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As designers we all aspire to do the right thing when it comes to ensuring positive outcomes for our projects and integrating water management into the design of a site. This starts by both looking backwards in time, hydrologically and ecologically, to see how the natural landscape functioned, as well as looking forward to understand the challenges facing a site in the future such as urban heat island, flashier rainfall events, and fire risk. Sherwood was founded on an ability to look deep into the environmental context of a site and then actively engage a design team to incorporate functionality and purpose throughout, from major program placement on the site to the toolkit of green infrastructure strategies employed.

New challenges have materialized over the past 20 years of the firm’s practice however that has required more sophisticated analysis and the ability to quantify benefits for clients, design partners, and regulators. With a heavy focus on both human and ecological health, Sherwood is pushing into new territories within the field of site design through the use of urban heat island modeling to prove the importance of landscape design; hybrid stormwater management strategies focused on supporting a site’s ecohydrology in concert with the often seemingly transactional C.3 requirements; and incorporation of the right blend of infrastructure and landscape for the most fire and flood resilient approaches to a site.

John will share insights into Sherwood’s approach, methods that often start with a small shift in mindset, and some of the latest tools available to ensure the best outcomes are achieved.