Environmental Consulting & Engineering Services - from Concept to Reality

Case Studies

Rendering of Marina Bay Residences, courtesy of Hines

Rendering of Marina Bay Residences, courtesy of Hines

Marina Bay Residences Flood Hazard Review

ESS worked with the Hines development team to review Massachusetts Building Code requirements for a proposed residential tower to be located in a mapped FEMA Flood Hazard Zone. The building will be constructed at Marina Bay in Quincy, MA beginning in 2016.


During the design of the Marina Bay Residences, the Hines development team needed to understand the implications of the building’s location within mapped FEMA Flood Hazard Areas (VE Zone and AE Zone) and Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) for the floor uses and elevations of the building.

ESS provided recommendations for the lowest floor elevation and lowest horizontal structural member elevation, as well as locations for habitable and non-habitable spaces relative to the BFE.

Technical Studies

ESS performed an analysis to interpret the effect that regulations contained in the International Building Code, Massachusetts Amendments to the International Building Code, and ASCE 24-05 (Flood Resistant Design and Construction) would have on the proposed first floor elevations and boardwalk. This analysis involved a detailed review of flood-related portions of the building code against design plans that were simultaneously being prepared by the project architects and engineers.

The analysis also included working with the development team to determine if the project could be designed to qualify for a FEMA Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) request to relocate the mapped VE Zone away from one of the buildings. 

Outcome & Benefits

ESS utilized its expertise and knowledge of how FEMA Flood Hazard Zones relate to the Massachusetts Building Code to provide guidance to the Hines development team, enabling a design that complies with the building code requirements and protects the proposed structure from flood damage.

ESS also identified that the planned boardwalk structure had the potential to transfer flood and wave loads to the building and recommended further design team review in order to determine if making the boardwalk structurally independent from the building is necessary.