Featured Engineer – KPFF Consulting Engineers

Very Large Cranes in Port of Tacoma for Recent Reconfiguration of Pier

Romtec Utilities designs and supplies pump stations for all water pumping applications. Engineering firms working on larger projects will often work with Romtec Utilities for the design and supply of pump stations engineered for their unique projects. This allows engineering firms to focus their skilled engineers on larger aspects of a project while receiving a warrantied pumping system that will operate well for many years.

KPFF Consulting Engineers

KPFF Consulting Engineers is an accomplished engineering firm that has utilized Romtec Utilities for its pump station projects on several occasions. KPFF completes many impressive engineering projects across the world. Its team of engineers have knowledge and experience in structural engineering, civil engineering, surveying, and many other engineering disciplines. KPFF has completed many breathtaking projects, but today we’re going to take a closer look at a few projects that Romtec Utilities was involved in completing.

Power Station for New Cranes and Lift Station

Port of Tacoma

A significant reconfiguration of Pier 4 at the Port of Tacoma required extensive engineering work to make new upgrades possible. The existing pier needed to be demolished and replaced in order to accommodate larger container vessels and some of the largest dockside cranes in the Northwest. The slope of the shore also needed to be dredged back to give large cargo ships clear berth at the pier the new cranes will operate. These impactful changes at the pier also made an extensive redesign of stormwater and wastewater infrastructure necessary.

Completing all of the site work required extensive knowledge in several engineering disciplines and ample skill in project management. The first undertaking in this project was the demolition of the existing concrete pier. Once the pier was removed, KPFF engineered a dredging system to remove 550,000 yards² of sediment from the shore floor with environmentally conscious disposal methods. As the civil engineer for the project, KPFF was also responsible for developing the power systems for the four cranes and shipping terminal. The improvements made to Pier 4 have been completed and now allow the Port to receive ultra-large container ships up to 18,000 TEU. The next KPFF project we’ll review required a seismic upgrade to an existing building.

Groundwater Management System for Essential Service Building

Washington County

The Charles D. Cameron Public Service Building in Hillsboro, Oregon required a seismic upgrade. The building was originally constructed in 1990 and met all of the seismic design requirements of the time. However, insights into the Cascadia Subduction Zone indicated that the building was not fit to handle a powerful 9.0 magnitude seismic event. Washington County is in the process of completing several seismic retrofit projects and this is the first to be completed. During this project several other improvements were made to the building to address issues the county was experiencing with the building.

KPFF was contracted as the structural and civil engineers for this project and acted as design consultants for SERA Architects. Working together, KPFF and SERA engineered a solution that would improve the seismic stability of the building without requiring an extensive retrofit process. The exterior of each of the buildings corners was reinforced with concrete shear walls. This improved the lateral load bearing capabilities of the entire building without significant reconstruction. Other issues addressed in the building included adding a groundwater mitigation system that helped fix a recurring leaking problem in the basement level where IT equipment is housed. Romtec Utilities assisted in the removal of groundwater by providing four stormwater pump stations surrounding the building and one in the basement with perforated holes in the wet well that allow groundwater to permeate inside. The construction of these improvements were completed in phases to prevent city employees from being displaced and keep the building operational. This building is now equipped to handle 350-year seismic event while protecting the life and safety of occupants.

Four Stormwater Pump Stations Surround this Building to Drain Groundwater

KPFF provides engineering services for many types of projects. Regardless of the nature of a project or the environment the work is carried out in, KPFF approaches each task with the flexibility needed to design a solution for the unique requirements of each job. Both projects we reviewed today required extensive engineering to complete and faced unique design challenges. KPFF was able to meet the expectations of the Port of Tacoma and Washington County by completing their engineering work while coordinating with multiple contractors and vendors. Click here for more information on KPFF and their comprehensive engineering services.