This post is authored by Sherwood blogging intern, and UC Davis Graduate student, Heather Sprague.
Despite what the beautiful picture to the left may imply, this is not a blog about my summer vacation. I have the pleasure of conducting research on Lake Tahoe for my Master’s thesis at UC Davis. My group is under the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC), which you may remember from Jessica’s post about volunteering at our Children’s Environmental Science Day! Though my project focuses more on physical processes within the lake, I am also interested in the water quality management practices in the basin. The watershed that drains into Lake Tahoe is quite small compared to the size of the lake. In fact, the watershed only encompasses about 500 square miles – an area less than three times larger than the surface area of the lake itself. Tahoe’s famous clarity is a result of this unique hydrologic system and the fact that over 78% of the watershed area is publicly managed forest land. It is the developed region around the lake that has contributed to the decline of water clarity in the last fifty years (see graph below). It is thus our duty to better manage runoff in this area in order to protect the pristine nature of the lake. Doing so, however, has proven to be a difficult task, especially in the midst of the current drought.
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Working on a team with lead architect EHDD, Tipping Mar and Integral Group Sherwood helped to design the new headquarters of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which sits in downtown Los Altos, California. Sherwood worked with the team to design multiple sustainable systems, including rainwater harvesting, green streets, stormwater infiltration and treatment, and pedestrian-friendly circulation. Sherwood was also responsible for sustainable systems integration, grading and drainage design, site utility design, and deconstruction all the way through construction. As part of this project, a 550-foot length of public street was redesigned to include rain gardens adjacent to the street that will treat road runoff, and four surface parking lots were retrofitted with vegetated swales and infiltration basins to treat stormwater runoff. Read the rest of this entry »
In The Economist’s September issue, “Flushed with pride” highlights the work that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is doing to bring safe, affordable toilets to the 40% of the world’s population that lacks access to basic sanitation. “Each year, 1.5 million children die from diarrhea. Better toilets could reduce the death toll.” (Flushed). The Foundation’s mission aligns with more than one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. MDG #4 seeks to reduce child mortality, and though the number of child deaths is falling, poor sanitation is still al leading contributor to child death rates today. MDG #7 aims to halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Read the rest of this entry »
This morning, a group of Sherwood engineers were given a tour of the Living Machine® wastewater treatment system at the new headquarters of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The new headquarters building is a model of innovation and sustainable design, from its energy efficiency, to water reuse, to ecological and environmental benefits. Living Machine® Technology treats and reuses wastewater by incorporating plants and beneficial bacteria with innovative engineering. Based on the principles of wetland ecology, the tidal process cleans water, making the Living Machine® extremely energy-efficient and allowing the system to produce reclaimed water that meets high-quality reuse standards. Read the rest of this entry »
Sherwood collaborated with Woods Bagot and Hargreaves Associates on the master plan concept for China Southern Airport City, a 400-hectare, mixed-use development integrating business, manufacturing, residential, and cultural amenities within a comprehensive open space network that supports recreational opportunity and bolsters ecological vitality. Sherwood’s role was Master Engineer for the site focusing on site energy, water, and ecological system design with goals of Zero Net energy and Zero Net water use. In addition to full site utility infrastructure design and comprehensive stormwater management, Sherwood collaborated on the design of onsite graywater treatment wetlands, and a “necklace” of lakes which serve to cleanse stormwater and repair the site ecology. Read the rest of this entry »
Sherwood is working on a project with Presidio Trust Transportation Department and GGNPC to improve San Francisco’s Lincoln Boulevard. The project entails widening and improvements related to integrated bike paths, as well as safety measures such as creating consistent road and shoulder widths. Read the rest of this entry »
Sherwood worked with Nelson Nygaard to complete the design of a multi-block green streets project located at the edge of Santa Monica’s border with Venice, CA. The design implements a woonerf style livable street by incorporating multifunctional urban stormwater best management practices as well as low impact design philosophies into a pedestrian friendly design. Read the rest of this entry »
The Haihe Riverfront Ribbon Park is in Tianjin, south of Beijing. Sherwood is working with Hargreaves Associates and the city of Tianjin to produce design development documents of a new park along the Haihe River, the first of over ten miles of parkland that will provide the most significant open space for this rapidly expanding 11 million person city. We are providing services toward wetland creation; water reuse; stormwater management and riparian protection. Read the rest of this entry »
2011 was a great year for Sherwood Design Engineers’ sister non-profit organization, The Sherwood Institute. The Institute is growing, both in terms of the number of volunteers working for its causes and its profile. Sherwood Design Engineers has made a big investment in the institute, and we are excited for 2012 but we still need your help making our projects come to life.
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