|Project Name||1307 West Highland, Denton, Texas 76021|
|Owner:||University of North Texas|
|Architect:||Jacobs and Ennead (formerly Polshek Partnership Architects)|
|Landscape Architect:||Caye Cook & Associates|
|General Contractor:||Hunt Construction Group|
|General Facts:||TXI’s TruGro® was used to amend 2 acres of heavy clay soils at the Business Leadership Building and adjacent landscape.|
Business students will be welcomed at the University of North Texas by a new Business Leadership Building. At 180,000 square feet, this new building accommodates four times the number of students and contains traditional and “smart” classrooms, multimedia learning laboratories, distance learning facilities, a café, study and tutor rooms, and offices for faculty and administrative staff. The building is expected to receive gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which means it met strict standards for design and construction.
Managing poor soils in the landscape was a concern for Caye Cook and Associates, designers of the 2+ acres surrounding the new building and adjacent parking structure. Not only were the soils heavy in clay, they were also compacted by machinery in the demolition of the two buildings and a parking lot originally constructed on site. In consultation with the university, the design team established a system to rejuvenate the soils in the turf and landscape planting areas. The general process included:
In addition to the new soil media, a drip irrigation system, 8 layers newsprint for weed blocker and mulch were added to improve the growing conditions, reduce the need for frequent irrigation and slow evaporation, and restrict the growth of competitive weeds. The roof top on-structure garden area used a blended mix of expanded shale with washed concrete sand and acid compost and had similar drip irrigation and topdressing applications for retention of moisture and reduction of irrigation water.
TXI’s expanded clay is a favorite of landscape architects on projects with clay soils because it’s fired in a kiln at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit transforming into an inert, inorganic and extremely durable aggregate. And unlike other amendments, it will not float, decompose, or introduce foreign pathogens. When used with a well-aged organic it promotes:
Not only is expanded shale used in turf and landscape bed development, the lightweight material is also recommended in mixes for container plantings, rooftop gardens, and bioretention area.
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