Cambridge Companies contributes and participates in design and construction related articles within the waste industry.
View articles, press releases, and advertisements from 2017 below.
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:
Vehicle storage areas (indoor parking).
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.
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…