As climate change reshapes our communities, Nitsch Engineering is leading the charge to develop integrated solutions that respond to the rising seas and changing weather that increasingly alter our daily lives. We understand that each community threatened by climate change faces a unique situation that requires tailored solutions: one-size-fits-all solutions are not an option.

Green infrastructure is an integral part of addressing climate change concerns. Combining landscape beautification with stormwater management produces a number of important benefits that are highly adaptable to various climates. For example, an increase in vegetation lowers urban heat island effects and increases the natural evaporative cooling abilities of plants. Further, these softscapes act as natural “sponges” to absorb increased precipitation expected in humid climates, reducing the strain on aging infrastructure caused by every day rainfall while buffering the impacts of damaging weather to protect development and investment. In recognition of such benefits, these techniques are increasingly being utilized in major cities including Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston – and Nitsch Engineering has been actively involved in designing resilient projects in each of these areas.

Nitsch Engineering has been at the forefront of integrating green infrastructure solutions in the City of Boston, having provided civil/site design for a number of large waterfront development projects that are directly addressing resiliency concerns, such as Fan Pier and Seaport Square. In the Back Bay, where groundwater levels are a very real concern, we have implemented a range of solutions to help restore the water balance – and one of our engineers assisted the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission in drafting the technical components of the city’s groundwater recharge regulations known as Article 32, Groundwater Conservation Overlay District.

We have also participated in a number of design competitions and planning exercises that sought to address climate change and resiliency concerns by using green infrastructure techniques.

As participants in the ULI Urban Implications of Living with Water charrettes, along with 70+ industry experts, Nitsch Engineering’s staff explored resilient design solutions that protect our assets and communities from the risks inherent in sea level rise and climate change. One of our engineers co-chaired the event and co-authored the subsequent Living with Water report.

The international Boston Living with Water design competition challenged teams to design replicable but tailored solutions for three sites specifically chosen for their vulnerability and unique challenges. Working with Perkins+Will, our team’s design for the rehabilitation of the Fort Point “100 Acres” Neighborhood received an honorable mention in the competition.

For DC Water’s Green Infrastructure Challenge, the Nitsch Engineering team designed the retrofit of a mixed-use urban street section to incorporate green infrastructure that would serve as a model to be used throughout Washington, D.C. Our team’s design, the winning streetscape entry, was selected for demonstrating innovative, cost-effective, constructible, and replicable solutions to alleviate stormwater discharges to combined sewers, thus reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the Rock Creek drainage area.