Sigma helps transform Menomonee Valley business site


Image_004Located on Canal Street in the Menomonee Valley Business Park, this 7.6-acre former brownfield was redeveloped as a new headquarters for Derse Exhibits. Involving construction of an approximately 140,000-square-foot office / warehousing building with associated parking, drives, storage / staging yards and infrastructure, the project achieved silver certification under the LEED NC program.


The Sigma Group provided surveying services on the project including settlement monitoring, preparation of an ALTA / ACSM Land Title and design survey of the project site and construction staking. The ALTA / ACSM survey was prepared to meet 2005 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA / ACSM Land Title Surveys as adopted by the American Land Title Association and National Society of Professional Surveyors. The survey also included topography, structures, pavements and utilities and was used as the base for planning and design of site improvements.

Prior to construction, several feet of surcharge fill were placed on the site to accelerate settlement of existing fill soils. Sigma was responsible for placing settlement monitoring plates at several locations throughout the site and for surveying of settlement plates to monitor progress.

Sigma also provided construction staking to the general contractor for items such as building foundation, curbs and gutters, and storm sewers.

Civil / Site Engineering

Sigma provided site civil engineering design services under contract to the project architect. Sigma site civil engineering services included preparation of site civil plans and specifications as required for City of Milwaukee plan review, permitting and construction. Plans prepared included site preparation / erosion control, paving / dimensional, grading / drainage, utilities (water, sanitary, storm, gas, electric) and detail plans. Earthwork calculations were performed to ensure a balanced cut / fill site so contaminated soil could be managed on-site with no off-site disposal. Development of the drainage plan required close coordination with the City of Milwaukee regarding discharge points as the site crossed several City delineated public storm sewer basins.

Sigma also prepared the stormwater management plan and City stormwater management plan application. Other services included filing of Notice of Intent for Land Disturbance Activities and obtaining plan approval for site plumbing work.

Investigation / Remediation

Sigma was retained by the developer to perform subsurface methane gas assessment prior to development of the Derse Exhibits building. Activities included installation of soil vapor monitoring probes and monitoring for potential soil gas accumulation within the footprint of the proposed building. The monitoring included five consecutive days of closed vapor point monitoring followed by five consecutive days of open vapor point monitoring to evaluate and calculate the rate of methane accumulation.

Based on results of the methane assessment, Sigma prepared an exemption request to construct on a historic fill site documenting investigation and monitoring activities, as well as a recommendation regarding the required level of methane abatement (active or passive system). Sigma submitted the exemption request for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) review. Following WDNR approval, Sigma was retained to prepare a detailed design of the recommended methane abatement system incorporating building features and use of the property and oversee installation of the methane abatement system.

LEED Credit Evaluation

As project civil engineer, Sigma evaluated potential sustainable site LEED credits under the LEED NC program and was responsible for filling out LEED credit templates for applicable sustainable site credits. Sustainable site credit earned included site selection, brownfield redevelopment and stormwater design quality control.