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Cold War-Era Walls Are STILL Falling

You may remember from your younger days (albeit vaguely) those ominous Fallout Shelter signs at schools and other community buildings. You may have even had a Fallout Shelter at home, or knew someone who did. It's estimated that as many as 300,000 have been built in the United States. Many still exist; hidden in plain view in your average suburban back yard.

We recently assisted a client in obtaining the necessary permits to remove a Fallout Shelter from their property. This particular shelter had 5 feet of earth cover and was constructed with 11 inch thick reinforced concrete walls, floor, and ceiling. It consisted of one 10' x 10' room and was accessed by a 48 inch CMP tunnel from the adjacent cellar. It also had a separate 48 inch CMP escape tunnel. There were air intake pipes, exhaust pipes, and a radio antenna (but unfortunately no canned goods or other cool 1950's-era supplies). CAS Engineering has been obtaining and expediting permits in DC Metro area for nearly 20 years; this was our very first Bomb-Shelter Raze Permit!

CAS Engineering Supports Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

On November 4th CAS Engineering sponsored a table at the 8th Annual Habitat for Humanity Benefit Breakfast. We are proud to have taken part in this event in each of the 8 years it has been held. As always, the event was informative and inspiring. We were joined at our table by Don Culbertson of D&J Culbertson Insurance, Inc., Mark Leas of Bethesda Builders, John Welsh of AHC, Inc., Paul Davey of Studio Z Design Concepts, Peter and Mary Clute, and Jon Tung of Field and Tung Structural Engineers. Habitat for Humanity

BAT Requirements Have Been "Flushed"

Some Montgomery County residents, including a few current CAS Engineering clients, recently saved about $10,000 thanks to Governor Larry Hogan. The Maryland Department of the Environment, at Gov. Hogan’s direction, rolled back an O’Malley-era regulation requiring Best Available Technology (BAT) for all new septic systems. M.D.E.’s regulatory action, effective on November 24th, dramatically reduced the reach of the original regulation. The action allows residential septic systems in Montgomery County to forego pre-treatment units, and thereby reducing their septic system costs by roughly $10,000. If you, or someone you know, is preparing to install a BAT system you may consider paying MCDPS’s nominal $375 application fee to file a revision to the septic permit. For more information, a copy of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s FAQ’s can be found here. BAT Regulation Changes

While We're on the Subject of Septic Systems...

You may not be aware, but way back on May 12th, 2014, Maryland revised its regulations (COMAR 26.04.02) to approve the use of At-Grade Mound Systems for on-site sewage disposal. Before the revision, deep trench, shallow trench and sand mound systems were the only options for Montgomery County residents who's property didn’t have access to public sewer.

Like sand mounds, at-grade mounds are surface septic systems that dispose of sewage through the use of a pump and a pressurized pipe distribution network in an elevated gravel bed. At-grade systems are a great option when site constraints don’t allow for conventional trench systems due to the presence of high groundwater or shallow bedrock. Also like sand-mounds, at-grade systems in general are less aesthetically pleasing than conventional trench systems, however at roughly half the height they have a less of a visual impact than a sandmound.

A PDF of the state design manual can be found here. At-Grade System Design Manual

The Ebenezer Eritrean Church is Underway!

Ebenezer Eritrean Church

CAS Engineering is proud to have obtained permits for Ebenezer Eritrean Church's new building on Piney Branch Road. The new church will be built on a vacant lot and features a green roof, pervious parking, and a public storm sewer extension. Our DC office provided surveying and feasibility studies, through engineering and permit expediting. We are grateful to be part of such a rewarding project.

Montgomery County Code, Chapter 50 Rewrite Approved!

On November 15th the County Council adopted SRA 16-01, an ambitious rewrite of the county subdivision regulations. In addition to creating the new, and aptly-named Administrative Subdivision Plan, the rewrite modernizes the language and makes it more consistent with the Zoning Ordinance. A version of the rewrite, which becomes effective on February 13, 2017, can be found here. SRA 16-01

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