2013: Volume 7, Number 2
Michigan Chapter of the American Societ y
Table of contents 2013: Volume 7, number 2
Michigan Chapter of the American Societ y oF Landscape
Letter from the president
6 I typically ask fellow executive committee members as we gather for our monthly meetings if business is improving and workloads are increasing. Over the past two years, and even over the majority of the past year, the most frequent response has been “we’re hanging in there”. Firms and individuals have been hanging in there for quite a long time – even after jobs were lost, hours cut, and compensation reduced. However, over the past 4-8 weeks there has been a significant change in responses to my regular inquiries. Individuals have been restored to full-time hours, people are working longer days just to keep up with increased workloads, several firms have all the work they can handle, and there were indications that some firms were experiencing an increase in potential work that stretched their capacity to fully respond to all such opportunities. Finally, there has been some indication that hiring to meet increased demand is being considered. I recognize that my informal business pulse-taking is not an accurate measure of market conditions and business climate. But it is heartening to hear such responses and to see expressions in people’s faces of optimism rather than measured caution and concern. Will such encouraging signs continue? Are work levels truly beginning to rebound? It is almost certainly an uneven situation. There is evidence that demand and opportunity for private sector development investment is
ON THE COVER: An event day at Bayfront Park in Petoskey, MI. Bayfront Park was one of John Beckett’s , ASLA, signature park designs.
increasing. At the municipal level, there still exists the conundrum of long deferred work and lack of adequate funds to address it. Nonetheless, there is growing recognition from both private investors and municipal leaders that “hanging in there” as the status quo is neither sufficient nor healthy. The way forward is not clear and the path is uneven, but at the very least we seem to be moving in the right direction. In service to you, planning for this year’s Chapter annual meeting is in full swing, advocacy efforts in association with national campaigns are being implemented, events for emerging professionals are being scheduled, and legislative affairs continues to take on new and challenging dimensions. We received a substantial increase in nominations for executive committee positions. It is good to see people step up to serve. Finally, I cannot fully, adequately articulate within this brief message how important it is for all ASLA members and landscape architects in our state to recognize and speak out regarding licensure and professional standing. More on this to follow soon. Enjoy the summer! Mark Robinson, LLA, ASLA President, Michigan Chapter of ASLA
Adding the Advantages of Photovoltaics by Michael Arvidson, ASLA, Executive Vice President of Duo-Gard Industries, Inc.
Pervious, Permeable, and Porous Pavers – Are they really the same? by Mark Walter, Director of Business Development, Kuert Concrete
A Tribute to John M. Beckett: Michigan ASLA Landscape Architect Legacy Series by Leah DuMouchel, APA Beckett & Raeder, Inc.
events calendar Friday, July 19th 2013 MiASLA Chapter Awards Submissions Due Visit michiganasla.org for Criteria & Details Tuesday, August 27 LAAAB 23rd Annual Golf Outing and Scholarship Fundraiser Hawk Hollow Golf Course, Bath Twp., MI Thursday, September 12 Celebrating Landscape Architecture MiASLA Annual Meeting Henry Center, Michigan State University
Editor’s notes Please remind your friends that SITES has gone digital for Volume 7, Numbers 2 and 3. Send updated emails to: email@example.com
Adding the Advantages of Photovoltaics by Michael Arvidson
DTE Energy’s headquarters in Detroit now boasts an 80 kilowatt solar carport canopy 22’ x 285’ that demonstrates a commitment to renewable energy. Image courtesy of Duo-Gard Industries, Inc. 2
“More energy from the sun falls on the earth in one hour than is used by everyone in the world in one year.” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy When the subject of photovoltaics comes up, what’s your first reaction? It’s ugly. It’s expensive. It’s unreliable. It’s complicated. That was true yesterday. Photovoltaic (PV) technology today is cheaper, more efficient, long-lived and highly reliable as well as increasingly aesthetic. It’s still true, however, that adding solar PV technology to a commercial landscape project can be a complex undertaking requiring collaboration from a team that integrates artistic, engineering, structural and manufacturing skills for the most effective results. Those results are becoming more critical as sustainability efforts become more intense. A wide range of projects offer landscape architects the opportunity to harness the sun’s benefits for illuminating bike shelters, bus shelters, vehicle charging stations, protective canopies, wayfinding signage and other outdoor structures. Communities are rapidly expanding their commitments to accommodate residents with more economical transportation and more healthful alternatives through public transportation and bicycling. For example, the growing population of bicycle riders want shelters that combine the convenience of lighted, protected parking plus security.
A basic explanation: Solar PV cells make up the modules or panels, which are connected to create an array designed to match the voltage and current needed for the application. An inverter changes the direct current (DC) created to the Below: At State University of New York Geneseo’s campus, this bike shelter’s lighting is powered by a new all-in-one, flat-panel, mast-mounted solar module capable of swiveling to achieve maximum efficiency.
Image courtesy of SUNY Geneseo
alternating current (AC) most commonly required. The system is either connected to the grid or to battery packs for energy storage. The system can be mounted on a roof with racks or on a pole. PV technology is now in its third generation, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. First-generation traditional PV includes cells made of silicon; these are usually flat-plate. Flexible, thin-film tech is secondgeneration and uses thin layers of semiconductor materials, which enables integration as roof shingles, building facades and glazing for daylighting. This gives rise to the new buzzterm BIPV for building-integrated photovoltaics, a move of increasing interest to designers. Thirdgeneration PV cells are using solar inks, solar dyes and conductive plastics for concentrated, high-efficiency, cost-effective results. Most of the current applications in landscape architecture involve traditional PV; however, interest in thin-film BIPV is gaining ground. Designing with photovoltaics is a new area for many landscape architects. “We’re not seeing a lot of this in the profession yet,” says Neal Billetdeaux, LEED AP-BD+C, a principal and senior landscape architect with SmithGroupJJR in Ann continued on page 4 3
As you’re evaluating the possibilities for your project, there are basic considerations to keep in mind: 1.
How much direct sun will your site get? Can you position your structure to make the most of it? 2. How much illumination do you really need rather than how much do you want? 3. How long a time span do you need illumination? Dusk to dawn? Dusk to midnight? 4. How accessible will your system be for routine maintenance? 5. What extreme weather conditions will the system be subjected to? 6. What codes, permits, approvals will it require? 7. Will the structure you’re designing adequately support the PV system’s weight? 8. Do you need a rooftop racking system or a pole-mounted PV unit? Battery storage? 9. Is your project eligible for any state or federal renewable energy incentives? 10. How will you protect your system from thieves and vandals? 4
This 23’ x 71’ bike shelter at MIT features solar lighting, dimming capability and motion sensors. The solar PV eliminated the expense of trenching and wiring in this urban setting. Image courtesy of Duo-Gard Industries, Inc.
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Arbor. “This is a product we don’t work with on a daily basis, and it’s not something you can just buy and plug in. You must have an integrated team. Landscape architects may have an understanding from a site perspective on how to integrate PV, but they need technical collaboration in order to complete the installation. This is something landscape architects must consider and embrace in light of continuing sustainability efforts.” Commercially viable since the 1970s, solar PV has followed the typical path of an emerging technology. The global price of PV modules declined roughly 95% between 1976 and 2010, according to the Department of Energy. The Department’s SunShot Vision Study, released in 2012, explores the potential of another 75% reduction by 2020. The SunShot Initiative aims to reduce the cost of PV electricity to the $0.06 per kilowatt hour price competitive with nonrenewable electricity sources. The Vision Study then sees the potential result of PV technologies satisfying 14% of U.S. electricity demands by 2030 and 27% by 2050. Yes, it’s got a long way to go, Today PV accounts for 0.05% of America’s supply. Landscape architects are dealing with challenges today, but the future for PV is promising. They have a lot of positive factors in their favor. “Costs are going down and efficiency is going up, sometimes up to 30%,” says Billetdeaux. Typical lifespan and warranties today for PV modules can run to 25 years. New high-performance racking
Adding the Advantages of Photovoltaics would otherwise be impossible, such as parks and hiking trails. There is no “one size fits all” system in PV. And of course many applications don’t lend themselves to PV. Fortunately, PV technology is evolving rapidly. Success depends on realizing that different technologies bring different capabilities and that each project requires a solution specific to the site and the goals involved. As Neal Billetdeaux points out, this is unfamiliar territory for many landscape architects. Making sure your collaborating suppliers and related professionals have the experience and expertise to provide recommendations, alternatives and solutions geared to your project’s goals is critical.
Fourth-grade students at Amerman Elementary School in Northville spearheaded the move to install a demonstration solar canopy that will power a classroom. Image courtesy of Duo-Gard Industries, Inc.
“There is no silver bullet, but photovoltaics holds a key piece to the global puzzle of sustainability,” says John Sarver, executive director of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association in East Lansing. He views it as perhaps 50% of the world’s future energy sources.
systems can eliminate concerns about water leakage in a system. Rotating systems can follow the sun regardless of the structure’s position. Systems can be integrated with translucent glazing panels for an added advantage of diffused day-lighting. Custom architectural details can add visual appeal.
The next generation is leading the way. In June 2013, Amerman Elementary School in Northville cut the ribbon on a 2.7 kilowatt solar canopy that will provide power for one classroom. The project is the result of year-long research and fund-raising by the school’s fourth-grade class.
PV can bring immediate cost savings to projects involving urban infrastructure, where it’s very expensive to run power to a site and also to landscape structures in remote locations where it
For more information contact: Michael Arvidson, ASLA firstname.lastname@example.org Duo-Gard Industries Inc. Canton, MI 5
Are they really the same?
By Mark Walter, ASLA Far too often I find the three P’s (Pervious, Permeable, and Porous) pavers talked about amongst most professionals as though they are all the same and share the same characteristics. This I assure you is not true. These three words have been used interchangeably without regard to their unique characteristics and for that reason, have somewhat confused the industry. For example, in geology is quartz rock the same as lava rock? Although they are both rocks, they are given different names based upon their characteristics. When we hear the name “Lava Rock” specified in a project, we know exactly what 6
to look for. Why then should a permeable paver be specified as a pervious paver when in fact there is nothing pervious about a concrete paver? Please follow along as I define the three P’s as they relate to the paver industry and their use for the purpose of storm water management. The goal for a particular paver when used for storm water runoff control is to limit storm water runoff at the source, reduce downstream erosion, and improve water quality by filtering pollutants in the substrata layers. In the case of both Pervious and Porous pavers, this is partially achieved
within the paver prior to the water’s entrance into the layers below. With Permeable pavers, water is circumvented around the paver and the filtering process begins between the pavers in the void space filled with select aggregates. All three pavers require a similar compacted stone aggregate layering process beneath the surface for the purpose of accepting the storm water and creating a “reservoir” prior to the water percolating into the sub-grade or being piped off. This storm water conveyance process is referenced by some paver manufacturers as the “paver system”. Images courtesy of ReadingRock Building Materials and Services, and Invisible Structures, Inc.
While most rainfall events are less than 1 inch in depth, rainfall intensity must always be considered. 0.99â€? over 15 minutes could cause more issues than 3â€? over 8 hours; therefore variances for storm water runoff management are primarily for high-frequency, low-occurrence events. In a large storm event, the water table below any of these three types of pavers can rise to a higher level preventing the precipitation from being absorbed into the ground. Modifications of the paver system are generally considered when determining the infiltration capacity of the sub-grade native soil, and the depth of base rock for stormwater storage. Additionally, bioswales, rain gardens, and underdrain systems are generally considered during the design stages.
Pervious pavers help rain water flow into the root zone of street trees. Image courtesy of ReadingRock Building Materials and Services, and Invisible Structures, Inc.
Pervious Pervious Pavers allow storm water to percolate through the surface rather than runoff to surrounding areas or storm drains. As water runs through the pavers, it filters out gross urban pollutants. Like grass, it lets the ground below it breath, and allows tree roots and their supporting microbes and fungus to interact. Pervious pavers are not to be confused with homogenous binders mixed with back-yard gravel or rubber compositions in a portable concrete mixer then poured on the ground. These pavers are manufactured from natural stone and bonded together within a controlled factory environment
using the latest innovations in chemical non-VOC polymers with UV inhibitors. These pavers feature the highest water infiltration rate, 10 times greater than pervious concrete and more than 90 times greater than permeable pavers. Typically only 12 to 18 percent of a projectâ€™s total surface area in pervious pavers is required for optimal project drainage and storm water management. This applies to the storm water conveyance system beneath the pavers as well. When impervious surfaces like standard concrete or asphalt cover most of a project area, stormwater can be directed from the impervious surfaces to the pervious pavers providing a cost effective
solution. Pervious pavers are currently code enforced within a number of municipalities in the western part of our country such as Reno, NV. These pavers are utilized as both a storm drainage filtration system that improves the quality of storm water by capturing sediment, debris and urban clutter. In addition to working as a filtration device, it contributes in aiding vector control solutions by helping in the prevention of viruses like West Nile. Installed in storm water catch basins, it reduces the amount of mosquitoes by eliminating access to standing, stagnant water normally stored beneath the road surface. continued on page 8 7
Pervious, Permeable, & porous Pavers - Are they really the same?
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Above: An example of a finished permeable paver driveway using interlocking pavers. Image courtesy of ReadingRock Building Materials and Services, and Invisible Structures, Inc. Left: Cross section of a typical permeable paver installation. Image courtesy of Pine Hall Brick Company, Inc. Permeable Permeable pavers are comprised of a layer of concrete or fired clay brick pavers separated by joints filled with crushed aggregate. Permeable pavers are different from pervious and porous pavers, as rainwater passes around the paver as opposed to passing through the paver.
“Permeable” is a term used to describe paving methods for roads, parking lots and walkways that allow the movement of water and air around the paving material. Water enters the joints between the solid impervious pavers and flows through the paver system. The aggregate in between the joints provide infiltration as long as it is not plugged. A periodic maintenance program is necessary for the three P’s to guarantee lasting
stormwater conveyance past the paver layer. Permeable pavers (per square foot) offer the least amount of stormwater infiltration compared to porous and pervious pavers. Because of this you would normally need to specify more pavers for a project. Permeable pavers have an architectural appearance, and can bear both light and heavy traffic, particularly interlocking concrete pavers, excepting high-volume or high-speed roads.
Porous Porous pavers are manufactured in a variety of designs and materials. Concrete turfblock for grass paving began in the mid-1940â€™s and plastic versions were invented in the late 70â€™s and early 80â€™s. Porous pavers are generally a cellular grid system filled with dirt, sand, or gravel. This system provides grass reinforcement, ground stabilization and gravel retention. The grid structure reinforces infill and transfers vertical loads from the surface, distributing them over a wider area. Selection of the type of cellular grid depends on the surface material, traffic and loads. The surface layer may be a compacted gravel or topsoil seeded with grass and fertilizer. In addition to load support, the cellular grid reduces compaction of the soil to maintain permeability, while the roots improve water infiltration due to their root channels. Porous pavers, such as the reinforcement grids shown above right, have also been utilized in agriculture. One example of this is illustrated using wood sawdust in the grid system. continued on page 10
Images courtesy of ReadingRock Building Materials and Services, and Invisible Structures, Inc.
Pervious, Permeable, & porous Pavers - Are they really the same? In summary, there is an obvious and distinct difference between pervious, permeable, and porous pavers. Each paver possesses certain physical, as well as aesthetic, qualities that need to be considered prior to project design and installation. Careful consideration of site characteristics and project objectives will enable the owner to minimize storm water runoff and maximize the water quality benefits that these products provide. Additional information pertaining to the three P’s is available including: • Freeze-Thaw Data • Base and sub-base comparisons between each surface • SRI data • Design Permeability • Longevity • Surface clogging data • Traffic bearing capacity • Colors / Textures • Overflow capacities • Overflow designs • Temperature reduction • Maintenance costs • Installation costs • Comparisons with the three P’s, Pervious Concrete, and Pervious Asphalt. For more information contact: Mark Walker Mark@Kuert.com Kuert Concrete, Inc. www.Kuert.com 10
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A patio utilizes pervious pavers set within standard pavers to create visual interest. Image courtesy of ReadingRock Building Materials and Services, and Invisible Structures, Inc.
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A Tribute to John M. Beckett: Michigan ASLA Landscape Architect Legacy Series
John M. Beckett Beckett & Raeder, Inc. Ann Arbor, Michigan
by Leah DuMouchel, ASLA
John Beckett’s career in landscape architecture was born at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, immediately after he discovered that he did not at all care for the differential equations required for the engineering degree he was seeking. In looking for another field, he came across a description of landscape architecture in the admissions office and saw that this was where golf courses were designed. “That interested me,” he said, “so I enrolled.” He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, learning to execute an analytical design process approach to problem solving from the legendary Walter Chambers and Bill Johnson. He began employment in 1963 at the Office of the Campus Landscape Architect at the University of Michigan, where he worked on the new School of Music, designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen, and a wide variety of other site projects. They were all interesting, but John became increasingly motivated by his many contacts with the private practicing design professionals working on campus projects. With an early sense that his calling was private practice, in 1965 he accepted a position with the firm of Eichsted and Grissim in Grosse Pointe Park. He learned much about private practice in his two years working with John Grissim, and was so taken by its potential opportunities and rewards that he was convinced he wanted his own firm. By that time, he and his wife and two children had firmly established their roots in the community of Saline just south of Ann Arbor, so Left: John Beckett. Image courtesy of Beckett & Raeder, Inc.
rather than continuing to make the daily long and congested commute to Grosse Pointe, he decided to establish his practice in Ann Arbor. The plan was simple, and as it turned out, surprisingly easy. He was welcomed back to the Campus Landscape Architects Office on a part time basis, and John Grissim was willing to hire him on a contractual basis to help out on selected projects. The income from these two sources as well as some meager savings was enough to get going, and he rented a small office space and hung out his shingle as John M. Beckett, Landscape Architect. It wasn’t long before he was awareded his first design commission with the University: a Master Landscape Plan for the medical center. Seeing that first contract in writing, with its obligation to him all spelled out, signaled the true beginning of his very own private firm. Shortly thereafter, John was in a meeting with a University of Michigan classmate named Paul Raeder, who was working with the firm of Johnson, Johnson, and Roy. It became apparent during a post-meeting reminiscence that Paul had also been thinking about having his own firm. “I liked the guy and he liked me, and I knew that we’d get along and have a good relationship,” said John. “He was talented— he was working for JJR and that was a pretty good firm, so there was no wondering about if he could do the work. He was frankly more outgoing than me, so I thought he’d be good at marketing. And he had the desire to be in private practice too. There wasn’t any one
Caterpillar, General Motors, Ford Motor, Hallmark, John Deere, and General Electric. So we had a relationship with them and accomplished landscape architecture work all over the country with them.” Sadly, Paul passed away a few years ago. He is dearly missed, but his spirit for hard work and doing the best job possible lives on.
John is pictured here hard at work in 1970. Image courtesy of Beckett & Raeder, Inc.
thing, really. I just felt very comfortable.” So Paul left JJR, and Beckett & Raeder Associates was born. Paul, who could be intense enough to bite off the end of his pipe on more than one occasion, complemented John’s more laid-back nature, and the firm began to develop an impressive roster of
clients such as the State of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College, and the City of Ann Arbor. John modestly ascribes a lot of this success to his partner and even to the clients themselves. “Paul created a relationship with Giffels Associates, a large Detroit-based architecture and engineering firm that served many federal governmental agencies and Fortune 500 companies such as
More than any one assignment, John is most proud of the relationships he’s built with a few clients like the State of Michigan, for whom he has competed almost 100 projects, and the City of Petoskey, where he has been placemaking for 30 years. His association with Petoskey began with a coastal zone management plan for the waterfront in 1978, and the Petoskey waterfront remains one project that springs to mind when pressed for a favorite accomplishment. “That’s one that I would say that people enjoy. I’m very happy with the way that turned out, and it turned out great because Petoskey was a great client. Apart from many, they took care of the things they built—took really good care of them, because they have been willing to commit the necessary manpower and funding—and so many communities don’t because they struggle with other competing priorities.” Pressed further to talk about his contribution to that community, his demure manner cracks into a laugh. “I take credit for the whole town!” he joked. “We did the waterfront, the Bear River Valley recreation area, the Little League Complex, the Winter Sports complex, the annual street improvements program, and the current downtown greenway initiative. And within the waterfront, there were continued on page 14 13
John M. Beckett
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probably 25 projects, from the marina to the bayfront promenade to the waterfront softball complex to the Arboretum to the Rivermouth City Municipal complex.”
plan sought to promote a transition of ‘Monroe’s window on the lake’ from an industrial– dominated, pre I-75 ‘back door’ to a visitor- and tourist-oriented historical and recreational ‘front door.’ It was our first really comprehensive regional kind of a plan, and it was the first in a whole series of projects in Monroe. They became really good clients.” Indeed, the firm continues working right now on the History Corridor East Master Plan and the long-range plan for the River Raisin Battlefield National Park.
In the mid-1980s, Beckett & Raeder made the decision to expand from landscape architecture into a multidisciplinary firm, aiming to develop the in-house expertise to provide all aspects of land development activity. “Expanding to include support engineering opens up the whole development world,” John explained. “That was the big state correctional facility construction era— we had worked with the state of Michigan for a few years prior, but that was a major source of work for several years, during which time we completed more than ten multi-security level complexes. That was right from the ground up and the engineering went along with it, so we had to hire an engineer. And we’ve had as many as five engineers ever since.” Deb Cooper, ASLA and John Iacoangeli, AICP became partners in the firm in the early 1990s; by the end of that decade, the firm included more than 30 professionals in the fields of landscape architecture, planning, and civil engineering. An early project with John Iacoangeli (known around the office as “John I.” to distinguish between the partners John), who was then community development director for the City of Monroe, was another coastal zone management project cited by Mr. Beckett as one of his best accomplishments. “I think from a planning standpoint, it was. I think it was well-received. The 14
John has been a Member of ASLA for more than 40 years; he is a past Executive Committee member and President of the Michigan Chapter. As the firm with his name on the door creeps toward its golden anniversary in 2016, John Beckett is still the first one in the office on many mornings. He enjoys the work, especially the thrill of the launch. “My favorite part of the whole thing is when I get a new project, because it means I’ve done something right before that. That’s a necessary part of being in business, to get the project! Without a project, there’s no firm.” He never did design a single golf course, but you never know what’s just over the horizon. John’s positive vision for the firm always has been, and still is, embodied in one of his favorite sayings: “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.” For more information contact: Leah DuMouchel, APA John Beckett with his wife Etta at a party. Image courtesy of Beckett & Raeder, Inc.
Beckett & Raeder, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI
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2013 MICHIGAN ASLA OFFICERS AND STAFF
President Mark Robinson, ASLA
Associate at Large Joane Slusky, Associate ASLA
President Elect SuLin Kotowicz, ASLA
Government Affairs Committee Chair Bill Sanders, ASLA
Immediate Past President Christy Summers, ASLA Trustee Vanessa Warren, ASLA VP of Marketing, Craig Hondorp, ASLA VP of Education Scot Lautzenheiser, ASLA Treasurer Monica Schwanitz, ASLA Secretary John McCann, ASLA Member at Large Robert Gibbs, ASLA
Executive Director Derek Dalling MSU Student Representatives Jessica Pilon, Student ASLA Jonathan Doherty, Student ASLA U of M Student Representatives Katie Dennis, Student ASLA Chris Strasser, Student ASLA SITES: Editor and Layout Andrew McDowell, ASLA email@example.com Advertising Sales Joane Slusky, Associate ASLA firstname.lastname@example.org
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