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January 2016

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  • Building a Circle
    Building a Circle

    Posted: 1/21/2016
    Layout instruments simplifies new Overstock.com interior construction

    Project Synopsis

    A circle-shaped 260,000-square-foot, three-story building is being constructed for the new Overstock.com headquarters located in Midvale, Utah.

    The poured concrete building is a circle shape with an approximate 370-foot diameter and a circumference of 1,200 feet. Located on a 19-acre campus-like tract of land, the new facility will house the online company?s corporate offices, which includes the company?s employee training, data facilities, call center, and meeting rooms.

    Architecturally, at ground level, the building will look like a glass-and-concrete version of a Roman coliseum, but from the air, the building shape will look like a peace sign ? thus, it is referred to as the "Peace Coliseum."

    Building the interior walls and ceilings for a new headquarters facility for Overstock.com was the task for Ceiling Systems Inc.(CSI), Draper, Utah. The company specializes in acoustical ceiling systems, acoustical panels, framing, and drywall for commercial, industrial, and institutional projects.
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  • Topcon GNSS Streamlines Construction
    Topcon GNSS Streamlines Construction

    Posted: 1/19/2016
    Few companies in the U.S. do waste-to-energy as well as Covanta. The Morristown, N.J.-based provider of sustainable waste and energy solutions operates more than 40 facilities domestically, as well as locations in Canada, Europe and China, each committed to turning a once problematic material-residential and commercial solid waste - into a valuable source of energy.

    As part of its ongoing commitment to continually grow and improve, Covanta has been expanding its Niagara Falls, N.Y. location, a move that involves construction of a new rail-to-truck intermodal facility and gas boiler. When Pinto Construction Services (PCS) won the bid to make the intermodal project happen, company leaders saw a huge opportunity to draw upon the GNSS solutions that had proven so popular in past projects. That effort has resulted in the Buffalo, N.Y. contractor meeting stringent demands, working through challenging environmental conditions, and seeing jobsite efficiencies skyrocket.

    Waste Not...
    Driven by increasing global energy demands and traditional energy sources that are either dwindling or recognized as being environmentally harmful, alternative sources to meet those demands have come to the forefront. "Energy from Waste" technology, which involves processing of municipal solid waste into heat, electricity and pellets generally known as refuse-derived fuel, has proven beneficial both for its potential and its ability to divert waste from landfills.

    At Covanta's Niagara Falls facility, the expansion is allowing improvement on both fronts. The new boiler will increase the efficiency of incinerating more than 2,250 tons of municipal solid waste per day, while the rail-to-truck facility will serve as the focal point for unloading waste shipped in from metropolitan New York City - an area for which landfill disposal is all but a moot point.

    The upgrade/expansion has been in the works for some time, reports Greg Maziarz, PCS's survey manager and project engineer.

    "In late 2012, we started Phase 1 of the project, which was the realignment of one of the main rail lines into the plant," he says. "This was on an adjacent site that was very environmentally sensitive; all sorts of material had previously been buried there. We had to install the new track line, but anything we uncovered as a part of that process had to be surveyed and mapped.

    "Because the site was flat and wide open," says Maziarz, "we saw it as a great opportunity for a GNSS-guided machine control system, as well as multiple receivers on the site. We brought in equipment and started digging and grading. We actually used a GNSS-equipped dozer to mark out boundaries - a real plus since we would never have been able to get any wooden lath into the frozen ground."

    That effort was followed in the fall of 2014 by Phase 2, which was the remediation of a larger parcel next to the first. It was similar in nature as well - locating any structures in the ground, removing them or filling them with concrete, and so on.

    Using GNSS technology at the Covanta site paid dividends in other regards as well, Maziarz says. "We were compensated on volume, so using either the bucket of the excavator or a rover, we would position anything we dug up," he says. "Using Topcon Pocket 3D, we were making informative maps in real time, which we would then send off to the owner with supporting images.
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