Ethos Collaborative provides civil & ecological engineering design and consulting services to address a wide range of green infrastructure, water resources, and social needs within the urban environment. We strive to differentiate ourselves from traditional engineering firms by staying focused on the social, environmental, and economic aspects of design, the triple bottom line of sustainability.
The core competencies of Ethos Collaborative lie at the nexus of Water, Energy, Climate, and Community. We recognize that these factors are intertwined from a physical perspective – in particular in the context of urban infrastructure management. However, they are also incredibly pertinent to the well-being of human condition and this, in turn, strongly influences our overall design approach.
Water and Ecology
Ethos Collaborative offers a wide range of water resources and ecological engineering services including green infrastructure design, stormwater master planning, water policy advising, hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) analysis, watershed management, wet weather CSO/SSO remediation, stream and habitat restoration, and GIS and hydroinformatics.
Energy and Climate
Ethos offers holistic insight into the long-term economic and environmental costs and benefits of site-related infrastructure, institutional operations, and regional community patterns. Energy-related services provided by Ethos include regional energy baseline analysis, energy efficiency planning, sustainability analysis, life cycle assessments, climate change mitigation and adaptation consulting.
Resilient Site Design
Our approach to design is to provide context-sensitive, regenerative and community-focused solutions. We offer site design, planning, landscape architecture, 3D and graphic rendering, net zero water design, land development and environmental permitting.
Food is, and always has been, an essential focal point of human life. It is therefore no surprise that urban agriculture is becoming increasing popular for reasons relating to health, nutrition, environmental stewardship and for strengthening communities and local economies. Ethos provides numerous services related to urban agriculture, including site feasibility assessment, water harvesting and irrigation design, site, greenhouse and compost facilities design, permaculture consulting, and regulatory permitting.
GIS and Intelligent Cities
Ethos is a non-traditional design firm, both in our business model and in the innovative tools we use to provide added value to our customers. Specifically, we believe in the importance of collecting, maintaining, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data, as it relates to the built environment. Our design toolbox includes knowledge of web and mobile application design, real-time sensing and performance monitoring, geographic information systems (GIS), data visualization, machine learning, and artificial intelligence methodologies. We are actively seeking research partners for data sharing initiatives.
Outreach and Grants
Outreach, education and grant-writing are critical to the planning and execution of resilient and community-oriented site design solutions. Ethos offers grant writing support, including preparation of plans, details, graphical renderings, analyses and cost estimates. We have experience organizing and facilitating community visioning events, design charrettes, workshops and training related to resilient site and green infrastructure design, policy and maintenance.
Matt Zambelli, RLA
Pittsburgh OfficeProject Landscape Architect
As a landscape architect the opportunity to weave sustainable stormwater management into both existing and proposed projects offers an opportunity to introduce additional function ...Read More
Matt Zambelli, RLA
Designation:Project Landscape Architect
As a landscape architect the opportunity to weave sustainable stormwater management into both existing and proposed projects offers an opportunity to introduce additional function and aesthetics to the built environment. My experience and interest in GSI monitoring has allowed the work to double as research which has been rewarding and has allowed the design of these systems to evolve with insights. When we couple the data with the added aesthetics and ecological diversity that we are introducing to the urban environment, it becomes clear that this is noble work.
Matt has worked on dozens of GSI projects over the past 10 years in all capacities prior to working with Ethos Collaborative. His role as a Green Infrastructure Specialist at the Westmoreland Conservation District allowed for hands on experience in every aspect of GSI project development, execution, and monitoring. The District has a robust stormwater program that focused on GSI retrofits all over the county, ranging from municipal stormwater basin retrofits to urban streetscapes. Matt also developed and deployed a county wide GSI monitoring program which focuses on the real-time functionality and visualization of various GSI typologies. This work culminated in a online dashboard that visualizes the function and performance of the various GSI installations in near real-time.
During his time with Ethos Collaborative Matt has worked on GSI projects of varying scales, from individual rain gardens to urban watershed stormwater masterplans. The large scale stormwater masterplans completed and implemented have been some of the most rewarding experiences as they encompass a scale that enables them to transform the environments that they inhabit and serve.
Elizabeth Glowczewski, EIT
Pittsburgh OfficeProject Civil Engineer
My personal and professional passion intersect at the implementation of green infrastructure in urban areas. I enjoy creating opportunities for others to connect with nature, so I ...Read More
Elizabeth Glowczewski, EIT
Designation:Project Civil Engineer
My personal and professional passion intersect at the implementation of green infrastructure in urban areas. I enjoy creating opportunities for others to connect with nature, so I can share my love for the outdoors and conservation. My work at Ethos is centered on taking a holistic look at urban development to include infrastructure solutions to manage stormwater that enhance community vitality by restoring and protecting the urban ecosystem. A recent park project we designed demonstrated that increasing the amount of green space can create areas of recreation, encourage exercise and reduce stress while simultaneously addressing, heat island effect, localized flooding and air and water quality.
At Ethos, I have enjoyed collaborate with community organizations and non-profits to address stormwater runoff problems and connect the fragmented ecosystems and communities. Either through my volunteer efforts or work at Ethos, I continue to increase my knowledge of the natural and technical world and believe that it should be shared and given back to the community.
I have collaborated on over five urban green infrastructure projects with a variety of responsibilities while at Ethos. I assisted in infiltration testing, grant support writing, utility coordination, submitting E&S, NPDES, Chapter 105 and Land Development permits. Stormwater management design experience includes rain garden, subsurface storage, closed drainage and stormwater bumpout surface conveyance. Assisted in the development of Operation and Maintenance manual and monitoring quantitative and qualitative performance data.
Sagar Kamath, EIT
Pittsburgh OfficeAssociate Civil Engineer
Sagar started at Ethos Collaborative in 2018 as an intern and has remained with the company where he is now working as a Graduate Engineer. At Ethos, Sagar has worked on numerous l...Read More
Sagar Kamath, EIT
Designation:Associate Civil Engineer
Sagar started at Ethos Collaborative in 2018 as an intern and has remained with the company where he is now working as a Graduate Engineer. At Ethos, Sagar has worked on numerous local green infrastructure projects where he assisted in Preliminary Design Memorandums, graphic design renderings, report development, data analysis, and more. Sagar’s interest in green infrastructure stems from his artistic background and passion for social equity. Green infrastructure provides opportunities to develop creative solutions to standard engineering problems to create effective change in communities. Through Ethos, Sagar has learned that one of the most important aspects of successful GSI design is stakeholder engagement – to design a sustainable system, the product must meet the needs of all parties involved and therefore should be developed with equity in mind.
Barton Kirk, PE
Pittsburgh OfficePrincipal / Senior Ecological Engineer
For more than two decades I have dedicated my academic and professional career to researching, planning, designing, building, monitoring, and communicating on green infrastructure ...Read More
Barton Kirk, PE
Designation:Principal / Senior Ecological Engineer
For more than two decades I have dedicated my academic and professional career to researching, planning, designing, building, monitoring, and communicating on green infrastructure (GI) in its various forms. From constructed wetlands for advanced on-site wastewater treatment and reuse to regional networks of interconnected stormwater conveyance and retention weaving GI through parks, neighborhoods, business districts, I have sought to understand fine scale function of soil and water ecology and civil infrastructure to the broad scale and long term systemic community costs and benefits of these systems.
Through this I have come to appreciate that successfully understanding, designing and delivering ecologically engineered systems for a given place and people often requires a broad spectrum of collaborators. It is in that interplay of designers, community members, contractors, scientists, artists, officials, politicians, and others that I have witnessed the true promise of green infrastructure most completely realized. For infrastructure to be resilient it must be regenerative and for it to be regenerative our work must truly create conditions conducive to life in the soil, the water, the community, and the economy together.
Damon Weiss, PE
Pittsburgh OfficePrincipal / Senior Civil Engineer
Over my career as a Professional Engineer, I have had an unusually broad exposure to various disciplines, having worked as a structural, municipal, site design, and transportation ...Read More
Damon Weiss, PE
Designation:Principal / Senior Civil Engineer
Over my career as a Professional Engineer, I have had an unusually broad exposure to various disciplines, having worked as a structural, municipal, site design, and transportation engineer. Throughout this, stormwater and water resources were always the constant, central tenets of my work, regardless of project or job description. Over time, I gained deeper expertise in innovative green infrastructure solutions, and gained a sincere appreciation for their social and economic benefits. It became a a creative outlet in a way that structural and transportation simply could not. Soon I realized that there was a substantial market opportunity for community-focused, sustainability-conscious ecological design to address a wide range of urban challenges - failing infrastructure, need for urban renewal, workforce development, air & water quality. In 2014, I founded Urban Rain Studio. Almost immediately thereafter, Barton Kirk joined me and we renamed to Ethos Collaborative, with the purpose of becoming thought leaders and implementers of an exciting and growing idea - to create a brand of design where engineering, art, community benefit, social equity, and environmental justice interface. Although we also specialize in renewable energy planning, innovative wastewater design, advanced infrastructure management, and more conventional site design, green infrastructure design, watershed management, and water resources have always been our core expertise, passion, and identity. From scratch, we have built a team of staff who share in this culture and have helped to build a greener community in the Pittsburgh region over the past few decades.
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News And Events
PRESS RELEASE BY ALLEGHENY COUNTY:County Executive Rich Fitzgerald was joined today by Senator Devlin Robinson, Rep. Mike Puskaric, Rep. Nick Pisciottano, Council Members Tom Duerr and John Palmieri, Caren Glotfelty of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation as well as...
We are very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. After some hard work and dedication by Ethos staff and leadership, we are delighted to officially announce the launch on July 9, 2021. We wanted to make the new website faster, easier to...