By Alex Testa
Monday’s night EPMA meeting ended with a great discussion about our responsibility as emerging professionals and brought new perspectives to the table.
Lindsey Machamer gave a thought-provoking presentation on Low Impact Stormwater Management, highlighting her work at Plymouth South High School. The decentralized system she designed was triggered by a number of influences we can all relate to: MassDEP guidelines; Plymouth stormwater bylaw; USGBC/LEED. Lindsey navigated through each set of standards, demonstrating how engineering innovation and design can be applied to meet a variety of criteria (within a budget!). She also outlined the site conditions in Plymouth, which had sandy soil and a deep ground water table.
Making use of bioretention areas, water swales, separate discharge points, a turf field, and tree box filters, the final design is one that mimics the natural hydrology of southeastern Massachusetts and takes advantage of everything the site offers. Although not everyone was familiar with stormwater management, Lindsey’s case study opened our eyes to a different aspect of building design and how stormwater management factors into a green building. Lindsey’s presentation motivated a fascinating, open discussion with Boston city councilor Tito Jackson, who had dropped in the meeting, about green buildings and Boston’s future.