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WHAT I DID THIS WEEK AT PC: AN INTERN’S PERSPECTIVE

July 31, 2012

What I did this week at PC: An Intern’s Perspective - Kelsie

Kelsie takes a moment to pose with Project Superintendent John Lavoie on the site of the Shelburne Museum Center for Art and Education project.

This fall I will enter my senior year at Clarkson University studying engineering and management. Being from Vermont, PC Construction is a prominent company I’ve always known about and I am privileged to have been selected as an intern.


FROM COAST-TO-COAST AND BACK AGAIN

FROM COAST-TO-COAST AND BACK AGAIN

July 24, 2012

It’s been a pleasure getting to know my fellow PC team members at the South Burlington headquarters and the Portland regional office, my home base.  Now I look forward to meeting existing and prospective clients…

OUR AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

July 24, 2012

Our aging infrastructure

Most municipalities have not set water and sewer rates at a sustainable level to provide the means to accomplish necessary infrastructure upgrades like those pictured in this recently completed project.

There is a systemic problem with our nation’s infrastructure and there is no short-term fix for the operational and funding weaknesses facing water and wastewater system purveyors that does not include higher rates and user fees. A recent report issued by American Water Works Association (AWWA) reveals that the cost of replacing pipes at the end of their useful lives will total more than $1 trillion nationwide between 2011 and 2035 and exceed $1.7 trillion by 2050.

For generations, most municipalities have not set water and sewer rates at a sustainable level, largely due to the political ramifications. When the topic of rate increases comes up, residents consider a price hike absurd if not insulting because, for most of our lifetimes, water has been provided plentifully and inexpensively. Many politicians have suffered political backlash while trying to raise artificially low usage rates, leaving the problem to the next elected official or generation to deal with.

In the past, low water and sewage rates were offset by new user fees, which in the boom years, were a goldmine for municipalities. Unfortunately, in many cases the money was not reinvested into the system and was, instead, directed to more politically popular improvements. With the housing bust, no new tap fees equates to utilities facing huge reductions in income and an inability to maintain their assets, much less replace aging piping and treatment systems.



WHAT I DID THIS WEEK AT PC: AN INTERN’S PERSPECTIVE

July 19, 2012

Hotel Vermont Project

Project Superintendent Wayne Carlson, Project Manager Matt Cooke, and I on the site of the Hotel Vermont project in downtown Burlington

I recently graduated from Norwich University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. I will continue my education this fall at Texas A&M University where I plan to obtain a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with a concentration in structural engineering. I am originally from Westford, Vermont, and have enjoyed the opportunity to stay in Vermont and intern with PC Construction this summer.


PLANNING FOR HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION

PLANNING FOR HOSPITAL CONSTRUCTION

July 19, 2012

Whether expanding or renovating existing health care space or constructing a new health care facility, there is a leap of faith required for leadership of the facility, even in the planning stages. Many varying constituencies…


WHAT I DID THIS WEEK AT PC: AN INTERN’S PERSPECTIVE

July 12, 2012

What I did this week at PC: An Intern’s Perspective

This spring I graduated from Vermont Technical College with an associate degree in construction management and I am heading back for another two years to earn my bachelors. For the summer, I decided to take an internship with PC Construction and put some of the skills I’ve learned in school to the test.


INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES IN WATER TREATMENT: COGENERATION

July 12, 2012

Cogeneration, otherwise known as CoGen, has been the latest buzzword in the water/wastewater industry and is gaining popularity with owners and operators of treatment plants. Just what is CoGen and how does it work?

Methane gas is a natural byproduct of the wastewater treatment process as a result of the separation and treatment of the solids during the anaerobic digestion process. In years past, most treatment plants simply flared off this gas with an open flame.

Basic operational schematic for a Microturbine

The basic operational schematic for a microturbine

With ever-increasing fuel prices and a desire to maximize energy savings, many owners are choosing to utilize the methane gas to power boilers, generators, or a combination of both. At the Airport Parkway WWTP in South Burlington, Vermont, PC Construction recently commissioned a CoGen system that provides both heat and electricity, reducing the plant’s operational costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions.


WHAT I DID THIS WEEK AT PC: AN INTERN’S PERSPECTIVE

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK AT PC: AN INTERN’S PERSPECTIVE

July 10, 2012

I recently graduated from The University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  Originally from Connecticut, I pursued every option to stay in Vermont after graduation and was extremely excited for the…