(images via Point Reyes Hostel by Cheri M. Larsh)
If your last vision of a hostel was from Eli Roth’s movie then come out from under that blanket because the only scary thing about CSW’ST’s latest project, The Point Reyes Hostel, is how fast it is becoming a California destination! The project is a refreshingly modern take in hostel design with comfortable, well-lit lounge areas, spacious bedrooms, and best of all easy access to 70,000 acres of the Point Reyes National Seashore. With an impending Silver LEED rating the hostel is expected to become the first certified hostel in the U.S.! The 2,500 square foot building was constructed out of recycled materials, solar panels, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems that fit right in with its natural surroundings. The new building designed by Architectural Resources Group, Inc. is an addition to the existing hostel facilities and includes amenities for visitors and staff, a common kitchen, guest lounge and dining area, and a sun deck.
CSW|ST2 provided survey and engineering services for the project that included grading, drainage, utility design, and a Storm Water Control Plan was prepared to help contribute to the hostel’s LEED certification. In order to support an increase in visitors and guests an additional accessible parking space and walkways were created as well.
Point Reyes National Seashore turns 50 this year so we are happy to celebrate Point Reyes Hostel’s 40 years of service with their new certification. Congratulations!
(Project Frog’s Hunter’s Point Community Center, pictures via Project Frog)
Last week CSW|ST2 received news that our first venture with Project Frog, the Hunter’s Point Community Center for the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, officially received its LEED Silver certification! We’d like to congratulate the team on developing a 5000 square foot, cutting edge facility for the community that is programmed for meeting spaces, arts and entertainment, job training, and recreation.
We are delighted that we were able to collaborate and share our sustainable visions with a company like Project Frog. They are a unique company that combines the green technological aspects of building materials and systems with the aesthetic values of architecture to develop innovative building components. Each building component is customized for the environment to maximize the efficiency of the systems and the comfort of the visitors. The Hunter’s Point Community Center is unique in that it echoes the texture and color of the historic industrial area as well as blending into its urban context.
CSW|ST2 worked with MKThink to develop a site plan focused around the concept of neighborhood compatibility, future connectivity with the Shipyard Streetscape, and the Open Space Plan. We maximized sustainable aspects of the site such as drought tolerant landscaping, storm water management, open space, and construction pollution prevention to help achieve the LEED rating. CSW|ST2 was also involved in the overall grading and drainage plan, utility design and erosion control plans for permitting.
We are very excited to see the results of the project and look forward to seeing the Community Center become a resource and a destination point for Hunter’s Point in the years to come.
(Completed San Quentin Storm Water Pump Repair)
CSW|ST2 recently completed a rehabilitation of the San Quentin Pump Station in San Rafael so we thought we’d show you how we get down and dirty…. and the best part is that we like it! The San Quentin Storm Water Pump Station was originally built from 1973-74 as part of the East San Rafael Drainage Assessment District. It was modified in 1997 with the addition of a 60” HDPE discharge line to handle the increase in storm water runoff in the Assessment District. Between 1997 and 2011 the pipeline has experienced settlement which has developed into operational problems with the station. Portions of the existing 60” HDPE discharge pipe had pulled away from the station wall approximately 4 1/2”, creating problems during the start-up phase, one of which was discharging water through the opening and eroding the surface and roadway.
(Contractor lowering 8.5 LF, 60″ stainless steel pipe in place)
The design developed by CSW|ST2 was divided into two approaches; the first solution was to remove 9 LF of the existing 60” HDPE and replace it with a fabricated 8.5 LF, 60” stainless steel pipe to be secured to the existing 60” HDPE discharge line with a fabricated stainless steel band. In the picture above you can see the contractors lowering the new 60″ pipe into place.
(Contractors moving new 60″ flanged, 4 LF spool into the pressure chamber)
The second solution was to fabricate a 60″ flanged, 4 LF stainless steel spool and lower it into the pressure chamber and install it into the discharge opening. The picture above shows the spool being moved into position by the crane.
(Raising the pressure chamber)
The final element of the station’s partial rehabilitation involved raising the pressure chamber. Raising the pressure chamber benefited the station for the following reasons:
- Raising the pressure chamber and adding a relief line reduced the pressure at start-up and put less pressure on the connection. For security reasons the discharge piping (8”+/-) was routed in such way as to avoid entrance to the station by climbing on top of the pipe.
- Removing the top of the concrete pressure chamber allowed the contractor to lower a flanged sleeve.
- The existing pressure chamber was damaged therefore it was necessary to repair it for structural integrity.
The project was completed in 15 days bringing us in on time and within our budget. So, not only can CSW|ST2 get down and dirty but we do it pretty efficiently as well!
With the current Construction General Permit the State Water Resources Control Board requires all Risk Level 2 and 3 projects to have effluent monitoring completed by certified QSP’s or Qualified SWPPP Practitioners. The Construction General Permit requires that monitoring occur during rain events that meet or exceed 1/2 inch (deemed a qualifying rain event) and that the monitoring results be posted to the SMARTS system. For Risk Level 2 or 3 construction sites, sampling should have been done during the last rain event earlier in January in the San Francisco Bay Area. Effluent monitoring is basically the testing of turbidity in the water sample; turbidity is the aggregate property of the water caused by particles of any type suspended in the water
The images above show, from left to right, an effluent sample tested for turbidity, the same effluent sample after the sediment particles settled from the water, and as comparison a sample of coffee. Notice the line which can be seen through two of the sample tubes, one of which is the coffee. The color of effluent isn’t necessarily an indicator of turbidity. Turbidity is caused by particles in the water making it appear cloudy or hazy. The effluent sample on the left has a turbidity of approximately 470 NTU. After allowing the particles to settle for a week, turbidity measured 50 NTU. Turbidity of the coffee is approximately 10 NTU.
(Water sample being prepared for turbidity testing)
The first step in testing is obtaining a sample of discharge effluent. The sample is carefully poured into the sample cell (we’ll call it a tube) to avoid contamination.
(Cleaning for clarity)
Special care is taken in the handling and cleaning of the tubes to ensure that dust, scratches, and fingerprints are not conflicting with the reading. Tubes should be handled only by the cap after filling to avoid contamination of the glass surface. In the picture above you can see Jeff placing a drop of silicone oil onto the tube which will be wiped over the glass to remove fingerprints and fill microscopic scratches on the glass surface.
(water sample being read by the turbidimeter)
Once the sample is prepared and cleaned it is set into the turbidimeter or nephelometer. Turbidity is measured through the optical analysis of scattered light. When the light hits the particles it scatters it in different directions, changing the initial direction of the light. The more particles the sample contains the more scattering, fewer amount of particles allows the light to continue in a straight path of travel. The light will illuminate the particles much like sunlight illuminates dust in the air. The State requires that the samples be tested at 500 NTU turbidity. NTU is nephelometric turbidity units which is defined by the reading of light scattered at a 90 degree angle to the original direction of light in the nephelometer.
(reading of a water sample)
The Construction General Permit has specific requirements for sites with effluent discharges exceeding 250 NTU and 500 NTU. If you have questions regarding how these levels affect your construction site contact your QSP.