Erosion Control March/April 2017 : Page 22

A Federal Case of Success When Richmond, VA-based firm Timmons Group tackled the reveg etation of the Social Security Administration’s new National Support Center in western Maryland, the landscape architects were faced with multiple challenges. Designed to be a mission-critical data center that will achieve LEED Gold certification, the project boasts a magnificent setting worthy of any five-star hotel resort, with breathtak-ing 360-degree vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains and pastoral landscape. But this enormous $500+ million structure of 300,000 square feet—nearly 7 acres—created a huge site that needed healing. Timmons Landscape Architec-ture senior project manager and horti-cultural specialist, Neal Beasley says the company faced a multifaceted project of nearly 64 acres. “We not only had to replicate the native grasses, shrubs, and woodlands, but these plantings also had multiple functions—performing as both an aesthetic to mask the nearby com-For related articles: our partner suppliers at Ernst Seeds, who sent out specialists to evaluate the problem and devise a strategy.” Scalping Plants and Sinking Soils Greg Kedzierski, the plant materials specialist from Meadville, PA-based Ernst Conservation Seeds, describes what he found when he arrived onsite at the Maryland project. “I knew right away it must have been a farm; there were typical fallow-field weed species everywhere—thistle, vel-vet leaf, and many others.” The site had a complex landscape plan with species that were to reach various low, medium, and higher growth heights. However, Kedzier-ski explains, there is a big difference between revegetation and landscaping. “In landscaping, you’re trying to pull off a certain aesthetic—a meadow blowing in the wind, colorful panels of wildflowers—and you want to copy that and recreate nature in a manage-able situation, because you don’t want it to look weedy. But in a restoration, that is simply revegetation, and you don’t merce center and highway, as well as to function as shade for parking areas, enhance the geometry of the building, and act as green spaces to reduce heat island effect.” Beasley says the project had a chal-lenging hillside slope of two to one leading to a creek, and this required numerous bioengineering efforts, including micro-bioretention, bio-swales, and grassed swales. Managing stormwater and roof runoff involved collecting and storing water in an underground cistern. The water was then reused to supplement water for the cooling towers. Runoff from other portions of the building is collected and used for irrigation of the large property, Beasely explains. But one problem surpassed all the others in the big headache department. “There was an explosive weed population. As soon as plants started coming up across the landscape, there were weeds everywhere, so we called GEOWEB ® 3D Geocell System Designed for Soil Stability Challenges The GEOWEB ® system’s 3D cellular network with confi ned infi ll effectively solves slope stability challenges of embankments prone to erosive and sliding forces. The system prevents severe erosion and offers deep earth solutions not delivered by 2D surface treatments. Only the GEOWEB ® system is available with accessories designed for strength and fast installation. PRESTO 800-548-3424 or 920-738-1328 • FREE PROJECT EVALUATION! AP-8270 22 EROSION CONTROL WWW.EROSIONCONTROL.COM

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