2018 Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Awards Competition Winner

E3S Honor Award

Honor Award - Industrial Waste Practice

Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station

Entrant: HDR
Person in Charge: Mary Shanks
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Media Contact: Mary Shanks


Entrant Profile


HDR's Role in the Project: Lead design firm. HDR provided environmental, permitting, architectural and engineering design, publicinvolvement and construction-related services for this major transfer station replacement. Alarge number of HDR staff, 197 people from multiple offices, worked on the $52 million construction project.

Role of Other Consultants

  • Blue Sun Planning, LLC: Sustainability
  • Ecotone Commissioning Group: Commissioning agent
  • Hough, Beck & Baird: Landscape architecture
  • JR Miller & Associates: Structural and architectural design
  • Parametrix: Construction management
  • PCL Construction Services, Inc.: General contractor
  • Shannon & Wilson: Geotechnical engineering
  • CivilTech:Stormwater vault structural design
  • True North:Surveying
  • Englehardt Communications:Signage design
  • VanDevanter: Visualization
  • EnviroIssues: Public Outreach

Project Description

Twenty-five years ago, King County Solid Waste Division (KCSWD) knew it needed a new transfer station. An initial plan failed to accommodate future growth or recycling. A second design sought to construct in a more visible part of the property, causing the City of Bellevue to balk. By purchasing adjacent property and using an innovative construction approach, the HDR team presented a third design with a larger facility at a lower elevation - which proved a charm.

The state-of-the-art, nearly 80,000-square-foot facility is capable of handling 225,000 tons of garbage, recycling, yard waste and household hazardous waste (HHW) annually. With Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station offering recycling services for major appliances, yard waste, scrap metal, commingled recyclables and textiles, customers have more recycling and disposal options than ever.

Comprehensive, Integrated Approach

Designed to meet LEED Gold criteria, Factoria is a model for sustainable transfer station design. Featuring translucent skylights and window panels to allow natural light into the building and lights automatically dimming lights, the facility uses 40 percent less electricity than similar facilities. In addition, the rainwater catchment system is anticipated to save approximately 1.3 million gallons of potable water a year, while the team diverted 95 percent of construction waste from landfilldisposal.

Quality

After separating recycling and non-refuse items, the new facility condenses waste with two stationary compacters. The compactor design improves the previous top-loaded system by providing consistent 26-ton loads, eliminating approximately 8 vehicle trips per day.

By operating more efficiently, less time, money and fuel is wasted on queuing vehicles. With standard commercial collection trucks averaging about 3.5 miles-per-gallon of gas, it is important they move through the station quickly. The new design allows commercial customers to enter the building, unload waste and exit within 5 minutes.

The flexible tipping floor provides 11 self-haul unloading stalls during weekdays. During weekends, when self-haul traffic increases and commercial traffic decreases, tipping floor operations may be orientated to use the commercial tipping area, thereby better serving KCSWD customers.

Originality and Innovation

KCSWD's first flat-floor transfer station also offers a safer environment, reducing opportunities for workplace injuries in comparison to the previous transfer station design. The flat floor allows space for three days of solid waste emergency storage in case of transfer and disposal disruptions.

With Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station handling more than 16 percent of King County's solid waste, closing the existing transfer station during construction was not an option. Throughout the three-year project, services remained uninterrupted and operational despite excavating about 300,000 tons of soil and using a large, temporary retaining wall to support the 80-foot elevation drop between the facilities.

The new station is designed with flexibility to adjust to KCSWD's future needs. In fact, the facility's entire operation can be changed if necessary. Five large doors allow flexible traffic flow while extra electrical hookups can incorporate new equipment. With the ease of drop-off, variable traffic flow, improved safety and future flexibility, KCSWD is requiring future transfer stations to be flat-floor designs as well.

E3S Photos

Services remained operational despite excavation of about 300,000 tons of soil and use of a large, temporary retaining wall to support an 80 foot elevation drop between the facilities.

Complexity

Previous attempts to modernize the station would have required closing during construction. Through a complex phasing effort - including a 40-foot high, 313-foot-long temporary shoring wall, four traffic patterns and considerable earthwork - the facility remained operational throughout construction.

The shoring wall location challenged construction, requiring parking transfer trailers in locations typically used for other activities and a temporary guard rail to maintain safe operations. Further, the wall was constructed at night tolimit operational and customer interruptions, and required dewatering of up to 850-gallons-per-minute and geotechnical monitoring of soldier piles. During construction, the contractor navigated the site's tight clearances, as the temporary wall was approximately 20 feet from the new station.

With traffic moving around the site in various patterns depending on construction activities, safety was a constant consideration. KCSWD and the team designed andimplemented additional temporary roads during construction, providing better separation of public and commercial traffic.

Even getting materials to the site proved difficult. Due to their excessive size, hauling the new compactors to the site was limited to 2:00-5:00 a.m. on a Monday morning. And because they weigh nearly 200 tons together, routes were limited to heavy-duty haul roads and special permits were acquired.

Social and Economic Advancement

We're committed to improving the efficiency and quality of the services we provide to county residents, and this new transfer station delivers. Injust one example, the new compactors at Factoria improved the efficiency of each trailer hauled from this station, which translates to fewer trucks on the road and reduced climate pollution.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Demonstrating the best of sustainable design, the new station uses 40 percent less energy than standard energy-efficient buildings - reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 172 tons annually. Rainwater harvesting will offset more than 1.3 million gallons of potable water use annually while slope changes reduceleachate production and, along with trench drains, prevent contaminated water from reaching the storm drainage system. The new station also includes skylights and translucent panels for naturallighting, and 50,000 drought-resistant, native plants.

The project's construction materials - including steel, aluminum, gypsum board, insulation and glazing - contained 33 percent recycled content, and 34 percent were sourced from within 500 miles of the project site. Built to maximize employee safety, the fully contained building uses natural ventilation and a misting system for dust and odor control, which provides cleaner air for employees and energy savings by reducing ventilation equipment usage. Multiple hazardous gas detectors and alarms automatically operate exhaust fans and notify staff if carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide or other contaminants are detected.

Critical to the community, the building was designed for immediate occupancy following a natural disaster, including earthquakes. A standby diesel engine generator can power most of the facility, allowing the station to operate even after natural disasters.

Prior to the new station, customers drove approximately 16 miles one way to properly dispose of recycling, yard waste, tires and appliances. While accepted at the old facility, these materials were mixed with garbage and landfilled - the new station is expected to collected 3,500 tons of recyclable or compostable materials during its first year of operation.

Conclusion

Representing the community's sustainability, the ribbon at the grand opening was not a ribbon at all, but a string of garbage and recyclable materials. Offering more recycling and disposal options than ever - and completed on budget - the new transfer station has been heralded by the community.


Click images to enlarge in separate window.

E3S Photos

Photo 1: After more than 25 years of trying to build a new transfer station, King County's state-of-the-art, nearly 80,000-square-foot Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station is capable of handling 225,000 tons of garbage, recycling, yard waste and household hazardous waste annually and offers KCSWD customers more recycling and disposal options than ever.

E3S Photos

Photo 2: KCSWD's first flat floor transfer station — a design they will require for future transfer stations — allows for easier garbage unloading, better traffic flow and reduces customer wait times.

E3S Photos

Photo 3: King County has opened recycling at the Factoria location for the first time. The new facility collects a multiple materials for diversion in separate containers, such as yard waste, clean wood, appliances, scrap metal, cardboard and paper, and glass. King County is preparing for collection areas for additional source separated materials such as tires, mattresses, and potentially construction and demolition debris. King County developed its signage in both English and Spanish, as well as used photos of materials to make recycling as easy as possible for all its residents.

E3S Photos

Photo 4: With Factoria handling more than 16 percent of King County's solid waste, closing for construction was not an option. Previous attempts to modernize the station would have required closing to customers during construction. Only through a complex construction phasing effort and sheer will was the team able to construct the new facility while maintaining operations. The effort required a temporary 40-foot-tall shoring wall, four different traffic patterns and considerable earthwork.

E3S Photos

Photo 5: During new building construction, the contractor had to consider access for equipment and materials because the temporary wall was approximately 20 feet from the new transfer station.

E3S Photos

Photo 6: In two years King County and its construction team completed construction on the new transfer station, fueling facility, and administration building, and was mostly complete with earthwork and removal of the temporary wall so that the HHW facility could be constructed.

E3S Photos

Photo 7: The new facility also uses three underground water tanks to collect rainwater for reuse in toilets and for tipping floor and equipment washdown. These alone will offset more than 1.3 million gallons of potable water annually — a 59 percent reduction over traditional design. Further, slope changes at key locations minimize water contact with refuse, reducing the production of leachate directed into the sanitary sewer treatment system and, along with trench drains, prevent contaminated water from reaching the storm drainage system.

E3S Photos

Photo 8: The new facility, after separating recycling and other non-refuse items, compacts the waste using two stationary compacters. The old transfer station utilized top load containers, whereby customers dumped waste directly into openings above trailers and a tamping crane compacted the waste. The stationary compactor design improves the previous top-loaded container system by allowing consistent 26-ton loads to leave the facility and reducing vehicle trips from 25 to approximately 17 per day.

E3S Photos

Photo 9: The more efficiently the transfer station operates, the less time, money and fuel is wasted on queuing trash vehicles. With standard commercial collection trucks averaging about 3.5 miles per gallon of gas, it is important that they move in and out of the station quickly. The new transfer station is designed to allow commercial customers to enter the building, unload waste, and exit within 5 minutes.

E3S Photos

Photo 10: Featuring translucent skylights and window panels to allow natural light into the building and lights that automatically dim accordingly, the new facility uses 40 percent less electricity than similar facilities.

E3S Photos

Photo 11: New bike racks also give Bellevue's passionate cycling community commute a place to store their bikes while visiting or working at Factoria.

E3S Photos

Photo 12: The new Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station, with a goal of being LEED Gold certifed, ofers an electric vehicle charging station.

E3S Photos

Photo 13: Featuring skylights and translucent wall panels to allow natural light into the building, as well as rainwater harvesting, recycledcontent building materials, locally sourced materials, and 50,000 drought-tolerant, native plants, the new facility will improve energy efciency and reduce KCSWD's environmental impact.

E3S Photos

Photo 14: For employee safety, a panoramic view of the tipping foor is accessible from the supervisor's ofce, employee break room and multi-purpose space, allowing transfer station operators to maintain command while being separate from equipment and separate from vehicle fumes, dust and other contaminants.

E3S Photos

Photo 15: The new Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station has a household hazardous waste facility separate from the main tipping foor and administrative buildings, keeping employees and visitors safe.

E3S Photos

Photo 16: The fully contained facility is built to maximize employee safety. The tipping area utilizes natural ventilation and a misting system for dust and odor control, providing cleaner air for employees and energy savings by reducing usage of ventilation equipment. The misting system also reduces dust - considered to be a nuisance to the neighborhood - while an odor neutralizer eliminates foul smells.

E3S Photos

Photo 17: Solid waste handling buildings are considered essential public facilities in Washington State. Since Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station provides a critical function in the community, especially during recovery from natural disasters, the building was designed for immediate occupancy following a natural disaster, including a major seismic event.

E3S Photos

Photo 18: The new transfer station's 432 stainless steel wheels - in 79 lines and 15 arcs - on the main retaining wall convey a sense of motion. "Still Spinning" abstractly ties into the recycling theme with its 75-80 percent recycled steel while promoting greater public awareness for recycling and tying into Puget Sound's passionate local bicycling community. Initially calling for cast-in-place fascia panels, a shotcrete with a smooth, troweled fnish provided a superior solution, better met the artist's vision and saved KCSWD approximately $28,000.

E3S Photos

Photo 19: Another piece of art at the entrance to the administration building ofers a nod to recycling and motion. The poem, etched into the lobby's glass panels, was originally included in a 1990s Factoria design that was put on hold. Repurposed for this project, the poem highlights human cycles and loops found both around the new transfer station and in nature. Shadows from the etched words are created in the administration building lobby and change as the sun crosses the sky, creating a sense of motion.

E3S Photos

Photo 20: A representation of a larger sustainability efort by the community, the ribbon at the grand opening was, fttingly, not a ribbon at all but a string of garbage and recyclable materials. Offering more recycling and disposal options than ever before - and completed on budget - the new transfer station has been heralded by the community.


Click here to return to the list of 2018 winners.

Back to Top