Rochester, New York
EDR’s work at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2008 incorporated green construction practices to renovate and revitalize exterior elements of the student housing facility. This project features innovative stormwater management practices, facilitates alternative forms of transportation, and focuses on the overall sustainability of the site. The project includes an 800-foot long eco-swale to filter and manage runoff from a parking lot, a new pedestrian concourse incorporating a seat wall with native plantings, a new bus shelter with attached rain gardens and photovoltaic lighting, and bicycle parking units. The apartment buildings are surrounded on three sides by state and federal wetland systems, so incorporation of the campus’ first eco-swale was an important aspect of the project. The vegetated swale not only serves as a visual amenity to residents and visitors, but also mimics natural systems. Benefits of the eco-swale include effective breakdown and removal/immobilization of pollutants found in urban runoff, increased stormwater infiltration time, increased wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and decreased reliance on existing stormwater infrastructure and treatment facilities. The eco-swale will help cleanse approximately 1.2 million gallons of water per year.
The American Society of Landscape Architects and American Institute of Architects recognized this project with an Honor Award for Design Excellence and a Merit Award for Achievement, respectively. The project was also featured as a case study by the ASLA Sustainable Sites Initiative.