Today, BHB celebrates 28 years in business with a walk down memory lane. We asked members of company leadership, “what is your favorite or most memorable BHB project thus far?” From the firm’s first foray into Autocad in 1992 to the renovation of an iconic downtown Fort Worth building, here are their answers.
Federal Medical Center at Carswell AFB
Bill Baird, PE, RPLS | Founder, Senior Civil Engineer
“A really significant early project was the Federal Medical Center for the FBOP. This was in 1994, so at the time it was really important to us. It helped us grow and gain credentials and credibility.” The project included a site and project master plan with site improvements, a low security medical compound, a minimum security prison satellite camp, a Federal Prison Industries Factory, a regional logistics warehouse and various food service/dining facilities.”
Diamond Hill Clinic – Tarrant County Hospital District
Merlin Hampton, PE | Founder, Senior Electrical Engineer
“Up until this time , all of our projects were manually drafted on our one and only drafting table. We were excited to get this project because the owner required it to be drafted in Autocad and not all companies at that time had committed to using CAD. … We saw this as an opportunity to get a jump-start on our competition. Bill, Les, and I eagerly started learning Autocad and even used our IT consultant to select software and hardware to automatically back-up all of our digital files.
A day or two before our Diamond Hill Clinic was due, we had our IT consultant come to our office and make sure everything was working properly on the back-up system. He said it was, and to prove it and before we could register our objection, he deleted all of the Diamond Hill electrical files! He said it was no problem; he would just go to the back-up tapes and retrieve the backed-up files. To our chagrin, he had programmed the system in error to only back up the names of the files and not the files themselves! He had deleted the entire electrical files and no back-up files were available!
The project was due in two days and it could not be delayed, since it was a county project and had already been advertised in the newspaper. Fortunately, I had plotted a full set of electrical drawings the day before, so I immediately began to re-draw all of the electrical drawings. The owner was very understanding and we issued the electrical drawings by addendum to the contract documents about a week later. We still have that old drafting table, but it hardly ever has been used. CAD drafting became a way of life for us, and still is, for over 27 years.”
Expansion & Renovation of Trinity and LD Bell High Schools – HEB ISD
Les Brown, PE | Founder, Senior Mechanical Engineer
“I remember that it really taxed our mechanical group at the time (1995). I don’t remember how many we had in mechanical then, but I recall that we had to pull more than one all-nighter to get it done. We replaced all of the chillers, boilers and air handling units in both high schools with rooftop units. We added over 230 rooftop units and 20 split systems.
But another memorable part of the job is that during the first day of school Merlin got a call that one of the schools lost all power. The power company had increased the size of the transformer but had not increased the size of the fuse on the incoming service, so it had blown when all the new load was turned on. Fortunately it was a power company oversight and not anything to do with the design.”
North Riverside Drive – City of Fort Worth
Konstantine Bakintas, PE | President, Senior Civil Engineer
“For me, this one stands out because it is fairly large [engineering, land surveying, and landscape architecture services for the reconstruction and widening of one mile of a four-lane divided arterial roadway], and includes two roundabouts – still a fairly progressive approach to addressing intersections. Our North Riverside Drive project is now finally under construction… we were first awarded this contract in 2014, and it has taken this long to design, acquire the right-of-way, and relocate the franchise utilities.” The full scope of this project included new travel lanes, turn lanes, medians, median openings, 10’ sidewalks, multi-use (hike & bike) trails, streetlights, and storm drainage system analysis and upgrades.
Tarrant County 1895 Courthouse
Ken Randall, PE , LEED AP | COO, Senior Electrical Engineer
BHB worked on this CMEP project in six phases over several years with Art Weinman. It involved the demolition of the Tarrant County Civil Courts building and restoration of the west entrance to the courthouse; the study and analysis phase began in 2006, with substantial completion in 2012. This building was one of the first structural steel framed buildings built in the Southwest. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas Landmark and State Archeological Landmark.
Baylor Scott & White Transplant Operating Room
Richard Watters, PE | Principal, Senior Mechanical Engineer
“In light of the current pandemic and renewed critical importance of healthcare, I can’t help but think of one of our projects at Baylor Scott & White. It was for their Transplant Operating Room, which was a brand new room in their existing sterile suite. The room was slightly bigger than a traditional OR because of all the services and people that would be involved in the organ transplant. It required us to really understand what everyone on the transplant team would be doing and how our building systems would help them. … [Because some equipment didn’t perform per the specifications,] we spent hours in the field and even helped with the final test and balance to get everything operating properly the night before the State was going to perform their final inspection and certify the room.
Engineering isn’t just putting pens on paper (or clicking a mouse on a screen); sometimes it involves jumping into the problem to see how we can help. It was incredible to be a part of that project, knowing that something we did would play a small role in extending someone’s life or improving their life. Now Baylor Scott & White is home to one of the largest volume liver and heart transplant programs in the nation.”