The geotechnical materials testing lab for Golder Associates Inc. in Norcross, Ga., will test geosynthetic, geotechnical, aggregate and concrete materials.
A Golder Associates Inc. construction materials testing services laboratory destroyed by arson in March 2021 has been relocated, reopening Feb. 21 with the assistance of Golder’s parent company, WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy. The new lab is in Norcross, Ga., northeast of Atlanta.
Following the fire, which caused significant damage and shut down the construction materials testing laboratory in Chamblee, Ga., also a northeast suburb of Atlanta about seven miles (11 km) from the new site, Golder decided to relocate the original facility rather than rebuild at the previous site.
Golder and WSP designed the lab
Golder, which is now integrated with WSP as one company, partnered with WSP architects prior to the companies’ merger to design a laboratory space for the geosynthetic, geotechnical, aggregate and concrete labs to operate safely and efficiently. The new facility is one of six Golder laboratories in the United States.
“After a challenging year and the stress and strain caused by the fire and the unanticipated planning and relocation of our laboratory—all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—it is quite satisfying to finally witness the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes,” says Henry Mock, Golder laboratory director. “Today we can get back to the work at hand—performing material testing services for the power, transportation, oil and gas, waste, manufacturing, water resources and mining industries.”
After a challenging year and the stress and strain caused by the fire and the unanticipated planning and relocation of our laboratory—all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—it is quite satisfying to finally witness the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes.Henry Mock, Golder Associates Inc. laboratory director
Features of the geotechnical materials testing lab
The laboratory offers several features that were not available in the original facility, including an improved air-handling system that will provide necessary fresh air throughout the laboratory. The building also includes an improved and energy-efficient lighting system to support work in the laboratory environment and sound-absorbing rooms to minimize disturbance in other areas of the laboratory to allow the laboratory staff to focus on testing.
The facility combines the formerly offsite warehouse with the lab to improve the facility’s efficiency, creating a better flow that allows samples to proceed through the laboratory more effectively and ensuring accurate results.
To improve employee experience, the facility provides individual lockers to store personal items and personal protective equipment, a break/conference room, more restrooms, and more office space for calculations, quality reviews and to generate reports.
Golder’s laboratory uses American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards and specialized testing techniques. It is accredited by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Geosynthetic Institute GAI-LAP program, and it is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The laboratory is also approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to handle foreign soil for laboratory analysis.