Discussing current issues in civil engineering.
On Wednesday April 18th, Harrisonburg’s first ever day of giving, The Great Community Give will take place, and people from all over Harrisonburg will be showing their love to their favorite local nonprofits all day long. Check out their site here!
The Great Community Give has inspired us to talk about one of our favorite local nonprofits – Central Valley Habitat for Humanity. Since 1988, Central Valley Habitat has been providing the Harrisonburg-Rockingham area with affordable homes sold at no profit nor interest, and whose volunteers build the homes with homebuyers, not for them.
Why Do We Support Central Valley Habitat?
Colman Engineering’s Principal, Gil Colman, has been involved with Central Valley Habitat since 2011 and currently serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors. Gil also works with Habitat's Site and Building Committee, contributing his expertise and experience.
Central Valley Habitat envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live and understands that housing instability, i.e. struggling to afford rent, frequently moving homes or overcrowding in the home, often results in depression and hopelessness. By providing our communities with affordable housing, Habitat is creating happier and healthier children, families and neighborhoods – something we certainly can get behind!
Want to learn more about our local Habitat for Humanity? Check them out here!
Is your project in need of civil engineering services? If so, give us a call today! Our team is here to provide you with the high-quality civil engineering services your project deserves.
With spring officially underway, it won’t be long before Harrisonburg’s trees and flowers start to bloom – all we need are a few healthy rain showers! Heavy rains bring our green lawns and flower gardens back to life, but too much rain can become a problem if the earth becomes oversaturated and unable to drain. Fortunately, civil engineers have eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for this problem: rain gardens and bioretention facilities.
Rain gardens and bioretention facilities are depressions in the ground that collect runoff and use native plants and soils for treating and dispersing the water. Rain gardens are the smaller and less complicated of the two designs and can be found near driveways or under gutter drains. Bioretention facilities are the more complex and large-scale designs. In addition to having the most-efficient drainage and pollutant removal systems, bioretention facilities also promote healthy tree and plant growth.
Mosquitoes are thought to live in rain gardens or bioretention facilities because of the collected water, but this is a common misunderstanding! Engineers specifically plan for water to be absorbed and processed within 48 hours through an underdrain system of plant roots, soils and filters which prevents any prolonged pooling or stagnant water.
Are you interested in having a beautiful rain garden or bioretention facility at your home or business? If so, give us a call! Our team is here to provide you with the high-quality civil engineering services your project deserves. Contact us to get started.
According to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), there are over 800,000 professional civil engineers in the United States. Could you be one of the next to join their ranks?
Here's what to expect from a career in civil engineering . . .
1) Not Your Normal 9 – 5
If you want a professional career that gets you out of the office and into the field, then civil engineering could be the right career for you. A civil engineer’s job is more than drawing up plans and running calculations, it also requires a good pair of boots and a hard hat. Civil engineers spend a lot of their time in the field either surveying, designing or supervising projects and many of these tasks are done with high-tech equipment like drones or underground recording devices.
2) Seeing Your Work Every Day
At one point or another, you’ve probably spent countless hours on a project or assignment, just to never see it again. However, civil engineers get the satisfaction of seeing and experiencing their work on daily basis. Imagine driving your daily commute on roads you helped design! They plan and help create the infrastructure for everything from shopping malls, schools, and neighborhoods, to skyscrapers, airports, and roads – just to name a few. From your city’s skyline to its sidewalks, civil engineers have designed it all.
3) Making a Difference
Not only do civil engineers get to see their work on a daily basis, they also get to see their work improving the community they live in. Civil engineers are large-scale problem solvers and find solutions for issues that affect us all. Issues like environmental pollution, natural disasters or overpopulation are all in a day’s work for the civil engineer. You can even work as a civil engineer in the nonprofit sector if making a difference is your passion.
4) Endless Opportunity
Civil engineers can be found in the public, private or non-profit sectors, with sub-disciplines ranging from coastal to urban engineering. If job security is a concern, you’ll be happy to know that a civil engineer’s work is never done. Our cities and communities are always seeking to improve, and they rely on civil engineers to get the job done.
5) Good Pay
An exciting and stable career may be incentive enough for some, but those job-seekers with student loans can rest assured by knowing a career in civil engineering pays well. In 2018, the average salary for a licensed civil engineer was $65,000 – about $20,000 more than the average wage worker’s salary. Experienced civil engineers can transition into business owners or consultants, or even branch out into lucrative technological fields.
Are you planning any projects that require a civil engineer? If so, let us guide you. Our team is here to provide the high-quality civil engineering services your project deserves. Contact us to get started.
Ever been stuck needing to take a measurement without measuring tape or a ruler? Here are some practical tips and tricks for measuring almost anything, if you ever find yourself without a measuring tool at your convenience.
Enjoy these handy tips!
How much water does the average American consume each day?
A. 25 gallons
B. 50 gallons
C. 100 gallons
D. 175 gallons
The correct answer is C. According to the USGS, average Americans consume 80–100 gallons of water per day. Here’s how it breaks down:
And, of course, 1/2 gallon to all of those who drink their recommended 64 oz. of water each day.
Did you know that Saint Patrick is considered the Patron Saint of Engineers? Here’s why:
Learn more little-known facts about St. Patrick with this “Bet You Didn’t Know” video from the History Channel. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Where is the world's greatest amount of fresh water stored?
A. In the ground
B. In snow, ice caps, and glaciers
C. In lakes and rivers
D. In the atmosphere
The correct answer is B. Here are some more stats, to put it into perspective . . .
Water is an extremely precious resource!
Starting this year, Harrisonburg residents will see a new fee included with their real estate tax bill: the Stormwater Utility Fee. The total fee varies based on your property’s total impervious area—the area taken up by rooftops, driveways, and other solid surfaces—but, as an example, a property with 1,900 square feet of impervious area will cost you about $42 a year.
Although the fee may not break your bank, there are a few simple steps the City suggests (Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Manual for Residential, Draft 12-2-14) that could help reduce your Stormwater Utility Fee by up to 50%:
Also, if you're so inclined, you could reduce your total impervious area—but these measures can be costly:
If you’ve already implemented any of these stormwater management best practices, or you plan to, you’ll need to let the City know by April 1, 2015 in order to get credit for this year.
There are standards to follow and specific steps to take in order to qualify for the credit—but you’ll find everything you need to know on the City of Harrisonburg’s Stormwater Utility Information site: http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/stormwater-utility
Concerned about how the Harrisonburg Stormwater Utility Fee will impact your non-residential / business property? Contact us and we’ll help you through.
Mention "Civil Engineering" and people usually ask, "What is that exactly?" Sure, if you were to say, "Structural Engineering" or "Environmental Engineering," they'd have a pretty good idea. But "civil"... not so much.
Although "civil" can mean "courteous and polite," (and all engineers should be this, of course), this "civil" refers to "citizens" and "public life." As in, "non-military."
Military Engineering is considered the world's oldest form of engineering (think, fortifications, catapults, and other ancient wartime structures). Civil Engineering is the second-oldest (think, pyramids, aqueducts, and other infrastructure not intended for military purposes). Today, all engineering projects---whether for military or civil purposes---are designed by Civil Engineers.
Civil engineers design, build, and maintain the foundation for our modern society – our roads and bridges, drinking water and energy systems, sea ports and airports, and the infrastructure for a cleaner environment, to name just a few.
Whenever you drive across a bridge, walk along a sidewalk, park in a parking lot, shop at a mall, go to a playground, or even if you just stay home in your neighborhood---you're interacting with an infrastructure that was likely designed by a Civil Engineer.
Are you planning any projects that require a Civil Engineer? Let us guide you.
We're here to provide high-quality civil engineering services, plus the one-on-one attention your project deserves. Contact us to get started.