DAA Weekly Reading List: New Campground at Powhatan State Park, Basements as Basins, & Turbine-Loving Animals

Dog with Newspaper - Blog Crop

What’s new and noteworthy this week in the engineering and design world? At Draper Aden Associates, we’re following these stories and think you should too!

Breaking Ground at Powhatan State Park

Powhatan Grounbreaking Blog CropPowhatan State Park, Virginia’s newest state park will soon have its first non-primitive campground, thanks in large part to DAA’s own Glenn Telfer, PE, LEED AP (DAA-Richmond). DAA was instrumental in the original design of the 1,600 acre state park by performing archaeological investigations, topographic surveys, wetlands delineation, stream assessments, and geotechnical investigations, in addition to providing environmental permitting, and the subsequent design of the basic park infrastructure that for allowed public access (including road, building, river access, and water and sewer designs). In leading the site design, Glenn Telfer helped craft a vibrant, ecologically-rich public gem a mere 20 minutes west of Richmond.

Last week, along with Governor McAuliffe and other instrumental DCR and State employees, Glenn broke ground on the new full amenities campground. Currently, the only camping available in the park is primitive and via canoe-access, but this new campground will be situated with plenty of road-access and parking. Nestled next to the James River, the campground will feature 30 RV hook-up ready campsites, a bath house, and several group tent camping sites. Even better, the campsites should be ready for campers as early as 2016, making Powhatan a must-visit for any adventurous Virginian.

Abandoned Basements or Stormwater Basins?

Landscape Architecture Magazine, July 2015

Landscape Architecture Magazine, July 2015

The city of Milwaukee is currently testing a revolutionary new stormwater management program that turns abandoned basements into stormwater basins. Dubbed “BaseTern,” the city aims to turn abandoned homes slated for demolition into rainwater harvesting structures—an innovative program that will not only save the city demolition fees, but also turn economically-depressed and flooded neighborhoods into drier greenspace (the basement basins will be covered with topsoil and grass—in effect turning each site into a parklet). Interested in reading more about the BaseTern project? Head over to Landscape Architecture Magazine for more details.

Hug a Turbine

For all of the worries about alternative energy’s threat to ocean animals (birds sucked into turbines, migration patterns disturbed, too much noise), it turns out that the bigger issue for offshore wind or wave turbines might be animals getting a little too comfy.

“Sea lions love to haul out on buoys. They love it, and so there’s a lot of engineering and design going into how do you shape this or coat this with Teflon so that a sea lion can’t hang out on it, because it would definitely affect the performance of an engineer-generating device if a sea lion was sitting on it.”

While wave energy converters are unlikely off the coast of Virginia or North Carolina in the near future, alternative sources of energy are constantly being researched and tested. At least, thankfully, we don’t have to compete with sea lions for efficient energy production!

To keep up-to-date on what we’re reading and sharing, follow our page on Facebook and Twitter.