Texas Council of Engineering Companies - 2010 Excellence in Engineering Gold Medal Winner
Costello, Inc. was awarded a 2010 Gold Medal for its Two-Dimensional (2D) Hydraulic analysis of the Brazos River (the Brazos) overbank flooding near Richmond, Texas. Projects in this competition, held annually by the Texas Council of Engineering Companies, are judged on their use of innovative methodologies, future value to the engineering profession, social and economic considerations, complexity, and meeting or exceeding the client’s needs. The project was completed for Planned Community Developers, the developer for a master-planned community, River’s Edge, situated along the bank of the Brazos within the area of the overbank flooding.
The need for the 2D Modeling was due to the recent FEMA re-mapping of the Brazos which had resulted in significant increases in flood levels near the River’s Edge development. Costello, Inc. used state-of-the-art 2D hydraulic modeling technology to simulate the Brazos River overflows and more accurately predict peak flood levels in the vicinity of the River’s Edge development. As a result, citizens will pay lower premiums for flood insurance than they would have paid if the results of FEMA’s study had remained in effect for this area. In addition, the developers will have significantly less mitigation expense because of the lower flood levels.
Texas Council of Engineering Companies - 2009 Excellence in Engineering Silver Medal Winner
Fort Bend Coutny Regional Levee Recertification Project
Costello, Inc. managed the the joint recertification of 7 levee districts in Fort Bend County, Texas. As a part of FEMA’s re-study of the Brazos River (resulting from their dFIRM program in Fort Bend County), new flood levels on the Brazos River would have caused numerous levee districts to lose their certification and, thus, put 100’s of millions of dollars of assessed value into the 100-year floodplain. County officials organized a regional recertification process to streamline this undertaking for the levee districts. Mr. Frank served as lead on the County’s technical advisory / review committee which involved numerous meetings with FEMA officials and other local engineers, building consensus with FEMA officials, continual review and re-working of the FEMA models, and most importantly, working with FEMA to complete the map revisions until levee construction/ re-construction was completed. This project saved County taxpayers over $26 million in construction cost alone and won a Texas CEC Engineering Award of Excellence in 2009.
Texas Council of Engineering Companies - 2008 Excellence in Engineering Silver Medal Winner
Gleannloch Farms - Planning and Engineering to Maintain the Legacy of Gleannloch Farms
Located east of State Highway 249 and north of Spring Cypress Road in Northwest Harris County, Texas, the project encompasses 2160 acres and includes a lakeside aquatic complex, a fabled equestrian center, and a 27-hole championship golf course. The community contains over 40 sections of residential development and several large commercial reserves.
The engineering services provided by CI for the Gleannloch Farms project have included utility district engineering, water and wastewater treatment plant design, underground utility and paving design, drainage design and surveying support services. The final phase of drainage for the project was completed in February of 2007 and all other infrastructure is complete for the residential areas. As any developer can attest, large master-planned communities are difficult projects on which to make money because of the large up-front infrastructure costs and the over-all carry of the land. Trend relied on CI to provide not only sound engineering services for their project but also to provide value engineering. At the same time, the two parties worked together to maintain the natural setting and environmental quality of the community.
A land development project is a team effort and its success is dependent upon each member of the team taking ownership in the project and providing excellent service. Trend Development built such a team and the success of the project is evidenced by its fast-paced project build-out. Finding cost-effective ways to deal with the challenges of developing, while preserving the natural environment and providing quality infrastructure, was CI’s contribution to maintaining the legacy of Gleannloch Farms.
Texas Council of Engineering Companies - 2007 Excellence in Engineering Silver Medal Winner
Summerwood - Stormwater Quality & Master Drainage Plans
Summerwood is a 1400-acre development in northeast Harris County which borders on Lake Houston and has significant wetland areas. Wetlands generally mean loss of land, United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permits (which are generally a very time-consuming process) and/or significant mitigation efforts and cost. Newland Communities (Newland) faced such an issue on their purchase of the Summerwood tract. However, rather than consider the wetlands a “problem”, Newland chose to consider the wetlands an “opportunity”. It was Costello, Inc’s job to devise a master drainage plan and stormwater management plan that would not only utilize the wetlands to their maximum potential but also restore and/or improve their integrity, which had been degraded in recent years.
The first major drainage constraint for this tract of land was maintaining the integrity of the existing wetlands along Carpenters Bayou. The drainage plan utilized the wetlands to convey developed flows without causing flooding of the proposed subdivisions. The hydration of the wetlands was maintained by allowing low flows to continue to drain into Sheldon Reservoir south of the project.
In order to provide for hydration of the wetlands during dry periods, CI assisted in negotiations with the City of Houston to provide non-potable water from their NE regional water plant for this purpose. Additionally, a channel along the south boundary of the property was designed to convey flows in excess of pre-development levels directly into Lake Houston. CI worked closely with the Dept of Fish & Wildlife to address the wetlands issue, and to obtain the required Section 404 Permit from the Corps of Engineers. A second drainage consideration for the project was the quality of developed runoff being discharged into Lake Houston. To address this issue, CI designed a series of low-level weirs for ponding and sediment control within the south ditch. The approximate construction cost for the ditch was $2,800,000 and it was completed in 2004.