Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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January 2017 37 A golf course that had been part of a community for years suddenly closes. The large greenspace is purchased with the intent to build a shopping center. The anchor is a "big box" retail store. All ingredients for a highly controversial development, which will require residents to vote in favor of rezoning the property. The project is in South Euclid, Ohio, a suburb (pop. 22,295) on Cleveland's east side. The city's ward councilperson is familiar with sustainable design and pledges to support the project as long as sustainability would be the benchmark for the design. First Interstate, Ltd., the owner and developer, took that direction and ran far beyond expectations. The result is a case study to help educate developers, planners, public leaders, contractors and the general public on how sustainable design can be successfully implemented. Oakwood Commons is an ecologically innovative 325,000 square foot commercial development anchored by the first LEED certified Wal-Mart Supercenter. Where most developments of this nature try to maximize building square footage and parking spaces with minimal attention to aesthetics and long- term effects on the environment, this project uses sustainable elements as a feature, not an afterthought. The result is not your usual shopping experience. Shoppers immediately notice the outdoor surroundings: large masses of plants and trees (over 35 native species of trees, shrubs, meadow grasses, wildflowers, and low maintenance turf grasses). And the patrons will rarely see landscape crews mowing or applying fertilizers. Those walking from the bus stop to Wal-Mart's main entrance encounter signage that identifies native grass plantings. Those shoppers pulling up in an electric car will be delighted to see there are 8 charging stations on site free for their use. The night shoppers will also notice something different: LED lighting throughout the parking lot. Shoppers take their time visiting the site; stormwater also hangs around for a while as well. Rain travels through multiple stormwater treatments such as vegetated swales densely planted with trees, shrubs and grasses, or across two acres of permeable pavements. There is over five acres of manmade stormwater wetlands and water quality ponds; that which is not absorbed releases into nearly 700 linear feet of restored stream. All of these features help remove pollutants from the traveling rainwater and reduce downstream flooding. The stormwater wetlands/water quality ponds can be enjoyed by the neighborhood residents as they walk the paths through the 21 acres of donated parkland that increased the This park is one of the best kept secrets of the neighborhood ... - David Ginsburg (Google Review) Oakwood Commons, a retail center in South Euclid, Ohio, combines educational elements, and sustainable low-impact development techniques and environmentally conscious practices. The site has nearly 5.5 beautiful acres of wetlands and water quality ponds designed to far exceed local stormwater runoff requirements. Some of the buildings in the shopping complex have been LEED certified, including the first LEED Certified Wal-Mart Supercenter. Oakwood Commons Sustainable Retail Development Landscape Architecture by Neff & Associates, Parma Heights, Ohio

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