Zero-Impact Design Earns Design-Build Institute of America Award

Oct. 19, 2010
Brown and Caldwell awarded for noiseless, odorless wasterwater treatment plant

Brown and Caldwell (BC) engineers created a completely enclosed, zero-noise, zero-odor wastewater treatment plant in Fulton County, Ga., that has earned the National Design-Build Award for a water or wastewater project of more than $25 million from the Design-Build Institute of America.

The $137 million Johns Creek Environmental Campus (JCEC) received this award during the 2010 Annual Design-Build Conference & Expo at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Fulton County officials had a grand opening ceremony July 16 for the JCEC facility.

The project, designed and constructed in only 40 months, faced numerous, stringent noise, odor and size requirements due to its proximity to local neighborhoods. “The JCEC design is just superb,” said Paul Williams of Fulton County. “The creative way the BC team addressed our environmental, community and financial restrictions helped to make this far more than a wastewater facility. It’s a community asset.”

The 15-million-gal-per-day JCEC features low-impact design elements with extensive noise and odor abatement technologies, and will use membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology to treat wastewater for non-potable reuse. It is also the largest MBR plant in the United States. MBR facilities treat water at a higher level than the standard reclamation process and have a much smaller footprint than processes typically used in wastewater treatment.

The facility is built of red brick and looks much like a historic mill on the Chattahoochee River. With all treatment processes taking place inside, the plant’s operation is virtually invisible to the public. “We’ll be a very good and stable neighbor,” said Angela Parker, director of Fulton County Public Works to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“This design challenges the idea that wastewater treatment facilities are odorous and noisy with negative impacts on the surrounding community,” said BC project manager Kelly Comstock. “This is a prestigious award for a landmark project for Fulton County and the state of Georgia. They have set new standards for environmental excellence, fiscal responsibility and responsiveness to the community.”

The site includes a park and interpretive nature trail system, including a cascading stream and pond system, and an educational facility with a lecture hall, classroom and teaching lab so the community can learn about water quality and the local environment.

“This kind of innovation is a direct result of our partnering with the community,” County Manager Zachary Williams said in a statement. “Our collaboration with Roswell citizens was to ensure that this environmental campus not only meets their needs, but could be a model for others.”

Brown and Caldwell teamed with Archer Western Contractors in Atlanta on the JCEC project.

Source: Business Wire

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