WATTS NEW? Alternate Energy Projects

Barry Isett & Associates has long embraced green design.  Now we are proud to play design roles in projects that promote alternate energy.

The Hazleton office civil team is currently preparing a feasibility study and land development plans for a proposed 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant at the Humboldt Industrial Park, Luzerne County, PA.  Beacon Power Corporation, our client, will receive a $24-million Smart Grid stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and $5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RCAP) funds to assist with the completion of the $53 million energy storage plant in the industrial park.

Flywheel technology stores electrical energy and puts it back on the electrical grid at times of high demand.  Unlike conventional fossil-fuel generators that are typically used to provide this service, flywheel technology consumes no fuel, produces zero emissions of any kind, and can perform faster and more cost-effectively.  Beacon estimates the facility could save Pennsylvania consumers an estimated $3.5 million to $4.5 million in annual electricity costs for 20 years.

Headquartered in Stephentown, NY, Beacon is recognized as a leader in electricity storage.  Beacon opened a plant similar to the one proposed for Humboldt in Stephentown, NY earlier this year.

BIA recently provided design services for a 896 panel solar array for an 1,800 acre farm in Lehigh County.  The farm received over $230,000 in financial help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Rural Energy for America Program.

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Design in Real-time: Revit in Action

The ArtsQuest™ Center at SteelStacks™ is a four-story, contemporary performing arts center and cultural campus with three outdoor performance venues. In the above photo, finishing touches are being applied to the center, designed by Spillman Farmer Architects. Barry Isett & Associates (BIA) recognizes the growing need for 3D and BIM (Building Information Modeling) deliverables.  BIM is the virtual construction of a building or a digital building prototype — where every view, drawing sheet, and schedule is a direct representation of the same underlying database.  BIM can also be viewed as a virtual process that encompasses all aspects, disciplines, and systems of a building within a single, virtual model, allowing all design team members — owner, architects, contractors, engineers and consultants — to collaborate accurately and efficiently.  As the model is being created, team members are constantly refining and adjusting their portions according to owner preferences, systems compatibility, and design intent to ensure the model is as accurate as possible before the project ever physically breaks ground.

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Emergency Engineering: Focus on FORENSICS

No two days are ever the same for the engineers of BIA’s Forensics Department.

On call 24/7 to respond to emergencies, during typical work hours the five-member department provides a range of services including structural investigation, damage assessment, design of repairs, and litigation support. 


When tragedy struck Allentown in February and put the Lehigh Valley in the national news, our forensic team was called into action.  A late-night gas explosion caused a conflagration at 13 and Allen Streets, killing five people, injuring dozens, and forcing over 350 residents in the surrounding area to evacuate their homes.

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BIA Celebrates National Survey Week

Alan Chyko, PLS, chief surveyor of BIA’s Hazleton office, coordinated volunteer teams across the Pennsylvania  for the first-ever simultaneous nationwide Global Positioning System (GPS) survey , conducted on Saturday, March 19.

Organized by the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), the event commemorated National Survey Week with the goal of reinforcing the accuracy of GPS systems worldwide.  In addition to strengthening GPS data points, the goal of the project was to give the public an opportunity to observe local surveyors in action and to learn more about a profession that was practiced by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Boone, and Henry David Thoreau, among many others.

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SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority projects - ON TRACK

The Susquehanna Economic Development Association Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) Joint Rail Authority retained Barry Isett & Associates to prepare NEPA-compliance documentation for multiple  rail improvement projects in north-central Pennsylvania.  The rail improvement projects, necessitated by the increasing demands for regional rail service associated with the Marcellus Shale formation and the natural gas exploration industry, spread across Lycoming, Centre, Blair, Union, and Northumberland counties.  NEPA compliance was required because substantial funding for these projects comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER II Discretionary Grant, administered through the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

BIA’s Environmental professionals conducted field views and photo-documentation of all of the project areas, assessed wetland areas potentially impacted by project actions, assisted SEDA-COG’s

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Our Founder: Barry E. Isett, PE, PLS, FNSPE - Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board

In 1977, the country was in recession, oil prices were rising, inflation was rampant, and the nation was struggling to recover.  That January, Jimmy Carter was inaugurated President of the United States.  The minimum wage was $2.30 an hour; the DOW average was 831.  Where others saw doom and gloom, Barry Isett saw opportunity.  After being an employee for almost 20 years, he decided to start an engineering firm, with Shirley, his helpmate, taking on all administrative duties in the second-floor offices they rented on Route 100 in Trexlertown, PA.  In the beginning, services were limited to survey, civil engineering, and structural engineering.  An early project –perhaps the first– was a survey of the campus of Allentown College of St. Francis DeSales.  Now known as DeSales University, the institution still looks to Barry Isett & Associates for a range of services.

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