Nicholson Construction and GEI Consultants Receive Top Prize in ACEC/Massachusetts 2015 Engineering Excellent Awards Competition

April 4, 2015

PITTSBURGH ““ April 3, 2015 ““ Nicholson Construction, a national geotechnical contracting firm specializing in deep foundations, earth retention and ground treatment and GEI Consultants, Inc., one of the nation’s leading geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firms announced that the Massachusetts chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC/MA) has presented the team its top prize, the Grand Conceptor Award, for their Provo Temple Underpinning project in Provo, Utah. The award was presented at the ACEC/MA 2015 Engineering Excellence Awards Gala held in Boston on March 18.

The Grand Conceptor Award winner was chosen from the five Gold Awards as the overall best engineering project amongst all the award submissions entered this year to ACEC/MA. The award recognizes the innovative underpinning system which was employed to salvage the Provo Tabernacle, a historic building in the center of the Utah city, built around 1890, that was ravaged in a December 17, 2010 fire. The underpinning system stabilized the remaining exterior walls to allow for careful excavation beneath the structure to preserve the temple’s facade. In addition, the underpinning system allowed the owner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to expand the size and purpose of the building, and rededicate it as a Temple.

In a design-build partnership, GEI Consultants and Nicholson Construction Company designed the pioneering underpinning system to lift the brick facade off its existing shallow foundation, excavate 35 feet below street grade, and prepare the site for the build-out of a new basement under the historic structure for general contractor Jacobsen Construction. As Engineer-of-Record, GEI finalized the design of the underpinning micropiles, needle beams, and bracing to support the tabernacle and resist lateral loads during excavation.

Nicholson Construction skillfully installed the unique underpinning structure that was able to keep 6.8 million pounds (3,400 tons) of the building’s facade in the air and enable the excavation underneath to take place without compromising the existing structure. The result of this project was an undertaking that attracted the rapt attention of the public and showcased the resolve of the Church to preserve its history; the skill and workmanship of the engineer and contractor, and the technical prowess of the civil engineering profession.

“We’re very proud of the work that both teams did on this project,” said Paul Krumm, Operations Manager, Nicholson Construction. “The reconstruction of the Temple is very important to the local community, and we are really honored to have been part of it.”

The underpinning and foundation excavation project was completed in December 2013. Work is currently proceeding on the above-grade portions of the temple.

### About Nicholson Construction Company: Nicholson has been both a leader and an innovator in the geotechnical construction industry for more than 50 years.

With regional offices across the country and headquarters located in Pittsburgh, Nicholson is a nationally renowned specialty contractor, offering proven expertise in the design and installation of deep foundation elements, earth retention systems and ground treatment solutions. We pride ourselves on our ability to consistently provide our clients with innovative, high-quality design-build options for projects of varying size and complexity. Nicholson is the North American subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy, one of the world’s leading geotechnical contractors, and is part of a global network of unparalleled geotechnical resources and expertise.

About GEI Consultants, Inc.: GEI’s multi-disciplined team of engineers and scientists deliver integrated water resources, environmental, ecological, geotechnical, and structural engineering solutions to diverse clientele nationwide. The firm has provided a broad range of consulting and engineering services on over 35,000 projects in 50 states and 22 countries. For more information, please visit