Design with Nature Studio

Design with Nature is more than a philosophy, it's how we think, plan, engineer, and design. GZA is committed to the application of natural and nature-based features to meet our Client's needs and challenges.









Our Diverse Projects


Hepburn Family Preserve


US Route 14 Underpass
- Stream Relocation

Long Wharf Shoreline


Northampton Resiliency

Fondy Food Market

Camp STAR Angelina


The DWN Team



The places where we work, live, and play are becoming less connected to nature every day. GZAs DWN Studio is helping to bring nature and its processes back into those places so that all of us are able to reconnect to nature, enjoy clean air and water, and watch the miracles of nature happen all around us.

Habitat Restoration

Habitat and biodiversity is declining in many of our urban and suburban areas, which is reducing our opportunities to connect with nature.

By identifying, restoring, and stewarding our native landscapes, we are not only helping to restore habitats, we are also helping to clean our water, rebuild soil, purify the air, and bring nature back into the places where we work, live, and play.  In other words, we are re-establishing an important land ethic that connects us all to nature.

  • Ecological Analysis 
  • Floral and faunal Assessments
  • Nature-based Design and Engineering
  • Landscape and Greenway Planning
  • Prairie, wetland, and streambank restoration
  • Living shorelines
  • Rain Water Harvesting and Recycling
  • Urban Heat Island mitigation
  • Green Roof Design
  • LEED Design, Interpretation, and Consultation
  • Land Stewardship
  • Nature-Based Play
  • Trailways and Outdoor Space Creation
Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure benefits both humans and the natural environment, providing a nexus between development that is required to meet societal needs and the untouched landscape.

Our multi-disciplinary resources allow us to plan and design development to be compatible with nature and minimize adverse impacts. In our designs, we strive to carry forth the tenets of Green Infrastructure: manage water near its source, maintain and protect sensitive and valuable natural resources, use sustainable materials and practices, take examples from nature.

  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design
  • Low Impact Development Planning and Design
  • Green Streets, Alleys, and Parking, Roofs
  • Biomimicry
  • Green Materials (permeable pavement, smog-eating concrete)
  • Naturalized Stormwater Design/Retrofit
  • Bioswales, Filter Strips, Infiltration Basins
  • Rainwater management (attenuation, harvesting)
  • Water quality
Coastal and Shoreline Resilience

Our coastal and riverine shorelines are constantly under attack from hydrodynamic forces and climate change is exacerbating these effects.  

Much of our infrastructure is built along the shoreline and therefore threatened by such forces which are occurring at higher frequency and intensity.  There is increasing recognition that natural ecological systems alone or in combination with man-made structures protect this infrastructure while also enhancing ecological and human use and enjoyment. It takes a multidisciplinary team of experts to affect such solutions. GZA has the requisite resources to plan, permit and design resilient shorelines in both riverine and tidal environments.  

  • Resource Area Delineation
  • Floral and Faunal Assessments
  • Hydrodynamic Modeling
  • Living Shorelines
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Waterfront Structures Design
  • Site Civil Engineering
  • Ecological Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Permitting
  • Public Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Grant Writing
Biotechnology and Bioremediation

Biotechnologies offer innovative and sustainable alternatives to traditional treatment mechanisms at both new and legacy sites; they utilize the physical, chemical, and biological properties of plants and microorganisms to manage and treat pollutants in stormwater, wastewater, and industrial waste streams.

Our curiosity to understand and utilize nature’s ingenuity drives innovation at GZA’s DWN Studio. We bring together our diverse expertise in these sciences to our DWN Studio where we strive to understand nature’s powerful tools and how to apply them in the natural and built environment. Through Natural and Nature-based Feature (NNBF) design, our DWN Studio creates innovative biotreatment mechanisms for our clients that are appropriate, sustainable, permittable, buildable, attainable, and cost effective.

  • Stormwater Pollutant Source BMPs
  • Stormwater Outfall Management
  • Stormwater Volume Management
  • Constructed Treatment Wetlands
  • Remedial Action Plan Alternatives
  • Phytotechnologies
  • Rhizotechnologies
  • Phyto-plots and Phyto-borders
  • Pilot Studies for Plant Selection and Media Design
  • Permitting and Construction Oversight
  • Operations, Maintenance, Monitoring, and Management