Client: Brandywine Realty Trust
Partners: Erdy McHenry Architecture, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Sean’s Landscaping, Inc., EDA Contractors, Inc., Roofmeadow Services, Inc.
As Philadelphia’s first elevated public park and first blue-green roof, Cira Green represents an evolutionary innovation in design, particularly for shallow landscapes. This project casts a vision for the region in which challenging surfaces can inspire revolutionary design solutions.
Its novel design optimizes the horizontal shallow hydrologies of urban spaces and typifies the kind of cutting edge design that could inspire future development of vertical neighborhoods and sites for biophilic play and community gatherings.
The park sits atop a parking garage originally designed to be a 3-floor semi-public facility with a subsurface stormwater cistern. Brandywine Realty Trust (BRT) and its design team conceived of a dynamic elevated amenity space that would also comply with stormwater regulations.
The fusion of intensive green roofs, permeable paving, and “pancake cisterns” results in a hydrologically integrated site that provides a higher level of stormwater performance than conventional green roofs.
Its topography engages visitors, offering both passive and active recreational space. BRT has developed an informational tour program, which attracts designers, students, engineers, and policy-makers from around the country.
By artfully integrating an innovative and unobtrusive stormwater management strategy into this extensively paved, high-traffic park, BRT and the design team created a new standard for city living which leverages the roof plane for unparalleled amenity spaces that also aggressively manage stormwater.
Developing workable solutions for implementing GSI on shallow rooftops opens up new possibilities for vertical living and foreshadows the future of urban design.
Client: Philadelphia Water Department
Partners: Philadelphia Water Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The scalable and replicable nature of Azavea’s innovative stormwater management software tools makes their use by other municipalities across the nation and beyond easily implemented, demonstrating how data and software technologies can dramatically improve the implementation, and therefore success, or stormwater management plans. The three applications assist the Philadelphia Water Department uphold a transparent billing system and the public to explore opportunities for stormwater credit opportunities and aggregated property retrofits in the region.
The Philadelphia Parcel Viewer application was developed to support the Philadelphia Water Department’s new non-residential stormwater billing system that relates a property’s burden on the sewer system directly to its stormwater charge by using the property’s impervious surface cover as the basis for the fee.
The initial version of the public web application displayed billing information and impervious surface data during the four-year phase-in, and then enabled users to appeal their bill and apply for credits when they implemented BMPs. Now, several years later, a new version of the application is about to be rolled out that will provide both new data sources and new features for the public.
The Credits Explorer application, launched in 2015, enables the public to explore ways to reduce their stormwater costs by adding green roofs, permeable pavement, rain gardens, stormwater basins, or subsurface storage to their properties. Property owners can simply draw the extent of each potential remediation on the interactive map and their stormwater savings are calculated based on the proposed changes.
This year, Azavea will launch The Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP) Aggregator-Property Manager that will provide a similar planning canvas for contractors, companies, or project aggregators who want to apply for grant funding for large-scale stormwater retrofit projects that extend across multiple properties and total at least ten acres in project size.
The development of these technologies resulted from significant stakeholder engagement facilitated by both Azavea and PWD.