Earlier this year, TTL, Inc. was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies Alabama (ACEC Alabama) as their Engineering Excellence Awards Grand Award Winner for the Homewood Suites project in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In May 2019, TTL was contracted by Cohen Investments, Inc. (Cohen) to provide professional consulting services for the design and construction of a six-story Homewood Suites hotel. TTL provided civil design, surveying, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, construction materials testing, and Special Inspections.

The site of the Homewood Suites had significant challenges leading up to the development of the property. The property had been used as a recreational lake, a landfill for the city, and a farmer’s market up until its closure in 2012. During the initial investigative efforts associated with the projects previous developments, TTL discovered there was leftover waste from the previous landfill that once occupied the site. That waste was removed, and to ensure the waste did not have an effect on the site, TTL conducted an environmental investigation on the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater samples were analyzed for the constituents of concern and methane. It was determined that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs), and Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Metals were detected in the samples taken.

Once these materials were detected, it was determined that these materials could be harmful to guests and the site was enrolled in the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Voluntary Cleanup Plan (VCP). Under the VCP, TTL developed a Site Cleanup Work Plan that included design of a remediation system to mitigate the intrusion of the vapor materials into the hotel structure. The remedial design involved the installation of a methane mitigation system on the entire footprint of the structure. Then, a built-up vapor barrier system was installed on the sub-slab, and a mounted blower was attached to the piping and valve system to extract the harmful vapor materials from the ground and release them from a vent away from the building. TTL also installed methane monitoring devices on the first floor of the hotel to further monitor methane levels at the site.

With its new remedial system in place, Homewood Suites opened in March 2021, and ADEM issued a letter stating the environmental issues at the site had been addressed under the VCP put into place.

TTL would like to recognize both Ryan Costanzo and Ken Bailey, PE for their work on the project. The Alabama ACEC Awards were held on March 3rd in Birmingham, Alabama with TTL in attendance to receive the award. After receiving the Grand Award, TTL will represent ACEC Alabama at the ACEC EEA National Awards in Washington, DC in May.