The MIT.nano building, at the center of campus. Image: Wilson Architects


Washington, D.C. — Nitsch Engineering of Boston earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 52nd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the North Corridor project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass.

Construction of the new MIT.nano building provided an opportune moment to reimagine the North Corridor, 1.48 acres of roadway demolished to support utility connections for the new facility. The new vision called for a landscaped student space to enhance pedestrian connections and create a sense of place, making it an ideal location for the implementation of an innovative stormwater management strategy called a landscape filter.

Resembling a small planted area, a landscape filter collects surface runoff via trench drains that tie into below-grade distribution piping. Similar in concept to bioretention basins, the landscape filters use plants and specialized soils to treat the runoff from adjacent impervious areas yet can be more easily configured to fit within constrained urban areas. The landscape filter system also offers flexibility for easy changes during construction should conflicts with other utility infrastructure arise.

The project is among 196 engineering achievements from throughout the nation and the world being recognized by ACEC as the year’s finest examples of engineering excellence, and eligible for additional top national honors. Judging for the awards program — known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry” — took place in February, conducted by a national 30-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focuses on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top commendations — 20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement — will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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