October 26, 2011

What's more fun than a room full of planners…talking about planning?

Otak had a blast at this year’s collaborative Oregon and Washington American Planning Association (APA) Conference in Portland, Oregon. Our own Dave Siegel spoke in a session about challenges and strategies to accommodating future growth in our region. When we weren’t attending sessions about great projects going on around the states, we were at the Otak booth talking to friends, clients and fellow planners about the great work Otak is doing across the country and abroad.


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   October 25, 2011

A few of Otak’s engineers recently travelled to Eagle Crest, Oregon for the 2011 APWA Fall Conference. To kick off the conference, Kevin Timmins, water resource engineer in Otak’s Lake Oswego office, participated in a golf tournament. Alissa Maxwell, civil engineer in Otak’s Bend office, presented a technical session to attendees. Lastly, at the conference's banquet, the team accepted the Project of the Year Award from APWA Oregon for the SW Burnham Street Improvements project. The conference was yet again a success.

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   October 24, 2011

Otak International recently organized, in coordination with OMNIX and CAD Emirates, a BIM (Building Information Modeling)/Revit seminar at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates that introduced Otak’s clients, subconsultants and team to the design software.

R. Nicholas Loope (Ryc), President and COO of Otak, introduced the event and shared the benefits of BIM with all attendees. He stressed the benefits associated with developing a project from concept to construction using BIM. Ryc also encouraged all participants to move forward in the competitive market by using the efficient tool.

BIM and Revit are one of the key components in providing a comprehensive and integrated service to clients. The benefits of using Revit include creating more accurate designs with fewer errors, delivering projects faster and minimizing environmental impacts.

This was the first event of its kind by Otak International. They will continue to explore new technologies that include all services provided by Otak in the Middle East.


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   October 24, 2011

Otak recently hired Emily Leete, a project assistant for Otak’s Architecture and Planning group in the Lake Oswego office. She has 15 years of experience working in the architecture and engineering industry in various administrative roles. Emily has experience in InDesign, Deltek and a variety of other software.

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   October 20, 2011

Otak’s work on the SW Burnham Street Improvements project for the City of Tigard recently won a Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association, Oregon Chapter. Otak supported the City’s vision for a revitalized downtown with design and construction services to transform Burnham Street into the City’s first “green street.” The Otak team faced the unique challenge of balancing sustainability objectives with the street’s status as a major utility and freight corridor populated with longstanding small businesses. Otak provided roadway and stormwater design, water main and landscaping design, utility coordination and preparation of legal descriptions for easement and right-of-way acquisition.

Otak also won an Achievement Award from the American Planning Association, Utah Chapter, for the City of Logan’s Land Development Code Update. This project marked the City’s first major update of land use regulations since 2004. The plan converted traditional code to an innovative “place-based” system that supports the unique qualities and character for each of Logan’s geographically diverse residential, commercial and industrial zones.   

Dan Dawson, based in Otak’s Kirkland office, recently won the James Robertson Award from the American Public Works Association, Washington Chapter. This award recognizes an individual for outstanding serviceand is one of the Chapter’s most prestigious awards.

Congratulations to Dan, as well as the project team members who were recognized for their efforts on the Burnham Street and City of Logan projects. We appreciate your dedication to building better cities, stronger communities and great places that many generations will enjoy.

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   October 14, 2011

I recently witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for the $295-million Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB) on Portland's South Waterfront. Otak has been working with the Oregon Health & Science University since early 2006 to help prepare the empty Schnitzer campus for this first, of many, buildings. This project has taken an amazing compilation of partnerships and well-executed timing to make the construction of the new building possible. The project design team started in early April of this year. The pace of design has been stunning as contractor JE Dunn begins driving piles for the building only six months since the start of the design process. In addition, two other major construction projects will be underway adjacent to the new building. This area will be a beehive of activity over the next 3-4 years. The first phase of the CLSB will be open in the Fall of 2013.

-submitted by Scott Shumaker, Civil Engineer at Otak


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   October 4, 2011

Otak’s Lake Oswego office recently participated in the annual Bike Commute Challenge organized by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA). This year, 12 riders braved the traffic and elements and biked to work at least once during the month of September. The Otak team logged 79.5 rides (a round trip is 1 ride) for the month and traveled a total of 1,492 miles or about the distance from Portland to Tucson, Arizona. Otak’s ride percentage of 4.9% was several percentage points higher than last year. Using the BTA’s formulas, the Otak team saved 1,462 pounds of CO2 and burned 73,123 calories.

Overall, the challenge included 12,064 riders actively logging trips, and a total of 1,372,667 miles. BTA estimates the effort saved 1,345,213 pounds of CO2. Bike commuting is a great way to get exercise, relieve stress, save money on gas, and reduce your carbon footprint. 

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