The Engineering Excellence Awards Competition has been held by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas since its inception in 1975 to honor and recognize outstanding achievements within the engineering community. In November 2019, ACEC Texas awarded LAN a gold medal for its work on the first phase of the Exploration Green Detention Facility.
The project, named Exploration Green in honor of the community’s local exploration legacy and its proximity to Johnson Space Center, transformed a former 178-acre golf course into five massive detention ponds that can each hold 100 million gallons of stormwater (the equivalent of 750 Olympic-sized swimming pools). In addition, Exploration Green also serves as a nature park comprising 105 acres of natural habitat with wetlands and native grassland areas, 12 miles of hike-and-bike trails, two athletic fields, and other amenities.
The project stands as a pivotal economic and environmental safeguard, currently protecting over 2,000 homes from flooding. Located in a previously flood-prone area, Exploration Green plays a key role in revitalizing and safeguarding the community. Designed to withstand a 100-year storm event, this project exemplifies LAN’s commitment to resilience and proactive urban planning.
The CLCWA, the local provider of water, sewage collection and treatment, and storm drainage services, spearheaded the successful completion of the project. The Exploration Green Conservancy, Inc., a nonprofit organization, partnered with CLCWA to develop and preserve the project’s green spaces, contributing significantly to its success. LAN, as the project’s design engineer, played a pivotal role in bringing this project to fruition.
“We are thrilled to be receiving our second award from ACEC for this outstanding project," said Kelly Shipley, PE, LAN’s Project Manager. "Exploration Green stands as a shining example of how focused teamwork and expertise can create solutions that profoundly impact environmental sustainability and safeguard our community against natural disasters. Our success goes beyond just completing a project; it's about creating a legacy of safety and resilience for the community.”
The Exploration Green project has been selected for various other awards including being recognized as a Conservation Wrangler by Texan by Nature, receiving the Treasure of the Bay Nonprofit Award by the Texas Master Naturalist Galveston Bay Chapter, and receiving the Project of the Year Award by the Association of Water Board Directors.