Check out the articles and press releases below on Cambridge as well as original articles written by our staff!  Or move on over to our Media Archives page to see articles, press releases and historical advertising from Cambridge and about our projects.

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Read more on the design-build and solid waste industries from articles on Cambridge Companies, our design-build experience and our expertise on new builds, repairs, renovations, upgrades, expansions and modifications on solid waste facilities.

Proper Planning of a Project
Waste Advantage Magazine│ Sept 2017

So you have decided whom you want to work with on your next project. Congratulations! Now the hard work begins. This article will touch on the step from post-award through start of design and what needs to be accomplished in that phase in order to ensure that your project flows smoothly into the design phase. The process should be similar whether you have chosen a design/build firm or if you decided that you would prefer to hire an architect directly. The important part is that you have an idea and now that idea needs to be translated to reality by your design team.

The Initial Phase
This initial phase is called several different things in the marketplace. The term varies by company and is referred to as scoping, feasibility, pre-design, conceptual design, etc. This is the most important phase in your project’s development. The better things are defined in this phase, 1) the budget will be more accurate, 2) the timeline will be better defined and 3) the end solution will be better.The first thing that should be gathered is the name and contact information for each project team member as well as their role and level of authority. This list will include owner team members, design team members as well as other members as needed such as the construction team. The importance of identifying each level of authority cannot be understated. This allows the design team to know who to go to for the decisions, feedback and clarifications within the project.  Read More… 

Technology is All the Rage
MSW Management│ Sept/Oct 2017

Technology continues to have an impactful and transformative effect on our world. Its reach even extends to the operation of transfer stations. The scope of these impacts cover many critical operations including loading, scaling, environmental compliance, and safety.  When conceptualized and implemented properly, these technologies should allow your facility to operate more efficiently, provide a safer work place, and minimize impacts on the environment.

Operational Efficiency
Ensuring transfer stations operate in an efficient manner is critical to maintaining facility capacity as well as keeping operating costs low. To that end, technology offers several approaches that impact different areas of operations.  The first would be the site entry and scaling. Sites typically need a scale house staffed at all times while the facility is in operation. Often times there are two staff members who deal with both in and out bound traffic. One approach, which may help this operation, would be to use a Remote Presence Unit. This unit provides a video screen and microphone with a ticket printer that allows vehicle operators to see and talk with staff and receive their tickets as well. The advantage with this approach is that scale operators can be pooled in one facility and they would be better able to cover multiple sites from one location.  Read More… 

Pitfalls of Planning Construction Projects at Existing Facilities
Waste Advantage Magazine│ May 2017

Expanding or remodeling a facility is a difficult task. Equally difficult is to determine whether to stay in operation during the construction or not. Just the thought of shutting down or impacting the operations of the current facility due to an impending construction project could cause anxiety. There are many factors that must be considered when beginning to plan a project, however, there are less issues to deal with if the facility is already shut down.

If you are looking to do work to an existing facility it is important to take into consideration the impact on the workforce, current operations, the existing building structure itself, the overall cost, and duration of the construction project and the potential risks of any remodel or expansion project.

The Impact on the Workforce

Employees are going to be impacted by the construction project no matter what. If the facility is being shut down for part of the project, they will either be furloughed or let go. If the facility is not being shut down, than it should be determined how the operations would need to change in order to accommodate the construction project. This could lead to additional shifts, changes in how people work, and changes in where the office is located, take breaks or other factors that could impact their overall productivity. Like all operations, employees are the most important asset you have, and any change in how they operate leads to a change in their engagement and morale. The most important tool to properly manage this is communication. Clearly outlining what will happen and when is very important. In addition, providing proper accommodations during the work period is important. If offices or locker rooms are being renovated, provide temporary trailers or similar areas to preserve those amenities. You must properly plan for this and work with them to ensure the transition period is managed properly in order to maintain an engaged workforce at the end of the project.  Read More… 

Making Way for CNG
Waste Advantage Magazine│ April 2017

Over the past few years, many hauling operations have considered switching their fleets to CNG or have already begun or completed the transition. The switch from diesel fuel to CNG can be linked to a myriad of reasons including reduced operating and maintenance costs, easier cold starting, increased reliability, municipality requirement, etc. An important consideration in the evaluation of making a switch to CNG should be regarding the steps necessary to modify an existing maintenance facility to allow these vehicles to be serviced in a code-compliant, safe manner.

Code Analysis/Required Modifications

The first steps in evaluating if converting to CNG would be right for your company would be to perform a code analysis of the facility. This analysis will need to be based on what type of services the facility will perform. There are typically three tiers of facilities that codes address:

  1. Vehicle storage areas (indoor parking).
  2. Minor Repair Facilities, which includes service activities that do not impact the fuel system or generate heat in excess of 750° F (welding, grinding, etc.); excludes brake repair, tire work and
    nighttime activities.
  3. Major Repair Facilities, which includes areas where there will be welding, vehicle bodywork or engine overhauls.

An architect or engineer should be brought on to perform a detailed code check and establish code requirements that the building will need to address. Codes vary by State and jurisdiction, but the most common are:

  • International Building Code (check for State/Local amendments)
  • International Mechanical Code (check for State/Local amendments)
  • International Fire Code (check for State/Local amendments)
  • National Electric Code
  • NFPA 30A – Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages

The type of facility and codes should help create a list of code-minimum required building improvements. Tables 1 and 2 lay out the minimum code requirements and best practices for each of them.
(Note: these tables are subject to state/local code amendments, as well as future changes to codes.)  Read More… 

Planning and Implementing a Facility Expansion
Waste Advantage Magazine│ March 2017

Recycling is a dynamic industry with constantly changing priorities and best practices. Owners and operators of recycling facilities are faced with a landscape that requires adaptability and flexibility to ensure that their operations and services meet the needs and expectations of their clients now and into the future. In order to adapt to these changes, companies and municipalities look to make changes or upgrades to their existing recycling facilities; however, they face tough economic conditions with limited return on investment (ROI) available to them. Changes must make good financial sense in order to be approved by the ones funding them. It is imperative for all parties involved to efficiently plan these modifications and work through the process of implementing these changes as expeditiously as possible in order to help manage the costs. The added complication of reduced commodity prices requires that all changes be cost effective. There are several ways to meet this goal; planning and coordinating, by incorporating all the project team members, is critical to achieving a quality end product that fulfills the project objectives and provides sufficient ROI to be approved.

Assembling a Team

The first step is assembling the project team. A good approach is to include all the project stakeholders to outline and define the need(s) and other project goals. By including the project owners, the community, facility owners, equipment suppliers, project designers and the construction team, all input will be received on the front end. This will ensure that needs will be best understood and the solutions will address them. An added benefit of including the equipment, design and construction teams in this process from the onset is that they will be able to add their experience and help direct the solution toward feasible approaches that are realistic and within the scope and budget of the project.  Read More… 

Facility Planning & Design: Emergency Response
Waste Advantage Magazine│ February 2017

There are a multitude of reasons why a waste collection and disposal company may need a new facility. Fire. Flood. Growth. Eminent Domain. Bad Neighbors. Consolidation. Some situations allow for plenty of time to plan while others require a quick reaction to the situation. While the preferred method is to take the necessary time to plan, sometimes companies encounter times when they have to react. One of the most common reasons for emergency response in the waste industry is fire. I have seen reports that the waste industry alone has around 40 fires per month throughout North America.1 In these situations, the best solution to the problem needs to be created in as little time as possible, for the most reasonable price, which will allow operations to continue with little or no downtime. No matter the type of facility, the proper steps need to be taken to evaluate its current state. The first step in the process is to contact the insurance company to make sure that they know an event occurred and can schedule an adjuster to come out to the facility.  Depending on what caused the event, the second step may be to bring in the proper authorities to file a report. Also, the cause of the event will need to be determined.  If it was an operational issue, internal processes may need to be evaluated and adjusted to help prevent emergency situations in the future. Now let us focus on the building and planning pieces of an emergency response. This article will only focus on these parts and won’t touch on the insurance, people or other issues that will also need to be handled.  Read More… 

Cambridge Press Releases

Discover more detailed information on the projects that Cambridge is working on through press releases across the country.

Cambridge Companies Opens New Office in Arizona
PRLog.org│ June 30, 2017

GRIFFITH, Ind.June 30, 2017PRLog — Cambridge Companies is a design-build firm headquartered in Griffith, IN. We are excited to announce our recent expansion to Arizona.  This location will allow us easier access to the west coast and help to better connect with these customers.  Cambridge Companies’ has extensive experience building many different types of facilities over the past 25 years.  Cambridge has an office in Griffith, IN that has been open since 1988.  The new office in metro Phoenix will be opening in August 2017. Read More…

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Cambridge Companies Hires New Vice President of Construction Operations
PRLog.org│ June 22, 2017

GRIFFITH, Ind.June 22, 2017PRLog — Cambridge Companies, waste facility design-build experts based in Griffith, IN, has hired Edward Kmetz as Vice President, Construction Operations.  Cambridge Companies’ has over 25 years’ experience building waste facilities across the United States.  Edward’s experience as Vice President of Preconstruction Services for the past ten years within the design-build industry brings a unique perspective to Cambridge.  He has led teams in general contracting and design-build firms for retail/development, medical facilities, hospital groups, higher education, institutional buildings, multi-family homes, public buildings, and transportation.  Read More…

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