Congratulations to our 4th Quarter Challenge Award Winners!

Congratulations to our 4th Quarter Challenge Award Winners!

February 5, 2016
Walter P Moore Challenge Award Winner Q4-2015

Walter P Moore congratulates our fourth round of Challenge Award winners! Begun in 2015, the Challenge Awards were established internally and are held quarterly to recognize teams and/or individuals for outstanding performance in demonstrating some or all of the 5 Coordinates that define our “Driven by the Challenge” culture.

The 5 Coordinates
PEP Passion / Expertise / Performance
TIK Teamwork Integrates Knowledge
INO Innovation Not Optional
ECX Extraordinary Client Experience
HIP Stewardship

And the winners are...

1  //  Bolling Federal Building Phase IV Site Improvements
Winning Team  //  Daniel Brown (Kansas City)  //  Michael Haake (Kansas City)  //  David Brown (Kansas City)  //  Joseph Gannon (Austin)

The Phase IV renovations to the Richard Bolling Federal Building in downtown Kansas City, Missouri marked the final phase of a 10-year, $250 million renovation project to modernize the 18-story building and site. This phase of the project included extensive site improvements to the entire 5.5-acre property such as new site security features, landscaping, parking, outdoor recreational spaces, walks and drives, retaining walls, site lighting, subsurface drainage systems, surface drainage systems, water quality treatment systems, and underground cisterns.

In order to deliver this project to the General Service Administration (GSA), members of the WPM Civil and Secure Design groups collaborated closely with the design architect, landscape architect, the MEP engineer, and later in the process, the construction manager. Walter P Moore's Diagnostics Group was also part of this 10-year project, although part of different phases.

WPM’s early involvement in the master planning phase allowed us to deliver to the GSA a project which not only met their basic requirements, but also “pushed the envelope” to provide them a functional and pleasing site for their guests and employees.

Implementing enhanced security features for the site proved to be a challenge as the design architect wished to create an open feel to the site (similar to the existing unsecured condition) while still meeting updated requirements of GSA’s “The Site Security Design Guide.” A combination of retaining walls, planter boxes, and stainless steel bollards were implemented throughout most of the site, but the layout and locations of these features along with the height of the retaining walls were varied to soften the appearance of the security features. They needed to serve the purpose without creating an institutional feel for the site.

One innovative idea implemented by the design team was a “dry moat” at the northwest corner of the site. The architect, landscape architect, and members of WPM’s Civil and Secure Design Groups worked together to design a secure wall where the top was at grade elevation to allow full views across the site. The grade and storm water drainage was designed so that a vehicle approaching the building from the northwest would drop down and hit the wall versus entering the site.

The project was required to meet reduced energy and water consumption rates and achieve LEED® Gold accreditation. The WPM Civil Group was also challenged with adhering to the High Performance and Sustainable Building (HPSB) Guidance policy (12/1/08) developed by the Interagency Sustainability Working Group. This guidance was used as the criteria to determine the storm water runoff requirements to meet the HPSB goals.

The Guidance states that design strategies should reduce storm water runoff and discharges of polluted water offsite. Per EISA Section 438, there are two options for reducing storm water runoff: 1) Control the 95th percentile rain event by managing the rainfall event onsite through infiltration, evapotranspiration, and harvesting and reuse. 2) Preserve the pre-development hydrology by maintaining pre-development hydrographs for the 1-, 2-, 10- and 100-year 24-hour storm events. Both options were evaluated and the second was chosen due to existing site topography challenges involved when trying to collect runoff from the entire site and the existing group water conditions that made it difficult to collect the required volume.

During initial discussions with GSA staff during the planning stages of the project, it was discovered the sump pump system for the building discharges large amounts of water into the adjacent public storm sewer system throughout the year. Based on this information, the Civil Group immediately began investigating the possibility of capturing this water on-site to not only use the water as irrigation but also reduce the site’s impact to the City’s greatly undersized combined sewer system.

To meet the HPSB goals stated above and improve ground water discharge conditions, two underground storm water cisterns were designed and constructed to collect water from the existing sump pumps, approximately 50% of the building’s roof drainage, and approximately 80% of the site storm water runoff. Water collected in the two cisterns is used to supply irrigation needs for the site during dry conditions, thus reducing the need for potable water for irrigation. Not only were the HPSB requirements achieved (via the cistern design), but the LEED credits for storm water quantity and quality were also met. 

2  //  Capitol Tower LEED v4 Whole Building Lifecycle Assessment
Winning Team  //  Dennis Wittry (Houston)  //  Fernando Torrealva (Houston)  //  Dirk Kestner (Austin) Kileigh Shea (Austin)  //  Ryan Dunbar (Houston)

Capitol Tower is a new 35-story tower in downtown Houston that will provide 750,000 rentable square feet of Class A office space. Gensler is our client, and Skanska, an international project development and construction group based in Sweden, is the developer and contractor for the project. Skanska’s goal is to develop an extremely efficient, environmentally responsible, and amenity-rich building that will attract and secure tenants in the increasingly competitive Houston CBD.

Skanska elected to pursue Platinum Certification under the Beta Test phase of LEED v4, the newest and most aggressive version of the rating system. Walter P Moore was selected to provide a full range of services including structural, civil, parking, traffic, and sustainability services, though this Challenge Award submission is focused only on the sustainability services.

The most significant sustainability service Walter P Moore provided was a Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment (WBLCA), which is the evaluation of the environmental effects of the materials within a building, from the point the materials are extracted from the earth to the point at which the materials are returned back to the earth. A WBLCA is essentially the analysis of the embodied environmental impacts within the materials.

A Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment under the LEED v4 framework compares the structure and enclosure of a design building to a functionally equivalent structure and enclosure of a reference building. To achieve the LEED points, you must be able to demonstrate a 10% reduction between the reference building and the improved building in three environmental categories. While LCA has been applied in product development settings for many years, it is rarely applied at the building level (WBLCA).

Skanska’s goal of platinum certification for Capitol Tower gave Walter P Moore the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in sustainable design through advanced Life Cycle Analysis, or LCA. The project is one of 100 projects nationwide to beta test the new LEED Version 4.0. More important, it is one of just three projects in the world to achieve LEED v4 Core and Shell Platinum Pre-Certification. Platinum certification required that the project earn the majority of the revamped Materials and Resources credits described in the new LEED Version 4.0 criteria. A key credit was the Impact Reduction Credit under which is the option to perform a Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment. Walter P Moore initiated the pursuit of this credit, making Capitol Tower the only project in the LEED v4 Beta program to even attempt to earn it.

We used the ATHENA Impact Estimator to quantify the significant sources of environmental impacts. Based on our analysis, the project team aggressively reduced cement utilization, leading to a 20% reduction in Global Warming Potential, 13% reduction in acidification, and 35% reduction in the production of ozone-depleting compounds for the materials associated within the building structure and enclosure.

Our sustainability leadership on this project has rewarded us with several invitations to co-present with Gensler and Skanska Development at conferences such as the annual TSA convention and Greenbuild, as well as the opportunity to present at the International Concrete Sustainability Conference in Dubai. Additionally, Dirk Kestner was asked to serve as a “Subject Matter Expert” for the USGBC LEED v4 technical committee on LCA.


About the Awards
Submissions are open to all business units and corporate groups within Walter P Moore, with up to four teams/individuals awarded each quarter. Each award has both a cash and a charity component, with the charity being chosen by the winning team. To date, charity organizations have included United WayEngineers Without BordersHabitat for Humanity, local food banks, and local ACE Mentoring programs. However, each group is allowed to choose their own charity organization recipient.