Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2019

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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A Model of Sustainability The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's (CBF) primary goal in creating the Brock Environmental Center was to protect, preserve and celebrate the natural setting, while simultaneously showcasing technology and practices that contribute to net-zero energy, water and waste. CBF was looking for a landscape architect to master plan a landscape to surround a net-zero building that would serve as the headquarters for their outdoor environmental education programs in Hampton Roads and also provide a public meeting space. Both the structure and landscape were to be models of sustainability, restoration and education about the Bay and local rivers. According to CBF's website, polluted stormwater runoff is a particularly harmful problem for the Bay, and the main source of dirty water in many urban and suburban areas. As the intensity of storms and rainfall in the Bay region has increased in recent years, flooding and stormwater runoff has become even worse. Therefore, stormwater sustainability was an even more important factor in the design. The Brock Environmental Center is a flagship location for CBF, whose charge is specifically to engage, inform and inspire generations about the environment and how to protect and restore the water quality of the bay. Prior to the current stormwater standards initiated by the 2014 Virginia Stormwater Regulations, CBF commissioned WPL Landscape Architecture to approach the site design using innovative rainwater Above: All of the many rain gardens located throughout the grounds were designed to use native vegetation, carefully selected for its tolerance to the dry, sandy (low-nutrient) soils that characterize the site. Some invasive species were removed to promote local sustainability. Top: WPL planned and designed the entire 10 acres of the Center to prevent stormwater runoff into the surrounding residential and commercial land. The entirety of the Brock Environmental Center land is seen in color. 38 Landscape Architect and Specifier News

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