Individual Project Impact Mitigation
Potential impacts from each of the IMP projects will be presented when the University has selected design teams and finalized a development program. For those projects in excess of 20,000 GSF, reviews will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of Article 80 of the Zoning Code.
The initial project presented under Article 80 was the ISEC project on Columbus Lot, which was approved at the same time as this IMP in December 2013. The following sections discuss the impact areas to be more fully evaluated in subsequent impact filings with the BRA or other city and state agencies, illustrating how the first IMP Project, the ISEC handles environmental issues.
It is expected that the BRA will review the proposals requiring city review and determine if wind analyses are required. The University will be sensitive in its proposed designs and building massing to ensure that the proposals do not create wind impacts at the pedestrian level that would lead to uncomfortable wind conditions for walking or sitting.
The University will takes steps to ensure that taller buildings proposed minimize new shading on open spaces, sitting areas or pathways throughout the campus. Any new shadows are expected to be confined to properties already owned by the University. Architectural and massing design concepts will be presented that reduce potential shadow impacts.
The proposed IMP projects are not expected to significantly reduce daylight on any off-campus locations. Architectural and massing design concepts will be presented that reduce potential daylight impacts.
Materials to be used in construction of the new projects will be chosen to reduce the potential for solar glare.
Because the structures to be built as part of the IMP are not expected to generate significant increase in vehicular traffic on the Northeastern Campus, it is unlikely that there will be impact on air quality in the area from new traffic. Air quality impacts from enclosed garages that may be constructed will be reviewed during the BRA’s Article 80 review process.
While it is expected that noise will occur during the construction of the IMP projects, construction noise levels will comply with applicable city of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts noise regulations. During the operation of the completed projects, noise levels from HVAC and exhaust equipment will also comply with these standards. More detailed information will be presented in filings in accordance with Article 80 and other regulatory requirements.
Flood Hazard Zones/Wetlands
The Northeastern campus is located primarily within Zone C, areas of minimal flooding with elevations above the 100-year flood benchmark, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Rate Map for the City of Boston. However, Northeastern has experienced some flooding in severe weather. The campus contains no wetlands, although portions of the campus bordering the Fens may be within protected areas.
The Northeastern area north of the MBTA tracks are generally located within the Groundwater Conservation Overlay District, pursuant to Article 32 of the Boston Zoning Code. As appropriate, IMP project filings will include analysis of potential impacts on groundwater and mitigation will be proposed.
Solid and Hazardous Wastes
As will be outlined in the Construction Management Plans for IMP projects requiring review under Article 80 and City of Boston requirements, appropriate measures will be taken to insure that any hazardous waste typically encountered from construction debris encountered in urban fill soils will be removed to the appropriate landfill site(s) or recycled, as required.
Northeastern is not aware of any rare or endangered species or any ecologically significant plant community which may be affected by the IMP proposed projects.
There are a number of historic resources both individual buildings and historic districts surrounding Northeastern and within the campus which have been identified, listed and mapped in the Northeastern University Preservation Plan completed in 2005. The update to the 2005 Preservation Plan, included here also contains survey forms (Form B) for ten additional historic buildings owned by Northeastern.
With this extensive inventory, the University is better able to evaluate impacts to historic resources and to consider plans to avoid, minimize or mitigate potential adverse impacts when undertaking a physical project, whether an addition, new construction or renovation. The 2005 Preservation Plan also lists the reviews related to historic resources that may be relevant to a particular project, the agencies involved and the criteria that trigger such reviews. IMP project filings will take into account potential impacts to historic resources.