Four Burns & McDonnell Projects Recognized by Engineering News-Record as Best in their Industry Categories

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Burns & McDonnell projects in St. Louis, New Orleans, Southeast Iowa and St. Mary's, Kansas have been recognized by Engineering News Record magazine as best in their respective categories.

Burns & McDonnell projects in St. Louis, New Orleans, Southeast Iowa and St. Mary’s Kansas have received 2015 Best Project or Award of Merit recognitions by Engineering News-Record (ENR) magazine.

A renovation of Terminal 1 and Concourses A, B, and C at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport received Best Project honors in the Airports/Transit category in ENR’s Midwest Region. Planning and design work began in 2008 of a sweeping project to improve the passenger experience at Lambert Airport by renovating and enhancing the ticketing hall, mid-level baggage claim and passenger arrival systems and concourse C/D security screening facilities. The Terminal Engineering team, led by Burns & McDonnell, performed design of Terminal utility systems, fire/life safety systems, communications and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems. The completed construction cost of $27 million was slightly under the project budget and has re-established Lambert as both the front door to St. Louis and a national gateway to the travelling public.

“Nothing is more important to the City of St. Louis than the first impression of visitors and we’re proud to have played a significant role in making sure that Lambert remains a world-class airport,” said Breck Washam, vice president and general manager of the St. Louis region for Burns & McDonnell.

An air quality control and efficiency improvement project for the Ottumwa Generating Station in Southeast Iowa also received an Award of Merit for Safety in ENR’s Midwest Region. The plant is co-owned by Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy. The four-year project has received numerous industry recognitions for successfully implementing multiple plant improvements during a single outage. In addition to its excellent safety record, the project was successful in decreasing key criteria pollutants to meet more stringent air quality standards while also increasing net generating capacity from 675 to 730 megawatts through steam turbine generator and boiler improvement strategies. The $500 million mega-project was completed by a joint venture team of Burns & McDonnell and Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co.

A first-of-its-kind constructed wetlands system to treat wastewater effluent from a Westar Energy power plant in St. Mary’s, Kansas, was judged as the Best Project in the Water/Environment category for ENR’s Rocky Mountain Region. Burns & McDonnell created the innovative treatment system and began pilot testing in 2009 when Topeka-based Westar began exploring alternative wastewater treatment options for a 1,857-megawatt coal-fired power facility. The 28-acre wetlands system incorporates a combination of soils and plants to create a tiered filtering system that removes harmful metals and other toxic materials. The system went fully operational in August 2014 and has proven to be far less costly than conventional treatment systems with no adverse effects to plants, fish, birds or wildlife in the area. The project also won the 2014 Edison Award by the Edison Electric Institute as the most innovative power industry project.

“We felt like this was a very viable idea when we began exploring it and we can’t overstate the importance of having a client like Westar willing to think outside the box and explore the possibilities,” said Chris Snider, Burns & McDonnell project manager. “We believe this project has broken important new ground in helping the industry understand how engineered natural systems can be a cost-effective alternative for handling coal plant waste streams.”

A new Enwave New Orleans district energy facility serving the all-new BioDistrict medical corridor in downtown New Orleans received an Award of Merit in the Energy/Industrial category for the ENR Texas-Louisiana region. The new $28 million energy facility ensures that health care facilities in downtown New Orleans will remain open and operational in the event of future natural disasters on a par with Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, when Katrina devastated the city, all critical care health facilities in downtown New Orleans were shut down when flooding knocked out power along with the chiller plant and steam plant. A new state-of-the-art combined heat and power facility designed and built by Burns & McDonnell can withstand hurricane-force winds topping 150 mph and all critical equipment is placed at least 20-feet above sea level, well above flood levels during Katrina. The new 26,000-square-foot plant includes redundant steam generating equipment and enough water and fuel to ensure the medical district can remain operational for seven full days, even if surrounding utilities are knocked out during that time. Earlier this year, the project won a National Merit Award from the Design-Build Institute of America.

“We’re especially proud of this project because it is a key piece of the game plan to make sure New Orleans is much better prepared the next time it faces a major storm,” said Scott Clark, regional vice president and director of Burns & McDonnell’s Onsite Energy group. “Our team came through on a challenging project design that required excellent construction planning due to its tight urban location near power lines, parking lots and residences.”


About Burns & McDonnell
Burns & McDonnell is a company made up of more than 5,300 engineers, architects, construction professionals, scientists, consultants and entrepreneurs with offices across the country and throughout the world. We strive to create amazing success for our clients and amazing careers for our employee-owners. Burns & McDonnell is 100% employee-owned and is proud to be No. 15 on FORTUNE’s 2015 List of 100 Best Companies to Work For. For more information visit

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