Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Observations from a Panel at the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Conference in Denver

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on how airports apply unique engineering techniques to take advantage of available resources. I started off the panel discussion by presenting information on ACRP 02-56, Developing the Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy where I described how the research will produce a ranking system which quantifies the economic, self-sustainability, and environmental benefits of renewable energy projects. These benefits include stabilizing long-term electricity costs, investing in a modernized electricity generation and distribution network to ensure reliability and resiliency, and advancing environmental initiatives to open up permitting for future development. Traci Holton, Manager of Design at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, followed up with a discussion of a variety of examples from Nashville Airport (BNA) including solar planning (which I am helping them with – thanks for the kudos Traci), to asphalt and rock reuse, to converting mulch produced through vegetation management activities into improving site stabilization and minimizing runoff. Traci also described their Geothermal Project which will utilize the constant water temperature from a large on-site quarry for heating and cooling resulting in savings to the airport from avoided natural gas use and potable water previously purchased for boiler make-up and on-site irrigation. The project is currently out-to-bid with a design-build format and requiring a minimum payback period. The last speaker was Dale Stubbs, Associate Vice President for AECOM in Atlanta, who talked about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson’s (ATL) Green Acres Recycling Facility that is presently under development. The unique facility will be built, owned and operated by a third party contractor on 39-acres of airport property where all the airport’s waste will be delivered, sorted and managed including the use of compost for growing food that will be sold back to concessionaires. Each of these projects shows how airports can be leaders in developing innovative approaches to areas such as energy consumption and waste management that can produce a financial benefit through the efficient use of available resources.

Happy America Recycles Day 2014!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

by Christopher Menge

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In honor of today being America Recycles Day, I put together the following tips to assist with your recycling efforts:

  1. Put your recycling bins next to your trash or near your kitchen.
  2. Remind your family members with “Can you Recycle that?” signs on your trash bins.
  3. Your cereal bags aren’t really “dirty.” Just shake them out or rinse them and then recycle! Recycle the boxes as paper, of course.
  4. Don’t throw away that greasy food container! You don’t need lots of energy-hungry hot water to recycle your greasy plastic take-out food container. Just put in a couple drops of dish soap, and with a sponge, some cold water and 15 seconds of scrubbing, you’ll have a clean container ready for the bin!
  5. Make 90% of those pizza boxes recyclable! Just use your sharp box cutter knife to cut out the greasy spot, and the rest of the box can go in the recycle bin.
  6. Quickly dress up your glass bottles for clean recycling. Just cut off the metal or plastic capsules and rings at the tops of the bottles, and put those pieces in the proper stream.

For more information on America Recycles Day, see http://americarecyclesday.org.

Happy Recycling!

Beaming with Pride!!!

Friday, October 31st, 2014
by Diana Wasiuk

HMMH led the environmental analysis for THREE (3) of the successful NextGen implementation projects highlighted by FAA administrator Michael Huerta in his speech to the Aero Club of Washington this month. The three Performance Based Navigation (PBN) projects are the Seattle Greener Skies and the Houston and North Texas Optimization of Airspace & Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) projects. Yours truly managed one of the OAPM NEPA projects and contributed to a report on NextGen priorities sent to Congress by the FAA last week (also mentioned by the Administrator).

To read the transcript of Administrator Huerta’s speech see:
https://www.faa.gov/news/speeches/news_story.cfm?newsId=17554.

For more on work performed by HMMH staff in support of NextGen implementation see our website and the OAPM environmental website at http://oapmenvironmental.com.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

by Nicholas P. Miller

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The Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently released ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft, the result of research conducted by a team of consultants led by HMMH. HMMH was retained to conduct this research project to determine the cause and recommend changes to the Integrated Noise Model (INM), which currently incorrectly computes the noise created by many of the General Aviation Jets. The study compared INM produced sound exposure levels and climb profiles with measured sound exposure levels and radar reported climb profiles. HMMH found that the INM assumed all aircraft used maximum power for takeoff, while in practice, pilots used a “derated” thrust to preserve engine life, creating lower takeoff altitudes, and generally lower levels than the INM computed. HMMH developed a method that would use the INM modeling in a realistic manner, duplicating the procedures used by pilots and are in communication with FAA to assist if possible in correcting the INM modeling. In the future, modeling would be more accurate, noise exposures realistic, and better decisions will be made about land use and aircraft noise around airports where General Aviation jets operate.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM)

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

by Christopher Menge

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Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) is pleased to announce the release of TRB’s NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM), the final product of NCHRP Project 25-34, led by HMMH and supported by a team of consultants.

Noise is an important environmental concern for highway planners and designers, and through 2010, state highway agencies have spent $5.4 billion to abate the noise generated by federally-aided highway projects. Transportation agencies assess different aspects of highway noise to determine or predict community impacts during transportation planning, although procedures have varied by program and agency. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s Transportation Noise Model (TNM) is a computer program used for predicting noise levels and their impacts in the vicinity of highways. The TNM was developed in the 1990’s by a team led by HMMH under contract to the FHWA. The FHWA has provided substantial guidance for the routine application of the TNM; however, scenarios still exist for which there remains limited or no technical guidance.

Under NCHRP Project 25-34, HMMH was asked to investigate sixteen different research topic areas to identify best practices and provide significant guidance on applying TNM to accurately, consistently, and efficiently model traffic-generated noise in a variety of settings that has not been previously addressed by TNM. The objective of NCHRP 25-34 was to supplement existing guidance on applying the TNM by identifying best practices to model structure reflected noise; bridge expansion joints; signalized interchanges; intersections; area sources (e.g., weigh stations, park and ride lots, toll facilities, and service plazas); median barriers; roundabouts; and tunnel openings. The research determines the sensitivity and accuracy of methods to model multi-lane highways, rows of buildings, topography, ground zones, and tree zones, and identifies best practices for input parameters. The research also synthesizes the state of practice for analyzing the effects of wind and temperature gradients on sound propagation.

The results of NCHRP Project 25-34 are intended for use by experienced analysts, modelers, and designers. Report 791 will be of immediate use to experienced users of TNM by helping them to improve the accuracy and precision of their modeling results and inform decision-making related to the design of noise abatement measures.