Colby Co. Completes Engineering Design for Sculptural Biofiltration Wall

Colby Co. recently provided structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering support for Michael Singer Studio’s design of the Seminole Coconut Creek Sculptural Biofiltration Wall in Florida. The piece is comprised of precast concrete modules designed to filter water from an on-site retention pond. The sculpture utilizes a range of biofiltration and aeration systems to actively cleanse up to 100 gallons of water a minute. The sculpture also supports native vines, groundcovers, aquatic plants and fish. The sculpture is 25’ wide by 40’ tall and is mounted on the side of the new parking structure. The project is powered by solar canopies on the top floor of the parking structure.

The engineering scope included:

Structural Engineering
Analysis and design of supporting structural steel elements and coordination with the existing parking garage structure to which it is mounted, location and design of mounting hardware and reinforcing for the sculptural precast elements, and design of cast-in-place three pool lily pond with weirs adjacent to the wall.

Mechanical and Plumbing Engineering
Design of the pump and filtration system utilizing a skid mounted permabead and UV filtration system for partial treatment of the water, coordination of plumbing schematics to draw and store water from the retention pond and rainwater collected from the garage roof via 10,000 gallon water storage tanks, design of plumbing distribution piping to supply biofiltration aquatic garden.

Electrical Engineering
Design of all lighting and system electrical components, including underwater lighting of lily ponds, LED uplighting of precast wall elements, and power for the pumps, skid, and all valves and sensors utilized for system automation.

All photos are courtesy of Michael Singer Studio.

2012 Summer Outing at Flagstaff Hut

Colby Co.’s summer outing weekend was held again at the Flagstaff Hut which is a part of the Maine Huts and Trails system.  Over the course of the weekend, the group participated in water volleyball, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and team building activities on or near Flagstaff Lake.

Maine Huts and Trails is a non-profit organization that operates a 30 mile hut to hut system in western Maine.  The Flagstaff Hut is located on the east, undeveloped shore of Flagstaff Lake.  The hut is accessible via a 2 mile hike from the trailhead.

All three huts in the MH&T system are off the grid and utilize a variety of sustainable design features including solar panels, wood gasification boilers, composting toilets, energy efficient lighting, and low flow sinks and showers.  Much of the food at the hut is locally sourced.

Colby Co. Team Participates in New England Tough Mudder 2012

Colby Co. had a team of eight participants for the New England Tough Mudder held at Mount Snow in West Dover, VT on May 5, 2012.  The ten mile, mud-fill course consisted of 30 military style obstacles such as the boa constrictor, electric eel, firewalker, monkey bars and wall climbs.  The Tough Mudder courses are designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie, as stated by

The Tough Mudder supports the Wounded Warrior Project and the Tough Mudder participants have raised approximately $3 million to support thousands of warriors returning from the battlefield.

Colby Co.’s “Team Terraphi’d” participants included Calen Colby, Sarah Emily Colby, Brian Beaulieu, Adam Greenlaw, Sam Thomas, Lauren Thomas, Sonia Barrantes and Jake Staub.   Our team trained at Livevital, a physical therapy and performance training center, for six months prior to the event.

The Official Tough Mudder Pledge:

As a Tough Mudder I pledge that:

  • I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
  • I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
  • I do not whine – kids whine.
  • I help my fellow Mudders complete the course.
  • I overcome all fears.

Maine State Park Pass Distribution

For the second year, Colby Co. distributed Maine State Park Passes to each of its employees.  The vehicle passes allow access to state parks throughout the state for 2012.  According to, Maine State Parks generate $100 million annually for the Maine economy.  The 32 parks cover a wide variety of landscapes including mountains, ocean beaches, and lakes.  Twelve of the state parks offer campgrounds.

Colby Co. employees made great use of the park passes and visited over fifteen of the parks in their spare time including:

• Baxter
• Bradbury Mountain
• Camden Hills
• Cobscook Bay
• Crescent Beach
• Ferry Beach
• Lily Bay
• Penobscot Narrows Observatory
• Popham Beach State Park
• Range Pond
• Reid State Park
• Scarborough Beach
• Sebago Lake State Park
• Two Lights
• Wolfe’s Neck

HRSG Structural Design

Colby Co. has recently provided complete analysis and design of two Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) power plant projects.  The gas temperature within the HRSG’s range from 1200 deg to 2100 deg.   The first HRSG is 120′-0″ long, 12′-0″ wide, 60′-0″ tall with outputs of 125 MegaWatts of power and the second HRSG is 90′-0″ long, 15′-0″ wide, 60′-0″ tall with outputs of 450,000 pounds of steam per hour.

Our structural engineers provided footprints and load calculations, main frame structural design, connection design and detailing as well as pipe support analysis per ASME B31.1.  Colby Co. also provided all of the shop and shipping erection calculations and designs. Additionally Colby Co. provided consultation for material selection to withstand the intense temperatures within the HRSG’s.

Colby Co.’s engineers performed shop inspections of weldments and assemblies.  Our engineers also provided on-site erection assistance and construction administration services.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Awards A/E IDIQ Contract to Colby Co. Engineering

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) New England District recently awarded an Architecture and Engineering Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity Contract worth up to $3.5 million to Colby Co. Engineering.  The contract is for general engineering and architectural services throughout the North Atlantic Division with work primarily in the New England District.  The geographic region includes Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Colby Co. has worked on numerous projects prior to the award of this contract which included $8M of electrical and mechanical renovations to hospital space; a levee inspection program; a parking garage design; and multi-discipline building renovations.

Colby Co. is a Small Business engineering firm under the NAICS Code 541330. We have Federal Design Experience at 20+ Federal installations through the United States.

Liberty Mutual Building Construction

Colby Co.’s structural engineers performed all of the structural steel connection design for the new $300 million Liberty Mutual Office Building is in the final stages of construction.  The 22-story, 590,000 square-foot building will serve as new office space for Liberty Mutual who estimates that the expansion will create 600 new full-time positions.  The building was designed to meet LEED Silver certification.

Colby Co.’s structural engineers also performed all of the structural connection design for an 83′-0″ span Pedestrian Bridge that is 22′-0″ above the ground connecting the new Liberty Mutual Office expansion and an adjacent office building in Boston, MA.  The bridge components included custom designed arched box girders and architecturally exposed suspension cables.  We evaluated the dynamic affects of heavy pedestrian traffic as well as the consideration of wind tunnel affects between the buildings.

Building Energy Conference 2012

Sonia Barrantes, mechanical engineer at Colby Co., recently attended the Building Energy 2012 Conference in Boston, MA.  According to, BuildingEnergy is the most established and most cross-disciplinary renewable energy and high performance building conference in the region. Organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, it brings together architects, engineers, builders, policymakers, developers and building managers for three days of networking, accredited educational sessions and a high-level trade show.

Sonia attended numerous information and interesting sessions that included:

Commercial and Institutional Net Zero: Methods and Case Studies
High Performance Hybrid Wall Systems
What To Do With Steam (Retrofits to old steam systems and when to convert to hydronic heating)
Health Care Ventilation and Radiant/Induction Cooling
Green Mill Renovation

The tradeshow featured over 170 vendors that showcased state-of-the-art technology and practical applications in the renewable energy and sustainable building industries.  Tradeshow standouts included improved flat plate solar hot water collectors, industrial biomass boilers, new solar panel models, and examples of net-zero and wind projects.

FIRST Robotics Competition

The Bonney Eagle Robotics Team “BERT 133” recently competed at the FIRST Robotics Competition at the Verizon Wireless arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The competition required high school students to design and build a robot over a six-week period using a parts kit and standard set of rules that is provided to all teams. The focus of the game changes every year and this year’s game, Rebound RumbleSM, incorporated basketball elements.  

The BERT 133 team and robot performed well at the competition.  The BERT 133 team also won the “Gracious Professionalism Award” by Johnson & Johnson. They were praised for their sportsmanship as demonstrated by assisting other teams, loaning tools, materials, and exhibiting a courteous attitude which was noticed by the other teams and the judges.

Colby Co. was one of the sponsors of the BERT 133 team and we are proud of the team.  Colby Co. is also very supportive of the event’s mission which is to encourage student’s participation in the math and science fields.

United States Postal Service Awards $2.5 Million Contract to Colby Co. Engineering

The United States Postal Services recently awarded a $2.5 million contract to Colby Co. Engineering.  The contract is for general engineering and architectural services at USPS facilities throughout Maine.  The USPS has over 400 branches in Maine.  Colby Co.’s mechanical, electrical, structural and civil engineers will draw on their extensive facilities renovation experience to provide design services to the USPS.  Our facility renovation experience includes conducting life safety code studies, interior space planning and design studies, facility planning, office renovations, training facility renovations, industrial maintenance facility renovations, building construction, addition of special projects, and construction administration.