Author Archives: greenpare

What’s in the mail?

A lot of paper that goes right into the recycle bin, right?  Sure, there are the occasional catalogs that are fun to flip through or maybe the occasional flyer with coupons.  But do you ever get irritated by the number of times credit cards feel the need to remind you about their special offers or zero financing options?

Here are a few ways to avoid that paper from even entering your home:

  • Catalogs:  As they come into your house just simply call the 800 numbers and request that you no longer receive them.
  • Credit Card Offers:  To submit an opt-out request to have your name removed from their lists, visit:  http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicited-mail-phone-calls-and-email
  • Checks from your credit card companies:  Next time they come into your mailbox, call them and ask them to stop.
  • Bills and banking statements:  Most of us pay them online and get online statements, but if you don’t, most companies make it very simple to switch over to electronic payments and statements.  If this makes you nervous you can always save PDF’s of your statements and payment confirmations and keep back up files.

By taking a few extra minutes to stop the extra paper each time you spot it, you could stop it from ever entering your home.  This will not only save some trees and resources, but will also save you time.  You will avoid having to bring the paper into your house, sift through the junk mail, put it in the recycle bin and then remove it from of your house.

Give yourself and your family a challenge and see how many days in a row you can go without getting unnecessary mail and saving the excess paper.

For more helpful tips visit:  http://www.rirrc.org/resident/reduce-junk-mail/

PARE’s Engineering as it Relates to Local News

Post Written by Allen Orsi

Recent attention to dam safety issues throughout Massachusetts and the rest of New England has generated increased interest in dam removal.  Dam removal not only addresses the issues associated with dam safety through the elimination of the hazard, but also provides significant ecological benefits.  Dam removal restores the ecological systems previously disrupted by the erection of the dam through reestablishing habitat connectivity, improving stream continuity, and increasing habitat diversity.  The restoration of natural ecological systems results in an overall improvement to water quality including increased dissolved oxygen and lower water temperatures.  While we believe that a properly maintained dam actually decreases downstream flooding, the ecological benefits are indisputable.

In 2005, PARE provided emergency response services to the owners of the Whittenton Dam in Taunton, Massachusetts as they responded to unsafe conditions at their dam following unprecedented rainfall in the area.  After years of coordination and planning, completion of the dam removal and stream restoration project is complete, as presented in a recent issue of ecoRI News.  While PARE did not participate in this restoration project, we are actively removing a dam in Lancaster, Massachusetts, as well as assisting other dam owners to pursue funding to facilitate their dam removal projects.

Green Aspects of a Pare Project highlighted on Boston.com

Post Written By:  Allen Orsi

Dam removal provides many ecological benefits, including eliminating barriers to fish, wildlife, and macro invertebrate migration (habitat connectivity); improving surface water quality by reducing water temperatures, increasing dissolved oxygen, and increasing nutrient load;  reducing sediment starved flow; and restoring the surrounding area to a more natural and complex environment.

While PARE’s geotechnical division completes many dam evaluations and designs for repairs to deficient dams, dam repair is not always the best option.  After evaluating the structurally unsafe Curtis Pond Dam in Middleton, MA, a decision was reached with the dam owner to pursue dam removal.  PARE was subcontracted by Kleinfelder and worked closely with the dam owner and other project partners to develop construction documents for removal of the dam and for developing environmental permits to complete the work.

The project included removal of the dam to provide an unrestricted stream channel in the vicinity of the dam, bank restoration including coir logs and live stakings along select sections of the restored stream channel, and preservation of historical mill machinery salvaged from the dam during demolition activities.

Picture of Curtis Pond Dam Before the dam removal:

A picture after the dam removal:

For the full article on Boston.com check out this link: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/07/22/curtis_pond_dam_removal_may_be_the_first_of_many_in_ipswich_river_watershed/

The ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos within this post were provided courtesy of SumCo Eco-Contracting.

PARE completes a Geothermal Standing Column Test Well

Post Written By:  Josh Rosenberg

Standing column wells draw water directly from wells into the building to heat/cool the ground source heat pumps (GSHP), either indirectly or directly, and then the water is discharged back into the same well. The goal of a GSHP system is to reduce the frequency at which the compressor must be powered on average throughout the year by evening out the extreme seasonal variations in temperature. This is because GSHPs exchange heat with the subsurface soil and rock, which has a relatively steady temperature throughout the year, compared with that of the outside air. Therefore GSHP’s require less energy to heat and cool buildings than conventional air-source heat pumps, creating a more sustainable means of heating and cooling a building.

PARE recently completed installation of an 1100-foot deep geothermal standing column test well within the City of Boston. PARE provided field observation during advancement of the well hole and during the well pump test. After completion of the test well, PARE provided our client with a Geothermal Data Report detailing the geotechnical drilling conditions, well pump test and recharge data, water quality testing, and future steps necessary to advance the project to full scale production. The test well and data report will provide our client with the information necessary to evaluate the hydraulic properties of the bedrock, assess the level of difficulty in installing the full production well field, and assist in evaluating construction budgets. PARE coordinated with our client to strategically place the test well where it can be converted into a full scale production well when the full scale system is implemented, to conserve space, materials and ultimately cost.

Demand for Green Parking: Pare attends NAIOP presentation “Parking Matters”

Posted by: Cari Orsi

John Shevlin and Cari Orsi of Pare attended the NAIOP program “Parking Matters” on January 26, 2012 in Boston.  Discussions from the panel included information on parking design, costs, designing for current vehicles, different parking garage construction and some of the obsticles faced when designing parking.  One of the interesting pieces of data that was presented included the International Parking Institute (IPI) suvey data from 2011.  The top three trends in parking were rated in the following order according to the survey:  1) Increased Revenue 2) Demand for Green Parking Solutions and 3) Need for technology solutions.  In a related note reported by the survey, 19% of the people surveyed said that they believed there was a need for electrical vehicle charging stations for future development of parking spaces.  The survey also ranked, ‘greener facilities’ as #2 when asked what the ‘next big thing’ in parking would be.

It appears that green solutions are in demand and are catching on internationally.  I know in recent projects we have incorporated vehicle charging stations into some of our school designs.  Both Natick High School and Plymouth North High School included vehicle charging stations into the site design.

Information was taken from, “2011 Emerging Trends in Parking:  Report on a survey conducted by the International Parking Institute.”

 

Massachusetts is one of the top 10 states for LEED green buildings

Check out this link to read the whole article Top 10 states for LEED green buildings – Today’s Top News – Supply House Times.

It’s exciting to hear that Massachusetts is recognizing the need to design with sustainability in mind.  It’s also exciting that Pare is a part of the movement.  We are currently involved in the site designs for several registered LEED green buildings in Massachusetts.  Some that are currently in construction are the Plymouth North High School, the Natick High School and just starting construction is the East Bridgewater Junior/Senior High School.  The LEED projects that haven’t gone out to bid and are still in design include Central Middle School in Quincy, Marshfield High School, Hingham Middle School, Somerset-Berkley High School and Franklin High School.  Each of the schools are in varying stages of design but we are continuously coordinating and reviewing the score sheet to make sure LEED points that we aimed to achieve are still able to be met with our designs.

Posted By:  Cari Orsi

Wind in Westport

In October, the Geotechnical Division completed a subsurface investigation and geotechnical evaluation to support the construction of a wind turbine in Westport, Massachusetts.  The evaluation was completed as part of site specific conditions assessment to verify design requirements for a prefabricated/predesigned foundation system for the cast-in-place concrete turbine foundation.  PARE’s scope of work included the completion of subsurface explorations and evaluation of the encountered stratum and confirmation of the capacity of the subsurface profile to provide the minimum foundation requirements in the wind turbine design package.  The proposed foundation and tower support a turbine from XZERES Wind.

Posted By:  Cari Orsi

For more information about XZERES check out their website:    http://www.xzeres.com/

Sidewalks that turn into power?

This is an interesting link that talks about how people walking on sidewalks can produce power.  Take a read through and see what you think.  If it’s something that materializes think about the opportunities to use it at main entrances of schools and campus walkways.

http://greenbuildingelements.com/2012/01/09/sustainable-sidewalks/

Posted By:  Cari Orsi