Construction Specifications

Construction Specifications

I am not a big fan of reinventing the wheel, but I have been burned enough in my career by “cutting and pasting” that I make it a habit to start from scratch as often as I can when writing a proposal, memo, scope, and, especially, project specifications. As civil...
Our Changing Hydrology

Our Changing Hydrology

The EPA reported the following statement on August 1 of this year: “In recent years, a larger percentage of precipitation has come in the form of intense single-day events,” which has occurred since 1996 (EPA “Climate Change Indicators: Heavy Precipitation, August 1,...
“Greening” your City Saves Money

“Greening” your City Saves Money

I have written before about the many advantages of green roofs, rain gardens, and other sustainable design and construction options, including saving money on heating and cooling costs with green roofs, or saving on your water bill through rainwater harvesting,...
Flooding in a Drought Period

Flooding in a Drought Period

It seems counterintuitive to be concerned about flooding almost anywhere in California since we live in the longest drought period in recorded history. However, as you may have noticed, drought does not mean rain. It simply means less rain than usual for the region...
Healing the Built Environment

Healing the Built Environment

Usually, when I write articles about civil design and improving the existing conditions, I include sustainable measures, such as designing rain gardens, using permeable pavement, or designing and building plantable retaining walls. However, sometimes you need to...
Victory Gardens for our Time

Victory Gardens for our Time

During the First World War, Germany had to heavily ration food items, such as coffee, fruits, vegetables, etc. So, to mitigate this crisis, they created the “Kleingarten” in cities. Kleingarten means “small garden,” and they were installed within urban areas....
Residential Projects in the Tahoe Basin

Residential Projects in the Tahoe Basin

The Lake Tahoe basin is arguably one of the most beautiful places on Earth. For me, especially when I describe it to others, its beauty comes from its random geographic position; surrounded by flat, dry valleys on two sides; covered with green forests; and the...
Sustainable Grading Design

Sustainable Grading Design

Though the image above might be a bit too fantastic a goal to achieve when grading a piece of land for construction, the intent is nonetheless what is important. In the image, the shock is placed in the obvious location; the flat part of the site. Additionally, the...
Re-Designing for Sustainability

Re-Designing for Sustainability

I am currently working on several projects at different stages of design development that convert the existing built environment back to its natural state, or at least varying degrees thereof. For example, one project will convert a section of the road into a park. At...
For Disability Assistance Call
415-800-3035