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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64 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Sustainability: Promotion & Education Michigan Historical Museum & Library Landscape Architecture by Land Design Studio - Southfield, Michigan Lansing, Michigan is home to the Michigan Historical Museum and Library. It is located on the grounds of the State Capital Complex across from the Vietnam War Memorial. The recent resurfacing of its parking lot gave the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) the perfect opportunity to ensure the project was completed with sustainability in mind. The rain garden installation was part of a large parking lot resurfacing project, during which the MDEQ requested that the design engineers incorporate various green infrastructure (GI) strategies into the design. These GI strategies would provide public demonstration, and serve as pilot projects, to promote sustainability and low impact development (LID) practices. The project engineers to assist with developing design strategies for these initiatives retained Land Design Studio (LDS). Recommended GI strategies included: pervious concrete paving, alternative snow and ice-melt methods, functioning bioswales, a rain bridge, a 5,280 square foot two-tiered rain garden with a decorative weir, and an interpretive sign about the onsite stormwater management practices. Functional Flora In areas without built landscapes, stromwater is absorbed and filtered by the soil, native plants or is channeled to bodies of water by the natural topical features of the terrain. However, this is not the case when roads, parking lots and buildings are introduced to a landscape. With no way to be reabsorbed or filtered, stormwater can become contaminated with pesticides and hydrocarbons, which can make their way back into the water supply. Rain gardens are designed to absorb and filter surface water runoff from a major rainfall within 48 hours or less. The plants selected for this rain garden were predominately, though not exclusively, Michigan native species. Design Vernacular and Maintenance The proposed location of the rain garden was within a conventional landscape setting of planting beds and mowed lawns. It was felt that the more unruly appearance of a typical native rain garden design would be inappropriate at this busy building entrance. Therefore, a more structured and low-maintenance planting scheme, using woody plants and perennials, was devised for the garden. The cross sectional drawing illustrates the composition of the rain garden at the Michigan Historical Museum & Library. Perforated pipe, washed stone and soil mix are stratified to help filter stormwater and mitigate its impact on surrounding bodies of water. Prop. Planting Mix, 18" Depth (Min.) To be composed of: 50% Coarse Sand, 30% Topsoill,20% Topsoil, 20% Compost 18" Depth (Min.), MDOT 6A Aggregates Nonwoven Geotextile Fabric (typ.) 6" Dla. Perforated Drain Tile Wrapped in Geotextile Fabric Native Non-Compacted Sub Soils Weir System 2-3" Depth Double- Processed Shredded Hardwood Bark Mulch or Leaf Compost, Placed Uniformly Atop Planting Soil

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