While developers can easily include sustainable elements in new projects, there exist various opportunities around Philadelphia for environmentally friendly retrofits. But what’s the best way to alter old sites with new sustainable fabrications?
The Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! design challenge was a call for innovation. As we told you previously, it was created by the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) and the Water Department, and sought submissions from professionals nationwide about how they would revitalize stormwater management at three different sites: one industrial, one commercial and one residential. Winners were announced in March during an event that featured presentations from three finalists in each of the three categories. A significant challenge for judges was that the winning projects had to be implementable in the real world.
“There was this real pragmatic underpinning about who got to be a finalist,” said Linda Dottor, CDC’s program manager. That means projects must be reasonable in terms of feasibility, length of project, and cost. The winning submissions included simple solutions, like installing landscaping in a Grays Ferry plaza parking lot that doubled as a basin for collecting water. Other ideas included a blue-green skin, a technique that depends on a the building’s exterior, doubling as an agent of water collection. Blue-green roofs were an idea suggested for large buildings.
The next step, according to Dottor, is for the Design Collaborative to sit down with the water department and discuss which of these winning suggestions can be implanted, how, and when.
“We really wanted to see someone using [stormwater design elements] in a new way,” said Dottor. “Pushing the envelope.”
Below are the three winners:
1.) Commercial: Retail Retrofit – Grays Ferry Plaza at 28th and Grays Ferry – Winner: STORMWATER restore. Team members: Urban Engineers Inc., Philadelphia, PA (Fiona Chau, Christopher Gubeno, Daniel Humes, Kate Mundie, David Vodila, Angelo Water), Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, New York, NY (Heather Fuhrman, Emily Gordon, Kim Mathews, Johanna Phelps), Spiezle Architectural Group, Trenton, NJ (Robert Kauffmann, A. Stevens Krug)
2.) Industrial: Warehouse-Watershed at 8th and Dauphin – Winner: Leveraging Water + Plants in Zero Lot Sites. Team members: Roofmeadow, Philadelphia, PA (Laura Hansplant, Lauren Mandel, Charlie Miller, Jane Winkel),In Posse – a subsidiary of AKF, Philadelphia, PA (Shannon Kaplan), m2 Architecture, Philadelphia, PA (Muscoe Martin), Meliora Environmental Design LLC, Phoenixville, PA (James Adams, Michele Adams, Kate Evasic, Altje Hoekstra, Molly Julian, Joshua McFarland), SED Design, Blue Bell, PA (S. Edgar David), Sere Ltd., Spring Mills, PA (Stacy Levy)
3.) Residential: Greening the Grid in Queen Village – Winner: Meeting Green. Team members: OLIN Design Studio, Philadelphia, PA (Stephen Benz, Darrell Campana, Ed Confair, Andrew Dawson, Allison Harvey, Joey Hayes, Jessica Henson, Shawn Hilleman, Jenny Jones, Chris Landau, R. Benjamin Lawrence, Amy Magida, Jennifer Martel, Andrew McConnico, John Mellor, Ari Miller, Michael Miller, Nick Mitchell, Henry Moll, Richard Roark, Lauren Schwartz, Laura Stedenfeld, Judy Venonsky, Dana Williamson), Gilmore & Associates, New Britain, PA (Christopher Green, Gregory Glitzer, Shiny Mathew, Ronald Monkres, Trevor Woodward),International Consultants Inc., Philadelphia, PA (Michael Funk), MM Partners LLC, Philadelphia, PA (David Waxman), Penn Praxis (Andrew Goodman, Harris Steinberg), SMP Architects, Philadelphia, PA (David Ade, Sam Emory, Scott Ritchie)