Resilient Urban Structure: Integrated Building Design Responding to Urban Conditions Through Water Mitigation

Presenter: Michael Grogan

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
Student Type: Undergraduate

Boston, like many other cities, experiences development within confined boundaries while addressing present day sustainability issues that are consequences of past urban planning decisions.  As architects, we are deeply passionate about the growth of Boston, and the planning taking place in envisioning a sustainable future.  It is critical then to identify the responsibilities that buildings have as active participants in an urban ecosystem.  Boston has made significant progress in the improvement of water quality, yet absorption of groundwater, controlling storm water runoff, and re-use of rainwater are critical issues that new construction and adaptive reuse buildings should aggressively address and implement in their design.

At the beginning of this semester we designed a modular building system deploying passive strategies in natural ventilation and optimizing daylight exposure as a part of our Comprehensive Design Studio project in the design of a future-use resilient building.  However, our ambitions for this project extend beyond the high performance functional building.  We followed our passion in exploring the relationship of buildings and water by researching the present day water quality of Fort Point Channel, as well as integral landscape strategies in water reuse and pollution mitigation.  In conjunction with our structural system design, we are designing a building in South Boston as model for sustainable urban growth, as well as a landmark representing Boston’s progressive history and status as a center of innovation.

Edward Kim and Selena Obelinas

B.S. Architecture 2015, School of Architecture

Faculty Advisor: Michael Grogan, RA, LEED AP, NCARB