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Straightedge: the BergerABAM blog

Creating a Center for the Community

The Vancouver Community Library is expected to attract a million visitors per year.

Located in downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Community Library enhances the city’s revitalization by providing a center for the community, aimed at bringing users to the facility and expanding the library’s existing services.

Recognizing the ongoing transformation in how District patrons consume books and media, the design of the new building can adapt and respond to the evolving nature of library services. The building’s four-story atrium, Early Learning Center for patrons 5 and younger, flexible indoor and outdoor meeting and presentation spaces, and outdoor terrace offering unobstructed views of Columbia River and Mount Hood demonstrate the community's commitment to excellent public spaces. The new library contains over twice the square footage of the former building and was designed to maximize the use of natural daylight.

Innovative Features Incorporated into Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar

The project was recently awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers 2011 Outstanding Civil Engineering Project Award.

When the designs for the Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar – Joint Regional Correctional Facility Southwest in San Diego, California, were set into motion, the U.S. Navy wanted a facility that steered clear of the plain and unattractive exterior that is characteristic of brigs. Before the brig’s completion in May 2011, the BergerABAM team, responsible for civil engineering design, was able to grant the Navy’s wish by incorporating architectural features unique to this particular brig by using contrasting materials and breaks in the plane of the exterior.

Sustainable Solutions Incorporated into Parish Center

With its shiny copper dome and 24,000 square feet of space for its parish community, The St. Therese of Carmel Parish Center in San Diego’s Carmel Valley is a sight for the sorest of eyes. Construction of this one-story majestic facility was completed in September 2011 and wasn’t without its challenges. The final phase of development managed by BergerABAM’s San Diego office included the parish hall, a chapel for mass, and administrative offices. Because of the busy activity at the existing school campus, disruption due to construction during this final phase had to be kept at a minimum.

Grade Separation Expected to Ease Gridlock

Aerial view of the East Marginal Way grade separation construction work, March 2012.

With an estimated 270 hours of daily traffic delays at railroad tracks on Duwamish Avenue South in 2007, relocating East Marginal Way through this corridor in Seattle would improve access to Port of Seattle terminals, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) rail yards, and local businesses. With the opening of the East Marginal Way grade separation in April 2012, a new vehicular overpass structure now elevates both eastbound Spokane Street and Duwamish Avenue to separate vehicular traffic from rail traffic and creates dedicated lanes for freight traffic.

LEEDing the Way to Sustainable Projects

LEED is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the recognized standard developed and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit association of building industry leaders, to measure building sustainability.

Developed in 2000, LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification of a building’s green performance by recognizing performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. LEED-certified buildings cost less to operate and maintain, are healthier places to live and work in, and conserve natural resources.

What is a QR Code?

This QR code links directly to the BergerABAM Facebook page.

What is a QR code? A QR code, or quick response code, is a type of two-dimensional barcode originally designed for the automotive industry to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. Recently, these codes have gone mainstream due to their fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard barcodes.

XXI Latin American Congress of Ports

The National Port Commission of Guatemala will host the XXI Latin American Congress of Ports, an annual event organized by the American Port Authorities Association. This year’s conference, to be held 9 April to 12 April 2012, in Antigua, Guatemala, will focus on the “Present and Future of Latin American Ports in the Multimodal and Logistics Era.”

Vision. Innovation. Determination.

The Washington Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) spring conference will be held on Tuesday, 3 April through Friday, 6 April 2012 at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, Washington. The keynote speaker at the “Vision. Innovation. Determination.” conference is Polly Letofsky, author of “Little Steps, Big Feat!” Her inspiring keynote, chronicling her five-year journey by foot across 4 continents, 22 countries, and over 14,000 miles, will compel you to take on life’s biggest challenges one step at a time.

Rebirth of a Community Icon

Percival Landing is located on the east side of Budd Bay on the southern most tip of Puget Sound.

Named after an old commercial steamship wharf, Percival Landing Park is a popular waterfront park located in the center of downtown Olympia. Encompassing 3.38 acres, the park was built in phases from the 1970s with final completion in 1988.

In 2004, a structural analysis revealed the need for major repairs and replacement of Percival Landing. Sections were closed to assure public safety and without rehabilitation of the structure, eventually the entire facility would need to be closed, resulting in the loss of a community landmark and recreational facility and limiting public access to the waterfront.

The conceptual design for a phased approach to rebuilding Percival Landing was approved in 2006 by the City Council and the $14 million reconstruction was unveiled to the public in August 2011.

I’ll Drink to That: Modernizing an Age-Old Malting Process

A birds' eye view of the Great Western Malting plant.

In 1934, a group of Pacific Northwest businessmen founded Great Western Malting in Vancouver, Washington. Prohibition had been repealed in late 1933, so these professionals, most of whom were experienced brewery owners, saw this as an opportunity to get back into the brewing business, but with a different approach.

During Prohibition, many breweries struggled to stay afloat, often producing products with extremely low alcohol content that scantily resembled beer. Another tactic to stay in business was consolidation. The City Brewery in Portland, Oregon, owned by Henry Weinhard, was purchased by Arnold Blitz who merged it with his brewery, Portland Brewing, and renamed the newly formed union the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company. Blitz, along with William Einzig, also of Blitz-Weinhard; Phillip Polsky, of Vancouver’s Star Brewing; Peter Schmidt, of Olympia Brewing in Tumwater, Washington; and Emil Sick, who opened the Century Brewing Company that would later become Rainier Brewing, banded together and formed Great Western Malting to provide barley malt, a brewing ingredient in high demand, to breweries and distillery owners in the Pacific Northwest. Henry Collins, of the Pacific Continental Grain Company, and J.R. Bowles, an entrepreneur from Portland, were also among the group that brought Great Western Malting to life.