The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center in New York. Courtesy Weiss/Manfredi.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center



We provided site/civil and structural engineering services for a new visitor center and entry plaza for welcoming, orienting, and educating visitors at one central location. The program includes a lobby, offices, retail and exhibition space, cafe, restrooms, two outdoor plazas and landscaping. Access points were provided from the building to the adjacent hillside 20 feet above the building, and grades accommodate new paths and relocation of numerous underground utilities. Transportation also designed the paving, grading, stormwater management, and utility routing. The firm provided stormwater management and drainage design and calculations for NYS Department of Environmental Conservation SWPPP/SPDES General Permit application and LEED credits 6.1 and 6.2 for Water Quantity and Quality Control. Stormwater was managed onsite by use of a green roof and infiltration basins. We also created a Master Plan, requested by the NYCDEP, and received certification.

The green roof installation took a month of soil dispersal, planting, and watering. Approximately 40,000 plants were used to create the 10,000 square-foot meadow on the Visitor Center’s green roof. Benefits of the green roof include reducing heat island effect to help keep the building cool, therefore reducing energy costs, as well as stormwater management benefits, in the form of evapotranspiration and stormwater storage within the green roof’s soil media. Two infiltration basins are on-site to collect and treat stormwater runoff from plaza areas. The infiltration basins allow for enhanced stormwater quality, groundwater recharge through infiltration, and stormwater runoff reduction in the form of evapotranspiration and evaporation. The use of green infrastructure in this project was very befitting for the garden setting. Not only does it serve a functional purpose, but it also helps to enhance the aesthetics and blends in with the surrounding garden.

LEED Gold, green roof, ACEC National Honor Award winner
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