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SPUR 26th of June, Tactical Ruralism

July 12th, 2013 by
The following post is authored by Sherwood summer intern, Froste Wistrom.
This summer a Swedish guy is in town. I have gotten the opportunity to learn from the staff of Sherwood Design Engineers through a 9 week internship. This spring I completed my second year of the Landscape Engineer program at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp outside of Malmö – on the southwestern tip of Sweden. The university does a lot of research on agricultural efficiency and houses a Landscape Laboratory, which studies vegetation systems, looking at how to combine productive forests and recreational parks. Landscape Architecture, Agronomy, Horticulture, Garden Design are other programs at the university.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp Castle

Malmö is known for being at the forefront of sustainability with internationally accredited projects such as the Western Harbor and the eco-city of Augustenborg. The Landscape Engineer program focuses on landscape construction and design, and soil studies, with a main focus on vegetation, horticulture, plant habitat, and vegetation dynamics. Sustainability is interwoven throughout all of our courses

During my first week at Sherwood Design Engineers I attended a SPUR event at their beautiful Urban Center on Mission Street. The topic was Tactical Ruralism and the speakers were well reputed Landscape Architect Thomas Woltz, from Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architecture and Winemaker Ames Morison of Medlock Ames Winery. Thomas Woltz spoke eloquently about the work that the company does, their values, and how they work with ecological restoration through landscape design and engineering.

Nelson Byrd Woltz has done the landscape design for Medlock Ames Winery tasting room gardens. The owners of the winery are determined to take responsibility of their land, through ecological restoration and other responsible practices. Thomas Woltz said that he strives to “make values physical”, by working closely with the client and understanding their principles, making them reality. Only part of the land is used for growing grapes, the rest has been re-planted with native species. Controlled burnings are used to maintain the native grass lands. I the vineyard sheep are brought in to do the weeding. Timing is important; if they arrive too late they might be tempted to eat the delicious vine buds.

Mantenace crew at work, Medlock Ames Winery

NBW has undertaken many other grand and inspiring projects. The most amazing to me is the 3000-acre Orongo Station on the North Island of New Zealand. This part of the country, as many parts of the world, has been badly deforested; many of their native species have been lost, both flora and fauna. The company came up with a plan of how to reforest the area using sheep track pathways in the hillsides, which gave the plants a small ledge where water could gather. In a century the temperate rainforest will be partly restored, however, progress is already apparent.

NBW Reforesting coast line of Orongo, New Zealand

For this project, pioneer species are planted first as they are fast growing but with a shorter life span. Once those species have grown up a bit they will act as nursing trees for other species that need a more protected environment in order to establish themselves. This natural succession is very important to understand if a project like this is to succeed. Nature will find its way, but clever landscape architecture and engineering can help it get there faster. Maintenance is an important aspect to get the vegetation system to work as intended. Thomas said “Artificiality reveals it as a product of intention”, this quote caught my attention because for me restoration projects are done to attempt to recreate the originality of a site. Perhaps you could look at this differently- that through the human footprint the site may be protected in the future.

Sherwood Design Engineers has worked with Nelson Byrd Woltz on several residential and commercial projects; the Hudson Yards in New York and Centennial Park in Nashville are the most current. I intend to learn more about these projects further throughout my time at Sherwood.

I highly recommend the Nelson Byrd Woltz book, Garden Park Community Farm. It is very interesting with beautiful photography. It has nice narratives, which really explain the aims and goals of their projects and how they were realized. I am looking forward to the rest of my summer here in San Francisco at Sherwood and for more SPUR events!

UCSF Mission Bay 25A: Sherwood Wins Design Competition with WRNS and Rudolph & Sletten

January 29th, 2013 by

Courtesy of WRNS Studio.

In a team headed by WRNS Studio and Rudolph and Sletten, Inc, Sherwood led the civil and sustainable infrastructure design for a new office building at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus. The team won the recent design/build competition for this 7-story, 266,000 GSF building inspired by the activity-based workplaces of high-tech companies, that will be used by physicians, faculty and students. The activity-based workplace design “anticipated the many different types of activities in which occupants will engage during a typical day… these spaces can shrink or grow depending on specific departmental needs over time” (ArchDaily). Sherwood is leading the civil design of the site, including the development of innovative stormwater management solutions and sustainable streetscape treatments. The project is targeting LEED certification.

Courtesy of WRNS Studio.

See the full article in ArchDaily here or click here to read the full article on Architizer.com.

 

POPOS! Privately Owned Public Open Spaces

January 25th, 2013 by

Last week I attended a very interesting talk at SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) focused on POPOS in SF and POPS in NYC. POPOS is an acronym for Privately Owned Public Open Space, while POPS stands for Privately Owned Public Space. The talk had an amazing panel of landscape architects, planners, and professors and was moderated by John King, the well known design critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. The talk filled the entire floor of SPUR building, spilling into the lobby and down the stairs…it was quite impressive!

The panel came together to discuss POPOS and answer questions such as: what are POPOs and where can you find them, what makes a successful publicly owned open space (both in design and regulation), and how do the POPOS help the city– do they help the city?

POPOS are spaces that came about as an incentive by the planning department to allow developers to increase vertical development in exchange for making an open space for public use. The concept was to create little bits of nature in the downtown area that could be a welcome escape from the bustling city environment. Now these spaces are required as part of new development, and as such, there are some amazing designers exploring how to create wonderful public open spaces, regulations being refined to ensure quality areas are developed, and controversy over both.

Tom Balsley (Thomas Balsley Associates, New York) started the discussion with how to make great public open spaces from a design perspective. In NYC there are over 500 POPS, and therefore, the City has learned a lot of lessons such as how to keep a space activated, where it should be located, how much fencing is appropriate, etc. It seems as though in NY the regulations are pretty defined and dictate a lot of the design decisions (for example, POPS can’t be on the north side of a building). Perhaps this is a direction SF regulation should move?

NY POP with Cafe Seating

Next Jerold Kayden(Professor of Urban Planning Design at Harvard) talked for a bit about how we should think of creating public spaces, and what needs to happen from a planning perspective so that cities are encouraging creation of well purposed and enjoyable open space. He talked about how 41% of NYC’s POPS are really “bad spaces” (not a lot of daylight, poorly programmed, etc) and that 50% are out of compliance with current regulations. He thinks we need to focus on making bad spaces good, and focus on regulations to make proposed spaces “worth it” for the cities and residents. We should be thinking holistically about an area and what it needs. He coined “decentralized central park” as a way to think about what types of open spaces are needed in certain areas.

Josh Switzky represented SF Planning and discussed how the planning department is thinking about all these concepts. They are trying to determine how to create some roof top spaces, some plazas, some sidewalk expansions, and how to make sure that SF doesn’t land up with all roof top open spaces that are hard for the public to access.

Access seems to be the number one thing that San Francisco could improve. Very few people know about these spaces, generally there is only a very small plaque distinguishing them, and they can be very complicated to get to. When telling my roommate about this talk, she was psyched I went just because now I had the “inside scoop” on how to find some new, fun lunch places. While that is true, it’s probably not a good thing that she thinks you have to be a designer and SPUR member to find out about these “public” spaces.

Margret Crawford (Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley, College of Environmental Design) discussed something I hadn’t thought of yet. These spaces are good at breaking up the urban fabric of the downtown area, and a nice place for the working class to sit and eat lunch, however they are limited and do not invite ALL types of public. The very fact that they are limited to the financial district/downtown area of the city limits them to a primarily working public that is comfortable in a corporate environment. It’s interesting to think about how to strike a balance between designing a space for everyone, and one to serve your downtown target audience.

Lastly, Marta Fry (Marta Fry Landscape Architecture, SF) who just designed a beautiful rooftop POPO at 1 Kearny St in San Francisco discussed how some POPOS really aren’t very public at all. For example, 1 Kearny, requires you to check in at the front, travel up to the 11th floor (go back down for a key to the restroom if needed) and really doesn’t make one feel like an invited guest. How can the city change that? There are innate controversies when you have private investment developing a space that for public improvement– what is the best way to make the investment beneficial to both parties?

1 Kearny Rooftop POPO: Designed by MFLA

This got me thinking about other public open spaces that I know about through working at Sherwood. Two of our past projects, Mint Plaza and Davis Court, seem like POPOS, however they are a bit different. Both of these spaces are very inviting public areas, but what sets them apart from other POPOS, and how could new POPOS be designed in similar ways?

Mint Plaza: an inviting plaza for the public

Mint Plaza is actually publicly owned, however it was redeveloped privately and is maintained by the “Friends of Mint Plaza.” Davis Court is privately owned, however, as it is part of Davis Street, it needs to function as a corridor for vehicular and pedestrian traffic; the developer also wanted it to be a space that was inviting to public to walk through and maybe stay a while.

Davis Court: A urban plaza that also functions as a vehicular corridor

 

Davis Court: inviting to sit a while while still functioning as a “street.”

In both cases the developer wanted to make the space attractive, safe and accessible to the public as that helps attract businesses to the surrounding retail space and customers to those businesses. The developer was also helping to embrace sustainability goals with open space and community concepts (not to mention wonderful, green, LID Stormwater Management designed by Sherwood!)

Is there a way to make POPOS that are easy to find and used by all types of public more common? Maybe allowing some retail/cafes at POPOS would help incentivize the private shareholder to make them more accessible. Tom Balsley mentioned that in New York, POPS can have cafes as long as they have as much seating for the general/non-paying public as the customers. Maybe this model would be good for some of the POPOS in SF.

As you can see from this lengthy post, the talk was very interesting and changed my perspective from “of course POPOS are good, what could be bad about an awesome, new, rooftop garden I’m allowed to go to…” to really thinking about what makes a good space vs. an unused “waste of space.” Luckily, planners and designers have been thinking about this for a while and are trying to build those elements into POPOS that are in design now, and into regulations for the future.

So get out there and visit POPOs when you can, below are some links to help you find them all!

SPUR Guide to POPOS

Get a POPOS Map on your Smart Phone!

See the POPOS on Google Maps!

 

Greenbuild 2012: In Review

January 17th, 2013 by

The following post is authored by student and Sherwood blogging intern, Rachel Gross.

The United States Green Building Council’s Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference devoted to green buildings. Professionals travel from all over the world to network with one another, attend educational sessions, wander through huge exposition halls, and go on tours of green buildings around the city.  This year’s Greenbuild was held in San Francisco during the week of November 12th and it was the largest green building conference ever!

I attended Greenbuild 2012 with nine other students from the University of Illinois USGBC Students chapter. This was my first Greenbuild and the experience blew me away!  Overall, I felt that the conference was fascinating, educational, fun, and most importantly, inspiring. And I think the other 35,000+ attendees would agree with me.

The South Building Entrance of the Moscone Center, one of the three Greenbuild Conference buildings.

The conference officially started on the morning of Wednesday, November 14th, although certain events including LEED workshops and a career fair started on the Monday and Tuesday that week. The Opening Plenary kicked off the conference on Wednesday with speeches from some outstanding members in the green community. First, USGBC President Rick Fedrizzi took the stage and welcomed the audience of about 10,000 to the conference. Then, the Edwin Lee, the mayor of San Francisco, made a notable entrance to the tune of “Gagnum Style” and welcomed conference attendees to the city.  He outlined some of San Francisco’s accomplishments and policies regarding green building and waste, which completely impressed me. It is so amazing to see a city that takes sustainability seriously and actively incorporates environmental principles into people’s lives on a governmental, commercial, and personal level.

One topic that really stood out to me is San Francisco’s commitment to reaching its goal of diverting 100% of waste from landfills. Mayor Lee informed the Greenbuild audience that the city is well on its way to this zero waste by 2020 goal, with over 77% of waste diverted from landfills in 2011. San Francisco has achieved great success in reducing waste through enacting strong legislation mandating participation in city-wide waste reduction goals, creating a community culture focused on recycling and composting, and through it’s long-term partnership with the waste management company Recology. Recently, controversy regarding Recology’s monopoly on the city’s waste management services has led to several lawsuits and broken contracts between the company and San Francisco. While more competition for waste management services could drive down prices for these services, it could also disrupt the partnership between the city and Recology that has proved beneficial in the past. For example, the “Fantastic 3” concept of providing different bins for trash, recycling, and compost came out of collaboration between the two entities in 1999 and is now prevalent throughout the city. I got firsthand experience with the “Fantastic 3” through volunteering at Greenbuild to help attendees sort their trash into the appropriate disposal bin. This helped the conference reach one of its “Greener Greenbuild” goals of 85% waste diversion.


“Fantastic 3” recycle, compost, and trash bins. Photo curtsey of sunsetscavenger.com

After the Opening Plenary concluded, the Expo Halls were opened with ribbon cuttings and applause. The conference’s three Expo Halls alone could keep a person busy for the three days of the conference. Over 1,000 exhibitors from every sector of green industry were there to share their products and services with attendees. These exhibitors created great opportunities for conference attendees to do business, learn, and network.

Networking with other professionals in the green building industry is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of Greenbuild. I had the opportunity to meet with a huge variety of people that all shared my vision and passion for sustainable design. I actually got connected with Sherwood Institute by talking to Michael Thorton in one of the Expo Halls. I then attended the Sherwood Greenbuild happy hour and art opening and had the opportunity to meet some absolutely incredible people connected with Sherwood Institute and Sherwood Design Engineers. I would never have had this incredible opportunity had I not attended Greenbuild.

Education sessions are also a huge draw for a lot of people at Greenbuild. LEED accredited professionals can earn up 15 hours of continuing education credits at the 200 different educational sessions. These sessions include a Master Series of green leaders as well as many other sessions covering topics ranging from social responsibility to site and water engineering to USGBC updates. I was able to attend seven of these educational sessions and I learned so much! The lecturers are clearly leaders in their field and they can share their knowledge and experience with the audience through lecture, discussion, demonstration, and even role-play.

One of the most interesting sessions I attended was titled “EcoDistricts: From Dream to Reality” by Diane Sullivan (National Capital Planning Commission), Naomi Cole (Portland Sustainability Institute), and Charles Kelley (ZGF Architects). This session focused on EcoDistricts (neighborhoods that focus on green buildings and green infrastructure) in Washington D.C. and Portland. What set this session apart for me was that the presenters focused on the public policy and community outreach side of sustainability in addition to the technical details. They invited members from the audience on stage to role-play as members of a community that was considering becoming an EcoDistrict. Each person got to voice their concerns and the experts demonstrated how to respond to many of the issues that were raised. Greenbuild did a great job at offering sessions that presented topics on the technical, political, economic, and social side of sustainable development.

I was also able to attend a fascinating education session about one of Sherwood Institute’s own projects called “Restoring Bangalore Lakes with Green Infrastructure”. John Leys (Sherwood Institute), Vivek Menon (Invicus Engineering), and Michel St. Pierre (EHDD Architecture) spoke about the deplorable condition of the lakes surrounding the city of Bangalore, India and the exciting work that Sherwood Institute and its partners are doing to fix this problem. To find out more, click here.

The conference officially ended with the Closing Plenary on Friday morning. Of the many engaging closing speakers, the two standouts were California Governor Jerry Brown and architect, designer, and author William McDonough.  Similar in tone to Mayor Lee, Governor Brown highlighted California’s green policies and painted an exciting picture of the state’s future. William McDonough, author of Cradle to Cradle, closed the conference with his wry sense of humor and no-nonsense attitude about environmentally friendly buildings and products. He left us with a vision of paradigm shift from doing “less bad” to doing “more good”.

My Greenbuild experience ended with a full-day tour of green affordable housing in Oakland. Greenbuild’s full-day and half-day tours allow conference attendees to see the implementation of many of the ideas discussed at Greenbuild in the area surrounding San Francisco. Seeing these ideas applied in the real world perfectly wraps up a truly wonderful experience at Greenbuild 2012.

A beautiful green affordable housing development in Oakland designed by architect David Baker.

Needless to say, I cannot wait for Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia! Greenbuild 2013 will take place Nov 20-22, so mark your calendars!

Balboa Skatepark featured on ESPN.com

November 7th, 2012 by

Image courtesy of ESPN

On September 29th, the new skate park in Balboa Park opened, grabbing the attention of ESPN. Sherwood’s civil design, in collaboration with landscape architect Cliff Lowe Associates and skate park designer Speerco, produced a modern and diverse skate park that provides a variety of skating features and caters to skaters of all skill-levels. Located right new the Balboa BART station, this new park provides a new, easily accessible place for kids to skate.

Read the full article from ESPN here.

The Living Machine® at SFPUC

August 3rd, 2012 by

This morning, a group of Sherwood engineers were given a tour of the Living Machine® wastewater treatment system at the new headquarters of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The new headquarters building is a model of innovation and sustainable design, from its energy efficiency, to water reuse, to ecological and environmental benefits. Living Machine® Technology treats and reuses wastewater by incorporating plants and beneficial bacteria with innovative engineering. Based on the principles of wetland ecology, the tidal process cleans water, making the Living Machine® extremely energy-efficient and allowing the system to produce reclaimed water that meets high-quality reuse standards.

Group Photo

Our engineers in the public café, in front of a section of the Living Machine®.

This was a unique project, according to Scott Nelles the Living Machine® Director of Sales, because the SFPUC acted as the owner, the financer, and the regulator for the project. In a building that houses around 950 employees, they consume 60% less water than other similarly-sized buildings.  The SFPUC will save approximately 750,000 gallons of water per year by using the reclaimed water for on-site irrigation and for water to flush toilets.

The system in the SFPUC HQ is slightly different than the typical Living Machine®. In the first step, the mixed grey and black water flows into a primary tank, where solids settle and can be flushed directly to the sewer. The water then moves into a separate equalization tank, before moving into Stage 1 of the wetland treatment.  Stage 1 accelerates the tidal wetland cycle to 12-16 times a day, with Cells A & B alternating between full/empty. The aggregate media-filled planters promote the development of micro-ecosystems, which efficiently remove nutrients and solids from the wastewater, allowing the plants above to thrive.

Stage 1 Planter

This planter on the Golden Gate Avenue side, contains cells A & B of the Stage 1 tidal flow wetland treatment. Though Stage 1 treats the rawest wastewater, the planter has no negative odor!

The water then moves onto Stage 2, where at the SFPUC it is treated through trickle-down filtration, in 3 different cells. Because the water is much cleaner in the second stage, different plants are able to grow, allowing for greater ecological diversity. Even if a pest infests a certain species of plant, the rest are likely to remain untouched.

Stage 2 Cells

Cell C of Stage 2 resides both inside and outside the café (left) while Cells A & B sit along Polk Street (right) . The plants will grow to be much larger; these were only planted in mid June.

The water is then transported to the Polishing stage, in which it is cleaned for reuse. At the SFPUC, the water undergoes both UV and chlorine treatment to ensure that it can be sanitarily reused for both irrigation and toilet flushing. The utility room also held the touch-screen controls and monitors for the entire system. Click here to view an animation of the typical Living Machine® process.

Living Machine Controls

Above is the touch-screen control panel, detailing the processes and current statuses of each of the 6 stages of the system (primary, stage 1, stage 2, polishing, reuse & rainwater capture).

Click here to learn more about other sustainability features of the new SFPUC headquarters, or watch it in a video!

Bay Bridge Tour: Part 2

July 31st, 2012 by

Last week, we posted about some of the information our engineers gathered during their tour of the new San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. Here is part two of our post, with more stories about the construction process.

Great care has been taken to help protect the environment in the planning and construction of the bridge. When driving up to the Yerba Buena Transition structure, there was a section of water near the island that was blocked off by buoys. These buoys designated a zone with eelgrass, a protected marine plant that provides food and shelter to many fish and other local species.  This shows just part of the great effort being made to conserve the environment around the bay bridge, even during construction.

The bay bridge is also home to the largest colony of double-crested Cormorants; these birds make their nests in the underside of the old east span. This means, that along with all of the other construction, special platforms have been added to the underside of the new bridge, so that the birds can make a new home once the old bridge has been taken down. These “cormorant condos” are an effort to protect this species of special concern, and cost around $550,000 to implement. You can read more about these structures and birds in this San Francisco Chronicle article.

Cormorant Condos

The thin platforms along the underside of the skyway are the “Cormorant Condos”.

As a final step in environmental protection, the old east span will be demolished in a different way. There will be no explosions or collapsing bridges, because the original east span was not only built with asbestos, but much of the paint contains lead, and it would be very damaging for those materials to end up in the water. So the old bridge will be cut down piece-by-piece, to ensure that it is disposed of properly, and to keep the environment safe.

One of the many challenges that the design faced was its proximity to historical landmarks and sites on Yerba Buena Island. For example, a torpedo warehouse from World War II is located under the transition structure, and the workers must take extra precautions when working there, being extra careful not to drop any tools, bolts etc. In order to help them remember, the falsework under the bridge is painted grey in that section. However, a real challenge came when it was discovered that the designed bridge would cast a shadow over Nimitz mansion, which belonged to respected admiral Chester W. Nimitz. This was considered disrespectful to the admiral and the historic site, and the Yerba Buena transition had to be shifted so that the mansion would remain always in the sun during the day.

Torpedo Warehouse

Falsework is painted grey overtop of a historical torpedo warehouse.

While touring the new bridge, there was also ample opportunity to examine the old east span as well. As part of the tour, a “secret” protective troll that is welded onto the bridge was pointed out. It stands on the replacement section of the upper deck; the original section fell during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. This troll was created by local artist Bill Roan and then welded by ironworkers, without permission, onto the replacement deck. Trolls are commonly known as protectors of bridges, and the industrial troll seems to have done its part since then to protect the east span. It is unclear what will happen to the troll after the demolition of the old east span.

Bay Bridge Troll

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

We look forward to the opening of the Bay Bridge in the fall of 2013!

Click here to learn more about the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. 

Bay Bridge Tour: Part 1

July 27th, 2012 by

On July 24,  a few of our engineers attended an informational session and boat tour of the new east span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, hosted by CalTrans. The east span of the new Bay Bridge includes the Oakland touchdown, the skyway, the self-anchored suspension span and the Yerba Buena transition structure, and it is currently slated to open Labor Day weekend, 2013. Here are some of the facts and stories that stood out.

Group Photo

Our engineers, in front of the self-anchored suspension span.

The self-anchored suspension main cable is quite extraordinary. The cable is 2.6 feet in diameter, and stretches nearly 1-mile long. The cable is made up of 137 bundled “strands”, which are 2.5 inches in diameter. These strands are each comprised of 127 5mm wires, with more than 17,000 single, mile-long wires making up the entire main cable. Each of the 5mm wires is strong enough to hold a military-grade Hummer. Now that’s impressive.

Cable Cross Section

The sample cross section of the main suspension cable highlights the large number of strands by using different colors

Completing the deck of the suspension portion was a feat in itself. The deck is made out of 28 pre-fabricated sections that were brought to the site through the Panama canal. In order to then lift these sections up the “Left Coast Lifter”, a custom crane, was built and is the largest of its kind on the West Coast; the 1,900 ton shear leg crane holds a 328-foot boom, and it supported by a 400×100 foot barge.

Left Coast Lifter

The “Left Coast Lifter” moored in Oakland.

The bridge will also be a model for seismic safety innovation. The new span not only has a 150-year expected life, but it is designed for a 1500-year earthquake, making it one of the safest places to be in the event of another major earthquake in the Bay Area. The main tower is comprised of four legs that are connected by shear link beams, which allow all four legs to move independently. The shear link beams can bend and shift, keeping the structure upright and undamaged during an earthquake. There are also hinge pipe beams installed within the deck, which allow for six feet of lateral movement of the bridge (which is a phenomenal upgrade from the old bridge, which only allowed for four inches of movement). A final measure taken to withstand earthquakes is the battered piles under the skyway, which extend 300 feet into the ground for superior stability.

Check out a video simulation of the seismic innovations by clicking here.

 

Here are some very notable numbers that describe the new bridge:

  • 150,000 people have worked on the bridge thus far, from the engineers to the painters.
  • 270,000 cars cross the bridge daily, emphasizing the importance of the side-by-side construction of the new bridge, and the coordination required for the Oakland touchdown and the Yerba Buena transition structure.
  • The skyway, which makes up 1.2 miles of the 2.2 mile bridge, not only has 2 parallel viaducts that separate the 5-lane east and west-bound traffic, but each deck also includes 10 foot shoulders, that will help keep traffic moving in the event of an accident.
  • Combined, all of the skyway elements contain approximately 450,000 cubic yards of concrete, 120 million pounds of reinforcing steel and 200 million pounds of structural steel. The deck sections are the largest of their kind of that have ever been cast, and were made in Stockton, CA.

Stay tuned for our next post, about more interesting features of the new east span.

Click here to learn more about the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.

Bayview Opera House Renovation

May 29th, 2012 by

San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre (aka South San Francisco Opera House) is currently undergoing structural and accessibility renovations. The project is run by SF Arts and funded by a collection SF agencies. Sherwood is working with Tom Eliot Fisch architects and Hood Design Studio landscape architects on a number of site improvements, including a collaboration with Walter Hood in site layout while specializing in stormwater systems.

Lincoln Blvd, Presidio

May 2nd, 2012 by

Sherwood is working on a project with Presidio Trust Transportation Department and GGNPC to improve San Francisco’s Lincoln Boulevard. The project entails widening and improvements related to integrated bike paths, as well as safety measures such as creating consistent road and shoulder widths.

Our sustainability goals for the project were to develop site-wide consistent drainage conveyance and treatment systems. These include stormdrain infrastructure improvements, roadside vegetated swales, terraced treatment bays and nestled raingardens. We accomplished all this while carefully ensuring the preservation of existing natural systems and the protection of the sensitive coastal bluff