The KC Streetcar project ended 2016 with another award to add to a collection growing since its launch in May. Engineering News-Record honored the KC Streetcar project with the ‘2016 Best Project’ award in the Midwest Airport/Transit category. The ENR Regional Best Projects Awards are dedicated to honoring the best construction projects and the organizations that designed and built them in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Projects compete in 20 specialized categories and are judged by independent juries of industry leaders in design and construction. Projects are judged on five criteria including safety, innovation, construction quality, aesthetic and functionality, and teamwork. The KC Streetcar project was certainly a team effort and the following organizations were honored for being involved in the project:
Owner: City of Kansas City, MO
Lead Design Firm: HDR Engineering Inc.
Contractor: KC Streetcar Constructors (Herzog/Stacy & Witbeck)
Transit Agency: Kansas City Streetcar Authority
Consulting Engineering: Burns & McDonnell
KC Streetcar Named First Transit Project to Win Major Sustainability Award
Kansas City Public Works and the Streetcar Authority are being recognized by a national institute for their trailblazing sustainability practices. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure awarded the Kansas City Streetcar Project the Envision Platinum award for sustainable infrastructure, which is the highest level of the Envision rating system. This is the first transit project, and specifically the first streetcar project, to receive an ISI Envision sustainable infrastructure rating. HDR Inc., the lead planning and design firm, also shares the award.
“We are honored that Kansas City is being recognized for its sustainable practices,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “The KC Streetcar showcases sustainability, which is a guiding principle across many levels of our city’s operation.”
The Envision rating system from ISI measures sustainability in infrastructure projects in five categories: Quality of Life (QL), Leadership (LD), Natural World (NW), Resource Allocation (RA) and Climate and Risk (CR). These contribute to the positive social, economic and environmental impacts on a community during the planning, design and construction of infrastructure projects.
The KC Streetcar gained high ratings in the “Quality of Life” category based on its creation of an alternative mode of transportation that improves mobility and accessibility for a heavily developed urban area, within walking distance to a mix of commercial, office and residential uses. Additionally, the system was touted for its proximity to regional transit services, integration with bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and because it serves as an alternative to automobiles in the downtown area.
The project scored high marks in “Resource Allocation” standards through design and construction methods that minimized waste generated by the project, re-used or diverted waste from landfills, and implemented green infrastructure solutions where possible. For example, approximately 47 percent of the “Kite” Singleton Yard facility near Columbus Park contains recycled content and nearly 90 percent of its construction waste was diverted from the landfill. Furthermore, all 845 tons of steel used for the streetcar tracks were made with recycled metal scrap. The project team also took several measures to minimize the amount of excavated material that had to be taken off-site. Concrete removed during construction (from sidewalks, driveways and pavement) was recycled and reused in project construction, and all scrap metal was recycled. The planning and design also carefully considered water management and storm water runoff for both the Singleton Yard and the streetcar tracks themselves. Strategies to control erosion, minimize post-development site runoff and encourage groundwater recharge were implemented. In fact, the post-development storm water runoff levels are below pre-development levels.
The project also scored highly in “Leadership” due to its deeply collaborative planning and design processes and long-term visioning approach; and scored highly in “Climate and Risk” due largely to the system’s resilient design for winter weather.
Kansas City’s Public Works Department is the first in the city to receive an Envision Platinum award and has worked aggressively to adopt the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision system. In addition, 15 public works staff members have become Envision-credentialed and Coordinating Services Division Manager Patty Hilderbrand was named to ISI’s Board of Directors in 2015.
KC Streetcar Maintenance Facility Gets LEED Gold Certification
The streetcar’s maintenance facility is now certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Singleton Yard, which houses all four streetcars and has a staff of 25, is a 25,000-square-foot facility located in Columbus Park. It boasts energy-saving methods like sun-shading devices, LED light fixtures and daylight sensors that turn lights off when there is adequate light in the work spaces.
LEED certification considers several criteria, including use of construction materials, for its rankings. Forty-seven percent of The Singleton Yard is made of recycled materials and nearly 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from the landfill. The only level higher than Gold is Platinum.
The Singleton Yard is named after architect and long-time transit advocate E. Crichton “Kite” Singleton. The construction was managed by the the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Public Works Department, KC Streetcar Constructors and a joint venture of Stacey-Witbeck & Herzog Transit.
“Public Works makes it a priority to incorporate sustainable methods into our work and we are honored to be recognized for green techniques utilized in construction of The Singleton Yard,” said Sherri McIntyre, Public Works director.
The lead contractor was Whiting-Turner Construction, based in Kansas City, Missouri. The lead design firm was RNL Design.
Additional sustainable methods used at The Singleton Yard:
- Preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles
- Green space and native plants which require less water
- White roof and light-colored paving to lower external and internal temperatures
- Skylight tubes over the maintenance bays and mezzanine
- Water efficient plumbing fixtures
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification program for buildings and communities that guides their design, construction, operations and maintenance toward sustainability. It is based on prerequisites and credits that a project meets to achieve a certification level: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The USGBC is a third-party verification system for sustainable structures.
KC Streetcar Constructors Recognized for Sensory Garden Project
After installing the streetcar tracks along main street to prepare for the launch of the KC Streetcar, the KC Streetcar Constructors took some time to help an organization just south of the streetcar line. Now, the KC Constructors have accepted a Community Award from a national organization for their work on the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired Sensory Garden. The AGC presented the award to the KC Streetcar Constructors at a banquet in March. The sensory garden, located at 3101 Main, benefits Children’s TLC, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, and the YMCA Early Learning Center. The garden is located in the northeast corner of the Children’s TLC campus and features a 180 foot long wall created with pieces of KC Streetcar rail and other materials. Streetcar Constructors partnered with 40North Design to design the play area, which is an accessible space that creates an atmosphere that encourages visitors to explore through all of the senses.
Learn more about the Kansas City Streetcar here: KC Streetcar