Posts tagged with "Stormwater Management":

Green Roof Professional Training Course – New York City

Green Roof Professional 3 - day Training course (taken together, or a la carte) February 28th - March 2nd , 2018 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Green Roof Design and Installation Wednesday, February 28th 2018 Green Roof Design and Installation provides the latest information on green roof benefits, technical standards, product innovations, and design and installation best practices. It presents tools and techniques needed to meet green roof project objectives on schedule, to specification, and within budget.
Location: TBD
Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage Thursday, March 1st 2018 This course will provide participants with an overview of waterproofing and drainage construction and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It lays out technical vocabulary and materials and presents detailed design solutions and implementation best management practices for waterproofing and drainage in green roofs.
Location: TBD
Green Roof Plants and Growing Media Friday, March 2nd 2018 This course will provide participants with an overview of plants and growing media design considerations and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It establishes design and implementation best management practices for plants and growing media in green roofs.
Interagency Council (AIC)
150 West 30th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Space is limited. Reserve your seat now.
Tuition: Green Roof Design and Installation - $499 before January 28th, $524 starting January 29th. Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage - $399 before January 28th, $424 starting January 29th. Green Roof Plants and Growing Media - $399 before January 28th, $424 starting January 29th. GRHC members receive an additional $25 discount on each course. If paying by check, please note it must be received in our office no later than one week before the event. Registrations may be canceled by a participant up to THREE DAYS prior to the event, and will incur a $50 cancellation fee per course. We regret that we cannot cancel a registration after that point.
Continuing Education Credits: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is an approved continuing education provider with USGBC/GBCI, AIA CES, LA CES, APLD, BOMI and RCI. Earn up to 7.5 Continuing Education (Professional Development) Hours per course.

Green Roof Professional Training Course – New York City

Green Roof Professional 3 - day Training course (taken together, or a la carte) February 28th - March 2nd , 2018 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Green Roof Design and Installation Wednesday, February 28th 2018 Green Roof Design and Installation provides the latest information on green roof benefits, technical standards, product innovations, and design and installation best practices. It presents tools and techniques needed to meet green roof project objectives on schedule, to specification, and within budget.
Location: TBD
Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage Thursday, March 1st 2018 This course will provide participants with an overview of waterproofing and drainage construction and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It lays out technical vocabulary and materials and presents detailed design solutions and implementation best management practices for waterproofing and drainage in green roofs.
Location: TBD
Green Roof Plants and Growing Media Friday, March 2nd 2018 This course will provide participants with an overview of plants and growing media design considerations and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It establishes design and implementation best management practices for plants and growing media in green roofs.
Interagency Council (AIC)
150 West 30th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Space is limited. Reserve your seat now.
Tuition: Green Roof Design and Installation - $499 before January 28th, $524 starting January 29th. Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage - $399 before January 28th, $424 starting January 29th. Green Roof Plants and Growing Media - $399 before January 28th, $424 starting January 29th. GRHC members receive an additional $25 discount on each course. If paying by check, please note it must be received in our office no later than one week before the event. Registrations may be canceled by a participant up to THREE DAYS prior to the event, and will incur a $50 cancellation fee per course. We regret that we cannot cancel a registration after that point.
Continuing Education Credits: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is an approved continuing education provider with USGBC/GBCI, AIA CES, LA CES, APLD, BOMI and RCI. Earn up to 7.5 Continuing Education (Professional Development) Hours per course.

Green Roof Professional Training Course – New York City

Green Roof Professional 3 - day Training course (taken together, or a la carte) February 28th - March 2nd , 2018 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Green Roof Design and Installation Wednesday, February 28th 2018 Green Roof Design and Installation provides the latest information on green roof benefits, technical standards, product innovations, and design and installation best practices. It presents tools and techniques needed to meet green roof project objectives on schedule, to specification, and within budget.
Location: TBD
Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage Thursday, March 1st 2018 This course will provide participants with an overview of waterproofing and drainage construction and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It lays out technical vocabulary and materials and presents detailed design solutions and implementation best management practices for waterproofing and drainage in green roofs.
Location: TBD
Green Roof Plants and Growing Media Friday, March 2nd 2018 This course will provide participants with an overview of plants and growing media design considerations and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It establishes design and implementation best management practices for plants and growing media in green roofs.
Interagency Council (AIC)
150 West 30th Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Space is limited. Reserve your seat now.
Tuition: Green Roof Design and Installation - $499 before January 28th, $524 starting January 29th. Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage - $399 before January 28th, $424 starting January 29th. Green Roof Plants and Growing Media - $399 before January 28th, $424 starting January 29th. GRHC members receive an additional $25 discount on each course. If paying by check, please note it must be received in our office no later than one week before the event. Registrations may be canceled by a participant up to THREE DAYS prior to the event, and will incur a $50 cancellation fee per course. We regret that we cannot cancel a registration after that point.
Continuing Education Credits: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is an approved continuing education provider with USGBC/GBCI, AIA CES, LA CES, APLD, BOMI and RCI. Earn up to 7.5 Continuing Education (Professional Development) Hours per course.
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L.A. to fund “green street” and other stormwater projects in Watts neighborhood

Los Angeles County has agreed to fund $4 million in stormwater improvement projects including a “green street” to capture and treat urban runoff in South L.A.’s Watts neighborhood. The funding comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Los Angeles Waterkeeper against the Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District from back in 2008. The lawsuit sought to hold the two entities liable for almost 500 violation of the local Clean Water Act permit along the watersheds for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. In a statement accompanying the ruling, Steve Fleischli, senior attorney and NRDC water program director, described the current lack of water treatment strategy as a wasted opportunity, saying, “For years, the urban slobber that’s picked up by rainwater as it flows into drains and waterways has been a real issue for Southern California – a source of pollution that’s also an underutilized supply of reusable water if it’s captured before it picks up all these pollutants.” The coming improvements will include $1.2 million in funding for residential stormwater retrofit projects designed to hold, filter, and store stormwater runoff before it becomes contaminated by street-borne pollutants in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The program will install so-called “distributed-infrastructure” measures like rain gardens, cisterns, and green roofs on residential sites in these areas to help achieve these goals. A major aspect of the initiative will focus on improving Watts’s 103rd Street corridor, a stretch of the city also known as “Charcoal Alley” that was heavily damaged in the 1965 Watts Uprising, via public right-of-way improvements. The strip will receive a series of upgrades aimed at filtering and sequestering stormwater runoff, as well, including the addition of bioswales, installing porous pavement, planting new street trees, including drought-tolerant and native landscaping, and other parkway improvements in an effort to filter water before it reaches the Los Angeles River. The L.A. River flows with a mix of treated wastewater and stormwater runoff and dumps directly into the Pacific Ocean. A design team has not been named for the projects, but the ruling shines a light on South L.A.’s relative dislocation from the larger L.A. River restoration measures currently underway and represents a positive shift in terms of design equity for the project.
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Detroit engages with its community to solve its raw sewage and storm water problem

The City of Detroit is solving one of its major problems with the help of one of its other problems. Detroit is experiencing combined sewer overflow, a messy, and often downright dangerous event that happens every time it rains too much. But by leveraging the abundant city-owned vacant land, Detroit may have found a way to alleviate at least some of the overflow.

Detroit, like many cities its size, has a combined sewage and rainwater sewer system. This means that when it rains, water is flushed into the same pipes that lead to the city’s sewage treatment plant. But when it rains too much, this system can be overwhelmed, leading to massive discharges of untreated sewage into the waterways around the city. These sewer overflows pollute the Great Lakes and often flood residents’ basements with sewage. The raw sewage, filled with bacteria, chemicals, and prescription drug waste, also contributes to dangerous algae blooms in Lake Erie (though soil erosion and fertilizer runoff are also major causes).

In cities like Chicago and Milwaukee, which have partial or fully combined sewer systems, there are epic underground caverns and reservoirs to tackle the overflows. Detroit has been catching up, investing approximately $1 billion in new wastewater treatment facilities that have reduced the volume of its sewer overflows by 90 to 95 percent on average.

To take care of the rest, Detroit is turning to a more grassroots approach. One of the major issues of rainwater in any city is that so much of the ground is impermeable, forcing the water into drains instead of just soaking into the earth. As the City of Detroit controls nearly half of the land within the city limits, it has decided to actively ensure this land is permeable. Aside from simply breaking up many square miles of surface pavement, the city is working with communities to build bioswales, rain gardens, and marshlands. 

Joan Nassauer, a landscape architect and University of Michigan professor, has already implemented a set of aggressive water retention prototypes. Working with a team of university researchers, she devised a system that is now in a pilot phase. After the Detroit Land Bank demolishes homes, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department excavates the large holes formerly occupied by the houses’ basements, fills them with sand and stones, and tops them with hardy, short plants. Each resulting bioretention garden collects stormwater from the street, stopping it from entering the overburdened drains. 

For Nassauer, the gardens presented quite a design challenge: Her experiences taught her that green infrastructure in financially-stressed neighborhoods is successful and accepted by the community when it looks well-kept. So the gardens had to be low maintenance without looking wild. Moreover, an overgrown garden might create visibility and safety concerns. The plant varities Nassauer selected—such as St. John's wort, bergamot, coneflower, yarrow—are all showy but short: They remain visually appealing without growing too tall and requiring attention. Four test sites were built in Detroit’s Warrendale neighborhood; each can hold over 300,000 gallons of storm water per year. 

In legacy cities like Detroit, Nassauer said, there’s simultaneously an “opportunity to design super-efficient green infrastructure and immediately make people’s neighborhoods better places....” But much hinges on political will: In Detroit, Nassauer’s challenge to coordinate among institutions was greatly aided the mayor’s office and political climate. “There are political forces and a lot of citizen energy [going] toward taking Detroit to a new level of desirability for a place to live and work,” she said.

Along with Nassauer’s prototypes, the city’s flood mitigation plan is heavily based on the 2012 report Detroit Future City. Among other things, the report recommended changing the way the city thinks about infrastructure. Rather than focusing on hard infrastructure—roads, sewers, bridges—the report encouraged “landscapes as infrastructure.” The benefits of the plan are varied, but one of the main advantages is the community-based nature of improvements. Not only can the public see the improvements, but they are able to enact their own changes within the system. Multiple nonprofits have taught residents how to construct rain gardens, while other groups already working in vacant lots to cultivate land for food production. More formal projects by the city include permeable sidewalks and streets, improvements that can be made when streets are already in need of repair.

Detroit has set a goal of 2029 to reform its water situation. It is not expected that this plan will completely solve the city’s issue, but it represents a positive shift in its relationship with its sewer system. And who wouldn’t prefer a flowering rain garden to sewage-filled waterways?

This article was part of our Oct. 12 issue which focused on how water is shaping today’s landscape architecture and urbanism. Communities face deluges and droughts—for some, the stakes can be survival itself, but others see opportunities for decadence. To explore these stories from around the U.S. and the world, click here.
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Chicago digs deep to fight flooding, but the city’s geology may provide another solution

When it rains, Chicago faces challenges from above and below: With 25 percent of the city paved-over, rain can't reach the soil and absorb the onslaught of water. An aging and under-capacity sewer system causes regular flooding and even sewage discharge into nearby water bodies. The challenge is immense—for Chicago, one inch of rainfall equals four billion gallons. Until recently Chicago’s answer to the problem has been an infrastructure project no less than epic—read costly—in scale. But one landscape architect is leading an effort to change how the city can unlock its hidden potential for storm water management. Chicago’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP), also known as the Deep Tunnel Project, is the latest in the city’s massive water projects. Following in the footsteps of extensive canal digging around the turn of the 19th century, the TARP is a 50-year project that started in 1975. Completed 19 years ago, phase one of the project includes over 100 miles of tunnels ranging up to 33 feet in diameter. These tunnels are reservoirs for over two billion gallons of sewage overflow, waiting to be treated. Surface reservoirs are planned to hold another 15 billion gallons when the project is complete in 2029. In the past 30 years, the project has had some success in mitigating the situation, but at a cost of $3 billion so far. Some feel there is another, more immediate way to help at the neighborhood level. Mary Pat McGuire, landscape architect and assistant professor at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, has been working with her students, geologists and coastal researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey to map porous, naturally occurring sand deposits located just under Chicago’s surface that could absorb rainfall. To find the best test sites for anti-flooding interventions, McGuire is matching the deposits, located along the Lake Michigan shoreline and running up to 25 feet deep, with heavily paved areas that flood frequently. Next, she aims to find local partners—likely community advocacy groups—who will support her to implement design prototypes that could include de-paving, installing dry wells and monitoring equipment, and even introducing new absorbent materials. What would such an intervention look like? "Pattern is going to be an important way for people to recognize that something is happening there…[that] it's not an accident." Abandoned or underused sites could also take up a variety of public programming over time. But first and foremost, "the ultimate goal [is] designing water where it falls."
Even with the massive TARP project underway, parts of Chicago may not be getting the desperate attention they need when it comes to flooding. According to McGuire, “first Chicago” gets more preferential treatment while other areas are neglected (as documented by flood insurance claims). “There's an inequity in terms of the ways [city government] is dealing with the situation." She believes community organizers and alderman in affected areas will need to push for on-the-ground solutions. “If Chicagoans understood the cause of their regular and widespread flooding,” she added, “They might rise up and say 'City, you're not providing enough public works for us.'" She argued that working back into the paved surface across the City would alleviate problems for all, including overflows into the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
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DEP and NRDC partner to expand NYC’s Green Infrastructure Program

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is partnering with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to expand the city’s already extensive Green Infrastructure Program. The City is working under a Clean Water Act consent order to manage the first inch of rainwater on 10 percent of the city’s impervious surfaces by 2030. In order to meet those goals, the DEP is realizing the importance of broadening their scope and finding opportunities on both private and public land. Stormwater management is key to maintaining the health of New York’s waterways, as heavy rains can overburden city sewers and lead to overflows that pollute the city’s canals and rivers. Eliminating overflows is a key step in maintaining the stipulations of the Clean Water Act, which was introduced in 1972 to curb pollution. The program has already been responsible for the installation of more than 1,000 curbside rain gardens (also known as bioswales) throughout Brooklyn and Queens, which have helped to reduce sewage overflows into Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal.On public property the benefits of green infrastructure is obvious. In addition to reducing flooding and sewer overflows, the installation of rain gardens and green roofs improves air quality for residents and beautifies streetscapes. Now, they’re setting their sights on private property in order to manage rainfall that lands places other than city streets. The DEP is collaborating with the NRDC to find the right incentives that will convince private property owners to install green roofs or porous pavements, which means establishing an economic benefit to managing stormwater.“We know [the DEP] can source green infrastructure on private property, and that many of those opportunities are lower-cost than comparable stormwater capture on public land,” says Valderrama. “The puzzle for us is how to structure the program so that it’s a win for private property owners and vendors so that those low-cost retrofit opportunities are brought to the table.” This will be especially important on areas being used for commercial and industrial purposes. “It all comes down to the program structure,” said Alisa Valderrama, senior policy analyst at the NRDC. “What we’re trying to do here is create a market where there is none.” The NRDC has also worked with the cities of Seattle and Philadelphia on green infrastructure programs for managing stormwater. In the case of Philadelphia, the city builds the cost of treating stormwater into residents’ water bill based on the amount of impervious surfaces on the property. In this way, porous pavements and rain gardens provide an immediate economic benefit in the form of a greatly reduced fee. Collected stormwater can be used for green facades and urban farming, providing an additional benefit to reducing stress on water treatment systems. As technology improves and cities like New York establish a market for green infrastructure on private property, initiatives like this will likely continue to evolve and grow with benefit to both residents and the environment.
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Meet The Green Line: How Perkins Eastman would remake Broadway through Manhattan into a 40-block linear park

By now, the "Bilbao Effect" is metonymy for a culture-led revitalization of a postindustrial city driven by a single institution housed in a starchitect-designed complex. The wild success of Manhattan's High Line generates regional seismic effects—the Lowline, the QueensWay, and the Lowline: Bronx Edition all cite the high queen of linear parks as their inspiration. Upping the ante, Perkins Eastman unfurls the Green Line, a plan to convert one of New York's busiest streets into a park. The Green Line would overtake Broadway for 40 blocks, from Columbus Circle to Union Square, connecting Columbus Circle, Times Square, Herald Square, Madison Square, and Union Square with pedestrian and cyclists' paths. Except for emergency vehicles, automobiles would be banned from the Green Line. The proposal has precedent in Bloomberg-era "rightsizing" of Broadway. Traffic calming measures closed Times Square to cars, increased the number of pedestrian-only spaces, and installed bike lanes along Broadway, reducing vehicular traffic overall. In conversation with Dezeen, Perkins Eastman principal Jonathan Cohn noted that "green public space is at a premium in the city, and proximity to it is perhaps the best single indicator of value in real estate. [The] Green Line proposes a new green recreational space that is totally integrated with the form of the city." Value, moreover, isn't linked exclusively to price per square foot. Replacing two miles of asphalt with bioswales and permeable paving could help regulate stormwater flow for the city's overburdened stormwater management infrastructure. Right now, rain falling to the west of Broadway discharges, untreated, into the Hudson, while east of Broadway, stormwater gushes straight into the Hudson. What do you think: is the Green Line on Broadway feasible, or totally fantastical?    
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Along the Gowanus Canal, dlandstudio’s Sponge Park will soon be ready to soak up polluted water

You won't be able to drink from it anytime soon, but the fetid, toxic shores of the Gowanus Canal will soon be graced with a new park that filters stormwater as it enters the canal. Designed by Brooklyn's dlandstudio in partnership with the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park will be an 18,000 square foot public space on city-owned land, where Second Street meets the canal. Due to the canal's Superfund status, multiple federal, state, and city agencies are involved in environmental remediation, on and offshore (see diagram below). The $1.5 million project is publicly and privately funded: New York-based Lightstone Group will bankroll a boat launch for the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club. The developers are planning a 700 unit residential high rise adjacent to the park. Initiated in 2008, the project stalled for seven years as funding was secured. dlandstudio chose plants for their ability to filter out biological toxins from sewage, heavy metals, and other pollutants that overwhelm the canal, especially when it rains. Floating wetlands adjacent to shore will filter runoff further. Due to the canal's Superfund status, multiple federal, state, and city agencies are involved in environmental remediation, on and offshore (see diagram above). The first phase of the park is expected to open early 2016. State and local officials plan for the Sponge Park to be part of a network of green space that will mitigate flood risk while cleaning incoming stormwater.
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Detroit gets its feet wet with “blue infrastructure”

Detroit's Water & Sewerage Department hopes an experiment in so-called blue infrastructure will help the cash-strapped city stop flushing money down the drain. The Detroit Free Press reported that a pilot project in the far east side area of Jefferson Village will divert stormwater runoff into a series of small wetlands and pieces of green infrastructure to reduce the pressure on an overloaded city sewer system. Such experiments in alternative stormwater management could save owners of large, impervious surfaces like parking lots tens of thousands of dollars each year in forgone drainage fees, while the city could save millions by scaling back or scrapping expensive, "gray infrastructure" investments like newer sewer pipes. But the plan, which is expected to be ready in a few months, is not a done deal, writes John Gallagher in the Detorit Free Press:
It is by no means a simple problem to solve. Multiple licenses and approvals would be needed from a variety of agencies, including the city itself, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and others. But there is great enthusiasm among experts for trying the experiment. Blue infrastructure is a key recommendation of the Detroit Future City visionary framework and has been much talked about in recent years, but nothing of this magnitude has been done so far in Detroit. So far, "blue infrastructure" in metro Detroit has meant the creation of porous parking lots and so-called "green alleys" that allow rain and snowmelt to filter down into the ground beneath instead of running off into sewers.
Across the nation urbanists and landscape designers are embracing innovative stormwater capture and retention techniques as concerns over climate change, flooding and drought collide with a renewed interest in public spaces and site design.
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EPA picks 5 cities to join green infrastructure program

Five state capitals will get help from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop green infrastructure that could help mitigate the cost of natural disasters and climate changeResiliency, whether it be in the context of global warming or natural and manmade catastrophes, has become a white-hot topic in the design world, especially since Superstorm Sandy battered New York City in 2012. EPA selected the following cities for this year's Greening America's Capitals program through a national competition: Austin, Texas; Carson City, Nev.; Columbus, Ohio; Pierre, S.D.; and Richmond, Va. Since 2010, 18 capitals and Washington, D.C. have participated in the program, which is administered by the EPA in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In each city, EPA will provide technical assistance to help design and build infrastructure that uses natural systems to manage stormwater. Here's a bit on each of the new projects via EPA:
· Austin, Texas, will receive assistance to create design options to improve pedestrian and bike connections in the South Central Waterfront area, and to incorporate green infrastructure that reduces stormwater runoff and localized flooding, improves water quality, and increases shade. · Carson City, Nev., will receive assistance to improve William Street, a former state highway that connects to the city's downtown. The project will help the city explore how to incorporate green infrastructure through the use of native plants, and to enhance the neighborhood's economic vitality. · Columbus, Ohio, will receive assistance to develop design options for the Milo-Grogan neighborhood that use green infrastructure to improve stormwater quality, reduce flooding risks, and encourage walking and cycling. · Pierre, S.D., will receive assistance to redesign its historic main street, South Pierre, in a way that uses green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff and improve resiliency to extreme climate conditions. · Richmond, Va., will receive assistance to design options for more parks and open spaces, and to incorporate green infrastructure to better manage stormwater runoff on Jefferson Avenue, a street which serves as the gateway to some of Richmond's oldest and most historic neighborhoods.  
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Product> Liquid Assets: Best Water Management Tools

Water has been called the oil of the 21st century. Whether too much (Exhibit A: Hurricane Sandy) or too little (Exhibit B: California, Texas, and the Southwest), conserving, cleaning, and controlling it has never been a higher priority for architects and their clients. From rooftops to underground, these innovative systems and products work to make the most of every drop.  Eco-Optiloc Unilock The L-shape format of this permeable paver ensures a superior lock-up that can withstand the pressure of the heaviest commercial loads. Small voids between units provide drainage into a sub-base. Custom colors available. StormTank Brentwood Industries An economic alternative to crushed stone or pipe chamber systems, this flexible system can be deployed for infiltration, detention, reuse, and pretreatment purposes. Cudo Water Storage System Oldcastle Stormwater Solutions Boasting 95 percent capacity, these snap-together components can be assembled to accommodate various configurations of pipelines and flow channels. Grasscrete, Molded-Pulp Former Bowmanite For constructing on-grade areas of pervious surfaces, these single-use forms are made of 100 percent recycled paper and are biodegradable. GeoPave Presto Geosystems A herringbone grid of recycled, high-density polyethylene cells with mesh bottoms provides stability for aggregate surfaces while acting as a natural, on-site stormwater management system. SkyScape Vegetated Roof System Firestone Building Products This pre-grown vegetated roof system integrates filter fabric, drainage panels, and geotextile into a single, labor-saving roll. Sedum mats use regional-specific cultivars. Rainwater Hog HOG Works Slim and modular, these rainwater collection tanks can be installed vertically or horizontally. Fabricated of food-grade polyethylene, the 50-gallon containers are UV-stabilized and impervious to light. Rainstore3 Invisible Structures A modular, stackable structure used to store stormwater underground, it exceeds H-20 loading standards, allowing construction of driving areas and parking lots above the system.