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Research @ Nitsch

Research is the key to unlocking a better future. At Nitsch, we’re passionate about exploring new ways to address the challenges facing our clients and communities. Our research initiatives are all about driving innovation and finding solutions that make a real difference.

Nitsch Research Initiative

Through our Research Initiative, Nitsch aims to develop a deeper understanding of the issues that will impact our clients and communities, and to discover how we can help solve these issues using new techniques and technologies. Our resourceful teams have partnered with clients and stakeholders to drive a number of major research projects, ranging from quantifying the effectiveness of green infrastructure Best Management Practices (BMPs) to assessing closed drainage design.


Revisiting Closed Drainage Design in a Changing Climate

As more frequent, higher intensity storm events trigger flash-flood events in urban streets, Nitsch researchers sought to answer the following questions: What are the limitations of our current drainage infrastructure to withstand the impacts of climate change, and should we re-consider how we design traditional components to better accommodate the changing conditions? Further, recognizing the changing and intensifying rainfall conditions, are the widely accepted textbook methodologies and design standards still relevant for designing the infrastructure moving forward?

Nitsch Team: Jennifer Johnson (lead), Jared Gentilucci, Jarrett Zube

Dan's Championship Game 2016

Monitoring Stormwater Performance on Kennedy Street

As part of DC Water’s efforts to use green infrastructure techniques to address Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in the District, the Nitsch Team redesigned one block of Kennedy Street to integrate 33 inter-connected green infrastructure BMPs. To assess the performance of this pilot project, the DC Water Clean Rivers Project implemented a flow metering program to measure performance. The flow metering program, led by Greeley & Hanson, included continuous flow metering for dry and wet weather for long periods of pre-construction and post-construction conditions. The results of the flow metering program are highly supportive of the use of widespread green infrastructure as a tool to reduce CSOs.

Nitsch Team: Nicole Holmes (lead)
In collaboration with: DC Water and Greeley & Hanson

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Performing Stormwater Quality Research With Wpi Salisbury Pond 400x260 1

Performing Stormwater Quality Research with WPI

Nitsch has served as technical advisors for multiple capstone projects with civil and environmental engineering students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). These research projects included Quantifying the Pollutant Removal Effectiveness of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Urban Watersheds (2018); New Stormwater Management System Design for the EcoTarium Museum of Science and Nature in Worcester, MA (2019); and Stormwater Quality Protection for Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)’s Townhouse Area: Improving Stormwater Management for the Salisbury Pond Area (2021).

Nitsch Team: Gary Pease (lead), Coleman Horsley
In collaboration with: Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Professor Paul Mathison and WPI Student Groups

Evolving Data and Methods

Nitsch is always striving to stay ahead of the curve, continuously expanding our research and understanding of climate science/data, modeling and design tools, resilient best practices, sustainable materials, and innovative technologies. We are continuously looking for opportunities to monitor the long-term performance of our designs – learning from the results, calibrating our models, and applying lessons learned into future designs.

We continuously enhance our internal knowledge through participation in industry groups and through focused area research to support various design projects. Our ongoing research is focused on:

  • Stormwater metering and monitoring
  • Green Roof modeling and stormwater performance
  • Climate data research
  • Green infrastructure and urban heat mitigation
  • Smart Cities technologies
  • Water-Energy nexus