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September 29, 2016

Survey: Landau Associates

Photo courtesy of Landau Associates [enlarge]
Landau designed a secure cover system for the Cornwall Avenue Landfill in Bellingham.

Specialty: Geotechnical and environmental solutions that help clients comply with environmental regulations and achieve their business objectives

Management: Jay Bower, CEO; Chip Halbert, permitting and compliance services director; Jerry Ninteman, environmental remediation services director; Calvin McCaughan, geotechnical services director; Scott Woerman, client services director

Founded: 1982

Headquarters: Edmonds

2015 revenues: $13 million

Projected 2016 revenues: $14 million

Projects: Secure cover system for the Cornwall Avenue Landfill at the Port of Bellingham; environmental permitting for a new engine testing lab in Skagit County for Paccar; cleanup of a former dry cleaner chemical supply facility in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood

Scott Woerman, client services director of Landau Associates, answered questions from the DJC about his firm and the industry.

Q: How can cities become more sustainable?

A: One of the biggest hurdles to reaching sustainability goals in our cities is getting people to accept changes that must be made in how things have traditionally been done. Once they understand the long-term benefits of short-term costs and disruption — be it construction of mass transit systems, mandates for clean energy use or implementation of green building codes — the more willing they’ll be to make the necessary investments to achieve sustainability.

Q: What is the biggest environmental issue in real estate?

A: There is shortage of “clean” developable land within the urban core. This results in a need for interaction with the Washington Department of Ecology to reach “closure” on most properties slated for development. The budget and process challenges at Ecology, primarily with the Voluntary Cleanup Program, are resulting in significant uncertainty in the cleanup process that affects project schedules and costs.

Q: What are the biggest trends and issues in your industry locally?

A: Critical infrastructure, transportation, water resources, information, and renewable and distributed energy. Timely, creative and cost-effective solutions are required to address the environmental challenges associated with implementing these types of projects.

Q: Which services are most in demand and where do you see growth in the next five years?

A: Management of stormwater runoff to protect our urban streams and Puget Sound will continue to receive significant attention as we gain a better understanding of how urban runoff impacts our environment. The demand for all services related to new industrial and commercial development or facility expansion continues to grow; services include civil/geotechnical engineering and permitting associated with air, water resources and water quality, habitat, and critical areas.

Q: What’s the next frontier for sustainability?

A: In many ways, discussions previously focused on sustainability are being replaced with discussions focused on resiliency and adaptation to meet the demands of a changing environment, particularly as it relates to climate change.

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