Natural Systems Engineering’s Principal, Kyle Thomas, was quoted for this Newsday (New York) newspaper article on green stormwater management. The story describes how the Nassau County municipalities of North Hempstead, Great Neck Plaza and Floral Park have released their 2017 Stormwater Management Reports calling for the management of stormwater water in an eco-friendly manner. Thomas was interviewed to provide a somewhat technical perspective on what management of stormwater in a green fashion actually means.
On September 8, 2015 patent number 9.127,488 was issued by the USPTO for “Retrofit Catch Basin for Use in Stormwater Management Practice.” The device allows a conventional stormwater catch basin to be retrofitted to divert runoff to an alternative practice (such as green infrastructure) while allowing the catch basin to continue to serve as an overflow for the alternative practice. Now looking for a partner with whom to commercialize this!
Construction began last week on the JC Smith green infrastructure (GI) project located at 338 Peat Street in Syracuse consisting of a porous asphalt lot, and streetside bioretention areas. The porous asphalt lot will manage stormwater that formerly ran off the impervious storage lot, The bioretention areas will manage runoff from Peat Street and the Canal Street Extension. See photos below. The project is funded by Onondaga County’s Save the Rain program and Natural Systems Engineering, worked constructively with the City of Syracuse to address sewer connection issues given the constraints of the County’s award and the owner’s budget for the project. Construction by J & J Landscaping of East Syracuse.
JC Smith Porous Lot Stone Infiltration Basin with Bioretention Excavation in Foreground.
The Erie-Bruce Green Infrastructure project located at 2112 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse consisted of porous asphalt, porous pavers, and two bioretention areas. The site is characterized by sloping topography toward the office building, and clayey soils exhibiting low infiltration. The green infrastructure installed not only achieved the Onondaga County Save the Rain program objectives for retention of stormwater on-site, but did so in a manner that actually alleviated the flooding that sometimes occurred in the building related to storm runoff. Construction was completed in the Fall of 2013. Photos are from late Summer 2014.
Porous asphalt (foreground) and porous pavers (background) at Erie Bruce Green Infrastructure project
The August 29th edition of Short Enterprises‘ “Startup Insider” features Natural Systems Engineering. The article discusses NSE’s contribution to the cleanup of Onondaga Lake through our green infrastructure projects and also presents our work in renewable energy. NSE’s designs of green roof, bioretention areas, porous pavements, stormwater infiltration planters (see photograph), green roofs, and rainwater harvesting systems are featured. NSE’s design of a geothermal heating and cooling system for an urban dwelling is also highlighted.
Photo Credit: Stormwater Magazine, May 2014 and The Icehouse
The May 2014 Issue of Stormwater Magazine contains an excellent article on page 44 entitled “Exploring New Partners to Green Our Urban Landscapes.” The article describes how incorporating green infrastructure (GI) into site development can yield a return on investment. Some of the examples cited in the article include:
The visual amenity afforded by a green roof incorporated into an apartment complex in Boylston MA resulted in an increase in rent of between $300 and $500 a month for those units that overlooked the green roof.
the DECREASE in the amount of frost heave in porous pavements in Chicago, IL when compared with conventional paved surfaces has resulted in a longer lifespan for the installations making porous pavement the lower cost alternative.
green roofs double the lifespan of conventional roofs thus incurring savings in roof replacement dollars over a 40 year lifespan.
These examples don’t even consider the possible benefits available through various subsidies for such technology nor consider the relative offset in costs where regulations or ordinances would require stormwater management, whether through GI or conventional measures anyway. More detailed information is contained NRDC’s 2013 report “The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates Value” discussed in our January 31, 2014 blog post.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will provide technical assistance to the Buffalo Sewer Authority to expand the use of green infrastructure to reduce water pollution and improve Buffalo’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. The EPA will assist Buffalo in assessing paved and unsightly vacant lots, which contribute to stormwater runoff and pollution of local waters. The newly announced assistance augments a $500,000 grant provided to Buffalo in March 2014 to help fund green infrastructure projects in the city. The projects are expected to prevent nearly 5 million gallons of stormwater runoff per year from flowing into Lake Erie.
“The EPA is very excited to assist the Buffalo region in assessing how vacant lots across Buffalo contribute to stormwater pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The expansion of green infrastructure on vacant lots will promote sustainability and expand projects to improve water quality and withstand the increasing impacts of flooding related to climate change.”
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 05-01-14
On April 7, 2014, the team of Spectra Engineering (Syracuse, New York) and Natural Systems Engineering was notified of award for RFP No. 13-3330-002 – Green Project Design Professional Services for Onondaga County, New York. The project will involve the design of “green streets” under the County’s award-winning “Save the Rain” program.
Photo Credit: September 2011 Onondaga County “Save the Rain” newsletter.
Construction was completed in late 2013 of the Erie-Bruce Corp. “Save the Rain” green infrastructure project. Natural Systems Engineering designed the bioretention area, rain garden, porous asphalt, and pervious pavers to not only achieve Onondaga County’s Save the Rain objectives with respect to combined sewer overflows (CSOs), but to mitigate drainage issues at the facility, and improve the aesthetics of the site.