Mathur and Gerdes. I worked in the trailer on-site managing the subcontractors working on the future office building my employer would later occupy. I went back the next summer and worked for the same company before completing my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Columbia University. During my undergraduate studies I found that I had an interest in construction management and to increase my knowledge in that area I went to one of the top Construction Engineering and Management programs at the time at Georgia Institute of Technology. I received my master’s degree from Georgia Tech after doing research on “Implementing Sustainability in the A/E/C Industry”. At that time “LEED” wasn’t even a buzzword.
I started my full-time career with dreams and expectations that the world was moving toward green construction and reducing our impact on the environment. I spent just over two years working on international projects including hotels, resorts, casinos and the more common office parks, health facilities and community projects. I performed cost estimates and acted as an owner’s representative at Boyken International, Inc. (now Hill International, Inc.) managing not only project costs but ensuring that designs met stakeholder requirements and once completed, the projects met with the owners’ needs. I double-checked close out documents and created punch lists. My job was to ensure that the project met with all of the owners’ needs and that it was done on time and within budget. At that time it was rare for the owners to be concerned with the environmental impacts of their projects.
I had a lot of responsibility in this position but I felt that I should have more first-hand knowledge of construction so I went to work for a general contractor, Ordner Construction, Inc. I got a taste of management and systems implementation in this position. I soon discovered that I wanted a new experience, so I moved over into the design side.
During the housing boom I worked on residential subdivisions at Precision Planning. Inc. I designed everything from the subdivision layout to the road and lot grading to the stormwater detention ponds and retaining walls. I was able to get experience in designing water mains and sewer outfalls. I learned how to read zoning ordinances and land development regulations. Most importantly, I learned that I enjoyed design work as much as construction management.
I finally moved into a position at Planners and Engineers Collaborative, Inc. where I could combine my design and construction management skills and was granted the opportunity to work a fantastic public-private partnership project – the Gwinnett Braves Stadium (now known as Cool Ray field). I also have experience in multi-family developments, commercial and retail development and small site roll-out projects. Many of these sites have been incorporating sustainable building practices. In addition to design work I have presented zoning variances and special use permits to local governing boards; permitted impacts through local, state and federal agencies; and trained junior personnel.
Today I bring the sum of my experiences to EcoWise Civil Design and Consulting where I hope to help you improve your project!