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Taylor 28

Landscape Performance Benefits

Environmental

  • Sequesters 1,648 lbs of carbon annually in 40 new trees on a site previously devoid of trees. As the trees grow, carbon sequestration will increase.
  • Eliminates potable water use for landscape irrigation (onsite and right-of-way) and uses harvested rainwater in non-residential toilets, saving up to 122,000 gals annually.
  • Infiltrates all runoff generated on both the site and the public-realm pedestrian space, resulting in zero discharge to the combined sewer system for up to a 25-year storm event.
  • Transformed 20 feet of excess street width into a 38-ft wide, 15,000 sf pedestrian plaza, setting the design standard for all of Taylor Avenue.

At a Glance

  • Designer

    Mithun

  • Project Type

    Multi-family residence
    Retail

  • Former Land Use

    Greyfield

  • Location

    100 Taylor Ave N
    Seattle, Washington 98109

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  • Climate Zone

    Warm-summer Mediterranean

  • Size

    3.7 acres

  • Budget

    $38 million (building and site)

  • Completion Date

    2009

Taylor 28 ushers in a new era of vitality to an under-utilized urban zone. In Seattle’s urban core, more that 35% of open space is within the public right-of-way for the street network. By restoring more than 30% of a site that was devoid of trees and consisted almost entirely of impervious surfaces, this project supports a broader strategy to create livable, walkable and ecologically balanced commuities that concentrate growth within urban centers.

  • Over 7,500 sf of asphalt was replaced by landscape areas and high albedo paving, reducing the urban heat island effect. 40 new trees further shade and cool the area.
  • All runoff from the pedestrian zone is directed to one of 8 rain gardens, which vary in size from 100 sf to about 800 sf. The profile of each includes an infiltration gallery, which in some some cases extends beyond the perimeter of the planting area above.
  • Two areas of permeable concrete pavement (1,000 sf total) are located along the curb edge to capture rainwater that could not flow directly into the raingardens. This water is piped back to the raingardens for infiltration.
  • All rain falling on the building roof enters the hybird cistern/detention tank, which meets the City’s detention requirement for a 25-year storm. Stored water is used for non-residential toilet flushing and landscape irrigation in summer.
  • A “smart” irrigation system uses water stored in the cistern to irrigate all landscape areas, both onsite and in the public right-of-way.
  • High-performance LED pedestrian lighting was installed within the streetscape. The design took existing exterior street lighting into account to prevent excess lighting of the space and further reduce energy use.

Challenge

The project site was in an underdeveloped urban neighborhood with no clear identity and a lack of open space. The existing low-volume street was a 56 ft roadway with back-in angled parking along both sides. There was concern that increasing development in this part of the city would exacerbate problems with the combined sewer system.

Solution

Taylor 28 established the precedent for urban design in the area with the streetscape serving as a neighborhood identifier. Excess street width was converted into pedestrian oriented open space. Designers used a combination of right-of-way rain gardens and a roof rainwater harvesting system to prevent stormwater from enter the city’s overburdened combined sewer system.

By using a hybrid tank to meet the City’s detention requirement, the client was able to leverage the additional cost of incorporating rainwater reuse. It was determined that the added costs (for flow sensors, filters, piping and doubled supply pipe to the non-residential toilets) would be offset by the long-term water savings.

  • Collaboration among the design team members, various regulatory agencies, utilities and the developer was key throughout the development of the conceptual plan, overall site design, and specific construction details.
  • With careful planning and creativity, streetscape improvements can be designed around exisiting ROW utilities.

Project Team

Client: BRE Properties

Prime Consultant/Landscape Architect, Architect, Planner: Mithun, Inc. 

Building Envelope/Construction Administration: Cross 2 Design Group 

General Contractor: Compass General Construction

Role of the Landscape Architect

Integrated design team member from project beginning through completion. Led the coordination with the City for all streetscape and stormwater issues.

Topics

Land efficiency/preservation, Stormwater management, Water conservation, Carbon sequestration & avoidance, Bioretention, Efficient irrigation, Efficient lighting, High-albedo materials, Permeable paving, Rainwater harvesting, Trees, Placemaking

The LPS Case Study Briefs are produced by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), working in conjunction with designers and/or academic research teams to assess performance and document each project. LAF has no involvement in the design, construction, operation, or maintenance of the projects. See the Project Team tab for details. If you have questions or comments on the case study itself, contact us at (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

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