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Project Title: Ecological Regeneration in the Urban Environment: Servicing our Communities with Former Service Stations Project Location (City & State): Lansing, MI Project Type: Reclamation of Brownfield Sites Project Statement: W ith increases in alternative fuels and nearly a seven percent decrease in operational service stations within the last ten years the United States may very well be faced with an abundance of this very common brownfield site. These sites can return to an integral part of our urban environments through proper reclamation, strong community interaction, the use of the site as an educational tool and the conversion and reutilization of the site and its elements. Project Narrative: Project Scope Create a design prototype through the affordable and environmentally friendly reclamation of gasoline service stations, taking into consideration the physical and biological methods of remediation towards common service station contaminants. Design Intent As a profession Landscape Architects strive to create a functional, sustainable, convenient and aesthetically pleasing environment. This can apply to new development or the adaptation of existing urban environments. The intent of this project is to return a commonly unutilized brownfield site back to an integral part of our neighborhood. This will be accomplished by presenting the idea of bioremediation as a community service as well as a source of community interaction. These sites will be seen not only as a community gathering place but a model for what a community can accomplish when they work together, as well as an educational tool to teach further generations the importance of sustainability and the natural environment. Site & Context Located in North Lansing, Michigan the focus area selected is typical of most urban environments. The area is roughly one and a half square miles and consists of single family residential, strips of commercial development, scattered neighborhood parks, as well as many churches, youth and community organizations. The site of study selected within the focus

area, is an abandoned gasoline service station. The service station is located less than one mile in proximity to two other service stations and is set in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Goals and Objectives Goal: Create a prototype design for the reclamation for a common Brownfield site. Objective1: Simple strategy for detoxification of service stations Standard A: Consider physical remediation Standard B: Consider biological remediation Objective2: Increase awareness of ecological restoration in the urban environment Standard A: Increase human interaction with site Standard B: Encourage human interaction with site Standard C: Educate community about remediation. Environmental Impacts Nearly half of the United States population lives in urban areas today; populations have grown from 55 million residents in 1950 to 141 million in 2000. The dramatic increase of populations and wasteful degradation of precious natural resource is not only unhealthy on our landscapes but on our lives as well. Through proper regulation and planning we can adjust the development of urban growth to create sustainable environments. With that in


mind there needs to be a progression towards the restoration and resilience of our urban environments for the human race to survive (Platt, 2004). From 1997 to 2007 there was over a 6% decrease in the number of operational service stations in the United States (US census bureau). W ith soaring gas prices and increases in alternative fuels it can be reasonably inferred that this trend will continue, leaving us with an abundance of contaminated sites which are so frequently right in our backyards. In order to reintroduce these toxic sites back into our neighborhoods as safe and usable spaces; a remediation strategy must be implemented. Traditional mechanical methods of remediation can become quite costly and sometimes up to 10 times more. Not only can they be more expensive but they require the utilization of excess energy. Take into consideration the traditional method of air sparging which injects oxygen into groundwater to vaporize contaminants which are then collected. This air flow may not be uniform thus uncontrolled movement of potentially dangerous vapors may be inhaled if you live in close proximity to the remediation site (EPA, 1994). By restoring natural process we are not adding any further stresses on the land nor are we consuming extra energy through manmade processes. Eliminating energy waste is the first step to creating sustainable urban environments. Restoration of natural processes in the urban environment not only has health benefits but social as well. It allows for community interaction and furthers knowledge in the importance of protecting our natural environment. Data Collection The key data collected when establishing a design solution includes but is not limited to:  Common contaminants of service stations o BTEX o Benzene, Toluene, EthylBenzene, Xylene o Lead (Pb) o MTBE o Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether o EDC o Ethylene Dichloride o Naphthalene  Costs and benefits of physical and biological remediation of common service station contaminants.

Distance of site to community services and organizations to help execute and maintain design solution. Consideration of Materials Plant Selection:  Eastern Cottonwood Poplar  Black Cottonwood Poplar  Simon's Poplar  Alfalfa  Common Osier  Sunflower  Switchgrass  Tall fescue  Red fescue  Sheep’s Fescue All plant materials chosen remove one or more of the most common contaminants found on service station site through the biological method of phyto-extraction, phyto-degradation, phyto-volatilization or phyto-stabilization. Hardscape:  Open Grid Pavers  Modular Green Roof Structure  Certified W ood  Insulated Glass All built environment materials chosen to conform to LEED Materials and Resources specifications. Design Implementation Remediation of Site Establish zones with highest need of remediation and apply reclamation technique of phytoremediation. Community Connectivity Create opportunity for community interaction through community gardening, public lawn space and easy access to public transportation. Repurpose Site & Site Elements Conversion and reutilization of existing site and its elements: such as the petroleum service station into an electric vehicle rapid charging station and the billboard into a rain water collection and storage tower. Site as an Educational Tool The use of the site to inform further generations of creating sustainable urban environments through informational signage about LEED credits and where they were applied, how phytoremediation works and the history of automotive fuel consumption.


site plan existing conditions

Located in Lansing Michigan the site is surrounded by commercial development to the north and a residential neighborhood to the south. To the east lays a bus stop the west a community garden and at the center a large billboard.


why service stations crunching the numbers

The choice of service stations for remediation was based on the three main factors above. If trends continue in this direction the obsolete service station will be a very common candidate for remediation.


why service stations costs & benefits


phytoremediation how does it work

Phytostabilization Contaminants can be immobilized by certain plants; this is accomplished by the absorption or accumulation of contaminants on the plants root structure‌ This process decreases the level of solubility and mobility of contaminants in the soil.


phytoremediation how does it work

Phytodegradation Contaminants are absorbed through the plants root structure and are broken down by enzymes in the soil or through photosynthetic oxidation‌ This process leaves contaminants in the soil inert or breaks them down to a simplified state where a plant can absorb them.


phytoremediation how does it work

Phytovolitilization Contaminants which are water soluble are absorbed through the plants root structure and then released into the atmosphere through transpiration‌ This process can break down contaminants as they flow through the plant before they are simply evaporated into the air.


phytoremediation how does it work

Phytoextraction Contaminants, usually hard metals, are absorbed and stored by the plants biomass‌ This process turns the plant into a storage container for contaminants and the plant’s biomass must be harvested and disposed of as special waste seasonally.


site analysis leed sustainability

Material diversion Roughly 48,006 cu. Ft. of concrete Typical weight of concrete = 150 lbs/cu. Ft. 3,266 tons at 50% = 1,613 tons recycled Plan to divert minimum of 50% of concrete (leed credit – New Construction v2.2 MRc2: construction & waste management)


site analysis leed sustainability

2 main zones of remediation - green Location of fuel tanks Location of fuel pumps Existing service station - red retain 75% of structure (leed – New Construction MRc1.1-1.2: Building Reuse) Existing billboard - red Plan to retain main column


site plan site solution

Prototype solution for the remediation of a service station. Incorporating final design solutions such as Remediation of Site, Community Connectivity, Opportunity for community interaction, the Repurposing of the Site & Site Elements and the use of the Site as an Educational Tool.


site plan remediation

Areas of remediation established in zones building off of each other from volatilization to extraction to degradation and all bounded by stabilization. 1 – volatilization alfalfa 2 – extraction Common osier sunflower 3 – degradation Fescues switchgrass 4 – stabilization poplars


site plan community interaction

east figure

west figure

west figure: Community center Public meetings Youth organizations Green roof SSc7.2: Heat island effect (roof) Bus stop SSc4.1: Public transportation access

east figure: Public lawn Relaxation Recreation Gathering space Community garden Expansion of existing garden Promote community involvement


site plan repurpose

Rain water collection Converted billboard to water collection tower Storm management Permeable pathways Reflecting pool SSc6.1-6.2: Storm water design Alternative energy Electric fueling stations for 12 vehicles SSc4.3: promote use of low emitting fuel efficient vehicle


site plan educational tool

the site as a whole can be treated as a tool for education but the main source for visitors would be from Informational signage around the site displaying: Leed credits and where they were applied How phytoremediation works Process What is occurring on site History of automotive fuel consumption Where it began and where it is going


site plan vision of site

before

after

The vision for the transformation of the site from a service station to an interactive, educational, remediated and repurposed piece of our urban environment

Retrofitting Former Service Stations  

This project entails the research and design of the reconfiguration of a common brownfield site.

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