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Looking Back on TFMoran’s 50th Year Celebration

As we start a new year, we’re taking a moment to look back on 2018 – a year of celebration for TFMoran. Last year marked our 50th year of service, and we found ourselves “Celebrating 50 Years” throughout the entire year. To commemorate this milestone, we designed a Gold Anniversary logo that  was used on all company collateral including polo shirts, pens, notebooks, and even brandy snifters.

Throughout the year, TFMoran hosted special events with staff  and guests to celebrate our 50-year-milestone, including two summer barbecues held at our Bedford office. Great food and great fun were key elements as we shared our success with those who have made our 50 years in business possible. The barbecues featured steak tips, hamburgers, chicken, summer salads, topped off with anniversary cake and ice cream, of course!

In addition to the commemorative gifts and barbecues, TFMoran held a 50th Anniversary celebration luncheon at the Bedford Village Inn just before Thanksgiving. TFMoran’s principals gave thanks to the more than 60 dedicated staff in each department: Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Land Surveying, Traffic Engineering, Landscape Architects and Stormwater Management Group.

The year-long celebration concluded with an office family Christmas party, decorated in theme with blue and gold ornaments, a beautiful live tree, and festive poinsettias.

Now that 2019 is underway, TFMoran has retired the 50th Anniversary logo and has introduced a slightly revised logo to start off our 51st year. Here’s to continued success and another 50 years!


 

 

 

 

To read more about TFMoran’s 50-year history and role in many of the region’s most significant projects, link to these stories in New England Real Estate Journal June 2018 or High-Profile September 2018.

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Lunch N Learn at the Bedford Office

Members of the TFMoran Bedford office attended a Lunch N Learn on January 29, 2019. The Lunch N Learn was held in the first floor conference room and was taught by Jason Lenzen from Genest Paving Stones and Walls, who discussed proper maintenance of permeable interlocking concrete pavement. Jason brought Panera Bread sandwiches and salads, which were enjoyed by all in attendance. The list of attendees included Maureen Kelly, Jeremy Belanger, Mike Krzeminski, Jen Porter, Jason Hill, and our marketing intern, John DiFrancesco. The room was filled with chatter as the attendees asked questions about proper maintenance and use of the permeable pavement, and its ability to withstand salt and snow-plows during the winter months. Thanks to Jason Lenzen for a great Lunch N Learn.

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TFMoran President featured in the NEREJ 2019 Forecast Spotlight

New England Real Estate Journal asked TFMoran President, Bob Duval for his 2019 Engineering Forecast regarding commercial properties. Bob’s article discusses the changes in regulations regarding environmental risks and the importance of identifying potential permitting issues early. “Although setting a realistic time-frame that includes upfront studies of all these potential impacts may seem excessive at first, the alternative – in terms of costly surprises, backtracking, or redesign of the project at later stages can be devastating to the project schedules and budgets,” Mr. Duval writes. The full article will be included in the NEREJ January 25-31, 2019 Forecast Spotlight edition. To read the article open the PDF here or read the text below.

Trends in regulatory controls require a more comprehensive “due diligence” approach

By Robert Duval, TFMoran

In the year ahead, we are likely to see continued compression in project delivery schedules, spurring developers and designers to hunt for new ways to streamline the design and permitting process.  Meanwhile, the regulatory maze is becoming increasingly difficult and constantly changing.  As a result, the permitting process often represents the major obstacle to project delivery dates, even for relatively simple projects.

Despite all the powerful new technologies available to today’s design professionals, “working faster” can only accomplish so much.  At every scale, environmental regulation has grown more complex.  To be successful, a permitting strategy must be based on one simple principle: do your homework and do it early.  Here are a few of the areas where recent trends in regulatory controls require a more comprehensive “due diligence” approach…

Projects that include any impacts to wetlands or wetland buffers can expect closer scrutiny from regulators at all levels.  Even very small wetlands may be determined to have important natural functions that are difficult to replace – for example a vernal pool.  Large upland buffers around vernal pools and even “ordinary” wetlands are becoming more common as governments at all levels – federal, state, and local – seek to increase protection of water supplies, natural flood buffers, and natural habitats near waterways.  It is not unusual today for such buffer areas to occupy more land area than the wetlands they protect.

The expanding reach of these regulations has had major consequences on project design, especially stormwater runoff, since larger and larger portions of sites are becoming subject to these enhanced setbacks and design controls.  Even when physical separation from natural resource areas can be achieved, development controls do not end at the buffer’s edge –restrictions on impervious cover; enhancement of stormwater treatment systems; controls on volume in addition to rate of stormwater runoff; sampling and testing of runoff chemistry, and other constraints on site design have also become more common.  No longer is it sufficient to just follow the rules – the trend is now pointing towards achieving a specific end result – and proving it.

With increased attention and resources allocated to newly emerging trace contaminants like PFOA/PFAS, new concerns are being raised across wide areas previously assumed to be free of chemical pollution risks.  Public outcry is pushing regulators into taking quick action on these emerging contaminants, in some cases ahead of a solid understanding of actual health risks.  In any event, each newly identified compound will add more uncertainty and extra steps to the permitting process in affected areas.

Rare and endangered species – including plants as well as animals – also will have substantial effects on development.  Even in densely settled areas not typically thought of as home to endangered wildlife communities, protected organisms can be found.  Each species adds its own particular set of requirements to a project, from restricted time frames for certain activities, to protective radii around individual habitats for species of concern.  As recently demonstrated by the listing of the Northern Long-eared Bat and certain migratory birds, such concerns can attach to extremely wide areas.

Increased emphasis on protection of historic structures (potentially, any resource over fifty years old) and archaeological sites is emerging as a major factor during the permitting process, adding Architectural Historians and Archaeologists as important early partners on the project team.  Properly evaluating and documenting any such resources takes time that must be accounted for in a well-planned project schedule.

Knowing that these challenges must be faced, early action is an essential element of project planning.  Although setting a realistic time frame that includes upfront studies of all these potential impacts may seem excessive at first, the alternative – in terms of costly surprises, backtracking, or redesign of the project at later stages can be devastating to project schedules and budgets.  Avoiding these unpleasant outcomes means going back to basics…

Redevelopment of existing disturbed sites, where the foregoing issues are often well understood or at least less contentious, tend to generate less public attention and concern, since urban environments with existing infrastructure are generally less impactful than new greenfield sites.  Careful site selection is critical, and where possible, redevelopment should be the first choice.

While developing urban sites can often include contaminated soil risks, don’t overlook the fact that even undeveloped sites can also contain unknown, newly-emerging contaminants – all must be effectively identified and managed.

To get projects off to a good start and keep them moving, will require more intensive study and preparation than even just a few years ago… despite the new challenges, it is still possible to accelerate project delivery time frames, by early identification of problematic conditions and finding effective solutions at the earliest possible stage – preferably while the project program is still flexible and can be adapted to accommodate the challenges.  With good homework and creative solutions in hand, many, if not all, of these challenges can be overcome.

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First Aid Training for TFMoran Bedford Staff

Members of the Bedford office took part in a First Aid training course on January 9, 2019. Participants were required to complete an online portion of the class before taking the in-person portion held in the first-floor conference room. The class was taught by Don Poutry from the American Red Cross Associations Training Services. Fred Roach, Tom Lamb, Maureen Kelly, Chris Gagnon, Scott Olsen, Adam Jimenez, Marty Gavin, and Jeremy Belanger were all in attendance. The class taught participants how to treat a wound in an emergency. The first step was to assess the situation, then ask the injured person if it was okay to help. Help would be given only if permitted. Those who completed the course are officially First Aid Certified and can now provide assistance to anyone in need in case of an emergency. TFMoran is planning to host another training session in the near future for other employees who may have missed this one.

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TFMoran on Award-winning Project Team at the ENR Regional Best Projects Awards

Engineering News-Record hosted their annual Regional Best Projects Awards Breakfast on December 12th, 2018.  ENR hosts these awards to recognize some of the best, most challenging, and most innovative projects of the year across the country. The awards are divided between the different regions of the country. Winners of the ENR Best Projects Awards are invited to a Regional Awards Breakfast to accept their recognition. This years awards breakfast for the New England area took place in the Hyatt Regency Boston and featured dozens of innovative projects.

One of TFMoran’s engineering projects at Southern New Hampshire UniversityMonadnock Hall, received an Award of Merit Higher Education/Research at the event. The 4-story, 300-bed dormitory was opened in September of 2017 and provides apartment-style living to SNHU students. TFMoran provided survey, permitting, civil/site engineering, and landscape architecture for the project. Project team members included architects Mackey Mitchell and Lavallee Brensinger, along with general contractor Whiting Turner and construction manager PMA Consultants, who submitted the project for the award.

Congratulations to all award-recipients. Winners are listed on the ENR New England website and are profiled in the December 3rd to 10th issue of ENR New England magazine.

Thank you to the ENR Regional Best Project Awards for recognizing Monadnock Hall in this year’s awards.