News Releases

Posted on: August 31, 2017

SWA renewable energy project receives Florida Engineering Society’s Engineering Excellence Award

Earlier this month, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s (SWA) Renewable Energy Facility 2 (REF 2) was recognized with the Grand Conceptor award for being the overall best engineering project from the Florida Engineering Society (FES), as well as being honored as one of 10 Grand Award winners at the 101st Annual Conference Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers Banquet. The awards were presented to SWA construction partner CDM Smith and honors REF 2 for its “high degree of achievement, value and ingenuity.”


Submissions for the Engineering Excellence Awards are rated on the basis of their uniqueness and/or innovative applications; future value to the engineering profession and perception by the public; social, economic and sustainable design considerations; complexity; and successful ful¬fillment of client/owner’s needs, including schedule and budget. As a state Grand Award winner, the REF 2 project will have the chance to participate nationally in “the Academy Awards of the engineering industry,” at the 50th American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Award competition in Washington, D.C.


“This recognition is further confirmation that REF 2 is a state-of-the-art waste-to-energy facility,” said Ramana Kari, the SWA’s Chief Engineer. “The SWA was formed by the legislature 42 years ago and is dedicated to serving the waste disposal needs of the residents of Palm Beach County. REF 2 will accomplish this goal for decades to come.”


REF 2 is a $672 Million renewable energy facility that began commercial operations in June 2015. The most advanced and cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in North America, REF 2 can process 1 million tons of post recycled municipal solid waste a year. The waste is combusted to generate electricity and conserve landfill space by up to 90 percent.


“CDM Smith has been providing engineering services to SWA since 1993, and is humbled to be part of the team that delivered the design-build of the most advanced waste-to-energy facility in North America,” said Kevin Leo, CDM Smith Vice President. “The public and environmental benefits of projects like this, and the commitment of our clients to these elements, is what makes CDM Smith’s employees excited to come to work every day.”


The REF 2 project is the largest public works project in Palm Beach County’s history. Since its completion, REF 2 has also been honored with several awards.


In 2017

  • Engineering Excellence Grand Conceptor Award from the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers 
  • Engineering Excellence Grand Award from the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers 
  • SWANA Gold Excellence Award in the Waste-to-Energy category 
  • Distinguished Engineering Project Award from the Engineers’ Council


In 2016

  • Award for Integrated Waste Management from the Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council 
  • Florida Design-Build Honor Award, Industrial/Process/Research Facilities Category by the Design-Build Institute of America, Florida Region 
  • Top Plant Award by POWER Magazine 
  • Large Combustion Facility of the Year by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • Project of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Palm Beach Branch
  • Education Center at REF 2 was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Status from the US Green Building Council (USGBC)


In 2015

  • Crown Communities Award for Sustainability by American City and County Magazine;


About FICE: The Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE) represents the professional and business interests of professional engineers in private practice in Florida and their companies, serving to advance the profession of consulting engineering. The organization represents and promotes the business of engineering, the environment in which engineering is conducted, and the image of engineers in private practice. In these capacities, FICE serves as the state affiliate of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). As the affiliate of the Florida Engineering Society’s (FES) Professional Engineers in Private Practice (PEPP), we work to show how doing business with other FICE firms supports better business practices in Florida. Established in 1973, FICE promotes and maintains impeccable ethics and professional standards among consulting engineering firms in Florida. Our member firms and their professional engineers operate with the knowledge of our responsibility to the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, in accordance with the National Society of Professional Engineers’ Code of Ethics.


About CDM Smith: CDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service engineering and construction firm, they deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.

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