Berkeley County, S.C. — Thomas & Hutton announced that two of its projects — South Carolina’s Framework for Freight Camp Hall Rail and Horry County Schools Think Energy Positive — were named Top 6 Engineering Excellence projects in South Carolina. The Horry County Schools Think Energy Positive project was awarded South Carolina’s highest honor – the Palmetto Award.
Both projects now move into the national competition at the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition in May 2019. The national competition recognizes engineering firms that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value through their submitted projects.
Horry County Schools Think Energy Positive project helped address Horry County’s rapid population and development growth, as well as future funding, with Horry County Schools embarking on a quarter billion-dollar endeavor to design and construct five new state-of-the-art, high efficiency, “energy positive” schools. These schools were built simultaneously, within 21 months, with intentional design to consume less energy than they generate on an annual basis to provide cost-savings over the lifetime of the schools.
The schools are completely new construction and are the first of its kind in Horry County and the Southeastern United States. Thomas & Hutton laid the groundwork in providing site planning, civil design, survey, and landscape architecture services. With a fundamental mission of efficiency, Thomas & Hutton’s main objectives were to foster an environment with safe and efficient transportation, provide sustainable site designs while meeting the energy goals of the project, and maintain cohesion across the school sites, in addition to accounting for the buildings’ architectural styles. All five schools were completed and ready for students in the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 school years as scheduled.
South Carolina’s Framework for Freight Camp Hall Rail project includes a 25-mile long rail line connecting Camp Hall in Ridgeland to the CSX Generating Station in Cross, South Carolina. Development within the Camp Hall Commerce Park, including Volvo Cars, has increased demand for rail service. This rail line will allow trains to transport cars and goods from Camp Hall to inland distribution centers for distribution throughout the United States and internationally.
Thomas & Hutton provided route and property surveys to analyze potential impacts and feasibility of running the rail line along privately owned properties and environmentally sensitive lands. With combined LiDAR and ground survey, this approach provided timely data collection for design and acquisition saving the state of South Carolina money. With full operation set for June 2020, the rail service will lessen the environmental and physical impact of hundreds of trucks on the already congested Interstate 26 corridor.