Silman is committed to promoting and advancing the principles of environmentally responsible design, and our engineers are aware of the crucial role that structural engineering plays in creating a more sustainable and resilient built environment.
As part of this commitment, Silman includes high performance sustainability metrics and requirements in our standard project specifications. We have completed many projects that satisfied the requirements for certification programs such as LEED and Passive House. Our broad portfolio also includes several Net Zero case studies.
As structural engineers, we are focused on how a project’s embodied carbon could be reduced by selecting materials such as low-carbon concrete mixes or engineered wood products, but we remain aware of other project constraints such as cost and durability. We are comfortable assessing the feasibility of sustainable features, such as green roofs and rainwater retention systems, that can significantly increase the loads imposed on a structure.
Silman has a long history of leading and supporting resilient design as buildings and communities continue to respond to our planet’s changing climate. We recognize the increasing importance of addressing sea level rise and other climate stressors at the earliest phases of project planning and design.
Silman worked with the NYC Department of Buildings following Superstorm Sandy, beginning within days of the storm to perform structural assessments for approximately 2,000 buildings. We have worked at multiple NYCHA locations to investigate options for relocating boilers and MEP equipment in properties affected by Sandy. The firm’s engineers also worked on the reconstruction and restoration of city beaches with both the National Park Service (NPS) and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
In response to the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, Silman has completed many projects that employ wet or dry floodproofing strategies, including flood barrier systems. We have relocated critical systems in many buildings to higher floors and designed associated structural reinforcing. We also have experience designing a significant number of private residences and other structures to comply with FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area requirements.
Our engineers are often tasked to provide guidance on the suitability of different flood mitigation systems. We are adept at providing options with discussions of cost, schedule, and programmatic impact early in projects so that stakeholders can make informed decisions.
Silman’s resiliency expertise also extends beyond flooding to consideration of seismic activity and blast resilience.