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May e.Geo

May 2021

In this issue:

  1. Salary Survey LAST Call for 2020 Data
  2. Legislative Visit Week: Register now!
  3. Geotechnical Contracts Course: May 19 & 26
  4. Write-Right by John Bachner 4-part course starts this May
  5. Conference Success! Connections 2021 in the books
  6. Project Award Spotlight: Langan wins for Highland Hospital
  7. June Regional Meeting: Save the date!
  8. Stego Announces new product & instruction guide
  9. Looking for new hires? Use CalGeo's Career Center
  10. Upcoming Events - the e.Calendar

Last Call for 2020 Salary Survey Data - Please participate!

This is your last change to submit data for our 2020 salary survey - DUE MAY 15th!

Please download the 2020 template and send e-mail the completed excel file to Kelly Cabal by May 15th! We plan to have the salary survey completed by early June so there will be very little wiggle room and extensions. Rest assured that your data will be kept confidential.

Only members have access to the salary survey and if you don't participate it will cost you a cool $500. Save your money and submit your data.

Please note the following for faster processing:

We have a new improved version with updated job categories - please select the closest job category in OUR LIST.

Keeping the data consistent will save us time in creating the final report.

Please use employee's yearly salary (or hourly), not the total they were actually paid last year if starting or leaving mid-way through the year.

SAVE $500 and submit your data now. This will be the best tool for keeping your staff and new hires.

CalGeo Co-Hosts Legislative Visit Week

We are proud to announce that CalGeo is partnering with ACEC California, APWA - Region VIII, ASCE - Region 9, and SEAOC for the first time to host a joint Legislative Visit Week! California Engineers and Public Works Professionals will gather virtually beginning on Monday, May 10, 2021 to advocate for infrastructure and other industry issues before our state legislators. Stay tuned for registration details and sponsorship opportunities coming late February.

During these difficult economic times, new infrastructure investment will create well-paying construction and other employment opportunities. There is no economic development without infrastructure. Our infrastructure systems play a critical role in continued economic prosperity and preserving our quality of life.

We look forward to joining with you in our commitment to increase infrastructure investment to repair our existing networks and plan for California’s future!

Cost: Only $40/pp - meet with your legislative rep and tell them what you think about prevailing wage and all the other issues facing geotechnical engineers!

For more information about the event click the link or image below.


Geotechnical Contracts Short Course Registration Open!

Manage Risk & Improve Loss Prevention

CalGeo is partnering with the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) to deliver a two-part interactive web-based workshop series focused on managing risk and improving loss prevention through thoughtful terms and conditions in geoprofessional contracts.

Topics to Include:

  • Why contracts matter
  • Common contract terms that become problematic
  • Techniques for negotiating favorable contract terms
  • Resources you can use to manage risk and improve contract terms
  • Lessons learned from contract disputes\

Workshop Presenters:

  • Lisa Gamblin, Esq. – Vice President, Claims & Risk Management at Terra Insurance Co.
  • Terry Scanlan, Esq. – Attorney at Cairncross & Hempelmann
  • Ji Shin, Esq. – General Council at Earth Systems, Inc


Two-part web series: May 19 & 26th, 2021 from 12-1pm Pacific Time

Cost: Only $50 for CalGeo and GBA members. Non-members $150.

Attendees who are not current GBA members will receive a discount code to purchase the GBA Contracts guide at a LARGE DISCOUNT. This guide is highly recommended for anyone dealing with your firm's contracts.

Registration is now open: Register HERE >>

John Bachner's Write Right Seminar May-June now online!

CalGeo is partnering with John Bachner, President of Bachner Communications to bring his popular Write Right Seminar to our online community.

The seminar will be a series of four (4) webinars, held each Tuesday, starting May 18th, 2021 from 12-1:30pm Pacific Time. The webinars will be recorded if you are unable to attend live. Practice quizzes will be available through CalGeo's Online Learning Library to test your knowledge and enhance your learning.

About John Bachner

A Harvard English major with more than 250 published books and 2500 published articles and columns, John’s first involvement with technical professionals came in 1968, as a consultant to the Consulting Engineers Council of Metropolitan Washington (CEC/MW). When his employer ceased operations in 1971, John established his own firm; CEC/MW became his first association-management client. Later, in 1973, the Associated Soil and Foundation Engineers (ASFE), since renamed the Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA), retained Bachner Communications to manage the group and, soon thereafter, to provide professional-liability loss-prevention guidance. John collected case histories and reviewed them in depth, coming to realize that inadequate “soft skills” were involved in every loss. John prepared books, guides, monographs, case histories, seminars, webinars, computer games, and much more to help professionals improve.

He is the creator of the profoundly influential Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP) program, a six-month basic-training course whose alumni include more than 2,000 engineering and environmental firms’ rising stars, more than 100 of whom are today the CEOs of the firms that enrolled them.

Write Right Seminar

The emphasis is on writing fundamentals: understanding the “five C’s” of effective communication, sentence structures, key elements of the parts of speech, obtaining full information, and, time permitting, issues related to e-mails and preparing lists.

This seminar is essential to engineers regardless of their experience level! Loss prevention to reduce liability and professional development all in one.


May 18, 25, June 1 & 8, 12-1:30pm Pacific Time.


CalGeo Members $100, Non-members $300. Students are free!

This course will be recorded and available for purchase after the conclusion of the live course, although interaction and feedback by John Bachner will not be available in the recorded version.

Conference Success: CONNECTIONS 2021 in the books!

We are so pleased with the interest and turn-out for our first full virtual conference. We can't wait to get back to in-person events but we couldn't let another year go by without a little fun.

Hopefully you all learned a little something from our informative sessions as well as saw some old friends at our wine tasting and happy hour events.


UCLA won for best student chapter video - congratulations, we're sending you $500 for your chapter! Pizza night anyone??

Team Smarter than Sand won trivia night - woo hoo! You all get a $100 Amazon gift card!

Project X Corrosion Engineering ran a raffle to give away a 50" flat screen TV and the winner is... Noah Smith with Terracon!

Catching up on the Sessions:

If you registered for the conference but missed one of our great sessions, do not fear! The recordings are all available to registered conference attendees on our Online Learning Library.

The conference portal is also still available with recordings available for playback under each session. Enjoy!

If you didn't get a chance to watch all the bass-pumping exhibitor videos or check-out the Showcase area of the student chapters, hit up the conference portal again HERE >>

Annual Golf Tournament: The rumors are true!

We can't let 2021 go by without our Annual golf tournament! We are planning on not one, but two tournaments in October this year.

NorCal: October 8th @ Poppy Hills (Pebble Beach) SAVE THE DATE

SoCal: Crossing our fingers for October 14th @ Torrey Pines

More info coming soon - start working on your swing!

Project Award Winner Spotlight: Langan wins Public Large Budget Category

Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA

Highland Hospital /Alameda County Medical Center Replacement project is a $668 million makeover of an aging public hospital. In order to keep the campus operational during construction, the project was divided in three phases over a 10-year construction period. It involved demolition, shoring of excavations, and new construction. The main challenge of this project was its complex phasing with no staging space, including demolition of existing buildings, while the hospital remained fully operational.

Initial Phase (below):

Completed Project (below):

Langan’s geotechnical investigation addressed:

•    Site seismicity and geologic hazards
•    Original site grades based on original drawings that were used to define the thickness of fill
•    Foundations and below-grade elements of existing structures that impact the proposed development
•    Presence of high groundwater levels that vary across the campus
•    Presence of local potentially liquefiable soil beneath the planned buildings
•    Shoring of critical facilities and other improvements during excavation for the new buildings
•    Presence and mitigation of soil with moderate to high expansion potential
•    Support of unbalanced earth pressures by shoring and basement walls
•    Feasible foundations for the support of new structures
•    Site specific response spectra and time histories for building design

The geotechnical investigation report was a major contributor to the project’s successful completion because it addresses complex and innovative, yet feasible and economic foundation and shoring options that were incorporated in design and construction, while meeting the requirements from the City of Oakland, California Geologic Survey (CGS), and the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). Many of the innovative geotechnical solutions are summarized below.

Phase 1 - The project’s first phase included demolition of a clinic and an auditorium, and the construction of a 79,000 SF outpatient clinic services building (Highland Care Pavilion). The 3-story facility was built over a 176-space parking structure and includes connectors to the existing hospital. The Highland Care Pavilion extends 3 to 4 levels below street grades on one side, and is at-grade on the opposite side. Excavations for the basement extended up to 50 feet below street grades; shoring included removable tiebacks where they extended below City streets. The structure was supported on spread footings bearing on native soil and drilled piers. Engineered fill was placed to support the footings where old fill and spread footings were present, and old Raymond piles and belled caissons were removed. Permanent tiebacks installed through old basement walls, and high capacity micropiles and piers were used to provide resistance against high unbalanced earth pressures.

Phase 2 - During the second phase, three old hospital wings were removed, and a 9-story, 169-bed Acute Care Tower and two-story Service Building were built adjacent to a below-grade, central utility plant. The 318,000 SF Acute Care Tower includes inpatient services, a family birthing center, a neonatal intensive care unit, a diagnostic imaging services center, a laboratory, rehabilitation therapy suites, and patient rooms. A corridor was also built to connect the Acute Care Tower to an existing critical care facility. The Acute Care Tower, Service Building, and corridor are under OSPHD jurisdiction. The Acute Care Tower was designed using site-specific response spectra and time histories developed by Langan and approved by OSHPD and California Geologic Survey (CGS).

The excavation for the Acute Care Tower included installation and testing of vertical and inclined 4-foot-diameter, 80-foot-long drilled piers for the support of the active utility tunnel. Shoring design and pier testing for the excavation adjacent to the active utility tunnel were approved by OSHPD; shoring required extensive monitoring of the tunnel.

Phase 3 - The project’s final phase included demolition of the old acute care hospital and the backfill of the old hospital basement, construction of the Link Building (connector between the Acute Care Tower and Highland Care Pavilion), a new courtyard, and installation of several large underground tanks to comply with state NPC5 requirements. The Link Building was designed using site-specific response spectra updated by Langan to meet the applicable building code, approved by OSHPD and CGS. To retain unbalanced earth pressures behind the Link Building footings were deepened and designed as lateral anchors. Shoring and building basement walls were designed for surcharge pressures from adjacent footings, belled caissons, and drilled piers. Geofoam was used extensively to reduce surcharge pressures from the backfilled hospital area. Shoring for underground tanks, installed at two locations around the Acute Care Tower, was approved by OSHPD, and extensively monitored for conformance of stringent criteria for the Acute Care Tower and other existing critical facilities.

June Regional Meeting: Chase Center Development

Join us on Thursday June 10th at 12pm for a look at one of California's latest construction mega-projects. The Chase Center Development in San Jose, CA won an Outstanding Project Award last year for the geotechnical design by Langan Engineering & Environmental Services.

Lets learn a little more about this project as we join Lori Simpson, Senior Principal and Serena Jang, Senior Associate at Langan.

The webinar is free of charge and registration is through GoToWebinar HERE >>

More details on CalGeo's calendar page HERE >>

Stego Announces New Drago Accessory Product & Installation Guide

Sealing and Repairing Drago Wrap Just Got More Efficient and Effective with a NEW Accessory and Detailed Installation Instructions.

The 3-in-1 Drago® Wrap Vapor Intrusion Barrier solution has recently expanded its offerings to include DragoSeal Tape allowing installation teams to efficiently and effectively seal seams, patches, and other details of Drago Wrap. This new accessory combines Drago Wrap technology with a robust synthetic rubber adhesive to create a one-step seaming solution with strong initial tack and excellent long-term adhesion. DragoSeal Tape is 100% visually inspectable to greatly improve the installation of Drago Wrap on project sites seeking a barrier to volatile organic compounds.

Check Out Our New Accessory Products

Review the Drago Installation Instructions

Looking for New Hires? Use CalGeo's Career Center

Some of our member firms are running ragged with loads of new work and struggling with employees working remotely or dealing with child-care issues. If you are in the market for some new staff, consider posting your positions on CalGeo's Career Center.

Check out our current postings plus more from ZipRecruiter here


The e.Calendar & Online Learning Events - The Geo-Calendar

All in-person events are cancelled for the immediate future due to COVID-19. We will notify you when we plan to hold an in-person event.

May 10-14: Legislative Visit week

May 7, 2021 10am-2pm: SFGI & UC Berkely 39th Annual Geosystems Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series

May 13, 2021 @ 6pm: SME SoCal Chapter FREE webinar on The Geotechnical Center of Excellence - Solving Difficult Geotechnical Problems

May 15, 2021: Salary Surveys DUE!

May 19 & 26, 2021: Two-part web series on Geotechnical Contracts

May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 2021: Four-part web series, Write Right course by John Bachner

June 10, 2021 @ 12pm: June Regional Meeting on Chase Center Development

October 8, 2021: SAVE THE DATE NorCal Golf Tournament @ Poppy Hills - More info coming soon!