Sustainability - Civil Engineering, Structural Design - Ifland Engineers



Ifland Engineers is committed to Sustainable Design


In a general sense Sustainable Design is the practice of designing physical objects with the principles of economic, social, and ecological sustainability in mind. The design process requires a life cycle assessment that addresses the environmental impact of material sourcing, manufacturing, product use and disposal. The value adding process must contribute positively to ecological and social good while taking into consideration traditional economic cost/benefit.


In land development projects Sustainable Design provides collaborative opportunities between project owner, architect, civil engineer and landscape architect to greatly reduce environmental impacts normally associated with a “built environment”.   Ifland Engineers, Inc. has been involved in numerous projects in which a commitment to “green build” has been a primary project goal. The use of permeable pavement, bio-swales, rainwater storage, and rigorous erosion control measures have all become part of standard design criteria for land development. Site layout, orientation, drainage, landscape elements and materials selection are harmoniously incorporated into overall project design from the conceptual phase in order for sustainability to be maximized. Each design professional has critical input to the process that enables project goals to be met. The concept of sustainable design is not a strict set of rules or a set of select technologies to implement. Choices abound in the marketplace.


A few of the sustainable-development strategies used by Ifland Engineers, Inc. include:

·         Minimizing grading and preserving trees and native plant materials 

·         Using pervious “hardscape” materials

·         Preserving wetlands (when present)

·         Providing strict erosion control measures; pre- and post-construction

·         Utilizing sheet flow to minimize concentrated runoff

·         Providing storm water retention and filtration whenever possible

·         Using bio-retention areas and bio-swales to promote recharge and minimize run-off

·         Specifying recycled and/or renewable materials that meet performance specifications

·         Using rain gardens in stormwater management whenever feasible

·         Providing rainwater harvesting to supplement landscape irrigation needs


Projects in which Ifland Engineers, Inc. has utilized these strategies include:

·         Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz (pervious parking areas, bio-swales and high levels of storm water treatment)

·         St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Aptos (rainwater harvesting, permeable pavement, and stormwater detention and recharge)

·         Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, Aptos (pervious concrete, stormwater retention system, Certified LEED® Gold)

·         United Methodist Church, Santa Cruz (permeable pavements, rainwater harvesting,  application for LEED® Gold Certification)

·         Gateway Apartments, Salinas, CA (green roof, catchment system, bioswales, water quality treatment units into the storm water treatment design)

·         Live Oak Resource Center, Santa Cruz, CA (rainwater harvesting, permeable pavement, stormwater detention and recharge, Certified LEED® Platinum)

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