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The Official Publication
of the Mason Contractors
Association of America
Case Study - Hardscaping
Belgard's Eco-Stone sustained the environment in The Madera Community, a Gainesville, Fla.-based low-impact development.
The fully wooded, 44-acre site is directly adjacent to the University of Florida campus and consists of 80 lots. In spring 2002, selected builders were invited to participate in a presentation and meeting with the Florida Energy Extension Service, which spearheaded the project for the university and the development partnership. Following that meeting, three participating builders were selected. The homes were designed to be both green and profitable. The first eight homes were to be used as educational and sales tools for prospective buyers and as a vehicle for education and outreach. This would entice other developers and builders to apply these lessons to other projects.
The site design of The Madera Community consisted of a basic low-impact development (LID) strategy for handling runoff by reducing the volume of runoff and decentralizing flows. LID strategies strive to allow natural infiltration to occur as closely as possible to the original area of rainfall. By engineering terrain, vegetation and soil features to perform this function, costly conveyance systems can be avoided, and the landscape can retain more of its natural hydrological function. Within the Madera Community, LID practices dovetail with green building practices that incorporate environmental considerations into all phases of the development process.
Concrete pavers play a part
Cost benefits to builders and developers utilizing LID strategies can be significant. According to the Center for Watershed Protection, traditional curbs, gutters, storm drain inlets, piping, and detention basins can cost two to three times more than engineered grass swales and other techniques to handle roadway runoff. Other LID strategies can have similar impact. Choosing permeable pavement for a parking area may remove the need for catch-basin and conveyance piping. Small distributed filtration areas on individual lots can reduce site requirements for larger detention ponds that take up valuable land area.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 13 August 2009 17:24|