Archive for 2015

TFMoran Hosts Christmas Party for Staff & their Families

On Friday, December 18, 2015 TFMoran staff and their families celebrated the holiday season at the Bedford office in our very festively decorated lobby/reception area. Tidewater Catering provided delicious appetizers from scallops wrapped in bacon, chicken quesadilla trumpets, to mini beef wellington and a sweet ending of holiday cookies.  This was TFMoran’s 2nd annual staff Christmas party which brings together the Bedford office staff and their families in a social setting.  The holiday spirit was in the air with more than 10 young kids roaming around the office playing hide and seek and creating reindeer and penguin ornaments to bring home!

Happy New Year to everyone!


Robert Cruess asks November’s “Question of the Month” in New England Real Estate Journal

TFMoran/MSC Engineers Chairman, Robert Cruess, PE  asked November’s “Question of the Month” in the Shopping Centers section of  New England Real Estate Journal.

Robert’s question:  What is the future of green design?

To read the pdf version click on NEREJ Question of the Month Nov 2015

Or, you can read the text below for the full story….

What is the future of green design? Sensible and cost-effective aspects that improve the environment.

Robert Cruess “Greenwashing” – (my definition) is the attempt to portray your project as being environmentally sensitive/ responsible, when in fact, it is more hype than substance.

Greenwashing is a term that I am hearing less often from the people in the building industries, namely: developers, contractors, architects, civil/site engineers, HVAC engineers, landscape architects, etc. So, without plumbing the depths of greenwashing, I would like to focus primarily on the positive aspects of design techniques that do, in fact, have less impact on the environment than older design methods.

It all begins with the developer/ end user. These are the people that want something built, be it a public facility , like a new school, or a private facility, such as an office building, retail facility, hotel, or…just a single family home. Getting something built involves economic decisions and the “user” invariably must balance an “ideal” with the reality of economics. And somewhere in this decision making process, the ideal “green design” meets the reality of available funds.

I would say that almost all the developers that we deal with, want to be environmentally responsible, and they want to accomplish that end “economically.” There are, of course, users that have no economic restraints and are willing to post a blank check in order to accomplish real, or perceived, environmental goals, however, the majority of users, want to be environmentally responsible, but want to do it within their budget. Now there is the challenge!

Enter the design team. The designers include the architects and their various subs such as HVAC and structural (engineers), the civil/ site engineers (and their various subs such as wetland scientists, surveyors, etc.) and landscape architects who are sometimes a sub to either the architect or the site engineer.

Discussions with several architects reveal that the pressure for green design is increasingly focused on the building envelope and the newest and most energy-efficient envelopes. A recent walk through the ABX show in Boston demonstrated the importance, and thought, that is being devoted to the building envelope. The architects are also being requested to provide newer, more efficient heating systems, such as air source heat pumps, high efficiency propane and natural gas burners, and in some instances “net zero” structures (meaning there must be some form of on-site energy production to offset the energy that the structure takes from the grid). Internally, there is an obvious desire to manage electric usage, primarily by utilizing high efficiency lighting and switching that shuts lights off in unoccupied rooms.

There are, of course, numerous other items that the architect can use in their green palette, from energy efficient windows to actual material selection. However, in my discussions with several architects, they are seeing a lessening in demand for LEED Certified buildings, which is not to say that there is a decreasing demand for energy efficient and socially responsible buildings. There is also the observation that many LEED principles are being incorporated in planning, zoning and building codes, so many of the green design principles are being institutionalized.

The civil/site engineers have several ways to design more environmentally friendly sites. Drainage design is one of the more obvious ways to lessen the environmental impact of a site. Drainage design has moved from collection and direct discharge, to detention and treatment before discharge, to the current practice of infiltrating most, if not all, of the surface runoff from a new site.

There are several infiltration techniques which include: porous pavement, rain gardens, tree wells, porous pavers, underground infiltration chambers, etc. Of course, all of the aforementioned have a cost for the developer, however, infiltration of storm water is becoming a mandated practice, and therefore, just a cost of doing business. Once again, we are seeing the institutionalization of “green” design.

Landscape architects also have been able to produce more thoughtful designs, particularly working with the civil/site engineers on the design of rain gardens, tree wells, vegetated swales, etc. Landscape architects are eliminating invasive plantings, and encouraging plants that can survive without constant irrigation.

TINSTAAFL, which of course, is an acronym for “there is no such thing as a free lunch,” even when trying to protect and/or improve the environment. For example, if you enable an existing industrial building to meet new energy codes, then you had better run a structural check on the roof, because more snow will stay on the roof and it will be there for a longer period of time because the energy saving insulation no longer allows heat to escape and melt some of the snow load.

As another example, porous pavement, and porous pavers, must be vacuumed on some established schedule, or the pores may fill with sand and the infiltration capability will be lost.

All of the green design techniques just need to have that little bit of extra thought, particularly with regard to unintended consequences.

Green design is being institutionalized: Planning boards, zoning boards, and building codes are adopting the principles of green design practices, and for the most part, they are adopting the sensible and cost-effective aspects of the practices that do, in fact, improve the environment.


TFMoran Staff Gather for Our annual “Harvest Lunch”

TFMoran held its annual company gathering, known as the “Harvest Lunch”, on the day before Thanksgiving in the Great Hall at the Bedford Village Inn.  Due to our incredible growth in the past year, 2015 was the first time in several years that the celebration was held somewhere besides TFMoran’s office in Bedford.  The MSC division staff journeyed from Portsmouth to join the Bedford staff for the full company gathering of more than 55 people! Thank you to the Bedford Village Inn for the amazing food and fantastic venue.

After lunch, TFMoran President Bob Duval shared his thoughts on both the past year and what to expect in 2016.  Dylan Cruess, COO, also addressed the staff, as did Corey Colwell, the MSC division manager talking about our New Hampshire seacoast projects.

TFMoran was very happy to be able to give out annual bonuses to all the staff at the Harvest Lunch.  It was a great beginning to the Thanksgiving holiday break, as folks headed home to spend time with their families.


NH Municipal Conference & Expo – TFM was there!

TFMoran talked with municipal officials at this year’s New Hampshire Municipal Association 74th Annual Conference. The two day Conference is held in downtown Manchester at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center on Thursday, November 19th and Friday, November 20th. TFMoran staff was on hand at Booth #403 to talk about various recent and ongoing municipal projects from road design and construction overview (like the one in Amherst) to new fire and rescue facilities (like the one in Milton). Our booth display featured the Dunbar Free Library addition in Grantham, which is currently under construction.

This is New Hampshire’s premier conference for municipal officials and will feature over 40 educational sessions and an opportunity to meet with exhibitors to learn about their latest products and services. The 2014 event drew more than 500 New Hampshire local government officials and over 100 exhibitors and sponsors!

This year’s conference theme was Navigating the Waters of Municipal Government. Captain Richard Phillips, captain of the Maersk Alabama, hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009 was the keynote speaker.


Construction is well underway for the boutique hotel at the Bedford Village Inn

These under construction photos of the Bedford Grand were taken by one of TFMoran’s  structural engineers on October 7, 2015.

TFM provided civil and structural engineering services for the 55-room hotel.


TFMoran Participates in 2015 Canstruction Food Drive

September is Hunger Action Month. And, this year TFMoran did our part to help the NH Food Bank by participating in the 2015 Canstruction Food Drive. Canstruction is an event in which a structure of an organization’s choosing is built using canned or packaged food items. Once completed, the non-perishable cans are donated to the NH Food Bank for distribution to those in need.  The TFMoran Canstruction Team consisted of Mark Chamberlain, Jennifer Porter, Cassi Beroney, Maryanne Murray, Susan Bartley, and Dylan Cruess.

The judging categories include: Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Jurors’ Favorite, Honorable Mention, People’s Choice and Most Food Used.

The judges visited our Bedford Office on October 1st to judge our sculpture and pack their boxes full of much needed food. The multi-color themed “TFM” logo consisted of 23 rows across by 6 rows high by 3 rows deep, totally 414 cans! And, at the end of the rainbow was a macaroni & cheese pot of gold. There was a wide variety of nutritious food, including green and wax beans, leaf spinach, mixed vegetables, corn, carrots, stewed tomatoes, chick peas, kidney beans, pea beans, chili beans, beets and peas. Dylan Cruess and Maryanne Murray did most of the shopping at the Bedford Market Basket, making several trips for colors, sizes, content and quantity.

TFMoran and all our staff are proud to be part of the local community.  We are already looking forward to the 2016 Canstruction competition!


Tri-City Expo: A Great B2B Event

The annual Tri-City Expo, New Hampshire’s largest Business to Business networking event, took place on Thursday, October 1, 2015 from 3:00PM – 7:00PM at the Center of NH Expo Center at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester, NH. Over 150 New Hampshire businesses and members of the Manchester, Nashua and Concord Chambers of Commerce  exhibited their products and services, and nearly 15 local establishments made up this year’s “Bistro”. Many curious folks stopped by at TFMoran’s Booth 212 to see some of the exciting projects we have been working on in the Tri-City Region. And, many people thanked us for hosting the Greater Manchester Network PM in August – our 19th year of hosting a summer BBQ.


SNHU Ribbon Cutting for New Quad

On Monday, September 21, 2015 TFMoran Civil Project Engineers Jeff Kevan and Tucker McCarthy, along with TFMoran’s Senior Landscape Planner/Designer Mike Krzeminski joined the Southern New Hampshire University campus community in celebrating the grand opening of the new Quad.  It was a perfect sunny day to hold the ribbon cutting ceremony lead by President Paul LeBlanc, who was accompanied by the Dean of Students and Student Government Association President. It seemed fitting flying discs of the school colors blue and yellow were being thrown by students throughout the vibrant green space, where a parking lot once occupied. The new addition of a black metal archway at the top of the stairs, displays the University’s iconic leaf symbol following the curve. And, at the foot of the stairs, a large black leaf is engraved in a granite circle, with paths leading from it in three directions. Students tried out the new benches, walkways and new grass areas while enjoying hot dogs and ice cream. We can certainly say a good time was had by all!

TFMoran worked with the University in providing conceptual designs, landscape architecture, land surveying, permitting and civil engineering services to convert the old parking lot into a new green space. The Quad is located in the center of the campus, across from the new Learning Commons and Library, and Dining Hall, where there is a pedestrian light for safe crossing on North River Road. Leighton A. White, Inc. of Milford was the site work contractor.



Below are a few “Before” photos:





High-Profile FastFacts Friday features TFM’s Keith Weston

High-Profile Monthly’s Anastasia Barnes presents “FastFacts Friday” as an e-newsletter every Friday featuring weekly headlines which are hyper-linked to the full stories on the High-Profile blog.

Click here to see our Keith Weston in High-Profile.

TFMoran Construction Inspector Keith Weston, PE
TFMoran Construction Inspector Keith Weston, PE


Kolbow Joins MSC Survey Department

Brenda Kolbow, PLS has joined the Survey Department of the MSC division of TFMoran, Inc. in Portsmouth. Ms. Kolbow is a Professional Land Surveyor in the states of Maine and North Carolina. She serves as a Survey Project Manager and is responsible for the management and coordination of survey projects with internal staff, clients, contractors, and regulatory officials from proposal through the completion of construction. Her field skills include boundary, topographic, ALTA, construction layout and as-built surveys, along with total station data collection and GPS static and kinetic observations. Ms. Kolbow has an Associate’s degree in Surveying Technology from Western Piedmont Community College in North Carolina.