Tag Archives: Michigan

Conference Call: Mark Smolinski

Mark Smolinski
G2 Consulting Group

As long as the clients are pleased and the revenues and profits are good, we don’t watch the clock of our staff,” Smolinski says.

Read the conversation between G2 Consulting Group Principal Mark Smolinski and Liisa Andreassen, correspondent for The Zweig Letter. G2 Consulting was a listed as a Hot Firm (#67) by Zweig Group in 2016.



Korean United Methodist Church

Troy, Michigan

The Korean United Methodist Church in Troy, MI, discovered they needed more space to worship and gather together for their growing church community. They turned to Cunningham-Limp Development Company in early January 2016 to assist them in conceptualizing a new addition for their church.

Fast Facts

Project Owner

Korean United Methodist Church


The Korean United Methodist Church constructed a single-story, steel-framed slab-on-grade addition to its existing facility. It was also necessary to construct a new parking area, provide associated utilities and create a 4-1/2 foot deep detention pond. By the end of the summer of 2016, it was completed.

G2 Services Provided

Geotechnical Investigation

Special Inspections and Materials Testing

Challenges / Solutions

As on many of Cunningham-Limp Development Company projects, G2 Consulting Group provided the geotechnical investigation prior to construction and construction engineering services during construction. These services included: observing earthwork operations and utility installation; performing foundation inspection and concrete inspection for foundations, flatwork and site concrete; performing structural steel evaluation; and observing bituminous concrete and Portland cement concrete pavement construction.

G2 determined and evaluated the general subsurface conditions at the site and developed related foundation recommendations for support of the proposed structure. G2 also recommended new pavement design and provided construction considerations for the new development.

How did we accomplish “Smart. Results. Fast”?

Significant geotechnical investigation was performed in a short period of time. G2 provided preliminary design recommendations shortly after completion of the field report which allowed the construction team to move forward quickly with the project. During construction, G2 observed construction activities and advised the contractor accordingly to conform with project specifications.


Country Club of Detroit’s renovation focuses on fitness

Project Manager Mark Stapleton designed the innovative approach to the Country Club of Detroit's historic renovation.

Project Manager Mark Stapleton designed the innovative approach to the Country Club of Detroit’s historic renovation.

Detroit — G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical engineering services for the historic Country Club of Detroit renovation project. The club required that the footprint or historical architecture of its existing clubhouse not be altered. The $9 million renovations include a new fitness center and bowling lanes at the bottom level of the building that required the replacement of an emptied indoor swimming pool that had been closed since the early 1930s.


G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical services and found innovative and cost-effective solutions for this historic site’s renovations.


G2 Consulting & Partners Provide 2016 Development Outlook for Southeast Michigan

“New development projects and plans for projects in the area are announced on an almost daily basis,” says Mark Smolinski, principal of G2 Consulting Group, a geotechnical engineering and construction services firm based in Troy. “But different from years past, after the announcements the projects are actually happening.”

CAM Magazine June 2016 pg 2


Green infrastructure: the next chapter in water quality

Evan Pratt Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner

Evan Pratt
Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner

When water pollution control began in the 1970’s, the first target was industry – stopping discharges of chemicals into the waterways.  This was followed by addressing wastewater treatment, then mitigating the impacts of combined sewer overflow (CSO).  Most recently, pollution in stormwater has been targeted, with federal regulations for urbanized areas coming on line in the late 1990s.

People had realized that hard surface development led to flooding, and some of the first steps to regulate runoff also started in the 1970s.  First, management of stormwater addressed runoff rates, through means such as detention ponds, with the goal of maintaining pre-development conditions and preventing flooding.  This philosophy, however, often falls short.  Addressing only the runoff rate does not address total runoff volumes, which also can cause downstream damage.  Further, studies found that detention basins usually did not address runoff water quality.

As a result of the 40 years of work noted above, stormwater runoff from roads is now thought to be the biggest source of pollutants today.  While agriculture is in the news for phosphorous loads, roads bring us urban phosphorous from lawns along with over a dozen other common human toxins such as lead, cadmium, copper, iron, and nickel.  Research shows that if you can handle the first inch of rain running off of roadways, you can manage most of this pollutant load.  This philosophy is one of the key drivers behind Washtenaw County’s Stormwater Design Standards, which focus not only on controlling the rate of runoff, but also the quantity and quality of that runoff.

The goal of the program is to allow stormwater to soak into the ground to the extent possible.  This approach provides many benefits:

  • the developer often can reduce the land required for detention ponds and meet landscape requirements at the same time by using raingardens, bio-swales, and other green infrastructure
  • downstream streams experience less scouring, stream bank damage, and other water quality impacts,
  • cost savings result from the use of green infrastructure to handle stormwater instead of investing money in systems to convey or detain the runoff, and
  • natural environmental systems are used to the largest extent possible to do what they were created to do, such as routing rain into the groundwater table to cool it off and slow it down.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that Michigan is experiencing heavier rains than in previously recorded times; rainfall totals and peak intensities are 10+% and 15+% respectively over the past 30 years, even greater over the past 55 years. More rain is falling because more falls when it rains, but the dry periods are longer too.  The use of green infrastructure such as rain gardens, bioswales, and infiltration beds help to absorb this additional rain with moderate investment.  Infiltration under roadways has also proven promising, especially where there is native sand or sand backfill for a utility.

To address these issues, the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner started a robust public comment period in late 2013 prior to implementing the current Stormwater Design Standards in August of 2014 and will soon embark on a follow up opportunity to receive additional feedback on the program to help guide the future.   The Commission is bringing in a stakeholder group in the next couple of weeks to get input on modifications to what was adopted in 2014.  That has been a part of the overall plan all along – to implement based on a stakeholder group that included development consultants, developers, municipal consultants, and municipal officials, then to assume there would be a need for minor tweaks after a year or so of use.   The Commission is working with a user group from the applicant side and the municipal agency side, as the standards are adopted by most of the developing communities in Washtenaw County.

I have been very impressed by the reaction of the development community and the ability of the geotechnical engineering community to implement these design regulations.  Partnership from the geotechnical profession has been the critical foundation allowing  implementation to go as smoothly as possible – we couldn’t do this without firms like G2 offering value and turnkey consulting on infiltration feasibility.  Prudent developers have always performed soils investigations early in the project; now data from these inexpensive investigations deliver information to determine how the site can implement needed infiltration – a real benefit since sites are now required to provide 20 percent more detention if they do not infiltrate the first one inch.  At the end of the day, the sooner the owner knows about the soils on the site, the fewer surprises they will experience.  Most have learned to get soil samples before site purchase.

Other communities will be moving in this direction in the near future as well.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has provided guidance on requiring infiltration in the context of stream channel protection.  In turn the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is requiring infiltration for all urbanized areas through their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit program which is on a 5-year renewal cycle – Washtenaw was on year 2 of that cycle in 2014-15.  All urban counties and communities – including Kent, Macomb, Livingston, Calhoun, Oakland and Wayne – are already working on revisions to address this approach in their  permitting cycle.

In closing, I see the use of green infrastructure expanding in its role to reduce stormwater runoff.  In fact, we are very encouraged by research documenting the ability of vegetation to transform heavy clay into medium grade soils with absorptive abilities.  The County currently is providing technical support to over 300 rain gardens.  I am planning to take this program to the next step, working with developers to use green infrastructure in place of ponds (as long as it performs) to handle stormwater.  We are currently developing the science to back this approach.

Thoughts? Comments?  Questions?  Check our our website or shoot me an email.



Congratulations Roy Rose, ASCE SE MI Engineer of the Year

Jason Stoops, P.E Ann Arbor Office Manager

Jason Stoops, P.E
G2 Project Manager, ASCE SE MI President

Congratulations Roy Rose, ASCE SE Michigan Branch “Franklin D. Meyers 2016 Outstanding Civil Engineer of the Year”!

Roy is the chief executive officer and president of Anderson, Eckstein, and Westrick, Inc. (AEW) where he oversees the day to day operations of a 100 employee professional consulting firm which serves over 25 municipalities as well as hundreds of private clients in southeast Michigan in the areas of civil engineering, surveying, and architectural services.

With over 36 years of civil engineering experience (31 years with AEW this year), Roy is widely known throughout the civil engineering industry as an expert in the field. In addition to his daily work as President with AEW, Roy is a professional arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, where he has experience as a negotiator in construction related cases.IMG_5705

Roy has been involved in many organizations throughout his professional career, most recently including the Utica Community Schools Foundation where he served as President and was also named by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel as one of Macomb County’s representatives to the Regional Transit Authority where he is a current Board Member and Chairman of the Planning and Service Coordination Committee.

A graduate from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Roy has emphasized hard work, dedication and determination throughout his career. He is a great role model for young and old alike and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with younger generations.


Michigan Concrete Association – growing an industry

Dan DeGraaf, PE Executive Director/CEO Michigan Concrete Association

Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) is everything concrete in Michigan.  We represent ready mix producers, concrete pavers, cement producers and the affiliate industry.  Our annual conference is designed to help our members learn about new things and to celebrate quality projects. 

“MCA serves as point for current or state of the art technical and business issues facing all sides of the concrete industry,” shares Bruce Wilberding, Principal and lead of G2’s Construction Engineering Services.  “G2 relies on this organization for technical updates and training.”

One of the most exciting highlights from this year’s conference is the announcement  of a new program for construction work force development (click here to learn more).  This program is dedicated to attracting new people to the construction industry in Michigan, which faces a massive labor shortage on the horizon.  MCA is leading a statewide awareness and branding campaign to increase interest in construction careers and simplify the process of finding training and employment in these careers.
The conference also included training on new test procedures for concrete, information on changes in MDOT specifications, announcements on new MDOT projects and updates on ongoing mega-projects,  and discussion on the future of coal (which impacts the supply of fly ash for use in concrete production).
Finally, the conference celebrated cool projects from around the state – G2 Consulting Group was on the team of two award-winning projects: Stephens Road (NB Kelly Rd to I-94) and Beaconsfield Avenue, 9 Mile to Biscayne Ave.

Allied Construction Is On a Roll

Jim Berry, PE Project Manager

Kevin Shell, VP, Allied Construction

G2 Consulting Group would like to congratulate Allied Construction on the innovative video that they created for their firm.  Congrats on your recent win for the Pine Knolls Condo Association as well!

“The construction industry is typically very traditional in its approach to communications,” shares Kevin Shell, VP at Allied, “but we realized that you can only show asphalt construction in so many ways.  We wanted something different that could be used in a number of different formats – including social media.  Stay tuned for our 30 second commercial which will be showing on TV in Oakland and Livingston Counties in the near future!”

Click below to view Allied’s new video.


Unique Shaft System Facilitates Rehab of Interceptor

Jason Stoops, P.E Ann Arbor Office Manager

Nicholas A. Berkholz, EIT
Project Engineer

The Oakland-Macomb Interceptor Drain (OMID) is a 50-year-old concrete system bordering Oakland and Macomb Counties in southeast Michigan. Authorities targeted more than seven miles of this large diameter interceptor sewer – 40 feet below a busy county road (M 59) – as a priority for evaluation and repair to avoid catastrophic failure.  This project is part of a $160 million effort that has been under construction since 2009.  Given the unique opportunity the project afforded to have access to this critical trunk sewer, the owner’s objective was to perform as many repairs possible.

Lanzo Trenchless Technologies was selected to  provide multiple rehabilitation services, including  high volume sewage control management, cementitious grout in place liners, fully deteriorated model CIPP, large bore spot repairs, cementitious grouting of voids, access manhole restoration, localized crack/failure repairs using chemical grout and CCTV.  Challenges included working in and around flow that could not be disrupted during the construction process.  Work was difficult and dangerous, and required extreme care in safety consideration, monitoring and management.

One of the first tasks of the project was to tunnel a shaft down to the 96-inch diameter sewer crown, create access and build a platform for staging of both the chemical and cementitious grouting activities within the pipeline. Lanzo retained the services of G2 Consulting Group to design two 16-foot diameter corrugated steel liner shafts to gain access to the existing sanitary interceptor approximately 20 to 25 feet below ground surface.  To meet project requirements, G2 designed a shaft system that is uncommon for this part of Michigan.

Click here to read complete article in Trenchless Technology about this project.


Holiday Inn Express Plymouth Under Construction

Jason Stoops, P.E Ann Arbor Office Manager

Jason Stoops, P.E
Project Manager

A new Holiday Inn Express is being constructed in Plymouth, Michigan. This four-story, 67,000 square foot structure will have 107 rooms, a fitness area and a pool facility. Working with Emmett Contracting, G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical engineering and special inspections/materials testing services on the project. G2’s value engineering helped to optimize foundation construction and reduce overall construction costs.

Click on the video below to see the project under construction.


2015 Was a Great Year – 2016 Looks Even Better!

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

After years of slow to no growth in Michigan’s construction industry, especially road building, new construction projects took center stage here at G2 in Michigan in 2015, propelling us into our fourth consecutive record year.

One of the key 2015 highlights was the June acquisition of Birmingham (MI)-based Schleede-Hampton Associates, a former competitor, which will help the combined company expand its expertise as well as reach new industries and geographies.

During 2015, G2 completed a variety of projects for MDOT, including design build work with Dan’s Excavating and Bergmann Associates on the reconstruction of the I-75-University Drive interchange in Auburn Hills. The firm partnered with Hardman Construction to design and build the earth retention walls for the new $450 million Red Wings Arena in Detroit and worked with Giffels Webster and Scannell Properties on construction of the 60 acre, 300,000-sq-ft Fed Ex distribution center in Oak Park. In October, G2 was selected by RS Engineering to become part of the team for reconstruction of the I-94/Cadillac bridge in Detroit in preparation for the massive $3 billion, 20-year I-94 reconstruction project, slated to start in 2017.

Other 2015 highlights include:

  • The company was awarded a three-year “as needed” indefinite services contract by MDOT in January.
  • In June, G2 was part of the team that won the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineering) Outstanding Civil Engineering Award for its work on the I-96 reconstruction project in Wayne County (MI) in 2014. This project also earned recognition by the Engineering Society of Detroit and CAM magazine as a signature construction project in Michigan.
  • In July, G2 was named one of the top 100 “Hot Firms” nationally by Zweig Group, a leading research, publishing and consulting firm in the AEP (Architecture, Engineering, Planning) and environmental consulting fields. The award is based on revenue growth over three years.
  • In July, G2 added two new equity partners – Mark Stapleton and Amy Schneider, both of whom had been with the firm for over a decade – to its top management team. During the year the company hired 13 new employees a 27 percent increase in staff for the year, and up more than 50 percent from just two years ago.
  • The firm completed more than 2,500 projects running the gamut from infrastructure, waste water, telecomm, health care, automotive and private sector work.

The jobs we won and the recognition we received made 2015 a very good year for G2 and positions us for an even better 2016.  Solving construction problems quickly and efficiently is our focus and we continuously reinvest in our people, our technology and our knowledge to ensure that we can meet whatever construction challenges we’re given. We look forward to successfully meeting more of those challenges and growing the business further in 2016.




“I Need to Get a Job” Networking Event

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

G2 Consulting continues to recruit new talent to serve our clients and our growing business.  We will be hosting an informal networking event on January 5, 2016 from 12- 3 pm at our Troy office for students who are currently looking for full time or internship positions.

This event will help prepare students for spring career fairs by providing some one-on-one time with new and experienced engineers who can share resume and interview tips.

Click here to let us know you’re coming and send a resume. We’ll have some feedback ready for you when you arrive.

Visit our website to learn more about G2 Consulting and open positions.



Detroit Country Day Completing Fine Arts Facility Expansion

Jason Stoops, P.E Ann Arbor Office Manager

Jason Stoops, P.E
Associate/Project Manager

Detroit Country Day School (Beverly Hills, MI) is completing a 6,300 square foot, 2-story addition to their Black Box Theater.

Working with Cunningham Limp, G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical engineering and special inspections/materials testing services.

Click on the video below to see the project under construction.


CREW Impact Awards Feature Exciting Projects

Amy Schneider, P.E. G2 Project Manager, CREW Board Member

CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network) recently held its annual Impact Awards ,  which was attended by more than 200 local professionals .  Three Detroit real estate developments and one CREW member were presented with the organization’s highest honors.

CREW received a record number of project submittals from member companies this year – all reflecting the innovation and talent of our local businesses.  The event sold out in less than a week!

The real estate developments receiving 2015 Impact Awards were the Cardinal Health Distribution Project in the new construction category, the David Whitney Building redevelopment for adaptive reuse/renovation, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor Outdoor Adventure Center for special impact. All three projects are located in the City of Detroit.

Click here for more details!


I-75 / University Drive Interchange Under Construction

Noel J. Hargrave-Thomas, P.E. Principal/Project Consultant

Noel J. Hargrave-Thomas, P.E.
Principal/Project Consultant

Design and reconstruction of the I-75/University Drive interchange in Oakland County is well underway, scheduled to be completed by year-end with restoration work planned for early 2016.

The interchange features Michigan’s first “diverging diamond” interchange, a relatively new design technology in the U.S. but used extensively throughout Europe. Click here to read more about the diverging diamond design.

G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical design services for bridge pile foundations, MSE abutments, roadway embankments, sign and signal foundations, and peat excavation as part of the Dan’s Excavating/Bergmann Associates Design-Build Team.

Click on the video below to learn more and watch construction activities.


Washington Township Increases Its Water Supply Capacity

Jason Stoops, P.E Ann Arbor Office Manager

Jason Stoops, P.E
Project Manager

Washington Township is constructing a new 1.5 million gallon water storage tank to help meet the water needs of this rapidly growing township. The $4.3 million project includes a 100-foot diameter tank, a pump house and detention basins. Working with Giffels Webster and Washington Township, G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical engineering and special inspections/materials testing services on the project.

Click on the video below to see the project under construction.


New FedEx Facility @ Former Detroit Artillery Armory

Chris Nicol, PE/Project Manager

Chris Nicol, P.E.
Project Manager

FedEx Corporation will occupy a 300,000 square foot distribution center currently under construction on the former site of the Detroit Artillery Armory in Oak Park, Michigan. The property had included a 494,000-square-foot building that was a machine gun manufacturing plant during World War II, which has been demolished. The property then was turned over to the Michigan National Guard after the war for training and storage until the early 1990s, and then just for storage until 2000.

G2 Consulting Group was retained by Giffels Webster to perform a geotechnical investigation on the 60 acre site, which had varying depths of fill remaining from former uses. G2 characterized subsurface materials and developed deep and shallow foundation designs for consideration. After reviewing options, Scannell Properties, the construction developer, decided to remove and replace existing fill and construct shallow foundations. G2 now is working with Scannell Properties to perform QC during construction for earthwork, foundations, pavements, floor slabs and structural steel.


International Automotive Company Expands in Auburn Hills

Jason Stoops, P.E Ann Arbor Office Manager

Jason Stoops, P.E
Project Manager

TI Automotive is a leading manufacturer of automotive fluid storage, carrying and delivery systems, with 23,000 employees at 130 locations in 29 countries. The company is expanding its operations at a new location in Auburn Hills by constructing a new headquarters building for 130 current employees and an additional 97 new employees.

Click on the video below to see the project under construction.


Historic Park Avenue Hotel Imploded


Mark Stapleton, P.E.
Project Manager

The demolition of the Park Avenue Hotel was the first implosion of a structure in downtown Detroit since the Hudson’s store in 1998.  The tricky part of the Park Avenue Hotel implosion is that it is situated within the new Red Wings Arena project site.

G2 designed several earth retention systems to facilitate the required excavation which extends to as much as 48 feet deep.  One stretch of earth retention bordered the existing Park Avenue Hotel so that excavation could take place adjacent to the hotel.  When the decision was made to use implosion techniques instead of traditional demolition methods, stability of the earth retention system during the seismic event was considered.  G2 modeled the implosion using earthquake engineering and estimated that the earth retention system would be stressed but not to failure.

The result of combined effort resulted in rapid demolition of the hotel by implosion and an earth retention system that survived that event.

Click here to view the video of the implosion taking place.

hotel implosion

And the wall held!

retaining wall after implosion






G2 Consulting Group Adds Two Equity Partners to Manage Growing Business

Amy Schneider, P.E.
Project Manager


Mark Stapleton, P.E.
Project Manager

G2 Consulting Group is excited to announce the addition of two new equity partners in the business – Amy Schneider and Mark Stapleton , both G2 Project Managers.

“G2 has a solid foundation and a wide range of repeat clients which allows the company to gain in market share even during downturns,” says Stapleton.  “By having more of my own skin in the game, I think I’m a better employee and whatever success we have will be even more rewarding both professionally and personally.”

Schneider, who joined G2 in 1998 and has worked on projects in private and commercial development, telecomm, waste water as well as a variety of major infrastructure projects, agrees:  “I love the work I’m doing and the people I work with, and I’m committed to the company for the long term.  My financial investment makes me feel even more committed and a more integral part of the team.”

A 30-year veteran of geotechnical engineering, Stapleton joined G2 in 2001.  His recent projects include managing engineering of 11 earth retention systems on last year’s award-winning I-96 reconstruction project and designing intricate circular and trapezoidal shafts to facilitate construction of tunnels and junction chambers for a Dugway storage tunnel in 2014. His prior work experience was with the United States Army Corps of Engineers where he handled engineering duties in all aspects of civil works projects for the Detroit District.

“We’re fortunate to have plenty of work to go around,” says G2 Consulting Principal Mark Smolinski.  “Having Mark and Amy buy into the company gives them a bigger voice and an even deeper commitment that can only make us a stronger and ultimately more successful company. We’re delighted with their decision and proud to welcome them as associate members in the firm.”