Terra Inc. has been awarded a contract by a community farm’s Board of Directors to conduct CPTs to evaluate the foundation soils for a joint farmhouse and storage facility. This community-shared agriculture program involves constructing a large, root cellar-style vegetable storage facility attached to the vegetable processing barn and farmhouse. The aim is to apply traditional subterranean root cellars on a larger scale.
Local farmers will be able to store fresh produce in the cellar and process it in the farm barn. This is a low-budget farmhouse intended to encourage and promote the production by the local farmers. The entire structure will be energy-efficient and guarantees a natural freshness of the products processed and sold to the rest of the city.
With the city bursting at its seams, the Mayor announced that the Department of Works & Housing and the DOT will be embarking on a massive project to reclaim land along the coast to allow for the expansion of the city. As part of this project, a wind farm will be created to exploit the seasonal winds that come in from the coast. The City’s Green Initiative promises to achieve 75% clean energy by 2030 and, to do so, it is willing to consider available sources of sustainable energy, including wind and solar.
The reclaimed land will serve the dual purpose of:
• Coastal erosion protection. Recent fluctuations in the tides coupled with soft alluvial soils further offshore and brackish (mix of fresh & salt) water means that the coastal areas of the city are highly susceptible to coastal erosion. Reclaiming the land on the southern parts of the city stabilizes the soil and makes it more erosion resistant.
• A field for a wind farm of noise-friendly turbine towers. The reclaimed land is far enough from the city and residential areas as well as close enough to the shore to catch the offshore wind. This will significantly boost the sustainable energy quota for the city, makes the city less reliant on fossil fuels, and leaves a smaller carbon print.
At Terra Inc., our contract includes providing special inspection services, field parameter testing, and foundation design.
The economic expansion and diversification of the Green City has translated to expansion of the industrial complex in the northwestern part of the city, and characterizing this change is the establishment of a new factory that manufactures solar cells. These solar cells are copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). It is a thin film solar cell used to convert sunlight into electric power. The land parcel for this factory borders an existing warehouse that serves as a depot for solar cells. This is a Public-Private Partnership intended to reduce the cost of production of these cells, cater to the growing demand by the city citizens for clean energy, and position the city as a major supply of CIGS solar panels in the entire region.
The manufacturing plant will include a building complex, pipelines, and massive silos, among other key components. Terra Inc. will be designing the pile foundation for these structures.
Terra Inc. will be conducting a routine soil condition assessment along the city’s flood protection levees to ascertain the structural integrity and determine the risk, if any, posed by the rising flood waters during future hazard events. The levees bordering the river are in an old part of the city and, like all levees, require regular evaluation to ensure they are adequate to serve their primary purpose, which is to hold back water. The importance of levees and the role they play was highlighted by the 2005 levee failures during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Part of our present reality of climate change is the rise in sea levels, unpredictable weather, and rapid fluctuations in surface and groundwater levels. These are the conditions under which earth structures, such as levees and earth dams, fail and hence the need arises for more frequent and thorough risk assessment of the levees.
The city leadership is committed to protecting life and property in the farm and industrial areas, and Terra Inc. has been entrusted with this task. At Terra Inc., we embark on our projects with a clear sense of the guiding principles of engineering, and also with a sense of service to our community and the greater good of humanity.