Orange County Branch Newsletter

December 2015

Sustainability Committee

Sustainable Development - OC & Beyond Seminar Recap

By Salem Afeworki, LEED GA, ENV SP and Nathan Chase, PE, LEED AP ND, ENV SP

The Sustainability Committee for ASCE-OC organized a seminar entitled “Sustainability in Site Development – OC & Beyond” on Friday, October 23, 2015. We had four excellent presenters and more than 40 professionals in attendance for the seminar held at the City of Irvine’s Civic Center.

Attendees listening to Jeff Thompson’s presentation.


Darlene Nicandro, Principal Planner at the City of Irvine, presented on the Orange County Great Park, highlighting the sustainable neighborhood initiatives—including the Orange Bike Program, protecting a wildlife corridor, maintaining agriculture land uses, providing live-work-play opportunities, and reusing existing facilities such as Warehouse 415.

Jeff Thompson, PE, Vice President-Development Engineering at Rancho Mission Viejo, showed how RMV is raising the bar on sustainability as they build out the Ranch Plan and implement innovative solutions in their communities (e.g., the agrihood concept, protecting open space, and enabling use of neighborhood electric vehicles), as well as via partnerships to design and construct multifunctional infrastructure projects such as the Gobernadora Basin and a recycled water reservoir.

Kip Skabar P.Eng, PE, Senior Associate at Stantec, presented on the Low Level Road project in Vancouver and shared stories of how the stakeholder engagement process led to greater community acceptance and context-sensitive solutions. As the first Envision Platinum Rated Transportation Project, he also described how sustainability features were integrated into the project, including custom precast concrete art panels with First Nations themes, protection of eagle nest habitat, preservation of pedestrian and cyclist connections, and use of 95% local and/or recyclable materials in the project’s transparent noise walls.

Finally, Jamie Yoshida, PE, Vice President of Engineering at The Irvine Company Community development presented on Irvine Ranch Development and stressed the importance of water management and open space preservation in their projects.

The seminar ended with a lively panel discussion on the role of the engineering community in advancing sustainability and resilience in site development in Orange County. The attendees provided positive feedback regarding the seminar and suggested themes they would like the ASCE-OC sustainability committee to organize in the future. We are very thankful to our sponsors NMG Geotechnical, Inc. and Stantec for helping make the seminar a success!

Presenters fielding questions from the audience during the Q&A session, moderated by Sam Ali and Nathan Chase.


A photo of the presenters is below along with links to the presentations on SlideShare.
Presenters (L to R: Jeff Thompson, Jamie Yoshida, Kip Skabar, Darlene Nicandro).