Engineering With Nature

EWN Design & Construction Guidelines

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering with Nature® (EWN) team together with leaders in Engineering and Construction (E&C) initiated a collaborative project to develop and publish U.S.-specific NBS Design + Construction Guidelines (The Guidelines) to support engineering functions in the context of the overall sustainability and resilience of natural and human-made environments. 

“These projects are delivering broad engineering, economic, environmental, and social value and demonstrate the potential and power of Engineering WITH Nature.”
LTG Scott A. Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers, and Commanding General U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, EWN An Atlas, Volume 2 Book Launch Ceremony (7 April 2021)
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The Guidelines

Project Overview

The USACE is incorporating nature-based solutions (NBS) into conventional engineering practices to optimize the resiliency of U.S. infrastructure to shocks and stressors from climate change and other threats. As of 2023, no U.S.-specific, comprehensive guidance is currently available to support practitioners who need to implement NBS or an interest in implementing NBS in coordination with USACE. 

To address this need, The Guidelines are intended to support technical professionals involved in the design and implementation of NBS projects. Individual documents will be produced for specific solutions which will focus on the following categories: 

  • Wetlands, Construction for Groundwater Recharge, and Drought
  • Riverine Systems, Levee Setbacks, Floodplains, and Navigation Training
  • Extreme Heat and Wildfire Mitigation
  • Coastal Beaches, Dunes, Islands, Estuaries and Reefs

As a first step toward developing The Guidelines, a working group of collaborators from USACE, E&C, and industry experts will be developed and engaged. This Working Group will consist of technical authors, peer reviewers, and stakeholder reviewers; a delivery and coordination team; and an editorial board. A prototype NBS guideline document will be developed so the delivery process is vetted, refined, and adapted for subsequent topics. The documents will include guidance for each solution at the planning, design, and implementation levels.