James Giresi, master's student in the Infrastructure Planning Program
The local US Green Building Council (USGBC) recognized NJIT’s Spring 2013 Garden State Studio class with an award for their Bay Head Resilient Design Project. James Giresi, a master’s student in the Infrastructure Planning Program, accepted the award on behalf of the class at the recent USGBC NJ 11th Annual Gala. Student class members include Giresi, Eric Barreira, Mina Choi, Richard Clark, Hertl, Pablo Lopez, Timothy Man, Bryan Miksiewicz, Christopher Sala, Kaitlyn Sena, and is instructed by Susan Bristol, NJIT professor.
The class focused on the Bay Head municipal building, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and created a design that demonstrated sustainable principles, responded to new FEMA flood elevations and enhanced the commercial district and restored the landscape. Environmental issues of the site dealt with water mitigation and loss of natural wetlands, which through restoration could help prevent future damage from routine flooding. Student designs reduced impervious surface on the site, provided bio-swales to clean runoff, and included ‘spongy’ grasslands to absorb high water. In Bay Head, the students’ work was publicly presented at a community forum and reviewed by the mayor. FEMA staff looked at the work as a catalyst for expanding thinking in the long-range planning process and has requested a public presentation for the fall. The student work shows that a sustainable recovery goes beyond buildings, integrating larger infrastructural systems with buildings as a method of bringing together and teaching the community.