Before we get to the good part, let's start with a safety moment!
Staring at computer screens for prolonged periods of time can strain your eyes or make the symptoms of existing eye conditions worse. Symptoms include difficulty focusing, headaches, eye discomfort, blurred vision, dry eyes, and itchy eyes.
To combat this, take more breaks, follow the 20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, use 20 seconds to focus on something 20 feet away), position your monitor 20-26 inches away from your eyes and a bit below eye level, reduce glare, and clean your monitor regularly.
Always start your day, your meeting, or a major task with a safety moment to ensure you’ve identified all hazards beforehand. It can be as short as 30 seconds or as long as five minutes.
Top right (clockwise): 1. Morning vehicle pre-check; 2. Project Team looking at computer screen; 3. Mi-Tech team member completing a JSA before a jobsite visit; 4. On-the-job training at Equix Energy Services in Jacksonville; 5.Safety leadership training.
Women in Construction Week
Each year, we celebrate the amazing women at our company because, let’s face it, they deserve some praise. Whether it’s being an administrative assistant, contract administrator, or project manager, they’re everywhere making sure the job gets done from the field to the office!
This year, we showcased the following super women who work for Equix, Astra, and Mi-Tech Services.
Earlier this year, we implemented EHS Insight across our organization to empower us to identify hazards, manage HSE risks, and measure and report on workplace and process events. Doing so, increased our ability to implement HSE processes systematically and consistently across our entire operations.
In short, this cloud-based solution enables:
“As with any change, learning will take place and the safety team is here to support the entire organization in making our HSE management system more effective and efficient,” said Lee Travis, Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environmental. “Employees can access the EHS Insight through any company device or their personal device with the mobile app.
As our employees become more comfortable with the system, we add enhanced functionality. For instance, this past summer, we added the ability to report near misses. This application increases efficiency and improves the quality of Incident and Near Miss reports and allows for improved notification, ensuring proper documentation and the sharing of learnings.”
One of our current projects is the 2022 City of Akron, Ohio Akron Capacity Management, Operations, and Maintenance (CMOM) project that consists of three (3) cleaning and televising contracts in North, East, and South Akron from May through November. Overall, it includes 490,700 LF of 8” to 18” sewer cleaning and televising.
CMOM programs are an information-based program to effectively run a collections system and help lower the risk of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and discharge violations. The City is working on a multi-year Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP), under direction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to reduce sewer overflows. Akron is taking steps to drastically reduce combined sewer overflows and increase the capacity of its sewage system and water reclamation facility.
We are thrilled to be working on this project, and love knowing that the work we do makes communities better places to live.
Equix Energy Services completed a cutting-edge project with a local dairy farm in central Florida to install infrastructure that allows three (3) anaerobic digesters to convert cow manure into renewable natural gas. Regarding project scope, our team is responsible for civil work, piping fabrication, meter station installation, and more.
To put the magnitude of this project into perspective, these digesters are expected to generate enough energy to power about 4,000 homes. Innovative projects like this are being constructed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This practice is critical in central Florida as dairy farming has dramatically increased over the years. Sustainable practices like anaerobic digesters allow the vital agricultural industry to thrive while reducing potential adverse environmental impacts.
Astra Construction Services, in conjunction with a HUB Zone and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, won the Trinity Portland Pump Station project in Dallas, Texas. The pump station is a Design/Build project for the Dallas branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The design portion of the project began at end of March 2021 and construction is scheduled for completion in Spring 2025. Once complete, the pump station will be able to collect and pump 250,000 GPM of stormwater over the west levee and into the floodway. In addition to site work preparation for the pump station, the levee will be raised. Our team is doing extraordinary work on this project.
In late June, leaders from all Equix companies—Equix, Astra, and Mi-Tech Services—gathered in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for our annual Summer Summit. The summit consisted of three (3) days of learning, growing, and connecting as individuals of the company.
Each day began with a safety moment, and Day 1 focused on a high-level overview of where Equix sits as a whole, which included reviewing the highs and lows from 2022 and a deep dive into our core values.
Our leaders got to hear from two project management & claims experts, where they learned of the industry’s current best practices. Afterward, leaders were divided into breakout groups where they participated in detailed training in the areas of safety, retirement planning, anti-harassment, and finance.
After the safety moment on Day 2, we heard from an excellent keynote speaker and author, David Horsager. He walked us through his diligent research and thorough knowledge of the Eight Pillars of Trust.
CLARITY: Clarity is the cornerstone of trust. We are more likely to trust someone when we know where they stand and when they are clear in their words and actions. Anyone in the company can strengthen clarity, and clarity from one person inspires it in others. Making clear priorities and communicating clear expectations are two simple things we can all do in our daily activities. The questions to ask are How? How? HOW? until you have actionable steps that can be taken to start doing a task tomorrow.
COMPASSION: We trust those that care about something beyond themselves and those that put others’ needs before their own. We can strengthen this pillar by practicing L.A.W.S. – Listen, Appreciate, Wake up (work on being present and put the phone away), and Serve others.
CHARACTER: One of our team members defined character as, “Doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, whether you feel like it or not.” Would you follow you? What are your decision-making values? Leaders were encouraged to incentivize the character they want to see in their teams and to lead by example.
COMPETENCY: Competency is a critical element of trust as we are more willing to put our faith in someone we know can do the job well. We continue to strengthen our pillar of competency as we are constantly learning, growing, and staying up to date on industry knowledge. Competency is the “Keeper of Culture” because input=output.
COMMITMENT: We trust those who keep their promises. Our bond of trust strengthens as we create a culture of accountability and maintain our commitments to one another. Accountability allows you to have a more precise picture by having clear goals, clear ability, clear metrics, clear check-ins (specific person, time, and place), clear results, and clear commitment, which all lead to healthy relationships and a solid foundation of trust.
CONNECTION: At its core, trust is about personal relationships, which require connection to grow. Making the extra effort to meet with your team members and getting to know them for who they are are great ways to build connections within your team and Equix.
CONTRIBUTION: As we individually work to contribute to delivering the results we strive for as a company, we increase the way we trust and rely on each other.
CONSISTENCY: It’s the little things done consistently that make the most significant difference. It is critical to understand that trust is never static and that every interaction we have affects it. None of these other pillars can make a genuine difference if they are not guided by consistency. Only choose things you can commit to consistently.
On the final day, leaders from our companies and business units met to digest all they learned from the previous two days. They discussed how the information related to their teams, how they would apply what they learned in their day-to-day operations, and made actionable plans to help their teams grow and flourish.
Everyone was challenged to use what they learned to educate their teams and to work on building the strongest possible bonds of trust throughout Equix—connecting us all in the best way possible.
They started as a small team of five composed of two (2) drafters, one (1) field technician, and a leader with a vision to grow his team into something extraordinary. A year later, they are now a strong team of 15. They’ve gone through many trials, tribulations, and desk changes, but in the end, they have managed to build a diverse group in their personalities and skills. This office truly embodies our core value of building cohesive teams.
Orlando Dager, Area Manager for the Plantation office, says, “I want my team to be like a Swiss army knife.”
Each team member has learned their part and each other’s to ensure they’ve formed a well-rounded group.
“We are ever evolving and improving our daily skills, whether attending classes to finish degrees, attending training in other states, or just learning from each other in our own office,” said Dager. “We are not just an office where people come to work and leave. We are much more than that. We have made a team that is a family. We share stories, laughs, and meals daily.”
The office provides design services for a plethora of projects. We work with TECO People’s Gas (TECO) on the gas side by providing design services for Miami-Dade County and Broward County. We complete design work for new residential, cut & cap, service replacements, bridgework, restoration, cathodic protection, and other services they may need.
Additionally, we provide in-depth designs for Lumen for state projects throughout Florida. Our team researches for endless hours to ensure the safety and maintenance of all their existing fiber lines and avoid conflicts with ongoing Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) projects.
As innovative thinkers and implementers, we traveled the country to various tradeshows and conferences to meet potential clients and stay up-to-date on industry knowledge and trends. We logged many miles and connected with important movers and shakers. Take a look at where we were by clicking the link below. We hope to see many of you in 2023 as we join the circuit.
The Rogers Bridge over the Chattahoochee River project earned the 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Georgia, Project of Merit Award for the demolition of the 100-year-old truss. Astra collaborated with Heath & Lineback Engineers to remove and demolish Historic Rogers Bridge, built in the early 1900’s over the Chattahoochee River.
A 700-ton crane was used to execute the engineered critical lift. The removal makes way for a replica pedestrian-friendly bridge to be constructed between Gwinnett and Fulton counties. The ASCE Georgia Section Project of Merit Awards are given to impactful projects showcasing contribution to communities, resourcefulness in planning and solving design challenges and innovations in construction and in the use of materials and methods.
And, here’s us replacing the previously demolished bridge 🔝 with the new & improved one 🌉!
This project includes the demolition of the existing structures & utilities and construction of new building, sidewalks, cul-de-sac, utility connections, stormwater management features, & more! As many of you know, our team is currently hard at work on the Rogers Bridge at Chattahoochee River – Pedestrian Bridge. We were not low bidder, but nevertheless we were awarded based on our qualifications and our relationship with the Owner – The City of Duluth!
We are truly honored to be a part of both of these projects that work toward connecting the Duluth & Johns Creek communities in Georgia!
Clean Energy Holdings LLC (CEH) has awarded Equix Infrastructure, Inc. (Equix) the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contract for CEH’s 250 MW Green Hydrogen Clear Fork Texas Project. Equix and The Alliance will kick off front-end development on June 20, 2022. Congruently, ING Americas is providing advisory services related to raising equity and debt financing for the project as CEH’s Financial Advisor. Bair Energy LLC (BE) serves as the Manager of the Alliance, and as the CEH Program Management Construction Management (PMCM) for the Project.
“CEH, in conjunction with our Alliance partners, selected Equix for many key reasons with the leading focus being the EPC’s industry-leading experience, reputation, and relationships, including proven capability in delivering energy, technology, and infrastructure turnkey solutions,” stated Nicholas Bair, CEO of CEH. “Equix exemplifies these goals and defines the strategic requirements of The Alliance and represents many of the core values and main drivers behind our Technology and Energy Transformation Platform. We are committed to continuing to provide safe, secure, and reliable energy solutions for the United States leading Green Hydrogen production and delivery.”
Candice McGuire, Chairman BE, stated, “We’re excited to work with Equix and provide best-in-class leading projects, working with our Alliance partnerships to resolve the challenges of integrating emerging technologies with long-term infrastructure and market accessible solutions. Equix brings a wealth of renewable experience and is a trusted partner for CEH. Our focus remains on assembling a team of industry-leading experts and sound execution.”
Mark Miller, General Manager of Renewables at Equix, stated, “Equix is looking forward to working with the Alliance partners to design & build this exciting Liquified Green Hydrogen project in Texas. We believe our experience and expertise in renewable and gas infrastructure construction will lead to a successful project that provides green hydrogen to the North American market. We are fortunate to have this opportunity with Clean Energy Holdings and be part of this leading-edge technology platform.”
Equix Energy Services (Equix) will be working with the City of Port Aransas, Texas, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to complete a rebuild of the City’s existing gas distribution system. Equix will be digging, trenching, and directional drilling approximately 55 miles of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) installation and underground abandonment of the existing system, two (2) pressure reducing stations, and over 1,500 services throughout the City.
“We are excited to continue our work with the City of Port Aransasꟷre-building the gas system to provide critical natural gas infrastructure to the residents and businesses,” said Nick Atkin, Vice President of Construction Services. “Equix Energy Services is a trusted natural gas contractor in the region and our local crews take pride working in the communities in which they live.”
Multiple crews and equipment will be working on this project for approximately two (2) years. Equix will strive to make this transition as smooth as possible and provide the city with a new gas system. For any questions or concerns, please call Equix at (361) 442-2744.
More information about the project can be found on the City’s website at https://cityofportaransas.org/departments/gas/gas-distribution-system-replacement-project.
At Mi-Tech’s A2LA-accredited ISO 17025 laboratory, we equip our scientists to perform the highest quality Cured-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) testing. Our reputation for producing expert results has earned us the trust of our loyal, repeat clients! Capable of developing over 10 tons of force in tension and compression, all sample sizes are manageable for us.
This year, we moved into a new custom-designed lab space allowing us to DOUBLE our testing capacity. In addition, we made a significant number of improvements. The most challenging aspect of a lab is maintaining temperature and humidity control. Our new space has the following:
We moved our test equipment on a Sunday. Our Team recalibrated the machines on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we were only offline for one day.
“You never know what type of testing we’ll be performing in our A2LA-accredited lab,” said David Buckner, PE, CIPP Lan Manager. “Every day requires different tests keeping our lab team’s skills sharp and well-rounded.”
Our new address is 4901 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401. Learn more about Mi-Tech CIPP Lab Services at https://mi-tech.us/services/cipp-laboratory-services.
Dalton State College did, and we’ve completed more than 30 projects for them since 2016.
Through the ezIQC statewide contract, Astra takes the hassle out of simpler and more complex projects by eliminating the laborious bid process. Through the job order contracting (JOC) process, we save our clients time and money by ensuring their projects are completed quickly and efficiently. Since we’ve already gone through the bid process with the state, any entity using state funds can contract directly with us for any projects.
The scopes of work can range from everyday construction to complex, multi-phased projects. Some of our project types include, but are not limited to: