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RE3 Focus: Pennoni On Leading Edge of Sub-Slab Depressurization

By Steve Dwyer

With the RE3 Conference in Philadelphia less than two months away, attendees will have a chance to meet thought-leaders and experts from leading companies, pose technical questions, build new relationships and learn first-hand from the best in the business. Experts and decision-makers from these organizations will be in attendance and leading conversations during the event.

One environmental presentation that's sure to garner a wide range of attention is environmental engineering firm Pennoni's (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) spotlight on Sub-Slab Depressurization systems–regarded as an effective prevention mechanism of migration of hazardous vapors intruding into commercial and public buildings. Increasingly, vapor intrusion is a predominant topic to environmental due diligence and brownfield site development.

The Pennoni session discusses the increasing awareness and regulation of vapor intrusion into new commercial or public buildings, particularly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where radon is prevalent. But it is also applicable to brownfield redevelopment, where legacy soil, groundwater or fill have the potential to release vapors that could be a source of health impacts to a building's occupants for quite some time past the redevelopment schedule, according to Pennoni.

Hazardous gases occur from naturally-occurring radon, or from below-ground contamination that may exist beneath a new development or redevelopment project. Pennoni has completed multiple sub-slab vapor depressurization system designs in recent years that are constructed to mitigate the potential hazards of vapor intrusion into the new building space.

These include private and public school development, commercial centers and shopping malls. Active or passive SSD systems are used to mitigate hazardous conditions and health concerns. Construction techniques, vapor monitoring, and design alternatives will be presented.

The firm recently celebrated 50 years in business, reaffirming its commitment to provide personalized service to clients and determine solutions that best suits their needs.

Not long ago, Engineering News-Record (ENR) named The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care “Best of the Best Health Care Project” in the nation, and ultimately the city of Philadelphia recognized CHOP as a Stormwater Pioneer. Pennoni had provided civil engineering, survey and transportation engineering services for this project.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

CHOP Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care is the third Stormwater Pioneer to be named by the Philadelphia Water Department, honored for the unique approach taken in the design process which met the Water Department's stormwater management requirements.

The building includes a 12-story ambulatory care center and a 1,500 car garage that sits entirely below grade. The site integrates stormwater features, including storage tanks, water quality devices, and green roofs that blend into the landscaping and outdoor respite areas to create a relaxing and safe environment for patients and families.

The most recent previous recipient of the Stormwater Pioneer title was Popi's Restaurant, for inclusion of rain gardens to protect the environment that has been previously polluted. Popi's also saves money on water bill while providing a cleaner river in the city of Philadelphia.

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