The Versatility of Concrete

While concrete is a basic building block of most structures that we see and use every day, it is something that we don’t think much about.  However, concrete is usually the material of choice when compressive strength and durability are paramount. Concrete is also naturally fire resistant.

Gilboa DamAccording to the Concrete Joint Sustainability Initiative, concrete “is strong and durable, resistant to deterioration and damage. It buffers temperature, and it can be colored and placed to do this in a way that works with passive solar energy to heat or cool spaces. It buffers sound, providing respite in a crowded, noisy world. It is versatile, allowing a large range of shapes, textures, and structural approaches to create the function, look, and feel appropriate to the project. It is also versatile in the flexibility of component materials, a quality which both extends the range of performance properties—insulation, permeability, and strength—and allows variation in the resources used to produce it. Concrete can play a vital role in the way we conserve and protect natural resources in the structures we create with it and the processes by which we produce it.”   Continue reading

HAKS Uses 3D Software to Transform Downtown Building

225 bowery 3D Section_4 (2)HAKS’ Architecture/Facilities Design studio provides clients with full design and construction phase services for new and existing facilities and employs state-of-the-art technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM).

As the Architect of Record, HAKS is utilizing an empowering BIM software to repurpose a 10-story, 100-year-old building in Lower Manhattan into a micro-hotel by adding four stories and a sub-basement level.  Revit software is specifically designed for BIM, enabling design and construction professionals to bring ideas from concept to fruition with a coordinated and consistent approach.  This single application includes features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering and construction, helping to maintain a vision of the final product from design through construction. Continue reading

Recommissioning of Gilboa Dam

Recommissioning of Gilboa

Recommissioning of Gilboa

On October 31, 2014, HAKS Senior Vice President Al Lopez, P.E., and Vice President Todd Yanoff, P.E., of our Water/Wastewater Group, joined New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd and other dignitaries at the recommissioning of the Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County, New York.  A HAKS-led joint venture has been providing Construction Management services for the rehabilitation of the dam—the firm’s largest construction management project to date and believed to be the largest public works project in the Catskills. D&B Engineers and Architects, PC/URS was our joint venture partner; Gannett Fleming/Hazen and Sawyer joint venture was designer; and Barnard Construction/DA Collins joint venture was the contractor. The NYCDEP initiated this $400 million project to extend the life of the dam another 100 years and bring it into compliance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation safety standards. Says Commissioner Lloyd, “This was a safety project foremost.” Phase 3 of this massive undertaking, the $138 million reconstruction of the Gilboa Dam, has been completed two years ahead of schedule in spite of a nine-month delay caused by Tropical Storm Irene. Continue reading

HAKS Launches New Website

HAKS has a new look.   As we approach our 25th anniversary, there is much to celebrate. It is hard to believe that this 600-person, full-service consulting firm began in 1991 as a two-person operation.  Our multicultural and talented workforce provides our clients with construction management/inspection, engineering, architecture/facilities design, surveying and mapping, material testing and special inspections services. Continue reading

Moving Forward on Transportation Infrastructure Funding

To quote the General Contractors Association, “The Time to Think about Infrastructure is while It is Still Working.” And as a new year begins, now seems to be the time to rethink new construction and repair of infrastructure of all categories.

Staten Island Projects-3-WebCrop

St. George Ferry Terminal Ramps Rehabilitation

The nation’s highways are primarily financed by the Highway Trust Fund, which obtains most of its money from a gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. This tax is not tied to the price of gas or inflation and, as a result, has lost much of its purchasing power over the years. The Obama Administration recently held an Infrastructure Investment Summit to find solutions to the infrastructure funding crisis.

While the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved a $265 billion 6-year transportation bill that reauthorizes MAP-21, it still leaves a gap of $100 million between Highway Trust Fund revenues and proposed spending levels, which impacts both our mobility and economy. Continue reading

Post Sandy–Rebuilding and Resiliency

“With the immediate emergency repairs finished following Superstorm Sandy and temporary fixes in place, city and state agencies in New York and New Jersey are now focused on planning, funding and building long-term resiliency projects,” observes a supplement (August 25/September 1, 2014) to ENR New York  “The Rebuilding Continues.” The issue reports on how infrastructure and facilities are being rethought by city and state entities and will be rebuilt to withstand the force of a storm such as Sandy, and that state and local programs are “ramping up.” Continue reading

Design-Build Delivers

According to the Design-Build Institute of America (, “Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. Owners select design-build to achieve best value while meeting schedule, cost and quality goals.” The DBIA states that design-build offers 33% faster delivery speed and 6% lower overall project cost and is applied to 40% of the non-residential construction market share. Transportation is the fastest-growing design-build sector in the U.S. Continue reading

HAKS’ Bridge Inspections and Evaluations Span the Northeast


Manhattan Bridge Inspection, New York City

A comprehensive bridge condition assessment program helps public agencies to better identify their needs, prioritize actions, and allocate available funds to preserve structures.

HAKS has become one of the Northeast region’s premier bridge inspection and evaluation firms, conducting high-profile bridge inspections primarily in the tri-state area.  Biennial inspections constitute a substantial part of our bridge infrastructure work; we have been conducting award-winning bridge biennial inspections for more than two decades.  We recently won a major NYSDOT biennial inspection in Queens County, where the firm will examine 480 bridges with more than 3,000 spans.  Challenges here include coordinating with events scheduled at Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium; work in the heavily traveled Long Island Expressway; and complicated sets of ramps on the Van Wyck Expressway.   The expansion of our bridge inspection services includes naming Rob Gizzi as Senior Vice President of Bridge Inspection for the New York region. Continue reading