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Mead & Hunt wins top state engineering award

MADISON, Wis. – Mead & Hunt accepted the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin Grand Award for excellence in engineering for work on the Outagamie County Regional Airport general aviation terminal and a State Finalist Award for STH 54 Duck Creek bridge.

ACEC Wisconsin’s award ceremony was held Friday, March 21. ACEC’s Engineering Excellence Awards competition honors the most outstanding engineering accomplishments of the previous year and pays tribute to exemplary achievements around the world.

Outagamie Airport Terminal
ACEC Wisconsin presented the top award, the Grand Award, to Mead & Hunt for its role in the design and planning of a general aviation terminal building, designed to meet the rigorous goals for Net Zero Energy buildings. This means that the building will provide as much renewable energy as it consumes in a calendar year. Specifically, the terminal measures emissions tied to building operation. This is consistent with the mission statement of the Outagamie County Regional Airport of being carbon neutral by 2030.

Completed in September 2013, it stands to be the nation’s first aviation building to achieve this designation. Twelve months of performance data such as utility usage will be compiled for verification. The facility is also on target to receive LEED Platinum Certification.

Both the consultant and the airport agreed that the building’s core design idea is performance driven. According to design architect Matt Dubbe, “every design choice from the structural system to the exterior envelope to interior materials were selected based on optimized performance. This required checking any pre-conceived notions at the door as to how it would look. Needless to say, this is not a common approach for architects.”

In addition, local materials and qualified trades were utilized to reduce transportation costs and support the local economy. Pride of ownership goes a long way to ensuring a multi-generational lifespan. Designed for a baseline lifespan of 100 years, the terminal takes on a loose fit, long life approach where it is flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of an unknown future.

The building design includes the following energy efficiency measures: geothermal heating and cooling, in-floor radiant conditioning, photovoltaic solar energy roof panels, high performance glazing, thermal mass with enhanced envelope insulation, occupancy sensors for lighting and mechanical systems, natural ventilation, rainwater capture cistern for water re-use and high efficiency electrical mechanical and plumbing systems. In addition, building materials were selected for their durability, low maintenance and indoor air quality attributes.

From start to finish this project has exemplified sustainable practices. As a Net Zero LEED-certified airport facility it is the first of its kind in the aviation industry. Further, it is a story about turning intentions into action. By undertaking this project, Outagamie County Regional Airport took a significant step to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, putting its vision into practice.

STH 54 Duck Creek Bridge
ACEC Wisconsin presented a State Finalist Award for excellence in engineering to Mead & Hunt for its role in the design of a bridge and roadway project in the Oneida Nation, Village of Hobart, Wisconsin. The bridge, trail system and retaining wall incorporated Native American artwork by artists from the nearby Oneida Nation to create an iconic structure that combined form with function for the community. 

The original goal of this project was to replace a 1935 Pratt overhead truss bridge with a new structure. Through coordination with the Oneida Nation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation a new STH 54 bridge over Duck Creek was constructed 200 feet north of the existing bridge while the existing bridge was rehabilitated for use as a pedestrian bridge. Relocation of the main highway from public spaces such as a library and residential neighborhoods allowed for the construction of pedestrian and bicycle paths as well as the inclusion of landscaping and green space to enhance overall safety and aesthetic appeal. The design team worked extensively with local artists to create unique artwork and aesthetics on the bridge.