Older Archives:

Sherwood Supports Water Reuse in California
May 1st, 2017 by Eddie Scher

Today Sherwood Engineers delivered our letter in support of SB740, important state legislation that will help promote water reuse in California.

April 26, 2017

Senator Scott Wiener
State Capitol, Room 4066
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE:  SUPPORT SB 740 – Onsite Non-Potable Water System Guidelines

Dear Senator Wiener:

Thank you for introducing SB 740 and for your commitment to expanding water reuse in California.

The benefits of reusing stormwater and greywater for landscape irrigation, flushing toilets, and other non-potable uses is unquestionable in the face of drought and a disrupted climate. For 15 years Sherwood Design Engineers has designed and implemented onsite water infrastructure systems that capture, treat, and reuse stormwater, offsetting demand on drinking water supplies, reducing the burden on water infrastructure, and reducing energy demand from water conveyance and treatment. Well-designed water reuse systems are proven safe and effective. This important bill will help communities across the state take advantage of water reuse systems to reduce water demand and improve climate resilience.

SB 740 will direct the State Water Resources Control Board to develop a comprehensive risk-based framework to assist local communities in developing oversight and management programs for onsite non-potable water systems in multi-family residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings.  The framework would establish treatment system performance standards that are protective of public health and establish guidance for monitoring, permitting and reporting of onsite non-potable water systems in communities across California. The practices set forth in the framework are optional and would be adopted at the discretion of local communities.

For these reasons, Sherwood Design Engineers supports SB 740 and your efforts to promote water reuse in California. Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.


Bry Sarté
Founder and Partner

Book Release: New Approaches to Urban Design Reduce Flooding, Improve Climate Resiliency
October 26th, 2016 by Eddie Scher

Media Release

Eddie Scher,, 415-815-7027


Book Release: New Approaches to Urban Design Reduce Flooding, Improve Climate Resiliency

[San Francisco, CA] On October 11, 2016, Columbia University engineering faculty S. Bry Sarté and Morana M. Stipisic released Water Infrastructure: Equitable Deployment of Resilient Systems, a new book highlighting recent innovations in urban design that reduce flooding and relieve pressure on aging infrastructure. Authors S. Bry Sarté and Morana M. Stipisic wrote the book in response to the growing need by cities to better prepare for severe weather and disastrous flooding, like the events in Baton Rouge in 2016, Texas in 2015, New York City in 2012, and New Orleans in 2005.

The authors present a toolkit of urban design approaches that enable change on a global scale and address water problems of water quality and quantity with clarity and purpose as one of the central issues of our time.
– Kate Orff, Director of the Urban Design Program at Columbia University

The authors review vulnerabilities from rapid urbanization and a changing climate, design and policy responses, and ten specific innovations in urban water infrastructure. The innovations fall into four categories: technology, ecology, finance, and equity. The book includes case studies of specific examples demonstrating how these innovations are already successfully deployed in the developed and developing world. Innovations such as landscape that adapts to weather conditions, providing recreation space and safe storage for floodwater, and storm drains disconnected from the citywide system that instead flow into micro-scale rain gardens, capturing and treating stormwater, recharging groundwater.

This book is about the very near future, and the now, of our ever urbanizing world and the critical importance of innovative design that will protect our cities and our water supplies in an increasingly disrupted climate.
– Lance Jay Brown, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects

The book was developed as guidance for the United Nations New Urban Agenda and presented by the authors at the UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.  

By 2035, $67 trillion is needed in infrastructure investment, $7.4 trillion alone on water projects – that’s a big expense and an even bigger opportunity to build water systems that protect our cities, support economic growth, and also promote social and environmental well-being.
– S. Bry Sarté, author and founder of Sherwood Design Engineers

Water Infrastructure: Equitable Deployment of Resilient Systems is published by Columbia University and available on Amazon and other book sellers.


Bry Sarté
is principal and founder of Sherwood Design Engineers, an international civil engineering practice committed to integrating ecological health and climate resilience into infrastructure through innovative, cutting-edge design.

Morana M. Stipisic is trained as an architect, urban designer and planner and has more than fifteen years of international experience in production, management and teaching.


Sherwood Sessions at AIA!
May 13th, 2015 by Sherwood

Sherwood Partners Bry Sarte and John Leys will be presenting 3 sessions this week at the AIA National Conference in Atlanta! They promise to be fantastic, so check them out!

Hybrid Consultancies-Thursday 7:30-8:30am Room B401

Infrastructure, Resilience, and Public Space- Friday 3:30-4:30pm Room B314

Proving Grounds for Net-Zero Water Buildings and EcoDistricts- Saturday 7-8am /room B314

Sherwood Institute Brings Water Infrastructure Recommendations to the United Nations
March 5th, 2015 by Sherwood

This post is authored by Prentiss Darden, from SDE’s Innovation Lab, who participated in the SI Forum and is currently collaborating on the upcoming Sherwood Institute publication, “Innovations in Urban Water Infrastructure.”

This past September, Sherwood Institute hosted a two day workshop in New York City to generate ideas about innovations in urban water infrastructure and how to implement them.  We were joined by a group of 60 engineers, landscape architects, architects, planners, ecologists, policy makers, and development workers, including representatives from the UN, Columbia University’s Urban Design Lab and Earth Institute, Grimshaw, Gensler, Mia Lehrer and Associates, Sasaki Associates, and dland studio.  Participants came from the east, west, and gulf coasts, bringing a variety of experience and perspectives to apply in developing innovations and implementation strategies to a variety of sites chosen for their varying conditions relative to climate, population density, and infrastructure condition.  The workshop was conducted as a design charrette, with groups working on solutions for sites located in Manhattan,   Silicon Valley, New Orleans, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Qinhuangdao (China), and Bangalore (India), addressing innovations and implementations as they applied from bio-regional to district scales.

Forum participants discussing innovations in water infrastructure for the city of New Orleans. Pictured: Jason Hellendrung, James Lima, David Burke, Jeff Carney, and Elisa Petkova. Photo Credit: Angela Eaton / Sherwood Institute

Read the rest of this entry »

Presidio Coastal Trail Battery Bridge Under Construction!
January 30th, 2015 by Sherwood

This exciting project connects the Golden Gate Bridge to the already constructed portion of the Pacific Coast Trail. This stage will connect the Golden Gate Overlook to the Golden Gate Bridge with a 10′ wide uninterrupted multi-use trail, and eventually all the way to Baker Beach. Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is our client managing the project. Sherwood Principal Drew Norton’s team is doing full trail design, focusing on natural resources management, passive stormwater systems, and accessibility compliance. We are working closely with Marta Fry Landscape, and FTF Structural Engineering.




















Bry Sarte weighs in on the tricky business of on-site water treatment and reuse!
January 26th, 2015 by Sherwood

The Tricky Business of On-Site Water Treatment and Reuse
It’s time to rethink old assumptions about what can and can’t be done

By Vicki Elmer and Paula Kehoe


As published in the December 2014 Issue of the Planning Magazine

The 3Rs for solid waste — reduce, reuse, recycle — have been around since the 1970s, but the next big R is for water. Reuse of the wet stuff is on the rise.

On-site water treatment and reuse is turning up in commercial and residential buildings from Seattle to San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and Portland.

Large water and wastewater utilities pioneered wastewater recycling — using it for irrigation in dry states. Today, local developers in both wet and dry states are getting in on the game with the goal of “net zero” or “net positive” water for individual building projects. Some of these projects also recover energy from wastewater and solid waste with integrated water-energy-waste systems.

Click here to read the full article!

Lake Tahoe Water Quality Management
November 6th, 2014 by Sherwood

This post is authored by Sherwood blogging intern, and UC Davis Graduate student, Heather Sprague.

Lake TahoeDespite what the beautiful picture to the left may imply, this is not a blog about my summer vacation. I have the pleasure of conducting research on Lake Tahoe for my Master’s thesis at UC Davis. My group is under the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), which you may remember from Jessica’s post about volunteering at our Children’s Environmental Science Day! Though my project focuses more on physical processes within the lake, I am also interested in the water quality management practices in the basin. The watershed that drains into Lake Tahoe is quite small compared to the size of the lake. In fact, the watershed only encompasses about 500 square miles – an area less than three times larger than the surface area of the lake itself. Tahoe’s famous clarity is a result of this unique hydrologic system and the fact that over 78% of the watershed area is publicly managed forest land. It is the developed region around the lake that has contributed to the decline of water clarity in the last fifty years (see graph below). It is thus our duty to better manage runoff in this area in order to protect the pristine nature of the lake. Doing so, however, has proven to be a difficult task, especially in the midst of the current drought.

Read the rest of this entry »

The New Packard Foundation Headquarters
November 30th, 2012 by admin

Working on a team with lead architect EHDD, Tipping Mar and Integral Group Sherwood helped to design the new headquarters of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which sits in downtown Los Altos, California. Sherwood worked with the team to design multiple sustainable systems, including rainwater harvesting, green streets, stormwater infiltration and treatment, and pedestrian-friendly circulation. Sherwood was also responsible for sustainable systems integration, grading and drainage design, site utility design, and deconstruction all the way through construction. As part of this project, a 550-foot length of public street was redesigned to include rain gardens adjacent to the street that will treat road runoff, and four surface parking lots were retrofitted with vegetated swales and infiltration basins to treat stormwater runoff. Read the rest of this entry »

Flushed with Pride
November 14th, 2012 by admin

In The Economist’s September issue, “Flushed with pride” highlights the work that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is doing to bring safe, affordable toilets to the 40% of the world’s population that lacks access to basic sanitation. “Each year, 1.5 million children die from diarrhea. Better toilets could reduce the death toll.” (Flushed). The Foundation’s mission aligns with more than one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. MDG #4 seeks to reduce child mortality, and though the number of child deaths is falling, poor sanitation is still al leading contributor to child death rates today. MDG #7 aims to halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Living Machine® at SFPUC
August 3rd, 2012 by Sherwood

This morning, a group of Sherwood engineers were given a tour of the Living Machine® wastewater treatment system at the new headquarters of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The new headquarters building is a model of innovation and sustainable design, from its energy efficiency, to water reuse, to ecological and environmental benefits. Living Machine® Technology treats and reuses wastewater by incorporating plants and beneficial bacteria with innovative engineering. Based on the principles of wetland ecology, the tidal process cleans water, making the Living Machine® extremely energy-efficient and allowing the system to produce reclaimed water that meets high-quality reuse standards. Read the rest of this entry »