and Irma

September 18, 2017

The American Red Cross has a launched a wide-ranging relief effort to provide safe shelter, food and comfort to people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Red Cross is part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to those in need.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

  • In the last three weeks, the Red Cross and community partners have provided more than 934,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters due to hurricanes. Shelters were opened in 8 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • The Red Cross has served more than 3 million meals and snacks to people in need.
  • More than 6,400 Red Cross disaster workers and almost 300 emergency response vehicles are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these storms.
  • More than 73 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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TFMoran SNHU project featured in High-Profile Sept issue

High-Profile’s September 2017 issue focuses on Educational Facilities, and features one of TFMoran’s civil engineering and landscape architecture projects at Southern New Hampshire University, Monadnock Hall.  HighProfile Monthly is a three-generation family publication that covers all aspects of the New England architecture, engineering, and construction industry.

To read the article in pdf format, click this link TFMoran SNHU Monadnock Hall Project in High-Profile Sept 2017 Issue

Or, read the text below:

TFMoran Provides Civil/Site Design for SNHU’s Monadnock Hall

Hooksett, NH –  TFMoran of Bedford, NH provided survey, permitting, civil/site engineering, and landscape architecture for this new 4-story dormitory at Southern New Hampshire University, located on East Side Drive in Hooksett, NH. The 103,440sf building contains apartment-style dormitories made up of single and double bedrooms, in total there are 300 beds. Included are many amenities not typical to a college dorm, such as: a full kitchen, living room, and a separate shower off from the bathroom. Located on the first floor of the building will also be a fitness center, game room, and a common “Main Street”. The project architects are Mackey Mitchell of St. Louis, MO and Lavallee Brensinger of Manchester, NH, and the general contractor is Whiting Turner of Framingham, MA. The exterior of the structure is a new design for SNHU, made up of natural stone and metal panels. A ribbon cutting event is planned for early September, after students get settled into their new home.

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TFMoran’s project “Market and Main” is featured as Project of the Month in July issue of NEREJ

In New England Real Estate Journal’s July 28 – August 3, 2017 issue in the Shopping Centers section, is one of TFM’s exciting multi-use developments under construction on South River Road in Bedford, NH. (former Macy’s site). TFM is proud to be a significant part of this team, working with the owner Encore Enterprises of Dallas, Texas, the project architect Prellwitz Chilinski Associates of Cambridge, Mass., Hutter Construction of New Ipswich, NH and Colliers International.

To learn more about this exciting project, please read below or click on this NEREJ article to open a pdf: TFMoran-Project-of-the-Month-in-NEREJ July 2017

Project of the Month
Project Team: Prellwitz Chilinski Associates, Hutter Construction and Colliers International

TFMoran works with Encore Enterprises on Market and Main – a 350,000 s/f lifestyle center

Bedford, NHReconstruction of the former Macy’s site is underway on South River Road in Bedford, New Hampshire, making way for a new “Lifestyle Center”, a high-end multi-use complex featuring a deluxe movie theater, office building, hotel, retail shops, and a variety of vibrant restaurants. The 350,000 sf complex was approved by the Town in late 2016. The site was originally developed by the Jordan Marsh department store chain in the 1960s. The site was taken over and operated by Macy’s in 1996 until it closed in 2015. The site was then purchased by Dallas-based Encore Enterprises with plans to create a new “lifestyle center” on the 16-acre site.

Construction at the site began in March 2017 by Hutter Construction of New Ipswich, NH and is expected to be completed by late 2018. Currently in the pre-leasing stage, Market and Main is attracting attention from national, regional, and local retailers and corporations. Bob Rohrer, Managing Director of Colliers International, said, “We have had a lot of interest in the development and are in negotiations with several companies who are excited about the mixed- use aspect of Market and Main.”

“The property is strategically positioned along South River Road at the high-traffic intersection of NH Route 101, I-293, and the Everett Turnpike,” says Nicholas Barber, President of Encore Retail. “And its proximity and direct access to the Whole Foods plaza will make it a regional destination.”

The development will create a new “Main Street”, which – unlike many other local towns – Bedford does not already have, and also a “Market Street” heading towards the Whole Foods plaza. Market and Main is therefore the logical name for the complex, representing the place in town where everyone wants to go. The lively, upscale atmosphere of the development will include fresh, new brands mixed with local favorites, including Whole Foods, which opened in the spring of 2016.

Other tenants such as Trader Joe’s, Red Heat, Friendly Toast and Athleta have also announced their commitments to the complex. Many of these shops, like Athleta, an upscale women’s athletic clothing store, are firsts for New Hampshire, and are expected to attract many new shoppers to the area. Others like Trader Joe’s, will enhance the reputation that Bedford carries among “foodies”. Ted Chryssicas, Executive Managing Director of Newmark Knight Frank, stated that, “As construction begins, we are seeing increased interest from retailers looking to sign leases and be a part of the first phase of Market and Main.”

The complex includes seven new buildings, existing Carrabba’s building and two new parking garages. TFMoran is responsible for the structural engineering of the garages, as well as civil/site and traffic engineering, permitting, land surveying and landscape architectural services for the whole development.

The architecture is being designed by Prellwitz Chilinski Associates of Cambridge, MA. Their approach reflects both past and present; incorporating brick, granite, cast stone masonry, painted wood, and metal in a palette of modern materials and historical colors throughout the complex. Eye appeal is emphasized for individual tenants and harmonized throughout the center. “Colorful awnings and canopies extend beyond the entrance, sheltering the shopper while on the sidewalk and inviting customers in,” says Laura Homich, Senior Associate of PCA. “Seated outdoor patios nicely blend the interiors and exteriors of the entire property, and architectural details reoccur throughout the site, visibly connecting the complex as a whole”, continues Laura. The new development is expected to generate approximately $1 million in new property tax revenue for the Town, and is anticipated to be a high-profile lifestyle center development within the Town.

“Bedford has grown rapidly over the last number of decades, creating a demand for more shops, entertainment, restaurants, and commercial space,” says TFMoran’s Project Manager, Chris Rice. “We believe this high-profile lifestyle center will draw in people from surrounding towns, as well. The Town of Bedford is pleased to see this new development take shape, and we are all looking forward to the grand opening of the new center.”

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TFM’s MOB Project Featured in High Profile’s June Issue

One of TFMoran’s medical office building projects that is currently under construction was featured in High Profile’s June issue, which focused on Healthcare Facilities.

To view a pdf of the article on page 19 click the following link High-Profile June 2017 or read the text below.

TFMoran Completes Work at Elliot Health System’s Medical Center

Bedford, NH  – TFMoran, Inc., of Bedford, provided site design and civil engineering, permitting, surveying, and landscape architecture services for a new 58,000sf Elliot Health System’s Medical Center located at Hillside Shops at Bedford on Leavy Drive.

The medical office building broke ground in December 2016 and is the final phase of this multi-use development designed by TFMoran and originally developed by AV Bedford, LLC.

This new state-of-the-art medical center will house three existing Elliot primary care practices, that are now at three different locations in Bedford. According to Elliot Health Systems, “The two family medical offices will be combined in the new facility, and the pediatric office will also be relocated in the new center. Services such as lab, mammography, x-ray, bone density screening, and pharmacy will also be included for better patient care.”

This two-story medical office building is located on a sloping site and will have at-grade entries on two sides at upper and lower levels. Lavallee Brensinger Architects of Manchester designed the exterior to have traditional New England forms and materials accenting the entrances and corners.

Constructed by A W Rose Construction, LLC of Manchester, this new facility will be completed in two phases, the first of which includes two levels and is expected to be completed by January 2018. The second phase consists of construction of a third level.

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TFM’s President submits the May Question of the Month in New England Real Estate Journal’s “Shopping Centers” section

New England Real Estate Journal selected TFM’s President and Chief Engineer, Robert Duval, PE to submit a civil engineering “Question of the Month” for the Shopping Centers section of the May 26 – June 1, 2017 issue. We invite you to read his article answering the question below, or link to this pdf TFMoran in NEREJ May 2017

 

NERE Journal – Shopping Centers – Question of the Month

How can a shopping center benefit from mixed-use developments? This healthy trend is here to stay.

written by Robert Duval, TFMoran, Inc.

The advantages of integrating new retail development into mixed-use centers can be substantial when compared with conventional shopping centers. Even such basic parameters as traffic volumes, parking demand, and stormwater flow can all be reduced by considering multiple uses in a single development plan.

The cost of offsite roadway improvements can be a major factor in retail projects, and accurate prediction of future traffic volumes is necessary to avoid unnecessarily burdening the project with overly-conservative improvements. In a mixed-use center, trip generation rates of individual uses can be discounted due to the expected interaction between these related uses: that is, there is some degree of sharing patrons among apartments, restaurants, offices, and retail uses, so the total traffic volume generated as a whole is less than the sum of the individual parts. In a well-integrated and balanced mixed-use center, these discounts can be on the order of 30% or more due to multi-purpose trips and enhanced pedestrian connectivity. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program NCHRP 684 provide more specific guidance on how these traffic volumes can be reduced.

Parking demand can also be reduced by sharing parking inventory between compatible uses. To some extent, the reasoning is the same as the traffic reductions described above; but there are subtle differences: for example, an office employee who shops in an on-site retail store after work doesn’t really reduce parking demand, since their occupied parking space would otherwise be available to other store patrons during this peak retail period. However, since the peak period for apartments occurs after the office demand subsides, credit can be taken for sharing between these uses, and fewer total spaces can be provided than for two similar buildings as individual developments.

Reducing parking inventory can have many benefits. First, of course, is avoiding thousands of construction dollars for each unnecessary parking space – tens of thousands in a parking garage. Then there is the reduction in footprint required per square foot of leasable space; if the parking supply can be reduced by say, 150 spaces, at typical parking ratios that means the same amount of land can support another 30,000sf of leasable area, or conversely, the same amount of leasable area would need about one less acre of buildable land.

These are substantial benefits, but there are others too – as pavement area decreases, so too does the amount of stormwater infrastructure needed to capture, detain, and treat all that unnecessary pavement runoff. Recent projects have shown that the savings in stormwater management infrastructure in the range of 15% can be achieved. In redevelopment scenarios, these benefits can also be helpful in securing environmental permits.

More efficient parking layouts that combine multiple uses on a single parcel can also be achieved by avoiding the need for internal lot line setbacks. The same approach can apply to a combination of existing and proposed developments on contiguous parcels. By careful planning of pedestrian walkways and other measures to enhance connectivity (possibly with some relief from local zoning ordinances) multiple properties can be combined into a single development, resulting in greater land use density, and thus achieving the other benefits of less traffic, parking, pavement, construction costs, and excess stormwater infrastructure.

Ultimately, all these savings rely on good pedestrian connectivity. In a mixed-use setting, each building component must be connected by convenient, safe, and attractive pedestrian pathways to all other uses within a reasonable “walking distance”. In New England, this is often considered to be about a quarter-mile, but this can vary up or down depending on the quality of the walking environment. Therefore, it is important to integrate pleasant and easily traversable pedestrian routes into the development to achieve all these benefits.

Today, more and more community planners understand and support mixed-use development not only for a tool for the economic advantages outlined above, but also for a number of societal benefits too. Revitalizing city centers, particularly former manufacturing areas, making more efficient use of existing road and utility infrastructure, providing more employment opportunities, reducing the need for highway expansions, and reducing development pressure on alternative “greenfield” sites, to name a few.

Mixed-use development is here to stay, and we can expect this healthy trend to facilitate new retail and commercial development, but also to create a new sense of prosperity and vibrancy in our New England city and town centers.

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High-Profile May Issue Focus on Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering

TFM’s president and chief engineer, Robert Duval, PE contributed to the annual High-Profile Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering Focus issue this month.

We invite you to view the published article HP May 2017 Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering

Or, you can read the text below:

Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering

Integrated Development: Not Just a Trend, A Solution

by Robert E. Duval

One significant trend in land development projects these days is towards “mixed-use development”, that is, an integrated mixture of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses in close proximity. Recently seen primarily in large urban centers, the concept of mixed-use development is now moving into smaller cities and towns across New England.

The advantages of integrated development can be substantial. Among other benefits, traffic volumes, parking needs, and stormwater flows can all be reduced by taking advantage of the interaction between related uses. For example, apartments and offices located in close proximity will tend to reduce vehicle trips because some tenants will be employees of the office; thus, some of the vehicle trips usually expected become pedestrian trips. Likewise, parking inventory can also be reduced through shared parking. Using the same example, peak apartment parking demand falls outside of regular business hours, thus fewer total spaces can be provided for the same amount of development.

Studies have shown that mixed-use centers can reduce traffic volumes by a third or more, significantly reducing offsite traffic impacts and the high associated costs of mitigation. And onsite parking supplies can also be reduced by 10% or more. This reduces not only construction costs, but helps reduce other negative impacts as well; as pavement area decreases, less land can support more development, and the cost and extent of stormwater infrastructure to capture, detain, and treat all that unnecessary pavement goes away as well.

Also, where multiple properties can be combined into a single development, greater land use density can be achieved by avoiding internal lot line setbacks. This results in more efficient parking layouts and elimination of unnecessary pavement, further reducing needed land area, construction costs, and the burden of excess runoff on stormwater infrastructure.

Landscape Architecture plays a significant role in making mixed-use development work. First of all, each building must be placed so that it allows convenient, safe, and attractive pedestrian connections between all other major uses. It is generally taken that “walking distance” in New England is approximately 1400 feet or about a 7 minute walk. Obviously, this figure is dependent on age, health, purpose of walk, weather, and other imponderables, but it is also largely dependent on establishing a clear, direct path and an attractive walking environment. Therefore, it is important for the Landscape Architect to make pleasant and easily traversable pedestrian routes part of the earliest site planning exercises.

Of course, the concept of mixed-use development is not new – many of us remember when they were simply called “downtown”. However, as exclusionary zoning became common in the post-WWII years, it became more and more necessary for city and suburban residents alike to have to drive to the store, to school, to work, and so on. It did not take long for the congestion and inefficiencies of this type of travel to manifest. Up to the present day, the primary solution to these problems has been to “build your way out of it”; that is, by building ever-larger highways and parking lots.

Today, more community planners understand the benefits of mixed-use development and revitalizing city centers, particularly older, under-utilized manufacturing or commercial areas. This trend provides more employment opportunities within a city, makes more efficient use of existing road and utility infrastructure, reduces the need for constant expansion of highways, and reduces development pressure on nearby “greenfield” sites.

As more communities embrace mixed-use development in their zoning codes, we can expect this healthy trend to accelerate, returning a large measure of prosperity and vibrancy to New England cities and towns.