Theater Talk
Theater Talk
Theater Talk

The New Possible

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The New Possible

Architects and civil engineers innovate to address the challenges of climate change in New Orleans



Climate change affects everyone, but the residents of New Orleans know its impact more than most, since much of the city is below sea level. Explore the work of three professionals helping the city adapt to the new normal. Meagan Williams, stormwater program manager for the city of New Orleans, shares her work with the Hagan-Lafitte project, which captures rainfall in large tanks under public parks. Dan Grandal, a civil engineer with Stantec, shares his work creating blue-green corridors in road medians. And Z Smith, an architect with Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, explains the importance of creating St. Peter Residential, the first net-zero apartment building in Louisiana.  

About the speakers

Meagan Williams serves as the stormwater program manager for the New Orleans Department of Public Works, focusing on planning and implementing stormwater management practices citywide through the development of projects, initiatives, and policies. She also serves as the liaison between Public Works and all other sectors and agencies dealing with stormwater management.   

Dan Grandal is Vice President & Senior Project Manager with Stantec. A graduate of Tulane University, he is a certified floodplain manager and a LEED-accredited professional.    

Z Smith is Director of Sustainability and Building Performance at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. His work includes academic, laboratory, and residential buildings, including winners of the RAIC Green Building Award and the AIA COTE Top Ten Award. He serves as North American representative to the International Union of Architects (UIA) Sustainable Development Commission.  

Related learning

Ready to learn more about resilient infrastructure and adaptation to climate change? Check out this related content:  

Drivers of Change: A Film Screening and Panel Discussion 

Christina Fisher of Autodesk hosts a panel discussion with the subjects of the documentary, Meagan Williams, Dan Grandal, and Z Smith, in which they discuss their current projects and new approaches to architecture and infrastructure that can help us address the challenges of climate change.  

InfoWorks ICM and Civil3D: A Flood Modeler’s Guide to Project Impacts

Extreme events continue to stress civil infrastructure, and our tools and techniques must change as we design projects in our communities. InfoWorks ICM enables team collaboration and empowers engineers to evaluate various design options against a wide range of flood scenarios and optimize Civil3D designs for success.  

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Following the rupture of a dam in Ayrton Senna Park, the team from Schettini Engenharia brought together partners to combine BIM and GIS solutions with Innovyze to simulate the break and mitigate damage. Learn a workflow that involves Recap, Civil 3D, Revit, Docs, Navisworks, Unity, InfoDrainage and InfoWorks ICM.