Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

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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meaningful link between academics and operations that supports use of the campus as a teaching laboratory." That statement became a primary goal for the Kaplan Center and the site design. More than just Environmentally Sustainable—Holistically Sustainable To foster UNCG's sustainable culture achieve this goal, the design team employed seven sustainable design principles to guide the site design: natural, financial, social, human, cultural, health and political. The site solutions began taking shape by asking questions like, "How will this project impact the environment beyond its boundaries?" (natural); "What significance does this project place on the emotional and physical health of the occupants and neighbors?" (health); and, "In what ways can this project incorporate or support the community?" (cultural). Through numerous rounds of facilitated group meetings, the design team worked with all the stakeholders to provide solutions to the issues realized during the planning. Boil all that down and a clear project statement was crafted: Create a comprehensive design solution that addresses the key site challenges, aide the project in achieving LEED® Gold certification, and do it all in an aesthetically strong design that contextually ties to the main campus. The Challenges As the design team worked through programming, several challenges with the site became evident. First and foremost was the limited space. The sheer size of the facility placed stress and restrictions on the site improvements. This challenge alone was going to require creative solutions by the design team, but this was not the only challenge. Other challenges included strict stormwater management requirements; contaminated site soils from years of industrial use and abandoned underground fuel tanks; pedestrian safety (nearby railroad tracks and the busy West Gate City Boulevard); creating a human scale next to the large facility; and being a good neighbor to the existing residents. January 2018 45

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