SWIFT Research Center named ENR MidAtlantic Water Project of the Year

The SWIFT Research Center, a design-build project by Hazen and Sawyer and Crowder Construction, is an advanced treatment facility that incorporates an 8-step process to prepare the water for recharging the Potomac Aquifer.

The design team utilized a Building Information Model to develop a design and effectively understand how each component works together within the facility and integrates within the site before construction began.

By using a “carbon-based” advanced treatment train consisting of ozone, BAC, and GAC, HRSD is able to realize a savings in capital, operations, and maintenance costs when compared to the traditional “full advanced treatment” approach to reuse which utilizes energy-intensive membrane processes to achieve treatment goals.

The SWIFT groundbreaking included virtual reality tours of the Research Center.

Since this is a first-of-its-kind project in Virginia, results from the Research Center were critical for gaining buy-in and support from regulatory agencies, residents, and local environmental groups.

The SWIFT initiative was also named a 2018 US Water Prize winner by the US Water Alliance.

The design of the Research Center, seen here under construction, also ensured that plant operations remained unaffected by construction and incorporation of the new facility.

(FAIRFAX, VA – August 2, 2018) – The SWIFT Research Center in Hampton Roads, VA was recently named ENR MidAtlantic Best Water/Environment Project of the Year.

The SWIFT Research Center, a design-build project by Hazen and Sawyer and Crowder Construction, is an advanced treatment facility that incorporates an 8-step process to prepare water for recharging the Potomac Aquifer. The design team utilized a Building Information Model to develop a design and effectively understand how each component works together within the facility and integrates within the site before construction began. The design also ensured that plant operations remained unaffected by construction and incorporation of the new facility. Sustainable architectural features were integrated into multiple aspects of the building design to provide a facility that communicates environmental leadership.

The SWIFT Research Center demonstrated that an eight-step, carbon-based advanced treatment process can produce finished water compatible for managed aquifer recharge. Since this is a first-of-its-kind project in Virginia, results from the Research Center were critical for gaining buy-in and support from regulatory agencies, residents, and local environmental groups.

The SWIFT program represents a highly sustainable and innovative approach to solving many of the region’s environmental challenges. An example of the role of innovation in the program’s progress to date is the selection of the water treatment train. By using a “carbon-based” advanced treatment train consisting of ozone, BAC, and GAC, HRSD is able to realize a savings in capital, operations, and maintenance costs when compared to the traditional “full advanced treatment” approach to reuse which utilizes energy-intensive membrane processes to achieve treatment goals. In addition to reducing the life cycle cost for advanced water treatment, the carbon-based treatment train eliminates the need to manage highly concentrated brine reject streams. The carbon-based treatment train was proven to be equally protective of public health through its multi-barrier approach. Further, HRSD is currently conducting testing to validate the performance of the aquifer itself as a treatment barrier.

Two panels of industry judges reviewed 82 projects located throughout the region, including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The judges — including an architect, engineer, contractor and a specialty contractor — were divided into two groups and assigned a group of categories. Projects were evaluated on the ability of the project team to overcome challenges, contribution to the industry and community, safety and construction and design quality.

The winning projects will be profiled in depth in the October 22 print issue of ENR MidAtlantic and honored at an awards presentation on Nov. 7 in Baltimore.

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