Published October 15, 2013
Volume 21, Number 10

BKF Engineers Play Instrumental Role in Many Local Projects    
Transportation, Education, and Development Divisions Meet Needs of a Variety of Clients

This street scape adjacent to the West Dublin BART station and a new apartment complex shows BKF’s skill and creativity.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

BKF Engineers’ Hacienda staff are hard at work on a number of local projects. The Pleasanton office is home to three different groups, defined by market: transportation, education, and development (residential, commercial, and retail).

Among the more visible transportation projects are the widening of state route 24 and upgrades to the Isabel intersection in Livermore. The education group is busy on projects for Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Lawrence Livermore Labs.

On the development side, BKF has been playing a key role in the upcoming Residences at California Center project.Along with architect Dahlin Group, also of Hacienda, the firm has been working on the project’s preliminary stages, providing critical planning and design services,

“The Dahlin Group did the planning portion, where the buildings would be and what the site would look like,” says BKF principal Dan Schaefer, who leads the engineering firm’s development group. “We supported that work by studying the ramifications of putting residences on the site--how it would affect the utilities, roadways, and drainage patterns, for example.”

BKF civil engineers were involved with the physical survey of site boundaries, plotting out existing topographic features and utilities and easements that may be present, Schaefer explains. Once the property constraints were mapped out, then developers could look at the opportunities for construction the site offers.

Does the existing infrastructure have the capacity to handle the new project? If not, what needs to be replaced or accommodated? These are questions answered during the feasibility stage to determine what can be built and how much it will cost. The subsequent plans then went to the City for entitling, a process that assured compliance with zoning, the general plan, and all subdivision requirements.

With entitlements granted, the next phase is the actual civil engineering work--relocating and bringing in new utilities; putting in a new parking garage and then demolishing existing parking;preparing the residential pad; grading and building roadways--so the project can then be bid and built, Schaefer reports.

In addition to California Center, BKF has a few other Pleasanton housing projects in the entitlement pipeline, including the mixed-use Vintage project at the intersection of Stanley Blvd. and Bernal Avenue, and redevelopment of Pleasanton Gardens senior housing.

Fresh from recognition as one of the Bay Area’s Top and Healthiest workplaces, BKF also espouses values and practices that promote employee satisfaction.

“I think as an engineering company we do a lot of things right,” Schaefer indicates. A recently completed video series of roundtable discussions among key leaders lays out “The BKF Way,”a summary of what the firm stands for—integrity, quality, leadership, and results.”These values unite its nine offices in a single vision of “who we are and what differentiates us.”

BKF has also implemented an internal Wellness Program and is a strong supporter of community outreach, especially employee teams that assist low-income homeowners with home maintenance. More than half a dozen female staffers participated in September’s Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, spurring on a lively inter-office competition for fundraising.

For more information, visit www.bkf.com.

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