SAK Environmental assisted the Boston Architectural College in the design and permitting of BAC’s geothermal heating and cooling system as part of the colleges’ $14M renovation project. The project included a fatal flaws analysis for bleed water discharge from the system in the city’s first Green Alley project. Green Alley is a model for urban centers to revitalize blighted alleys into eco- and people- friendly spaces. Design elements include porous pavement, re-direction of storm water to on-site recharge basins, and plantings. For BAC, their "alley" would become an active part of their downtown Boston campus setting.
The planned geothermal system consists of eight (8), 1,500 foot deep standing column wells and one (1) injection well. SAK reviewed the well construction logs, the geotechnical information, and the design of the subsurface storm water infiltration gallery. SAK Environmental conducted field testing and computer simulation of groundwater mounding from the alley’s new recharge basin that returns storm water to the ground that was previously discharged off-site through the city’s storm water drainage system.
SAK’s fatal-flaw analysis included evaluating discharge options for the system's bleed water which determined if a physical or regulatory condition to the project is a “game-stopper” to further consideration of a particular discharge alternative. This task includes consideration of design restraints, applicable permitting, and other regulatory limitations that may apply. Permits and regulatory constraints to be considered include MADEP’s UIC, City of Boston permits/limitations/setbacks, and requirements of the Boston Groundwater Trust.