City Scoop: Waterfront, Education Projects in Camden, NJ
DCM Architecture and Engineering
Guzman says reconstruction “with a strong emphasis on redevelopment along the waterfront” is a key trend in Camden. Also, “over the last couple of years, there have been significant investments in the construction of education facilities,” from university buildings to charter schools.
“The designs for some of those projects are good examples of architecture [with] an international contemporary minimalistic style with clean lines, large glass openings filled with natural light,” he says, adding that Mastery Cramer Hill Elementary charter school is one example.
“[An] awakening of construction activity in the city after many years of stagnation … is closely related to the financial and tax incentives behind the New Jersey Grow program, which is bound to end this year,” Guzman says. “We hope to see a new trend that is fueled by market-driven quality projects without the need of state government subsidies.”
For architects, engineers and construction firms, “the main challenge … comes from overregulated requirements in the city’s planning and zoning ordinances,” he says. “For general contractors, the main challenge is the incorporation of local labor and local subcontractors into their teams.”
Firm in Focus
10000 Midlantic Drive, Ste. 410W, Mount Laurel, N.J.
President and CEO: Adam Volanth
Engineering Good Living: The Villages at Berlin is a 31-acre multifamily development in Camden County with 472 units in 24 buildings as well as a fitness trail, a dog run, a playground and a swimming pool—the only place water will be allowed to collect. That’s because Bohler’s Mount Laurel office coordinated with the New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection to design significant stormwater improvements beyond regulations; water will infiltrate back into the existing site without causing runoff off site. There is also a relocation of county drainage systems and an extensive sanitary sewer system design. To address existing soil concerns, the firm was able to balance the site—minimizing future earthwork needs and mitigating expensive soil exporting costs—through its grading approach. Bohler also designed and incorporated a school bus route.