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  • who we are

    Wallace Group is a reflection of the communities we serve. We are neighbors, family members, active volunteers, professionals and leaders in our business and personal communities. We believe in contributing and we have a commitment to the long-term health and viability of our built environment.

  • what we do

    We are service oriented professionals in Civil & Transportation Engineering, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Planning, Public Works Administration, Surveying / GIS Solutions and Water Resources. We understand the importance of thoughtful collaboration in order to deliver meaningful, elegant and cost-effective planning, design and engineering solutions for the needs of our community.

  • why we do it

    Since our founding in 1984, our focus and passion has centered on the personal side of business. We value our partnerships; we believe in earning trust and work diligently to demonstrate integrity, fairness and reliability to our clients and amongst our staff. At Wallace Group we love what we do and the value it provides to people. Our work reflects our Dedication to Service and results in high value services and-quality products for our clients and our built environment.

the latest news

04/ 03/ 2014
By now you have heard about the Monarch Club—the Central Coast’s premiere, resort-style destination, located at the Monarch Dunes Golf Course on the stunning Nipomo Mesa. Back in 2006, Wallace Group Landscape Architects began the conceptual design work on the Club as part of a highly collaborative team of consultants. Project Manager, Bianca Koenig has the inside scoop on what it took to bring this project to reality: Super-Secret Irrigation System Have you ever eaten at the fabulous Adelina’s Bistro and had the sensation of sitting on the Golf Course? Great, we planned that! But in order to have the turf cozy up to the building, the wood framed windows and face prevailing winds, we had to get creative with the irrigation design.  Hard-water stains and wood rot would be inevitable if overspray was allowed. To prevent this we designed an underground drip system to provide water directly to the root system, conserve water and maintain that seamless dining to golf experience. Native Plants Rule Folks have relocated from all over the nation to call the beautiful Central Coast home. As with any coastal area, this beauty comes with a challenging climate. Summers are naturally cool with the presence of fog, and then prevailing, coastal winds carry across the Mesa to bring blue skies. While the Mesa provides for stunning views overlooking the ocean, this elevation change and distance from the ocean also brings the risk of frost. Add to this the naturally sandy, high-alkaline, low-nutrient soils, and this area demands for tough plant material. Monarch Club’s secret to year-round beauty is choosing wisely. Native plants, including Ceanothus spp. (Mountain Lilac) and Arctostaphylos spp. (Manzanita) are the true stand-outs and year-round performers. If using these plants, make sure to position them in areas that receive excellent drainage and avoid drip irrigation to keep these drought-tolerant plants happy. Ancient Ruin Did you know the Monarch Club and Trilogy Tour Center are built on an ancient ruin? Ok, not really, but those large stone walls that erode into the ground are a major design feature. Not only is the material consistently used on walls throughout the community but they were also used architecturally to visually connect the two facilities. If you stand on the north end of the Club building, you can follow the end of the stone wall, to the stone banding as it leads to the eroding stone wall of the Tour Center. As part of the apex of these two walls, you’ll find the first of our many art installations for the project. Woodlands-Monarch-Dunes-Club-trilogy-photos-197 Let There Be Art Managing the design and installation of the sculpture and art program for the Monarch Club offered a number of exciting challenges, from materials sourcing to constructability and installation. Our previous department director had a natural talent for art and design, and provided the vision and sketches. The first “totem” at the Tour Center features an underwater theme, but once back at the Monarch Club site, it’s all about monarch butterflies. The Monarch Club features a reclaimed copper pipe just north of the main entry doors with butterflies plasma cut on the surface. Across the entry road, the 14’ tall triangular totem showcases the metamorphosis of a butterfly from larvae to full wing-span in polished bronze and rusted steel. We had a great team to bring these art pieces to the site. Jesse Wallace helped source the reclaimed pipe materials and fabricated each of the three pieces. His diligent work included hammering each of those bronze butterflies by hand to achieve the desired texture. Thanks Jesse, we are forever grateful! And Mike Smith over at Smith Structural Group was an incredible asset. He provided the structural engineering consulting, including footing design and custom-engineered stress tests to verify the structural integrity of these one-of-a-kind sculptures. DSC_2389It’s Not Just a Tennis Court It’s a pool heater! The fenced tennis court, just north of the bocce court is embedded with water-filled tubes warmed by the sun. After the heat is absorbed through the concrete mass it circulates to the pool equipment and helps offset energy costs, to meet the strict California Energy Code for energy efficiency. These tennis courts truly are high-performing! Each tennis court surface was also custom engineered with post-tensioned reinforcement to ensure long-performing play durability. How about those colors? Ok tennis fans, can you guess the inspiration for the court colors on the main stadium court? 548304227__mg_4155 Specialty Concrete Paving Passers-by may not know it but there are over ten different types of paving materials and colors for the exterior of the Monarch Club. Paving materials provided a wonderful opportunity to share the story of the Club in a creative way. Where the major architectural stone walls come to an end, cobble stone paving continues in the ground plane. At the fireplace of the covered courtyard, the patterning of a traditional Chumash basket becomes an extension of the hearth. At the main entry to the Club a giant butterfly wing highlights the arrival experience. One thing the specialty paving types have in common is the color of the material is determined by the color of the aggregates. Whether natural stone from the shores of Cambria or recycled glass in a rainbow of colors, the specialty paving could not be supplemented with powder or liquid coloring agents. Woodlands-Monarch-Dunes-Club-trilogy-photos-266 All Butterflies, All the Time Even before the Monarch Club received its official name, we knew that monarch butterflies were going to be a dominant element for the site. Standing at the front door, you can look east towards the 19-acre Monarch Dunes Butterfly Habitat, or look down and beneath your feet is a monarch butterfly mosaic with a sixty-foot wingspan. The butterfly paving at the front door was an enjoyable collaboration with the interior designers where they mirrored our butterfly in the carpet pattern of the interior. For an even bigger butterfly, take the path from the Monarch Club along the East side of the Art Studio and cross the street to the Tour Center. Follow the path as it loops back south and past the entry to the model homes. Those abstract, golden, steel sculptures aren’t just a gateway, they also signify the antennae of a giant butterfly that spans from the Monarch Club to the Tour Center. Yes, if you were a butterfly flying overhead, those two meandering pathways outline the shape of the butterfly. How many other butterflies can you find hidden at the Monarch Club? Woodlands-Monarch-Dunes-Club-IMG_1690 That’s a Fountain, Not a Kiddie Pool Have you noticed that impressive fountain spouting at the main pool? If you look closely, you’ll notice the water lands in its own shallow pool, complete with the Trilogy butterfly logo. Due to California health codes, we can’t have waterfalls landing in swimming areas. And for safety reasons, there can never be decorative graphics at the bottom of pools. So in order to get these fancy features included in the design, they had to have their own separate pool basin. If you do happen to dip your toes in the “fountain” however, don’t worry, this fountain is filtered and cleaned similar to quality of the swimming pool. Executive Chef Kitchen Garden The original herb and kitchen gardens were designed in collaboration with the resident chef at the time. To supplement the herb garden already planned for the grounds, we added her top picks for a kitchen garden on the Central Coast,  including heirloom tomatoes, lemon verbena, Kieffer Lime, Moro Blood Orange, Improved Meyer Lemon, and Tuscan Blue Rosemary. If you keep a watchful eye out you might witness kitchen staff out snipping fresh herbs directly from the garden to use for that night’s meal. Doesn’t get any fresher than that! Time Capsule I haven’t found this treasure located on my geo-cache app, but it is true, on November 4, 2006 a time capsule was buried on the grounds of the Monarch Club. We couldn’t find a rock from our local suppliers at the time that was big enough to embed the whole capsule, so instead the capsule is hidden under a boulder and marked with a plaque. Hint: If you stand at the entry to Adelina’s Bistro and look north -east, a low stone wall ends at a couple of large boulders.  Difficulty 1.0, Terrain 1.0 Size: Medium. Happy Hunting!
03/ 20/ 2014
America’s Energy Future Working for twenty-five years in the Energy Industry as a Civil and Mechanical Engineer I’ve seen amazing advances in this field. The promise of solar and wind ventures are exciting and we have seen more and more projects coming from these areas. In addition, scientists and engineers in the field of traditional energy resources, such as oil and gas, are developing advances in exploration and production techniques. Simply put, the potential of these sources of energy to help us break free of foreign oil is immense. In fact, the United States could very well be a major player in the exportation of oil and gas. How amazing would it be for us to not be dependent upon other countries for our energy needs? These advances coupled with increases in fuel efficiency and improvements in other forms of power generation make the times we live in incredibly interesting.   Wind   To obtain a better grasp of the energy industry, I highly recommend watching the documentary Switch (2012, Arcos Films). This movie is excellent in comparing the various sources of energy and the challenges that we face in replacing petroleum as our primary energy source.   Switch   Another great resource is the book The Quest, by Daniel Yergin (2011, Penguin Press). The Quest explores the geopolitical influence of energy, specifically oil and gas, in global economies and how that drives world politics and conflicts.   Quest   Current events provide a good example of the political realities of dependence upon foreign supplies of energy. Just look at what Ukraine is experiencing with Russia. Russia has vast natural gas reserves and is the dominant supplier of natural gas to Western Europe, including many of the former Soviet Republics such as Ukraine. Russia uses its ability to increase or curtail its natural gas exports as a means to exert its influence upon its neighbors. It is also Russia's primary source of hard currency. If Russia did not have the revenue and influence associated with natural gas it would be a much less powerful nation. Imagine a world where the U.S. could export surplus natural gas to Western Europe thereby significantly reducing the influence Russia has on these nations and the world. Envision a future where we no longer need to import petroleum from unstable nations such as Venezuela. (Did you know that Citgo, with gas stations and refineries in the mid-west, is owned by the Venezuelan government?)   shale_gas   Granted, increases in oil and natural gas production from sites such as the Marcellus shale and Bakken formation, as well as renewed drilling in other areas of the country, comes with a price. No form of energy, including solar and wind, is without an ecological downside, yet there are ways to minimize these risks through technology and sound regulatory policies. The increased supply of natural gas will have the immediate benefit of enabling dirty coal fired power plants the ability to convert to cleaner natural gas. These are the plants that provide electricity not only for many homes, but also the latest generation of electric cars.   Solar   For the U.S. to realize its energy production potential we as a nation must be open to allowing the exploration of oil and gas as well as the construction of solar, wind and other forms of energy production in our backyards. Since the oil crisis of the 1970’s the country realized it can no longer rely upon others to supply our energy needs. With these technological changes, current and future possibilities and goals in mind, it is a rewarding time to be an Engineer. I am blessed to be part of a company that embraces the opportunity to play a role in America’s energy future.
03/ 13/ 2014
Wallace Group continues to recruit and attract top talent to its team of professionals with the addition of Brad Hagemann as the Director of the Public Works Administration Department. Brad brings a lifetime of knowledge, skill and industry know-how to the firm. Brad earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering at Cal Poly. His resume of distinguished work includes project management for the United States Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Supervising Engineer and Branch Chief at the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), and Assistant Executive Officer at RWQCB. There, Brad oversaw a team of nine unit supervisors, a staff of 65 and a budget of $7.8 million. Brad is no stranger to public service on many municipal levels. He worked as Water Resources and Utilities Manager for the City of Paso Robles and as Deputy Director and Utilities Engineer for the City of Santa Maria. Most recently, Brad worked for the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) as the Assistant General Manager. After six years with MRWPCA, Wallace Group is fortunate to have Brad as part of our team. “This is a significant hire for Wallace Group and we are lucky to have Brad joining us. He brings years of experience in water and wastewater management both in the regulatory, budgeting and planning arenas,” said John Wallace, President of the Wallace Group. “Most importantly, he is a great cultural fit.”
02/ 27/ 2014
Located on the northwestern corner of the Carrisa Plains in San Luis Obispo County, Topaz Solar Farms will produce 550 megawatts of clean electrical power. Wallace Group is proud to participate in this green energy project by providing entitlement, design and compliance services. The project includes approximately 3,500 acres of photovoltaic solar array, multiple construction yards, a permanent operations center and a substation. Project Entitlement Wallace Group prepared technical reports and support for the environmental permitting for work requiring permits from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), and related agencies. Wallace Group also provided support during the public hearing process, including testimony at hearings and review and response to the environmental studies and the project conditions of approval.  

GIS Map for Phases

  Wallace Group provided local support for construction permitting, and assisted in the processing of over 80 separate construction permits. Wallace Group prepared and processed applications for encroachment permits for work in County and State right of ways. Project Design Wallace Group prepared the civil engineering site design for the 3,500 acre project. The design included the array fields, temporary construction yards, access roads, highway and local road connections, construction and fire suppressing water systems and erosion control plans. Using FLO-2D modeling software we completed drainage studies to evaluate onsite storm flow. Design work also included the preparation and processing of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs).  

Site Construction

  Since the development required close to 35 daily truck deliveries, which utilized a specified route with a two mile lane closure and vehicle control system, Wallace Group created a Traffic Control and Management Plan (TCMP). Wallace Group also prepared and processed an encroachment permits with two associated Caltrans districts. Project Compliance Wallace Group used its expertise to verify and document project compliance during the design and construction phases. For the design phase, Wallace Group prepared compliance reports on each of the project conditions of approval and obtained written verification from appropriate agencies. The compliance includes over two thousand separate documents and Wallace Group initiated and maintained an online system for use by the project team and agencies.  

Panel Installation

  Wallace Group coordinated with the project biologists for their preparation of biology reports. Wallace Group, along with sub-consultants, directly prepared numerous special reports and processes for project compliance, including: · Workforce Housing Program · Shuttle Bus Program · Air Quality Programs · Noise Management Program · Residential Screening Program · Groundwater Management and Reporting Plan · Drought Water Management Plan · Transportation Control and Management Plan Wallace Group continues to seek out projects like Topaz Solar Farms because it aligns perfectly with our core values and our desire to contribute to the sustainability of our county. MidAmerican Solar is the proud owner of Topaz Solar Farms. MidAmerican Solar is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables
02/ 24/ 2014
Senior Landscape Architect Ann Sever is a survivor. When in early 2010 through a self-exam, Ann found a lump she took action. After a series of tests and a surgery, Ann’s fears were confirmed. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2010. Fortunately the cancer was caught early and through additional surgery, radiation treatments and prescription medication, Ann is now 3 years cancer free! Ann’s personal experience led her to her participation in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a cause near and dear to her heart. This year will be Ann’s second time taking part in the event. Relay for Life started small in 1985. According to their website, Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern – cancer. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since those first steps, the Relay for Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer. Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk with teams of people camping out around a track while members of the team take turns walking. Food, games and activities providing entertainment take place for the duration of the event, building camaraderie and providing a family-friendly environment for the entire community. The graphic below outlines what people can expect from the event. (Click to enlarge.)   Event_Map   When we talked to Ann about the event she expressed how emotional it was for her to walk the Survivor lap. During the Lap, all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track, celebrating their victory over cancer while cheered on by the other participants who line the track. “The amazing advances in cancer treatment are brought about in part by the thousands of people participating in their local Relays. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I am a part of something so much bigger than me that is touching lives throughout the country.” Wallace Group’s Charitable Contributions Committee has donated to our walkers in the past and this year is no exception. There are seven Relay for Life events in San Luis Obispo County starting in April and ending in June. Ann is going to walk on April 5th & 6th at Nipomo High School. Her donation page can be found here. The Hearst Cancer Resource Center at French Hospital Medical Center benefits from Relay for Life funds. It is also where Ann went for support during her fight. She credits them for making a world of difference in her life, offering anything from a shoulder to cry on, to answers to her hundreds of questions. Walking in Relay for Life is one way Ann feel’s she can give back to them for the support they gave her.