Delivering on Lehigh Valley Industrial Market Demand
When it comes to industrial space, bigger isn’t always better. Many tenants in the market for smaller footprints (between 80,000 – 150,000 SF) are overlooked.
Filling an unmet need in Lehigh Valley, PA, the Lehigh Valley Flex Center will provide options for light manufacturing and small-footprint flex space, with access to several major roadways.
A redevelopment of former office space, the 31-acre project sits on sinkhole-prone soil. In addressing the challenging topography, the project team navigated off-site stormwater flows, an existing stormwater management system, and Township concerns about the proposed plan.
Meeting J.G. Petrucci’s goal to construct the project and deliver operational space to the market as soon as possible, the team also provided complex construction sequencing plans, which ultimately drove both grading and site circulation designs.
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Bohler provided site civil engineering and permitting services for the center, which features 470,000 SF of industrial space within three buildings and parking for more than 40 trailers.
Redesigning Stormwater Management in Karst Topography
Given the site’s susceptibility to sinkholes, stormwater management design for the project required careful consideration. While the Township suggested the utilization of lined basins under the parking lot, Bohler’s engineers pushed for an alternative method. Leakage from the basin could create a sinkhole, which could be disastrous if formed under the parking lot. Instead, the team designed a multilayer, aboveground infiltration basin as flat as possible to allow water to permeate the soil across a larger area, addressing the risk caused by a concentrated underground holding tank.
In addition, the team rerouted existing stormwater pipes and continued to manage off-site runoff that flows through the site.
Phasing Construction for Accelerating Speed-to-Market
Bohler incorporated multiple entrances on both road frontages. This not only improved site circulation and operations for the completed site but allowed each unit to be built and function individually during construction of adjacent phases. Separate driveways service employees and car traffic, with main drives to support the regular flow of trucks into and out of the site.
Given the site’s moderate size and J.G. Petrucci’s desire to deliver operational space quickly, properly sequencing the grading design was also key to the project’s success. The design team performed an extensive cut/fill analysis to decide where to borrow dirt from, how it would be used, and where it would be stockpiled until it was needed – without interrupting completed phases.
Recycling Parking Facilities
Armed with the proper equipment, the contractor was able to reuse a majority of the existing parking lot by grinding down the asphalt to 2A stone and using it as a subbase for the new pavement areas. With a thumbs-up from the geotechnical engineer, this recycling method shaved some dollars off J.G. Petrucci’s bottom line.
Meeting the increasing demand for manufacturing and flex space options in the Valley, the complex’s stormwater management system was successfully redesigned to mitigate the risk of potential sinkholes. Bohler’s focused grading and circulation design created an opportunity for J.G. Petrucci to begin earning ROI as soon as the first unit was complete.
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