Jul 24, 2015

Engineering Firm to Design Green Infrastructure Solutions in Washington, D.C.

The replicable design can be used as a model to address CSOs throughout the district

Nitsch Engineering green infrastructure design challenge

Nitsch Eng. has been selected to design green infrastructure improvements on Kennedy Street in Washington, D.C., as the winning streetscape entry in the DC Water Green Infrastructure Challenge design competition.

After being selected as one of the finalists in the planning and design phase of the competition, Nitsch Eng.’s team refined their design for Kennedy|Greened: A Neighborhood Green Street Project to include a variety of green infrastructure strategies for the 100 Block of Kennedy Street NW. A multi-agency evaluation panel selected the Nitsch Eng. team for demonstrating cost-effective, constructible, and replicable solutions to alleviate storm water discharges to combined sewers, thus reducing combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the Rock Creek drainage area.

With the goal of designing solutions that absorb storm water before it enters the combined sewer system, the Nitsch Eng. team proposed streetscape improvements for Kennedy Street that integrate a variety of landscape and storm water strategies including additional street trees, permeable pavers, landscape infiltration gaps, storm water curb extensions, grated landscapes and sub-surface storage/infiltration. Environmental art installations draw attention to these functional storm water features, raising awareness of storm water movement, treatment, and storage. The design further promotes “complete street” concepts by using curb bump-outs, sidewalk crossings, and boardwalks to create a streetscape that is safe and comfortable for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

“We anticipate that our plan for Kennedy Street will eliminate significant amounts of storm water from entering the combined sewer system annually, improve water quality, and minimize urban heat island effects,” said Nicole Holmes, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, Nitsch Eng.’s green infrastructure project manager. “Just as important, our design will benefit the community by raising awareness and advocacy of green infrastructure, and by creating a shared street that is safer and more pleasant for all roadway users.”

“One of the most exciting things about this project is that the strategies we’re implementing will serve as a model for what can be done anywhere to address CSOs and storm water in roadways,” said Scott Turner, P.E., AICP, LEED AP ND, Nitsch Eng.’s director of planning. “Our design solutions from this project can be replicated throughout urban corridors across D.C., which will further address the district’s need to alleviate storm water discharges to combined sewers.”

The team includes Nitsch Eng. as the design engineer and principal consultant; Urban Rain Design and Warner Larson Inc. as landscape architects; Stacy Levy as the environmental artist; EBA Eng. Inc. as the land surveyor, geotechnical engineer, and constructability consultant; McKissack & McKissack as the permitting consultant; and Tina Boyd & Associates as the public outreach and participation consultant.