Coastal Community Design Collaborative (CCDC)

Making a Difference

ODU and Hampton University bring engineers and architects together to help solve sea level rise challenges

Old Dominion University engineering
It started as a university class project. Old Dominion University engineering and Hampton University architecture students talked to residents in Norfolk’s low-lying Chesterfield Heights neighborhood as part of their capstone senior design project. Their research uncovered a range of issues connected to coastal flooding, which they sought to remedy with green infrastructure solutions.
The preliminary student research attracted the attention of the City of Norfolk, which used the design concepts as the backbone of submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition. In 2016, the student-based proposal won a $120-million award, of which $115 million was used for the actual design and construction of the project in the Ohio Creek Watershed, centered on the Chesterfield Heights neighborhood. Some of the students who worked on the original capstone project have been hired by firms doing the work.
Preliminary student research
Flood mitigation projects
Today, the Coastal Community Design Collaborative has expanded its scope to take on other flood mitigation projects in the Hampton Roads region, including a walled rain garden at EVMS/Leigh Hospital and a wetland restoration in the retention basin at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach.
In fall of 2023, the CCDC received a grant of more than $700,000 to develop natural and nature-based solutions to nuisance flooding as a flood engineering collaboration between ODU, Hampton University, and the nonprofit Wetlands Watch, from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to enhance coastal resilience with five underserved communities in the Hampton Roads region: Campostella, Campostella Heights, Oakleaf Forest, Diggstown, and Berkley in Norfolk. The grant will fund flooding-resilient preliminary designs of the five underserved neighborhoods along the Elizabeth River.
CCDC received a grant