Nitsch Engineering’s RainUSE™ Software Wins Engineering Excellence Awards

June 30, 2008 ; Boston, MA – NitschEngineering’s proprietary RainUSE™ Software was recognized for its innovation by The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and The American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA). The RainUSE™ Software, which is used to optimize rainwater harvesting systems, was awarded an Engineering Excellence Gold Award by ACEC/MA and a National Engineering Excellence Recognition Award by ACEC.

The RainUSE™ software is a rainfall reuse simulation program that uses historical daily rainfall data and simulates scenarios to optimize rainfall capture and reuse systems. Since most related simulation and design tools rely only on the use of average annual rainfall data, Nitsch’s program provides a more accurate simulation. The RainUSE™ software makes it possible to analyze data on a seasonal basis, incorporate additional non-potable water sources, provide a graphical function, analyze a series of rainwater storage tanks, identify annual water savings, and develop cost/benefit analyses.

The RainUSE™ software advances civil engineers’ knowledge and capabilities for rainwater reuse. For a relatively small investment, an owner/client is able to access data of great value in optimizing systems that can significantly save construction and operating costs, and exemplify sustainability. Paul Stoller, Director of Atelier Ten says, “Nitsch Engineering’s RainUSE™ software has become an invaluable tool in the development of rainwater capture systems. Atelier Ten has used the software on projects, notably the renovation of the Yale Art and Architecture Building and new History of Art Building, to size stormwater capture tanks carefully where space was particularly at a premium. “

Input data for the RainUSE™ software includes local water rate data; costs to supply, install, and operate the tank(s); and anticipated water rate inflation. The output from RainUSE™ software provides the percentage of the time the system is able to meet demands, the total gallons of potable water saved per year, and the projected system payback period.

RainUSE™ software is an important tool supporting Nitsch Engineering’s cutting-edge site sustainability practice, especially for projects pursuing LEED® certification – using RainUSE™ software to optimize and design rainwater harvesting systems on projects could add five LEED® points toward certification. In many cases, Nitsch Engineering has found that rainwater reuse systems can be optimized to reduce potable water use by 40% or more.

Since 2005, Nitsch Engineering has used the program on 21 projects, optimizing systems, significantly saving construction and operating costs, and exemplifying sustainability. Stephen Noone, ASLA, Senior Associate with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., says, “With an ever-expanding demand for stewardship and sustainability in the public landscape, Nitsch Engineering as Site Sustainability Engineers has helped to provide our client with a smart and self-sustaining system while still adhering to a high standard of design.”