Mead & Hunt’s Climate Initiative

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flooded area with caution tapeGlobal climate disruption is the defining issue of our time. As planners, engineers and architects, we recognize the need to understand climate science and apply it to the work we do. We need to change the way we plan, design, and implement projects by mainstreaming climate change adaptation into established project development processes. To this end, Mead & Hunt has established a Climate Initiative to integrate climate science-based decisions into the work we do.  Our focus is on helping clients prepare for changes in trends and extremes they face in their unique geographies, through strategies that mitigate adverse effects of a changing climate.

We have seen a tremendous increase in investment in climate-science data for use in planning and engineering. Our Climate Initiative draws from a deep understanding of the value this data holds. When we apply these findings to our work, we greatly enhance the quality of services we provide to our clients. But this issue goes beyond that. This shift in focus not only strengthens our professional services and client relationships—it is vital for the continued health and safety of our communities.

flow chart showing climate change effect on events
Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change.

It’s our culture at Mead & Hunt to employ innovative strategies and technologies to support our clients’ needs.  With broad interest among a wide range of markets to adopt solutions that lead to climate resilient infrastructure, it makes sense that we consider relevant climate data in designing projects to improve sustainability. However, there are several common barriers preventing parties from doing so:

  • Pressure to choose the least costly alternative and not “over-adapt”
  • Wariness to make design changes not required by code
  • No obvious near-term reduction in cost/risk
  • Uncertainty of what unintended consequences may arise

By considering climate science data and future risks that lie ahead we work with clients to understand the value of their investments and overcome these barriers, which is crucial to our clients’ continued success.

We face an uncertain future. Humans are unpredictable, and we can’t always control how we will collectively respond to greater climate disruption. What we can say is, we are only on this big blue marble for a short time, so let’s make it count. It is everyone’s responsibility to respond to climate change, because this will affect everybody—now and for generations to come.

We at Mead & Hunt do not take this responsibility lightly. We are and will remain actively engaged in integrating climate change mitigation strategies into our planning, engineering, and architecture practice. Our communities will be better for it.

Look for future blogs in our Climate Initiative series where we will share aspects of our practice that address climate change for specific services.

Vince Geronimo

About the Author

Vince Geronimo, Water Resources Market Leader for Mead & Hunt in the San Francisco Bay Area, has experience in civil, environmental, coastal and water resources engineering. As an engineering consultant, he has contributed to planning and environmental permitting studies for large restoration projects, designed infrastructure projects to reduce flood risk, and managed projects to mitigate and prepare for future disasters.

Read more posts by Vince Geronimo

One response on “Mead & Hunt’s Climate Initiative

  1. This is a well-measured and accurate description of what some of us have somewhat reluctantly called climate change; a very convincing and thought-provoking summary. His words while, yet, alarming and of great concern, are nevertheless comforting by his knowledge and understanding.

    Thank you.

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