Nitsch Engineering provided land surveying and civil engineering services associated with the design of Renaissance Hall at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols Upper School (for grades 9-12). The new wing curves around a protected, open-air courtyard, and houses music rehearsal space, art studios, an internet café and cafeteria, and classroom facilities. The project also resulted in a new building entry way, designed by the landscape architect, that faces the busy Gerry’s Landing Road on the Charles River, as well as a redesigned rear parking area.

Nitsch Engineering performed topographic and utility surveys to support the design, and helped permit the project with the City of Cambridge’s Engineering Department. We coordinated with the architect, landscape architect, and MEP engineer on the design of Renaissance Hall and the new courtyard, as well as the relocation of a historic wood shed. Nitsch Engineering designed the relocation of the existing water and sewer services for the area, coordinated with the MEP design, and reviewed the landscape architect’s grading so that we could facilitate drainage and prevent stormwater ponding problems in the area.

Nitsch Engineering also redesigned the bus drop-off area to include new curbing, asphalt, pavement striping, and grading; and designed the grading, layout, drainage system, and utility relocations for the rear parking area to accommodate parking, delivery drop-off, fire access, and maintenance vehicles. The existing drain system in the rear parking area was removed, and connected the new closed drainage system (which was sized to handle the 25-year storm event) to the existing 48-inch drain located on the property. We also designed a utility and fire access route from the rear area, around the new addition, to the rear of the new addition; the fire access area was designed to promote surface infiltration, minimize surface runoff, and eliminate the need for a closed drainage system. Because the school needed to remain open during construction, fire access was critical throughout construction.