In the summer of 2014, a high-intensity rainfall in Cambridge surcharged the city’s stormwater drainage system, resulting in localized flooding near a basement-level retail space. The floodwaters overtopped the sidewalk and flowed down the entryway stairs, inundating the retail space and causing significant damage. SGH investigated the circumstances surrounding the damaging flood event and developed a strategy for mitigating future flooding.
Our investigation included the following:
- Analyzing local rainfall data to quantify the return period of the storm
- Coordinating an elevation survey of the building exterior, as well as an elevation survey and inspection of the stormwater drainage system within the local watershed
- Performing a hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the city’s stormwater drainage system to estimate flood elevations for select rainfall events
- Determining the probability of repeat flooding
- Developing conceptual strategies to prevent future flooding
SGH coordinated with the owner to determine their goals and designed a flood mitigation strategy considering a 100-year design flood elevation plus 4 in. of freeboard. Highlights of our design include the following:
- Flood barriers that automatically raise into place when floodwater reaches an entrance below the design flood elevation, allowing for immediate deployment without human intervention
- Raised concrete curbs at window wells around the perimeter of the building
- New waterproofing behind the existing brick veneer and on new concrete walls and floor surfaces
Advanced Analysis | Performance & Code Consulting
Failure Analysis | Risk & Resilience Assessment
Key team members
The Victor, a newly-constructed, luxury apartment building located near the TD Bank North Garden, serves as a neighborhood connection between the Bullfinch Triangle area and the North End. SGH provided building enclosure consulting services for the project.
Prudential Gateway Center
Built in 1983 and 1987, Two and Three Gateway Center served as the headquarters of Prudential Real Estate. SGH utilized the results of wind tunnel testing to reduce the overall cost of the remedial design.