Hoffman began his surveying career back in 1978 when he worked for his uncle, Bernard Godfrey. After graduating from Paul Smith’s College, he worked his way from rod-man to transit-man and eventually party-chief. In 1988 when Adam received his Land Surveying license, he and Mr. Godfrey formed Godfrey-Hoffman Associates. After 12 years of a great partnership, Mr. Godfrey retired which left Mr. Hoffman with the entire business.

GHH Acquires Clarence Blair Associates ūüéä

Clarence Blair Associates, Inc. (CBA) Acquired by Godfrey Hoffman Hodge, LLC. (GHH)

Learn about the historic acquisition of Clarence Blair Associates, one of Connecticut’s oldest surveying & engineering companies.

Godfrey Hoffman Hodge, LLC. (GHH) Is pleased to announce our acquisition of Clarence Blair Associates, Inc. (CBA), as of March 2021. The firm’s extensive historical records will greatly bolster GHH’s own archives relating to New Haven County and beyond.

Clarence Blair Associates History 

Clarence Blair Associates was founded in 1892, earning and diligently maintaining an excellent reputation of high-quality survey and engineering service throughout their long history.  GHH’s current owner, Adam Hoffman, has had a long professional relationship with CBA, dating back early in his survey career, working as an instrument man and survey party chief at CBA in the early 1980s.

Clarence Blair Associates circa early 1900s
CBA Team

Godfrey Hoffman Hodge History

GHH is a third-generation, multi-disciplinary firm established in New Haven County in 1924 under the name Stein and Giordano. In 1968, ownership passed to Bernard E. Godfrey (Also a CBA employee back in the early 1960’s). Godfrey took current owner Adam Hoffman on as business partner and co-owner in 1988, changing our name to Godfrey-Hoffman Associates to reflect the partnership.¬† In 2010, we acquired the Farmington Valley-based survey firm Hodge Surveying Associates, whose own lengthy history dates back to 1925. In 2020, we adopted our current name to reflect this change. Over the years, GHH has grown to provide a full range of land surveying, civil engineering, planning, design, and permitting services throughout the entire state of Connecticut, operating out of our main office at 26 Broadway, North Haven.

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February 23rd is Terminalia! ūüéČ

Terminalia: Ancient Rome’s February Festival ūüŹó

Land Surveying Celebrated at the end of the Roman Year (February 23rd)

What is Terminalia?

February 23rd boasts this festival. It is named after the Ancient Roman God of land boundaries, Terminus. Terminus was portrayed as a stone with no arms or legs, symbolizing the boundary marker between plots of land. This portrayal of Terminus was especially important in emphasizing how the boundaries were binding. The name is derived from the Latin word for such a boundary.

Romans believed that a sacrificial festival must occur at the end of each calendar year, February 23rd, in order to remain on good terms with the god. These sacrifices included adorning the physical terminus (boundary marker) with floral garland and offerings of sweets and other meals. It also included physical sacrifices of lambs or pigs.

The terminus was believed to be the peacekeeper between neighbors. It ensured that there would be no arguing over property lines. Neighbors would meet at their local terminus for this celebration annually.¬† A large feast would then occur! ūüćĺ

Why Celebrate Terminalia?

February 23rd Celebration of Land Surveying
Modern Land Surveying

You may be wondering why a group of land surveyors and civil engineers in the 21st century would want to celebrate an Ancient Roman festival…ūü§Ē

The use of terminuses in ancient Rome are the some of the earliest forms of the modern practice of boundary marking with the use of specific objects, markers, or locations. Without the ancient Romans creating a practice of respect between neighbors and foreigners, by placing terminuses between their properties, the art of land surveying may not be where it is today.

Join Us!

While we may not be adorning stone boundary markers or offering sacrifices to a deity, we are celebrating the great history of our profession and the advancements we have made through the centuries. Check out these great resources on Terminalia:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Terminus

https://pantheon.org/articles/t/terminus.html

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-history-of-terminate-terminator

https://www.berntseninternational.com/home/blog-builder/happy-terminalia?utm_source=constant%20contact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2021Terminalia

Common Ways to Deal With Encroachments

Dealing with encroachment issues can be stressful for homeowners, but there are ways to handle these concerns that can provide a higher level of resolution than others. Additionally, there are legal remedies if the homeowners are not able to settle the issue themselves. Any homeowners who cannot solve encroachment issues to the satisfaction of all the parties involved should certainly seek legal advice. But fortunately, most boundary and encroachment disputes never have to come to that.

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FEMA Elevation Certificates: Get When Buying Flood Insurance

Flooding is one of the costliest disasters in the United States, which is why homeowners need flood insurance. However, you should know that FEMA Elevation Certificates are needed when you buy flood insurance and here is why. Insurance claims have averaged almost $2 billion per year from the years 2006 until 2015 when the last statistics were posted. And from 1980 up until 2013, the average cost was over $260 billion in damages.

Who Needs One?

Those who live in a high-risk area typically need an Elevation Certificate when applying for flood insurance. This is so that the premium for flood insurance can be determined properly. Even those in a flood zone who make changes to their home such as a garage to living space conversion or adding a room addition will need an Elevation Certificate so it is not solely for new homeowners.

What Does It Do?

An Elevation Certificate simply determines the elevation of your property. This is important when deciding your insurance premium because the elevation plays an important role in the likelihood of your property being prone to flooding.

How Does It Work?

According to¬†FEMA,¬†“Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map¬†are identified¬†as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).¬†SFHAs¬†are labeled¬†as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones¬†A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone¬†A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones¬†V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood.

If your home falls into one of the high risk zones, the Elevation Certificate or EC determines things such as building characteristics, the location of the building, and the flood zone itself. This certificate is used in conjunction with what is called a BFE, which stands for Base Flood Elevation. The Base Flood Elevation works by estimating that there is a one percent chance (at least) that the floodwaters will reach or even exceed the area within a one-year period. For obvious reasons, the more risk you have, the higher the premium may be but the higher your lowest floor is above the Base Flood Elevation, the less the risk you have of flooding and the lower the insurance premium should be.

How Do You Get One?

To get a FEMA Elevation Certificate, there are a few options.

  • The Builder or Developer. If the home is already constructed and in a high-risk area, an Elevation Certificate¬†was needed¬†and¬†may be¬†on file so you do not have to get a new one. However, the Elevation Certificate¬†may not be¬†up to date so you should seek out a qualified Land Surveyor.
  • The Sellers. If you are buying your home from a¬†seller, check to see if the Elevation Certificate was already granted. In cases where the buyer does not have one, you can always ask for it¬†to be¬†included in the sale. This is also a situation where the EC¬†may not beup to date so please check with a qualified Land Surveyor if it is not.
  • Land Surveyor. A Land Surveyor¬†has the ability¬†to supply you with an Elevation Certificate. Getting a qualified Land Surveyor is very importatnt since they will know proper procedures and most likely save you money on your flood¬†policy. premiums.

If you would like to learn more about flood insurance or obtaining FEMA elevation certificates through a land surveyor, please contact us today and learn how we can help with a land map and survey.

Laser Scanning of Existing Buildings for BIM and Deep Energy Retrofits

Deep Energy Retrofits of Existing Structures

High-performance energy systems and building envelopes are not reserved for new construction only. Existing structures are being equipped with energy efficient HVAC systems and retrofit with engineered thermal insulation and vapor envelopes, passive solar shading devices, active solar panels, and water conservation strategies Рall in an effort to reduce the energy consumption in existing buildings.

Energy-efficient systems and renewable energy sources are the two common paths used to improve a statistical fact concerning built environments:

“On average, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings¬†is wasted, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency….one of the top opportunities to improving the energy efficiency is retrofitting of existing buildings.”

Deep energy retrofits Рas opposed to conventional energy renovations which focus on simple upgrades of isolated systems, such as lighting or HVAC systems Рwill approach the whole building and its overall poor performance ratings. Many building systems are addressed at once for a much greater savings in energy consumption, increased occupant comfort, and reduction in green house emissions.

Laser scanning of existing structures¬†is used¬†to accurately capture hidden building elements and attain dimensional data as the first step to creating a building information model (BIM). With a 3D¬†BIM¬†model of the retrofit project’s interior, exterior and surrounding site, energy modeling tools are then used to simulate the thermal properties of the building envelope, visualize interior heat loss and gains, emulate the position and the effect of the sun for solar shading strategies, and as a tool to improve overall building performance.

Laser scanning is a land surveying software solution that facilitates the engineering and construction phases of architects, engineers, and construction. This as-built tool replaces traditional building and land surveying methods by using hand-held laser measuring devices, photogrammetry, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to capture and analyze building data in real time. Elevations, sections, floor plans, and complete 3D models are converted to 2D drawings, 3D models, or BIM-compatible formats.

This virtual capture of the environment becomes an important part of the planning process for deep energy retrofits, land development, urban landscape planning, and in the new construction process. Using Bluetooth technology, PC tablets, and reflectorless instrumentation Рhighly detailed and very precise building or land surveys are quickly accomplished Рall in the digital (or virtual) realm. The end-use can beapplied to solve a number of structural and architectural documentation needs, including:

  • General Arrangement Plans
  • Street Scenes
  • Scaled Floor Plans
  • Internal Elevations
  • Roof Plans
  • Facade Measurements
  • As-Built Checking
  • Field Clash Detection

Laser Scanning and Point Cloud Data

Point cloud technology utilizes high-definition CT laser technology to scan multiple perspectives of the physical environment. The resulting image consists of millions of data points capturing the targeted image in a 3D coordinate system, or point cloud. The raw point cloud data is automatically converted to real-world structural elements and terrain features to generate accurate geometric data of building interiors and exteriors, topographies and urban landscapes, and even manufactured items such as pipes, and machinery.

Industry consensus supports the efficiency of using scanning to produce point cloud data to augment 3D modeling (and especially BIM applications). The once fragmented space that existed between retrofitting of existing structures and utilizing advanced modeling technologies are removed with 3D laser scanning services. This virtual, digitization of environments allows real-time, concurrent workflow to share information between field and engineering office. With laser scanning-to-BIM, all of a project’s stakeholders can access an integrated project database for engineering analysis and building performance studies Рconnecting existing infrastructures with analytical modeling and visualization technology for installation of deep energy retrofits.

Contact us to discuss how time, money, and effort can be saved in retrofit projects of built environments.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Civil Engineer?

A Civil Engineer often carries out the design of construction projects such as land development, subsurface sewage disposal systems (septic systems) or house building. Instinctively, since the design is not as tangible as the construction itself, people tend to try to save money on that part in order to keep more for the actual construction. As a rule of thumb, the design part of a project consists of approximately 5-20% of the budget while the actual construction uses the rest of the budget.

Continue reading “How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Civil Engineer?”