Nitsch Engineering provided sustainable site consulting services for the development of a new, 100,000-square-foot Magnet School that focuses on Environmental Studies. The Kindergarten through 8th grade school consists of a two‐story wing of classrooms (which are laid out to maximize daylight) and a wing covered by a planted green roof that houses the media center, cafeteria, gymnasium, and theater. The school aims to educate students about green building features through signage identifying and describing the different elements, and through displays providing real‐time data about how much energy the building’s photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbine are producing. The LEED-Silver facility was constructed on a 19-acre urban brownfield site.
Nitsch Engineering assisted the design team in developing green solutions for stormwater management and site amenities. We worked closely with the design team to design a rain garden and stream channel/wetland system with elevated boardwalks, which provides the school with on-site stormwater filtration and an outdoor ecological education amenity. Nitsch Engineering also used our proprietary RainUSE® software to make recommendations to the team for sizing and optimizing the rainwater harvesting tank used for circulation through the stream system, for re-use in the School for toilet flushing, and to irrigate the green roof. When combined with water-conserving plumbing features, these sustainable stormwater systems are expected to reduce water use by 40 percent.