Posts Tagged ‘Stormwater’

Windridge Condos Breaks Ground on Rain Garden

Windridge Condominium Homes to Build Eco-Friendly Rain Garden 

Windridge Condominium Homes Main GateIndianapolis, Indiana—Windridge Condominium Homes, located in the Emerson and Fall Creek Parkway area, has announced that it will build a groundbreaking rain garden. Not only will this garden be beautiful, it will also help to alleviate existing flooding and moisture issues in the neighborhood.

Originally built more than 30 years ago, challenges associated with stormwater drainage have confronted Windridge from its inception.  While the original developers installed traditional storm drains and conveyance systems in the neighborhood, ongoing development in the surrounding area has increased the frequency and volume of stormwater flow around and through Windridge.  While various solutions have been implemented over the years to control flooding and standing water issues, the neighborhood’s infrastructure has been unable to handle the more than 91 million  gallons of rain water that fall on the neighborhood annually.

The rain garden will not only reduce runoff into nearby Fall Creek, it will also improve local water quality by capturing pollution that normally contributes to algae growth, and improve the overall ecology of the local water systems.

 “Rain gardens are a green way to solve many traditional storm water problems,” said Tom Barrett, owner of Green Water Infrastructure and a consultant on the project. “They’re also a great retrofit for many older, more established communities with persistent drainage issues.”

Fischer Design, an Indianapolis-based landscape architecture firm, will design the rain garden. Green Water Infrastructure in Westfield will provide green consulting. TERRA Site Development in Westfield will provide the civil engineering for the project. The project is expected to break ground in September 2011.

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About Windridge Condominiums:

The Windridge community is a unique collection of two hundred and twenty one homes located in a natural setting along Fall Creek in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Touring the property one easily recognizes our respect for the natural environment.  You will see a number of wild animals, birds, countless plants, and trees.  The Windridge community takes pride in maintaining our natural surroundings.

 

About Fischer Design, LLC:

Fischer Design is a landscape architecture design firm focused on the creative integration of man-made and natural environments promoting environmentally responsible, sustainable, functional, and aesthetically beautiful design solutions. For additional information about Fischer Design, please visit www.fischerdesignllc.com.

 

About Green Water Infrastructure:

Green Water Infrastructure is a consulting company that integrates water resources for sustainable site development. Their goal is to utilize one hundred percent of the on-site water resources at a site. Green Water saves communities money by combining green infrastructure with gray infrastructure and new technology with existing technology to create sustainable growth — environmentally and socially. For more information, please visit www.thinkgwi.com.

 

About TERRA Site Development, Inc.:

TERRA Site Development, Inc. (TERRA) is a site development consulting firm that provides specialized investigation, engineering design, and testing services for property and projects in all aspects of development.  Assisting clients regardless of what stage their project is in – TERRA provides environmental and geotechnical assessment before property is purchased, civil engineering design and permitting assistance prior to construction, and materials testing and inspection during buildout.  Located in Westfield and Indianapolis, additional information about TERRA can be found at www.terrasitedev.com.

Upcoming Presentation – Permeable Paving: A Transformative Approach to Sustainable Development


Presented by Tom Barrett

Chicago Center for Green Technology

Courtesy of Unilock

445 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, February 24, 2011

6 p.m. to 8 p.m

Permeable paving is a transformative approach to sustainable site development. Permeable hard surface construction is part of a continuing series of engineering solutions to water management that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. Permeable paving is an efficient solution for stormwater runoff. It will reduce flooding, increase water infiltration, recharge groundwater and improve water quality.

Join Tom Barrett as he explains how to develop a “more natural approach” to stormwater management issues.

AIA/CES: 2 LU

Learning Objectives

• Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States

• Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

This program is presented free of charge as part of the Chicago Center for Green Technology’s Green Tech U program. Registration is required by calling 312-746-9642 or by emailing your requested class and contact information to greentech@cityofchicago.org with “Green Tech U” in the subject line.

About Tom Barrett:

Tom Barrett is an accomplished corporate growth and change agent with over thirty years of landscape industry experience.   Tom’s leadership experience, holding executive level positions, drives corporate revenue growth through change and innovation for business start-ups, corporate expansions, and divisional turnarounds.

Tom Barrett has been delivering energetic, dynamic presentations and training for over twenty years.  These presentations empower people to become masters of change rather than victims of circumstance by developing tools for transformational thinking.  For more information, please visit Book Tom Barrett.

About Green Water Infrastructure:

Green Water Infrastructure is a consulting company that integrates water resources for sustainable site development. Their goal is to utilize one hundred percent of the on-site water resources at a site. Green Water saves communities money by combining green infrastructure with gray infrastructure and new technology with existing technology to create sustainable growth — environmentally and socially. For more information, please visit www.thinkgwi.com.

About the Chicago Center for Green Technology: The Chicago Center for Green Technology is the first rehabilitated municipal building in the nation to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ™ (LEED) Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. Mayor Richard M. Daley dedicated the building in 2002 and it has since become a national model for sustainable design and technology. The Center serves as the most comprehensive green design and educational resource in the Midwest.

Sustainability Starts with Your Home

I recently wrote a guest blog  on Sustainability Starts with Your Landscape for Stefan Lubike the owner of SiteLine Design.

Recognizing sustainability as merely reducing energy waste, recycling, or conserving water is a common misconception. In truth, the greatest impact on the environment you can make is right in your own backyard.

Check out the post

Also check out the great work being done by Stefan and his gang at SiteLine Design.

Rain Gardens & Bioswales – An Overview

Brownsburg, Indiana

January 20, 2011

Rain Gardens and bioswales are some of our most effective tools in implementing sustainable water practices.

In this presentation, Barrett will discusses how rain gardens and bioswales protect, restore, and mimic the natural water cycle. Additionally, Tom explains how rain gardens and bioswales can help develop a natural solution for water efficiency, and relieve storm water management issues. Rain Gardens and bioswales create natural filters through which our rainwater can flow. We are in essence helping to remove the contaminants, while reducing the speed and volume in which the water runs to the storm drains. By choosing to create a rain garden or other environmentally responsible landscape solution, we can reduce the contaminants that collect in the sewer systems, and make a significant improvement for a cleaner and healthier environment.

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

Reflections on the Indiana Green Expo Presentation

Recently, I spoke at the Indiana Green Expo, where I presented “Sustainable Landscapes.

According to feedback from audience members, the presentation was very informative.

They shared with me that some of the most useful and informative points were:Natural Water Cycle Image

  • New architectural design concepts incorporating “green” technology
  • Water reuse and end collection
  • Release of sewer water into local waterways with as little as ¼” of rainfall
  • Real-life examples of rainwater harvesting
  • Adventures in green industry are at an exciting point
  • People were surprised at the usefulness of landscapes in remediating environmental issues

I also learned people are interested in hearing more about:

  • Becoming local experts in rainwater management
  • Learning more  about air conditioning condensate recovery
  • In-depth training on how to construct rain gardens and install permeable paving

I truly enjoyed speaking at the Indiana Green Expo for such an energetic and enthusiastic crowd. The Indiana Green Expo (IGE) is Indiana’s most comprehensive green industry educational conference and trade show. The Indiana Green Expo had great educational sessions, a great audience, and a great show!

I look forward to my next speaking engagement on “Applying Smart Technologies to Rainwater Harvesting, Green Roofs, LEED Projects and Storm Water Issues” at Irrigation Association’s Irrigation Contractor Leadership summit at Walt Disney World, February 2–4.

Rain Gardens & Bioswales Presentation from the National Green Centre

National Green Centre Presentation

Saint Louis, MissouriRain Garden

January 10, 2011

Rain Gardens and bioswales are some of our most effective tools in implementing sustainable water practices. In the presentation, Barrett will discuss how rain gardens and bioswales protect, restore, and mimic the natural water cycle. Additionally, Tom will explain how rain gardens and bioswales can help develop a natural solution for water efficiency, and relieve storm water management issues. Rain Gardens and bioswales create natural filters through which our rainwater can flow. We are in essence helping to remove the contaminants, while reducing the speed and volume in which the water runs to the storm drains. By choosing to create a rain garden or other environmentally responsible landscape solution, we can reduce the contaminants that collect in the sewer systems, and make a significant improvement for a cleaner and healthier environment.

“The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the United States’ water systems a grade of ‘D-,’ the lowest of any America infrastructure,” said Barrett. “Through increased use of rain gardens and bioswales, we can improve our water systems and create a better environment for plants, animals and people. “In his presentation, Barrett will explain just how essential some of these tools are to efficiently utilizing and managing water sources.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding that stormwater is the largest source of water pollution in the United States
  • Sustainability starts with the landscape. Developing a functional landscape is the most effective and efficient means of remediating the environment.
  • Combining “green infrastructure” with existing, conventional “gray infrastructure,” as well as combining new technology with old technology creating a sustainable future.

I throughly enjoyed the whole presentation! The topic was great, easy to understand.  I would like another presentation that is more in-depth.  The visuals were on-topic and easy to understand.”

– Emily Placke

Your presentation was really great.  The subject matter, of course, was very relevant.  Beyond that, though, I have to say your ability to explain and transition from point to point was great.   You have a very special way of addressing the topic simply, clearly, without bias, and with common sense that’s hard to refute

Thanks for a great presentation!”

– Stephanie Krull

View more presentations from Tom Barrett.

Reflections on the National Green Centre Presentations

Rain IN the Street ImageRecently, I spoke at the National Green Centre. I presented “Constructing Rain Gardens & Bioswales” and “Resource Efficient Landscape Irrigation.”

The seminar was incredibly helpful to the folks in the audience. Based on conversations I had with audience members, some of the points they found most interesting were:

  • How much water is generated in a rain event.
  • Water is a resource not a disposible item.
  • The differences between rain gardens and bioswales.
  • A change is coming in how we manage our water.
  • People loved the case studies.

I also learned a few things through interaction with some of my class attendees. Some of the lessons I will take away from the class are:

  • People would like to become a local expert in rainwater management.
  • People want more infomation on permeable paving.
  • People would like a in depth training on how to calculate stormwater runoff and sizing rain garden.

I truly enjoyed speaking for an energetic and enthusiastic crowd at National Green Centre. The National Green Centre had great educational sessions, a great audience, and a great show! I hope I can return next year.

I look forward to my next speaking engagement on “Sustainability Starts with the Landscape” at Indiana Green Expo on Tuesday, January 18th.

Majora Carter Talks About Community Sustainability

At a recent TEDxMidwest presentationMajora Carter (@MajoraCarter) talks about three individual who made a difference in their communities. These three individual who implemented practical solutions to community improverishment issues.

It is time to work together to embrace and repair our land, repair our power systems and repair ourselves. It’s time to stop building the shopping malls, the prisons, the stadiums and other tributes to all of our collective failures. It is time that we start building living monuments to hope and possibility.”

Majora Carter

Charity Does Not Equal Sustainability

Chicago

Brenda Palms-Farber was hired to help ex-convicts reenter society and keep them from going back into prison. Currently, taxpayers spend about $60,000 per year sending a person to jail. We know that two-thirds of them are going to go back. I find it interesting that, for every one dollar we spend, however, on early childhood education, like Head Start, we save $17 on stuff like incarceration in the future. Or — think about it — that $60,000 is more than what it costs to send one person to Harvard as well . . .

Los Angeles

Water is a big issue for Los Angeles. On most day Los Angeles does not have enough water and too much to handle when it rains. Currently, 20 percent of California’s energy consumption is used to pump water into mostly Southern California. Their spending loads, loads, to channel that rainwater out into the ocean when it rains and floods as well. Now Andy Lipkis is working to help L.A. cut infrastructure costs associated with water management and urban heat island — linking trees, people and technology to create a more livable city. All that green stuff actually naturally absorbs storm water, also helps cool our cities. Because, come to think about it, do you really want air-conditioning, or is it a cooler room that you want? How you get it shouldn’t make that much of a difference . . .

West Virginia

Judy Bonds is a coal miner’s daughter. Her family has eight generations in a town called Whitesville, West Virginia. If anyone should be clinging to the former glory of the coal mining history, and of the town, it should be Judy. But the way coal is mined right now is different from the deep mines that her father and her father’s father would go down into and that employed essentially thousands and thousands of people. Now, two-dozen men can tear down a mountain in several months, and only for about a few years-worth of coal. That kind of technology is called mountaintop removal. It can make a mountain go from this to this in a few short months. Just imagine that the air surrounding these places — it’s filled with the residue of explosives and coal. When we visited, it gave some of the people we were with this strange little cough after being only there for just a few hours or so — not just miners, but everybody . . .

Tom Barrett Featured in Sustainability Editorial

Recently, Green Water Infrastructure owner Tom Barret was featured in an editorial focused on stormwater management.

Experts from around the country were interviewed to educate readers on the benefits of stormwater retention. Tom spoke about the economic benefits of this practice.

Below is a brief passage from the article:

Tom Barrett, owner of Green Water Infrastructure, an Indiana-based environmental consulting firm that focuses on sustainable development practices, echoes Feissner’s claims about the financial feasibility of green management strategies. “That’s the shocker of the whole thing, that maintaining stormwater on-site is less expensive than conventional means,” Barrett explains.

Barrett has worked on projects for Disney and Nike, Wrigley Field, the city of Chicago and other well-known clients, prioritizes the utilization of 100 percent of a site’s water resources right there on site. “We need to make people aware of the issues stormwater creates, so instead of treating it as a disposal issue we start treating it as a resource issue,” Barrett asserts.

Rain Water Harvesting & Condensate Recovery – New Tools for Sustainable Site Development

Title: Rain Water Harvesting & Condensate Recovery – New Tools for Sustainable Site Development
Location: Chicago Center for Green Technology
Description: In its Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated our nation’s wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water systems a “D” minus, the lowest grade in any infrastructure category. Rainwater gardens and bioswales are transformative approaches to sustainable site development. Constructing Rain Gardens and Bioswales is part of a continuing series of engineering solutions to water management that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. Rain gardens and bioswales incorporates both the natural environment and engineered systems to provide clean water, conserve ecosystems, and provide a wide variety of benefits for people and wildlife. Additionally, all this can be accomplished at a significantly lower cost than conventional concrete and mortar infrastructure. Join Tom Barrett as he explains how the use of locally produced water helps develop a “natural approach” to the efficient use of water and relieves stormwater management issues.
Start Time: 6:00 pm
Date: 2010-04-20
End Time: 9:00 pm
.