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Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens Receives Engineering Honor Award
Publication Date
February 28th 2018, 9:00 am

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Urban is pleased to announce that the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens won an Honor Award in the special projects category at the Diamond Awards for Engineering Excellence — the highest award in this class. The competition was hosted by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC/PA) at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.


“We would like to congratulate Longwood Gardens on the successful completion of this project and on this recognition from ACEC/PA,” said Jim Bilella, PE, an Urban vice president and general manager for facilities and building systems. “This award is also evidence of the success and technical expertise of our firm’s multidiscipline practices, and that staff is worthy of recognition.”


“Longwood Gardens is known for their beautiful gardens, so they had high aesthetic expectations for Urban Engineers,” said Leeann Sherman, executive director of ACEC/PA. “Our engineers, of course, did not disappoint. They revitalized the main fountain garden, adding functional benefits while enhancing the beauty of the garden.”


Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens

Old world charm met modern technology with the construction of the reimagined Main Fountain Garden in Pennsylvania’s premier horticultural destination, Longwood Gardens. This $90 million project involved replacing the aging infrastructure supporting the gardens and providing new engineered systems and enhancements to the landscape, site, and fountains. Plans called for restoration of the historic gardens and rectangular basin building, and the preservation of the existing pump room for use as a museum.


Urban played an integral role in this project by providing civil, site, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services. Longwood’s goal was to enhance the visitor experience and elevate recognition as a world-class destination. To achieve this, maintenance functions needed to occur underground through a network of tunnels. Urban’s challenge was to provide heating, cooling, and dehumidification services that would be invisible and inaudible to garden visitors. Urban’s solution was an offsite geothermal condenser water loop system which, in addition to engineered soils and pervious surface materials that reduce the site’s stormwater runoff, supports Longwood’s mission to be a good steward to the environment.