Terra-Petra continues to be included in the Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ Book of Lists) as one of the 35 largest environmental engineering and consulting firms in Los Angeles County.
The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite® is presented annually by the California Lawyers Association (CLA) and is held at Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite, Thursday-Sunday, October 18-21, 2018.
The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite® is nationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious gathering in California of leaders in environmental, land use, and natural resources law. Many of the nation’s top environmental officials, lawyers, and other professionals will be at this well attended conference in the spectacular setting of Yosemite.
Here are some highlights from this year’s conference.
Two new multifamily developments in Los Angeles are getting a unique Tetris-style semi-automated parking system that could lead to a shift in how residents park their vehicles. In late summer 2018, Beverly Hills-based Markwood Enterprises broke ground on a 14-unit, 16K SF multifamily property in mid-Wilshire and a 13-unit, 12K SF multifamily development in Larchmont. Each offers one unit for very-low-income tenants.
Terra-Petra provided environmental consulting pre- and during the ground breaking as well as waterproofing consulting services for the a two-level subterranean semi-automated puzzle shift parking system developed by CityLift.
“Every developer in LA knows if you can’t park it, you can’t build it,” Markwood Development Director Simon M. Aftalion said. “This enables us to pack in the density in a responsible way. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to house this many units because we wouldn’t be able to park them.”
Multifamily developments in Los Angeles are required to have two parking spaces for each two-bedroom unit, one and a half spaces for one-bedroom units and one space for studios. But the innovative system by Oakland-based CityLift could start a trend in the city’s multifamily landscape that allows developers to build more density with less space, Aftalion said.
Dunsmuir Row, 1233 South Dunsmuir in mid-Wilshire will offer 18 parking spots, while the project, Elmwood Row, on 4807 Elmwood Ave. in Larchmont will have 16 parking spaces.
The puzzle shift — sometimes referred to as a puzzle lift — system appears as a stacked four-by-two grid. When a resident parks in a reserved spot, the system shifts or slides the vehicle or lifts it into place. The cars can be accessed independently. It takes an average of 30 seconds for a resident to retrieve a vehicle. Read the entire article on Bisnow.com.
Terra-Petra was recently contracted to consult and remove 5 underground storage tanks (UST) and one hydraulic lift on a site in Lynwood, California. These tanks have been left dormant for many years on an old gas station that is not currently operating. Each tank contained a limited amount of liquid, which requires special permitting, special pumping treatment, and special handing and distribution. The tanks are a variety of sizes, ranging from 100 gallons to 500 gallons, and located a depths ranging from 10 feet below surface to 20 feet below surface.
Underground storage tanks (USTs) are considered abandoned when regulated substances are no longer stored within those USTs and/or when monitoring requirements of the Operating Permit, Title 23 of California Code or Regulations, and California Health and Safety Code 25298 are not being implemented. Various risks can arise from abandoned USTs when they are not properly closed in place such as the possibility of leaked hazardous substances and contamination to the environment. Therefore it is important that sites with (possible) presence of abandoned USTs be addressed in order to avoid the consequences.
The permitting process through LAFD went very smoothly and efficiently (Terra-Petra has a great relationship with the agency). The process, from start to finish, took approximately 5-working days, including the required onsite soil testing as the tanks are physically removed.
Check out the photos taken on the jobsite here:
To date, Valdez has trained all of the inspectors at Terra-Petra and has been sent out-of-state on several occasions to consult and train agencies on how to conduct methane mitigation and waterproofing inspections.
With more than 12 consecutive years working for Terra-Petra, Valdez knows that the construction world is always changing and evolving.
As such, he believes in setting his inspectors up for success to adapt to any condition through comprehensive training and diligent preparation.
A registered Deputy Methane Barrier Inspector (DMBI) for the City of Los Angeles himself, Valdez holds certifications from multiple methane and waterproofing manufacturer’s and is trained to conduct inspections in various governing agencies throughout California.
He is also certified and trained to conduct inspections at various oil refineries and is trained for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Hazwoper).
Having completed the Dale Carnegie “Leadership Training for Managers” program, Daniel Valdez understands the importance of inspiring others to do great work.
On this Veteran’s Day 2017, Terra-Petra would like to honor our own brave Veterans, John Conaway – U.S. Marine Corps, Anthony Avina – U.S Marine Corps, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, H&S company, and Eduardo Rangel – U.S. Army, 2 time Afghanistan Veteran.
We would like to thank John, Anthony and Eduardo along with all of those who have served —and those who continue to serve— for your valiant service to defend this amazing country of ours. We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Terra-Petra’s Professional Engineer (PE Civil) and Vietnam Veteran, John R. Conaway has over 40 years of experience in project supervision, development, evaluation, training, and safety. His impressive and expansive career track started when John received a draft notice in late 1965, when the military presence started to increase in Vietnam.
On July 28, 1965, during a noontime press conference, President Johnson announced that he would send 44 additional combat battalions to Vietnam increasing the U.S. military presence to 125,000 men. Monthly draft calls were doubled from 17,000 to 35,000. “I have asked the commanding general, General Westmoreland, what more he needs to meet this mounting aggression,” Johnson said. “We will meet his needs. We cannot be defeated by force of arms. We will stand in Vietnam.” He further commented, “I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle. I have spoken to you today of the divisions and the forces and the battalions and the units, but I know them all, every one. I have seen them in a thousand streets, of a hundred towns, in every state in this union-working and laughing and building, and filled with hope and life. I think I know, too, how their mothers weep and how their families sorrow.”
Instead of going into the army, as he had expected, John went into the US Marine Corps, and served from January 1966 to January 1968. He received his training at Camp Pendleton, California, and was later transferred to Camp Lejeune, NC. One of the highlights of his service was being selected to run the supply department on a 3-month “Caribbean cruise.” During the cruise, his ship broke down, allowing him to spend several weeks in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The photo,of John above was taken after during war games in November 1966 on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico. He achieved the rank of sergeant in 18 months, which was a record time for getting to the rank of E-5. Although he came close several times, John was able to avoid being sent to fight on the front lines in Vietnam, although he is still considered a Vietnam-era Vet.
John earned a reputation for his expertise in design and inspection of methane mitigation systems and waterproofing for commercial and residential structures. John has worked with solid waste disposal, environmental engineering, managing road and facility maintenance and construction, permitting, project engineering and design in California, Nevada, and North Carolina.
Anthony B. Avina served in the United States Marine Corps for 8 ½ years (2005-2013) with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, H&S company. While serving in the Marine Corps, he received training as an Electro-Optical Ordinance Repairman which taught him how to repair and maintain night sights, thermal sights, missile systems, fire control systems and optical sights.
During his service he went on numerous training exercises across the United States from Yakima, WA, Boise, ID and, Fort Knox, Kentucky. He deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009-2010 for a tour of service overseas where he conducted internal/external base security and his job as an Electro-Optical Ordinance Repairman conducting preventive maintenance and repairs on the battalions’ vehicles.
By the end of his service he attained the rank of Sergeant and was running the day-to-day operations for the Instrument and Optics shop, and was responsible for the training and welfare of eight Marines.
Within his term of service, he received the following awards: Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon 2nd Award, National Defense Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and, NATO ISAF Medal.
In 2007, SPC Eduardo Rangel received a wartime award for valor and heroism from the US Army for “exceptional meritorious service while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. SPC Rangel’s personal courage and commitment to mission accomplishment in a combat zone, under the most extreme circumstances, greatly contributed to the success of Operation Enduring Freedom. SPC Rangel’s performance reflects great credit upon him, combined task force fury, combined Joint Task Force-82 and the United States Central Command.”
Eduard’s superiors highlighted the fact that he exhibited “courage under fire” in Shavak Afghanistan, and in the Paktia, Poli-alarm, and Logar provinces of Afghanistan while conducting combat patrols. He laid down heavy suppressive fire for his platoon members engaging the enemy. As the enemy attacked several times via well-organized ambushes, SPC Rangel remained calm while taking commands and calling out enemy distance and description. He participated in over 100 combat mounted and dismounted patrol missions in these Paktia, Poli-alarm, and Logar provinces of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom VIII. His tireless efforts, knowledge, and willingness to give resulted in accomplishment of all of his assigned missions covering thousands of miles of rugged terrain throughout all three provinces.
The second citation was awarded to Eduardo in 2010 for “meritorious service as a combat engineer while assigned to Alpha Company, 508th Special Troops Battalion from 04 March 2006 to 01, November 2010.” The citation goes on to state: “SPC Rangel’s technical and tactical competence, combined with his dedication to duty set the example for others to follow. His attention to detail and selfless service inspired every paratrooper to achieve success. His performance reflects great credit upon himself, Alpha Company, 508th Special Troops Battalion, The 82nd Airborne Division, and the United States Army.
One of the achievements highlighted in the award document outlines how Specialist Rangel was deployed to West Point NY where he was assisted in the training of over 120 Cadets in Demolitions and Urban Breaching Techniques. He was also a part of two deployments to the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, LA. During the JRTC deployment, he was key to his Platoon’s ability to conduct Route Clearance and Sanitation Operations. He mentored and instructed the Platoon on numerous techniques, tactics and procedures–often citing personal experiences.
The Terra-Petra Waterproofing Division will be an Exhibitor at the RCI International Convention and Trade Show in Houston in March, 2018. Meet the team at BOOTH 334 March 22-27.
The Wilshire Grand project grew from a handshake to become the tallest building west of the Mississippi. For three years, Times staff writer Thomas Curwen has chronicled its construction, from the initial planning phase to the topping off and final design touches. One the pages, are his stories of the Wilshire Grand tower.
To express his appreciation to all those who were involved with the Wilshire Grand project, Korean Air & Hanjin Group (property owner) Chairman Yang Ho Cho, placed the multiple-page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times on June 27, 2017. He wanted to publish the name of every person who worked on the project.
Working closely with A.C. Martin and Turner Construction on Los Angeles’ newest and tallest skyscraper, the Terra-Petra team is proud to be recognized in this LA Times piece (attached/linked PDF) above.
The Trojan Marching Band headlined the special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on the Plaza area to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Wilshire Grand Center (June 23rd). The media covered event was hosted by Korean Air & Hanjin Group. Chairman (and USC alum) Cho and his team also hosted a private party in the building that evening.
Below are a few highlights we grabbed during the grand opening ceremony—along with fresh photos of, what Chairman Cho describes as, “the crown jewel of Figueroa Street.” Again, Terra-Petra is proud to be recognized as part of this outstanding project.
Waterproofing membranes are a key element in building enclosure systems—a key element that ultimately gets covered up by a variety of finish materials including landscaping, green roofs, topping slabs, pavers and so on. As most of us know, excavation to expose a failed waterproofing membrane for repairs can be prohibitively expensive and in some cases impossible. For this reason, many designers are choosing to specify integrity testing to verify that the waterproofing membrane is free of discontinuities and penetrations through the membrane prior to the installation being permanently covered. When integrity testing is not specified, many contractors are often performing this type of testing voluntarily to avoid future problems or “call-backs.”
The most common integrity testing method is the flood test. Flood testing is typically performed by flooding waterproofed horizontal surfaces with at least two inches (50 mm) of water for a period of up to 48 hours. Temporary dams are often constructed to partition the test areas, provide an up-turned plaza edge and control the depth of the flood testing. During the flood test, access to the underside of the flooded areas is necessary for a visual inspection of water leakage. However, in the case of a membrane failure (leak), flood testing indicates only where water is penetrating through the entire assembly within the test area, not the location above where water is breaching the membrane. In addition, flood testing cannot be performed on vertical surfaces or at locations where the underside of the slab is not accessible.
The aforementioned restrictions and lack of conclusive data associated with flood testing has enabled Electronic Leak Detection (ELD) to gain momentum as a viable alternative to traditional flood testing. This article will focus on the different types of ELD and the applications where ELD is or is not well-suited.