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Stormwater Retention? 100 Percent!
New Multi-Purpose Courtyard Garden Uses Permeable Pavement

by David Aquilina, Strategic Storyteller

Stormwater Retention? 100 Percent!

A retirement community in Worcester, Pennsylvania, features a re-designed and expanded courtyard garden. Design for Generations, LLC from Medford, New Jersey, and Eric's Nursery and Garden Center from Mt. Laurel, New Jersey shared credit for the improvement at Meadowood Senior Living. Their design included permeable pavement to comply with local and state stormwater retention requirements.


Meadowood Senior Living in Worcester, Pennsylvania, envisioned a transformation of the retirement community's central courtyard. Design for Generations, LLC from Medford, New Jersey, and Eric's Nursery and Garden Center out of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, designed and developed a resort-style outdoor space that is striking in its beauty and engaging in its varied features and amenities.

The new garden courtyard features a lap pool with a pool area that can be opened to the outdoors, a variety of seating areas and patios, walkways with a bridge along a stream with a waterfall, a spray jet fountain, kinetic sculptures, a fire pit, and an outdoor kitchen.

"Since its beginnings, Meadowood has been known for the exceptional beauty of our campus. In 2009, it was recognized by the Philadelphia Horticultural Society for its stunning natural beauty," said Shannon Grieb, vice president of marketing for the retirement community. "The old courtyard, however, was just a pass-through area, not an inviting destination in the heart of our park-like campus."



Stormwater Retention? 100 Percent!

The paths were overlaid with Porous Pave, a pour-in-place material that has 27 percent void space, allows up to 5,800 gallons of rainwater per hour per square foot to flow through and permeate down into the underlying aggregate base, and can be installed on grades up to 30 degrees.


Stormwater Retention? 100 Percent!

There are two rain gardens, 500 square feet and 350 square feet in size, which are also part of the site's stormwater management solution.


According to Grieb, for the baby boom generation, retirement and senior living are all about independence, life enrichment and quality lifestyle choices. They expect a wide range of active wellness and fitness options and facilities. They are interested in green space, sustainability, and beautiful outdoor spaces where they can enjoy nature and entertain family and friends.

"The old courtyard felt barren and rather lifeless," Jack Carman, FASLA, RLA, landscape architect at Design for Generations said. "It was hot and did not offer much shade or have enough seating, and there was not much to do or even to look at. Meadowood is evolving and adding more residential options and amenities to attract new and younger seniors. That's the goal that guided the transformation of the old space into the new multi-purpose courtyard garden."
Before construction could begin, the design team came up against regulations for 100 percent onsite stormwater retention. To satisfy the government requirements, the new garden courtyard includes 8,100 square feet of permeable pavement known as with Porous Pave XL, and made with 50 percent recycled rubber chips and 50 percent aggregate mixed on site with a liquid binder.



Stormwater Retention? 100 Percent!

Stormwater Retention? 100 Percent!

The amount of permeable pavement specified was 2,900 square feet in a red color for the recreation patio and 5,200 square feet in a tan color for walking paths. The depth of the pour was stipulated at 1.5" on top of a 4" to 6" base - depending on the amount needed to level paved surfaces - of dense graded aggregate ASTM 57.


"The project was required to capture and hold or permeate all water run off on the site," stated Christopher Kendzierski, LLA, commercial and residential landscape division manager for the project's landscape design-build contractor. "That is why it includes permeable pavement and two supplemental rain gardens."

"We had a long list of requirements in selecting a permeable paving material," said Carman. "Attractive with colors to complement the garden plan, sufficient porosity, non-slip and safe for seniors, less reflective glare than concrete, and a somewhat more forgiving surface comfortable for walking, outdoor fitness classes, and outside physical therapy sessions."





The project's building committee made site visits to evaluate the recommended permeable paving material. They visited Chanticleer, a public garden near Philadelphia, which completed its first installation with Porous Pave in 2013.

"The rainy day we went to Chanticleer was a terrible day to visit a public garden," remembered Jim Mangol, senior director of fitness and wellness at Meadowood. "But the rain gave us the chance to see the material's permeability. There were no puddles on the permeable pavement paths. We brought along a wheelchair, a walker and a folding chair to test them out. We came away convinced we had the right product for permeable paving."



As seen in LASN magazine, February 2019.



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September 20, 2019, 8:21 am PDT

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