Nitsch Engineering provided civil engineering services for the renovation and 70,000-square-foot expansion to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The project included a new 300-seat performance hall and a 2,000-square-foot, naturally lit exhibit hall. We designed the site utilities, layout, and grading; and obtained permits for the project through the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Groundwater Conservation Overlay District. We also provided assistance with LEED certification.
One of the most challenging aspects of the project was complying with the City of Boston’s Groundwater Conservation Overlay District (GCOD) regulations. To comply with the GCOD, any new construction must return a certain percentage of stormwater to the ground either naturally or through engineered systems. To accomplish this, Nitsch Engineering designed a groundwater recharge system for the new wing that collects the rainwater from the roof surfaces and pipes it to a system consisting of 503 feet of 36-inch perforated pipe underneath the site along Evan’s Way. There is also a drywell under the Cafe courtyard that recharges stormwater run-off from the courtyard and a portion of the existing palace roof.