Speaking of Design
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A New Source of Pride for the Richest Hill on Earth
Once known as the "richest hill on Earth" for its wealth of mineral deposits, Butte became the first major city in Montana — and among the largest cities between Chicago and San Francisco — thanks to the boom of copper mining. But early 20th-century mining practices led to serious environmental consequences, including contaminated local groundwater unfit to drink. The city received its most pristine drinking water from the high-mountain Basin Creek Reservoir — so pure that it never...
Episode 6 Preview
We're back for Season 2, where we'll take you to what was once known as the Richest Hill on Earth, and learn how a one-of-a-kind water treatment plant that's helping a community change its perception.
Episode 6 Preview
On the next episode of Speaking of Design, meet a team fighting the effects of forest fires without boots, oxygen masks or a fire truck.
Episode 6 Preview
On the next episode of Speaking of Design, we’ll take you to Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, where environmental engineers are helping the town turn the page on a big part of its history.
Building a Little Bridge with Big Hearts
Civil engineers and construction managers often find themselves building massive bridges and interchanges capable of moving millions of vehicles efficiently through growing metropolises. But a small team from the across the United States took a break from that world, volunteering two weeks of their time to venture into the rainforest of Panama and build a much simpler structure — a footbridge across a river. Despite unique challenges from travel, weather and living conditions, these...
Episode 5 Preview
On the next episode of Speaking of Design, we’ll meet a group of volunteers who traveled to Bajo Cobre, Panama, to build a pedestrian bridge that spanned a river, connecting the community to the school, hospital and markets that they depend on for their livelihood.
Kansas City, Here We Come! Hop Aboard the KC Streetcar
The people of Kansas City love the new KC Streetcar, and you’ll find the vehicles packed on a beautiful summer day. But the idea of building a modern streetcar faced questions and doubts from business owners and residents in a city without rail transit since the 1950s. To get the concept on the rails, the project team played had to educate, listen and collaborate to design a streetcar the community would support. The result? Today, many of those initial skeptics are singing its praises —...
Episode 4 Preview
In our next episode, we'll take a ride on Kansas City's popular downtown streetcar, and find out what it took to bring streetcars back to the city for the first time in more than 50 years.
Rebuilding A War-Torn Country with Hope
As U.S. forces drew down in Afghanistan, a new phase of counterinsurgency strategy took place. In support of the U.S. Department of Defense, an Air Force Civil Engineer Center program sought to strengthen Afghanistan’s national security by building new universities, government buildings, training sites, barracks, recruiting stations, air bases, roads, bridges and other facilities needed for the country’s security forces. However, for the American construction management team providing...
Episode 3 Preview
In our next episode of Speaking of Design, you'll hear the story of how former American military service members working in the engineering industry are helping to reconstruct a nation whose people have suffered through decades of war.
How a Storm Sewer Project Led to Designing an Urban Oasis
Just north of the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood had fallen into a state of disrepair. Described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as "a barren expanse of cracked concrete, weeds and towering trees surviving against a background of neglect," the area was filled with abandoned buildings and prone to sewer overflows. But rather than going forward with a typical storm sewer expansion, residents of the area saw an opportunity to solve the...
Episode 2 Preview
Coming soon, an episode about one of Atlanta’s most popular wedding destinations, which started as a storm sewer project.
Meet a Landfill That's Greener than Grass
When you think of landfills, you may not think of design. But like almost every type of engineering or architectural design, landfills have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. In the pilot episode of Speaking of Design, you’ll meet one engineer who’s taken landfill design to a new level, creating a source of renewable solar energy at Atlanta’s Hickory Ridge Landfill.