H2M Wins Three ACEC New York Engineering Excellence Awards

H2M architects + engineers (H2M) recently submitted three projects to the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of New York 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards.  H2M proudly received three distinctive honors: a Diamond Award for the West Hempstead Water District Replacement of Birch Street Elevated Storage Tank project; a Platinum Award for the Rockland County MS4 Mapping project; and a Silver Award for the Setauket Headquarters Additions and Alterations project.


ACEC New York is a proactive coalition of almost 300 firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment – civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical – and affiliated companies.  Their shared goals are to further the business interests of their membership, enhance the quality and safety of the environment we  live and work in, and help ensure the vitality of our communities.


Each year, over 60 member firms submit projects that are judged on a rigorous set of criteria, which includes complexity, innovation, and value to society.  These projects are judged by a panel of industry experts, which includes military and government officials, ACEC National and International leadership, educators from college and university departments, and leadership from other organizations dedicated to the built environment.  Awards are distributed based on the average scores received by these judges and are assigned one of four levels (in ascending order): Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.


To celebrate the awarded projects, the 53rd Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala will take place on April 4, 2020.  This event is co-sponsored by the ACEC New York Scholarship Fund, and in conjunction with the Gala, the scholarship program will award more than $50,000 to New York State engineering students.



West Hempstead Water District – Replacement of Birch Street Elevated Storage Tank, Diamond Award:

West Hempstead Water District’s Birch Street facility tank had reached the end of its useful life.  Rather than spend a sizeable amount of money on rehabilitating the old tank, the District decided to construct a new tank better suited for the needs of the community.  After H2M evaluated all possible options, it was determined a composite elevated storage tank would be the most beneficial in terms of price and purpose.

Lifting the steel bowl, which was originally constructed at the base, represented the District’s elevated dedication to their residents.  The new resilient tank holds one million gallons, uses less steel allowing for ease of maintenance, and provides a reminder to the community that their water is not something they need to worry about in the decades to come.


Rockland County MS4 Mapping, Platinum Award:

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation Phase II Stormwater permit requires MS4s to map and routinely inspect stormwater outfalls and infrastructure.  Recognizing the opportunity to improve regional consistency and efficiency, 23 of the 24 communities in Rockland County joined together to form the Stormwater Consortium of Rockland County.  H2M worked with the Consortium and Cornell Cooperative Extension to collect, consolidate, and standardize disparate outfall information from all 23 participating communities.  H2M then implemented ArcGIS Online and Esri’s Collector for the ArcGIS app to extend the reach of the GIS stormwater data and inspection forms to field personnel without the need for specialized data collection equipment.  Having access to each community’s outfall data allows the Consortium to see the “big picture” and implement standards for water quality improvements as one united entity; understanding that each community is connected by more than just pipes.


Setauket Headquarters Additions and Alterations, Silver Award:

The Setauket Volunteer Fire Department had been operating out of its existing building for close to 90 years.  However, the existing structure no longer med ADA, OSHA, or FEMA regulations and recommendations.  Inundated with spatial limitations, safety concerns, and deterioration, it would be difficult for the existing structure to accommodate the new growth of the community and Department.  Thus, H2M designed the addition and renovation of their headquarters building.

After a decade of rejected proposals for a renovated firehouse, the public was on board and wanted to keep this historical integrity of the building.  The renovation had to be done in phases to maintain the District’s operations and proved to be challenging.  The response path had to be changed which meant the design needed to incorporate varying floor elevations that not only tied the existing facility together, but responded to the site constraints.

Upon completion, the final design is a 25,950 square foot, two-story facility comprised of sustainable elements, historical reminders, and the ability to meet future growth and expansion.