July 7, 2005; Boston, MA – Nitsch Engineering was honored with a “Grand Award” in the annual American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Award competition for their sustainable site design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Ray and Maria Stata Center.
Each year, ACEC recognizes the preeminent engineering achievements from across the nation, awarding a “Grand Conceptor Award” for the single most significant achievement, seven “Grand Awards” for excellence, and 16 “Honor Awards.” While the “Grand Conceptor Award” went to the Restoration of the Everglades, Nitsch Engineering received one of the “Grand Awards” for the innovative stormwater management system they designed for the MIT Stata Center.
Architect Frank Gehry designed MIT’s unique and impressive 713,000-square-foot Stata Center, a facility dedicated to computer, information, and intelligence sciences. Nitsch Engineering designed several sustainable site systems, including the innovative, state-of-the-art stormwater management system. In keeping with the landscape architect’s vision for the site – a New England-like microcosm consisting of simulated glacial elements such as drumlins and outwash features – Nitsch Engineering designed these site systems to activate the landscape forms with function. Green design elements for this LEED™ Registered building include runoff storage in landforms, created wetland systems for stormwater quality enhancement, stormwater harvesting for toilet flushing, and solar powered pumping for stormwater quality “polishing” and irrigation of the wetland area.
Stephen Benz, PE, LEED™ AP, Nitsch Engineering’s Project Manager, said, “Engineers need to rethink their traditional ideas that bigger and more complicated solutions are better. At the Stata Center, as with our other green projects, we were able to re-introduce natural systems into the built environment, which provides sustainable design opportunities while also visually enhancing the site.” Judith Nitsch, PE, LEED™ AP, President, added, “Being recognized by our peers at ACEC clearly shows that the importance of sustainable design continues to grow. By providing our sustainable expertise on the Stata Center site design, we were able to assist MIT and the rest of the project team in meeting their green design goals and save on the building’s annual operating expenses.”