Safety, sustainability and beauty blend into a perfect, award-winning solution. Browning Day was honored on Friday, September 20, with an INASLA Merit Award for the Alcoa Stormwater Runoff Reduction Project. Jon Hutslar PLA, ASLA accepted the award on behalf of the firm.
Alcoa’s strong commitment to excellence in both their products and the footprint they leave on the planet was the catalyst behind their Lafayette, Indiana, leadership’s decision to redesign 33 acres of property, primarily made up of the industrial plant entry, parking, and security functions.
The initial priorities of this project were site improvements with goals of safe car, truck and employee circulation, and, most importantly, employee safety moving from car to the security clearance, along with environmental improvements. To address these issues, the Browning Day team proposed a design-build approach that promoted the use of Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) criteria to inform solutions that would recycle, harvest and reuse existing materials on the property for best management practices and goals.
Browning Day’s design increases safety, improves aesthetics and reduces overall storm water runoff for the project site from pre-existing conditions to a targeted net-zero runoff in a 100-year storm event. The design allows the removal of 12 million gallons of storm water runoff per year. Traffic control islands and medians will maximize the separation of pedestrian and vehicular circulation for improved safety, while a central median will collect all pedestrian traffic and funnel movement into the secure zone of the site.
A central pedestrian spine doubles as a “good morning or afternoon” on approach to and from the workday and is flexibly designed to hold company picnic and health fair activities. Reduction in impervious areas will create a dramatic reduction in storm water runoff. The use of underground storage and open detention basins will provide quantity control while maximizing opportunity for recharge of groundwater through infiltration.
In the redesign of the parking, Browning Day and its consultants, Smock Fansler Corporation and Williams Creek Consulting, explored the potential of maintaining the site’s micro-watersheds by milling the existing parking lot asphalt, while maintaining the base and using it as a resource for structural soil used beneath the proposed sidewalk areas. Water then is managed by sheet draining a full bay of parking into a two-foot porous concrete strip and curb that will be received by the structural soil and water new trees in the walkways. Once tree areas are filled, water overflows into and is received by infiltration ponds that are designed in series to manage varying rain events. Other areas of the parking sheet drain directly into vegetated rain gardens. Ends of parking aisles were treated with river rock material in order to accept necessary Midwestern winter snow removal.
Ultimately, we are proud to have achieved the performance goal of a net zero runoff in a 100-year rain event, while reusing existing materials of asphalt and concrete.
Images courtesy of Williams Creek Consulting