• 2016 Grand Award Recipients

  • Three firms were chosen to compete for the coveted Pinnacle Award at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on February 4, 2016.

    “We are constantly amazed by the ingenuity of the engineering firms submitting projects for the Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA). These projects make a difference in our communities and on our infrastructure” said Nancy Israel, Executive Director of ACEC Virginia. “The judges carefully and rigorously reviewed each project to come to a consensus, noting how entering firms demonstrated use of new innovations and current technology in ever changing ways.”

  • Draper Aden Associates

  • Draper Aden Associates helped to preserve a community landmark through their work on the neglected East End Theater in Richmond’s historical Church Hill neighborhood. The firm handled the structural engineering needs for the renovation as well as the expansion. 

    Since no documentation was available for the building, Draper Aden Associates utilized new technology to create an interactive building information model (BIM) for the structure. This scanning technology was critical to the project because it showed that, although the roof was gone, the roof framing could still be used, saving the developer $100,000 and making the renovation more feasible.

    The firm utilized self-supporting floors in order to create commercial space and two floors of apartments. Challenged by poor soil conditions and the need to maintain the existing shell of the theater, Draper Aden Associates solved a variety of issues using innovative solutions and returned the theater to a vital community asset. After completion, the project has leased 20 of the 22 apartments and will add a new restaurant on the first floor. 

  • RK&K

  • The Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road in Charlottesville, Virginia, presented RK&K with a list of challenges, including creating a Gateway design, overcoming public opposition, coordination of multiple utilities and maintaining access to local businesses, communities and schools throughout construction.  At the time project planning began, this was one of the largest projects undertaken by VDOT’s Urban Construction Initiative (UCI). 

    The final design was a compact diamond interchange providing all required movements with an emphasis on safety. This design relocated, raised and improved the driveway location for Charlottesville/Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS). As part of the design package, the latest multimode priority control system that uses infrared and radio/GPS priority control technologies were included leveraging secure communications to help emergency responders move through intersections quickly and safely. 

    RK&K took an intersection with critical accidents three times the state average with occasional flooding and gave local residents a shorter and safer commute, more pedestrian access through sidewalks and bike paths and significant safety, utility and community improvements while keeping with the visual quality and park like setting of the area. 

  • Wiley|Wilson

  • As the lead design firm, Wiley|Wilson’s design for the new combined heat and power plant in Indian Head, Maryland, is helping to reduce energy consumption, decrease utility costs, and provide a more reliable electrical and steam supply to satisfy current and future needs. The firm’s design replaced an aging coal-fired Goddard Power Plant and reconfigured the steam distribution system into a nodal/decentralized system. 

    Wiley|Wilson also designed a new protection and control scheme for the 13.2kV system and was asked by NAVFAC to make the electrical system operate as a microgrid. Wiley|Wilson delivered a system that constantly monitors systems loading  and events to respond quickly at the loss of utility power and reports back to Navy control centers in three locations on the base. 

    The firm also designed a new Utilities and Energy Management (UEM) building that is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. Water conserving features include using high-efficiency fixtures to reduce the use of potable water for the building by 50 percent. Savings were also accomplished by using energy-efficient mechanical systems, energy-efficient lighting systems, increased envelope insulation values and energy-efficient domestic heating system. A Direct Digital Control (DDC) system was implemented to schedule equipment operating times and setpoints to minimize energy use during unoccupied times.