PS&S wants to make you aware of an Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama late last week that may have huge repercussions for new construction activities subject to federal funding or regulations. The Order requires U.S. government agencies to adopt stricter standards for federally funded projects and programs with wide ranging implications including a potential increase to what is currently considered the design base flood elevation.

This new Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) will also require elevation of all new construction and substantially improved structures that are federally funded to the flood management standards established by the Executive Order, and will also apply to such infrastructure including roads and public utilities that receive federal funding. As all Federal departments and agencies have been directed to revise their rules and policies in accordance with this Order, it is unclear what impact this may have on the federal flood insurance program rates on new and existing structures that do not meet the new elevation criteria. Other federal rules and regulations governing land use and development activities will also be revised in accordance with this new Standard.

This Executive Order is a major reversal for the federal government and modifies the prior 1977 Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management) governing federal policy regarding development in flood hazard areas, and federal restrictions governing funding such development.

The new Standard gives agencies three options for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design and construction of projects that receive federal funding, or are subject to federal regulations or standards. They can use data and methods “informed by best-available, actionable climate science”; build two feet above the 100-year flood elevation for standard projects and three feet above for critical buildings such as hospitals and evacuation centers; or build to the 500-year flood elevation.

This Executive Order establishes the Standard, but it is not the final word. A process now begins for further solicitation and consideration of public input, including from Governors, mayors, and other stakeholders, prior to implementation of the Standard. However, given the directive from this Executive Order, projects currently under planning or design should seriously consider this new Executive Order and its potential impacts from a compliance and cost perspective.

PS&S, through its involvement with various governmental stakeholders and industry groups, will continue to monitor the roll out of this modification to Executive Order 11988. We would be pleased to provide you with an analysis of how your project would be impacted by this new directive, and as always, will keep you advised of new developments in this urgent matter.

For more information, please contact Marilyn Lennon, PP, AICP, CFM at


Site Chilled Water Plant Integration Brings Substantial Energy Savings

Corporate mandates across the pharmaceutical industry have set energy performance goals with ever increasing demands. This scenario has challenged site engineering teams to prepare and execute plans to achieve these goals. Initiatives invariably involve different improvements or modifications to the site Chilled Water Systems. Alternatives abound, system arrangement characteristics, equipment efficiencies, free cooling, variable flows and VFDs are all in the mix. 

PS&S finds opportunity to expand to the Shore


NJBIZ Morning Roundup: June 9, 2014

For a small group of engineers from PS&S, the days after Hurricane Sandy were spent walking the streets of Lavallette. Their task: inspect the storm-damaged homes to determine if they could be salvaged...



Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor (PS&S) Recognized For Engineering Excellence

Saw Mill River Earns 2013 NYSSPE Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award

WARREN, NJ (June 6, 2013) – Paulus, Sokolowski and Sartor (PS&S) announced today that it has been awarded the 2013 NYSSPE Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award for the Daylighting of Saw Mill River at Larkin Plaza. The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) evaluated the project based on criteria such as engineering principles, originality/innovation, complexity, social significance, and economic impact.

“For the past 50 years, it has been our pleasure to deliver innovative design to both our clients and the community,” said John Sartor, President and Chief Operating Officer of PS&S. “It is an honor to receive this award and I could not be more proud of our team’s expertise and the high-level of commitment to quality work.”

The Saw Mill River, which was buried beneath the City of Yonkers at the beginning of the 20th Century, had great potential to provide social and economic progress.  The City of Yonkers recognized the opportunity to “daylight” the river – that is – returning the river to a more natural, open-air condition, which provides many community and ecological benefits.

The myriad of project challenges included the wide ranges of river flow rates, the Hudson River tidal conditions and floodplain, aged perimeter utility infrastructure, heavy vehicular and pedestrian circulation around the park and several adjacent and notable historic buildings and monuments.  While successfully addressing those challenges, the design also enhanced the quality of the aquatic habitat, the river conveyance capacity, and the downtown pedestrian experience.

“This project gave us the opportunity to foster a collaborative design with the City of Yonkers and related stakeholders with our talented multiple discipline professionals,” said Joe Fleming, Executive Vice President and Principal in Charge for PS&S.  

The award winning design preserved the existing underground flume to accommodate the infrequent but severe rainfall storms and directed the base river flow and smaller rainfall events through a series of dynamic pools, riffles and a waterfall through a beautiful urban park.

The design also features an intricate fish ladder and an outdoor learning enclave.  The Daylighting of the Saw Mill River project has been celebrated by many civic and environmental associations such as Scenic Hudson, Groundwork Hudson Valley, and The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

The presentation of the award will take place at the Installation and Awards Banquet, Friday evening, June 7th at High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid, NY in conjunction with the 2013 NYSSPE Annual Meeting.

The New York State Society of Professional Engineers, Inc. (NYSSPE) is a professional association representing over 1,500 licensed Professional Engineers (PEs), certified Engineers in Training (EITs) and engineering students throughout New York. The NYSSPE serves the needs of New York's engineers working in private practice, industry, construction, government and education and is one of the few organizations that represent engineers across all disciplines. To learn more, please visit

Founded in 1962, Paulus, Sokolowski & Sartor (PS&S) has evolved into a unique best-in-class architecture and engineering (AE) firm, providing design and permitting services to a wide range of corporate, institutional and commercial clients. PS&S is ranked among the top national design firms by Engineering News Record (and among the top 15 national engineering firms in pharmaceuticals). Recognized both for its breadth of services and depth of expertise, it is a one-stop resource for planning, permitting and design at the local, State and Federal levels. To learn more, please visit

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