Porchscapes by University of Arkansas UACDC

Porchscapes, in Fayetteville, Ark, is Habitat for Humanity residential LEED-Neighborhood Development pilot project that exhibits Low Impact Development (LID) standards under the Section 319 Program for Nonpoint Source Pollution of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Designed by the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC), this proposal uses an ecological stormwater management approach to achieve primary goal: to manage all the rainwater via LID treatment train to retain and reuse all water that falls on the site.

According to the UACDC, “…stormwater management is the single greatest infrastructural expense and the soft engineering of shared streets facilitates a 40% savings in construction costs compared to conventionally engineered streets.” In order to restore the site’s pre-development hydrologic regime, Porchcapes employs a comprehensive network of bioswales, infiltration trenches, rainwater gardens, and filter stripes, tree box filters, and wet meadows to cleanse water via biological processes. In this sense this proposal works against the conventional “end of pipe” solutions that fail to address runoff management by means of a high performance landscape.

The UACDC sustains that: “… the first hour of urban stormwater runoff has a pollution index much higher than that of raw sewage. Thus, neighborhood sectors are developed as subwatersheds, combining hydrologic performance with open space design.” “The site is essentially designed to function like a sponge, recharging and evapotranspiring treated runoff after its initial absorption during a storm event. Since individual property value is contextually created through collective environmental and social forces, neighborhood infrastructure is the key to sustained home-ownership.”

Project Credits:

Porchscapes, Fayetteville, Ark

Client: Habitat for Humanity of Washington County; University of Arkansas School of Architecture; Ecological Engineering Consultant: University of Arkansas Ecological Engineering Group; Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering students; Civil Engineering Consultant: McClelland Consulting; City of Fayetteville

Project Design Sponsors: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Region VI Arkansas Natural Resource Commission; University of Arkansas Women’s Giving Circle

Text Credits = Project Credits; uacdc.uark.edu (UACDC) | via architectmagazine

Image Banner Credits = Project Credits; uacdc.uark.edu (UACDC) | via architectmagazine

For further reference please see the PDF by UACDC.

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