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Multi Discipline Innovations

Multi Discipline Innovations

Throughout CH2M HILL's history, many innovations were developed by staff from different synergistic disciplines working together with clients to solve a unique problem. The following are innovations that do not fit a market segment or business group.

  • Lean Construction. CH2M HILL is believed to be the first to apply lean construction technology to the performance of microelectronics projects. This technology applies innovations that allow clients to do more with less; yield greater performance using less manufacturing space, less human effort, less product development time, and less investment in production tools.
  • EcoDistrict Innovation. Including such first-of-their-kind projects as the Smart Energy NowSM program in North Carolina, the District of Columbia DC Green Map and the North American EcoDistricts Program in place in nine U.S. cities.
  • Green Energy Parks. Conceptualization of such prototypical eco development projects as the Niobrara Energy Park in Colorado, Star Peak Energy Park in Nevada, and the Kunming Digital Forest sustainable technology park in China.
  • Environmental Cleanup Innovations. CH2M HILL has driven a great deal of innovation in this area that has saved millions of dollars and been exported to other large brownfield cleanup sites, extending the savings. Examples include:
    • Adapting spray-on coating, the type used to protect pickup truck beds, as an over-the-road packaging material for large pieces of contaminated equipment.
    • Appling concrete shaving equipment used to smooth damaged concrete highways to shave layers of contamination from structural concrete in plutonium-contaminated facilities.
    • Using plasma-arc torches to cut up gloveboxes, performing the job in a fraction of the time.
    • Using wireless fire and smoke alarm systems to disconnect the power to a building prior to dismantling to eliminate the potential for electric shock when ripping out building components.
  • Energy Reduction in Manufacturing. Our many examples include CH2M HILL's design of a facility for a microelectronics manufacturer that reduced electrical requirements for humidification by 90% and chiller operating costs by 25%, and applied reuse of wasted heat to reduce air emissions by 80%.
  • Cannibal Solids Reduction Process. CH2M HILL's design and installation of this system at the wastewater treatment facility in the City of Lebanon, Oregon, reduced the amount of biosolids by 85-90%.
  • Solar America Communities Program. CH2M HILL's support for this U.S. Department of Energy program is helping 25 U.S. cities accelerate their adoption of solar energy. This work includes CH2M HILL's first-of-its-kind Solar Mapping technology, a web-based tool that allows users to estimate the solar energy potential of their residences or businesses.
  • Urban Wind Map. This web-based tool enables users to determine the wind energy potential of their properties and location-specific wind energy system installation costs.
  • Microfluidics Technology. CH2M HILL's involvement in a research program with Oregon State University and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy has the potential to revolutionize the accessibility of fresh water in the world's dry lands nations using new microfluidics technology to reduce the energy required for water desalinization by 50-75% compared to conventional water treatment approaches.
  • Wetlands Innovation. CH2M HILL designed the first wetlands in Oregon to address heat as a pollutant in treated wastewater that must be removed to comply with regulations for cold water fisheries in Oregon rivers. Stand-out CH2M HILL wetlands projects include Albany Talking Water wetlands, Roseburg RUSA Natural Treatment System Wetlands, and Clean Water Services Jackson Bottom and Forest Grove treatment wetlands.
  • Greenroads. CH2M HILL partnered with the University of Washington to develop a breakthrough in sustainable transportation called Greenroads, a rating system to quantify sustainable practices associated with the design and construction of roads (similar to LEED® for buildings).
  • Organic Wastewater Treatment. CH2M HILL developed a novel natural treatment system to remove nutrients from wastewater using the organic activities of natural wetlands. The system's sustainable components operate on wind, sun, soil, water, and plants, and promote natural carbon sequestration. Two of these systems have received awards; an Honors Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Consulting Engineers Council (City of Woodburn) and a National Engineering Excellence Award from the Consulting Engineers Council of Oregon and the American Consulting Engineers Council (City of McMinnville).

Other Related CH2M HILL Innovative "Firsts"

  • Conceptual design of a Mars Sample Receiving Facility for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to support future exploration missions to Mars.
  • First North American architectural firm to be invited to join Bayer MaterialScience EcoCommercial Building Network to develop sustainable building design and construction materials.
  • Design of a first-of-its-kind "chillerless" high-density data center for Stanford University.
  • First application of LEED® sustainable design standards to semiconductor manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities. (This led to CH2M HILL's selection for the U.S. Green Building Council's "Green Manufacturing Round Table" to tailor LEED® program criteria to industrial manufacturing facilities.)
  • Design of first computer facility involving exa-scale (past petaflop) technology.
  • Master planning of first Special Economic Zone dedicated to the solar industry (GMR Solar Tropic in India).
  • Pioneering application of "Rapid Prototyping" design approaches.
  • Design of a high-performance data center housing the world's highest electrical density generating heat loads in excess of 500 watts per square foot.