Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Design Awards

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Nine finalists compete for $10,000 top prize in national design competition showcasing innovative designs for green stormwater infrastructure

The Philadelphia Water Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Community Design Collaborative will host the Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Design Awards on Thursday, March 7 from 6 to 9 PM at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, located at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA.

Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! design competition challenged designers, engineers and other sustainability professionals to show how green stormwater infrastructure can transform Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The competition focused on three sites located in Philadelphia, each representing a unique urban stormwater management challenge.

Nine finalist teams have been chosen by a jury of experts in the fields of design, engineering, sustainability and community development to present their ideas at the Design Awards. Three winners, one for each competition site, will each receive $10,000 prizes.

The innovative designs generated by the competition will serve as prototypes for green stormwater infrastructure projects, illustrate the potential for public/private partnerships and aid property owners in seeing the return on investment.

"This is another example of how Philadelphians can build a green urban culture using innovative stormwater management solutions for commercial, industrial, and residential construction sites," remarked Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug. “By forging partnerships within the design community, we are cultivating a green legacy for future generations."

The design competition is part of Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up!—an 18-month partnership of the Philadelphia Water Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative to revitalize urban neighborhoods through the adoption of green stormwater management in the Philadelphia region. These methods are outlined in Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia’s $2 billion, 25-year plan to protect and enhance the city’s waterways by managing stormwater primarily through innovative green stormwater infrastructure.

Beth Miller, executive director of the Community Design Collaborative, says, “We wanted to bring creative, interdisciplinary thinking with a strong design focus to this critical issue. The design competition generated a total of 28 submissions and engaged 94 firms and 230 professionals.”

Design Competition Challenge Sites
The design competition offered participating teams the choice of three sites, enabling them to fully explore how to integrate green stormwater infrastructure into the existing urban fabric and retrofit industrial, commercial, residential, and vacant properties with green stormwater infrastructure.
Warehouse Watershed—A warehouse and a city-owned lot that could be the catalyst for the revitalization of a high-vacancy residential/industrial district
Retail Retrofit—A retail center that could play a more central role in the surrounding neighborhood through improved walkability, pop-up community space, and access to river recreation
Greening the Grid—An historic neighborhood with an engaged community and a network of streets, alleys, roofs, and open space ready for an array of small-scale interventions
Warehouse Watershed Finalists:
Disconnect and Redirect
Blades & Goven, LLC , Fairfield, CT
Environetics Design, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Integrated Land Management, Malvern, PA
JD Bravo Co. Construction Management, Malvern, PA
Trinkaus Engineering, Southbury, CT    

Leveraging Water + Plants in Zero Lot Sites
Roofmeadow, Philadelphia, PA
In Posse – A subsidiary of AKF, Philadelphia, PA
m2 Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Meliora Environmental Design LLC, Phoenixville, PA
SED Design, Blue Bell, PA
Sere Ltd., Spring Mills, PA        

SOAK CITY: 10 Acre Ecodistrict
Rogers Marvel Architects, New York, NY                                
HR&A Advisors, Inc., Washington, DC
Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Seattle, WA
WRT, Philadelphia, PA

Retail Retrofit Finalists:
From Gray to Green
Michael Baker Corporation, Philadelphia and Horsham, PA
Newell, Tereska & MacKay Engineering, Dillsburg, PA
RBF Consulting - A Baker Company, Irvine, CA

Stormwater reStore
Urban Engineers, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, New York, NY
Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., Trenton, NJ

AGENCY Architecture LLC, St. Louis, MO
Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago, IL
KS Engineers, Philadelphia, PA
Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University in St. Louis    

Greening the Grid Finalists:
GREEN city CLEAN waters QUEEN village
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia, PA
JDT International Real Estate Development/Urban Roots, Philadelphia, PA
m2 Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Meliora Environmental Design LLC, Phoenixville, PA
PLACE studio, LLC, Portland, OR
Puttman Infrastructure, Inc., Portland, OR
Wholly H2O, Oakland, CA

Meeting Green
OLIN, Philadelphia, PA
Gilmore & Associates, New Britain, PA
International Consultants, Inc., Philadelphia, PA
MM Partners llc, Philadelphia, PA
SMP Architects, Philadelphia, PA

Un/Plug & Flow
Inclusive by Design, Glenside, PA
JFS Engineering, PC, Metuchen, NJ
John Sloan Design, Philadelphia, PA
Kimmel Bogrette Architecture + Site, Inc., Conshohocken, PA
PaperWorks Industries, Philadelphia, PA
Sylvia Palms Landscape Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Zimmerman Studio LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Pablo Benitez
Claudio Bertelli
Bing Han
Kit Yeung    
Paolo Zardo

Design Awards Prize Sponsors
AIA Philadelphia
City of Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Sustainability
City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce

Design Award Event Sponsors
Green Roofer
McCormick Taylor Inc.

Rain Gardener
Cloud Gehshan Associates
Cozen O'Connor
Duffield Associates, Inc.
Land Services USA
Liberty Property Trust
Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox
RP Management Inc.

Tree Planter
Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha for Everyone
Greeley and Hansen LLC
JFS Engineering, PC
Keast & Hood Co.
Michael Baker Corporation
O'Donnell & Naccarato, Inc.
Pennoni Associates, Inc.
Straughan Environmental
Trans-Pacific Engineering Corp
Urban Engineers, Inc.

About the Partners
Community Design Collaborative is a community design center that provides pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations, offers unique volunteer opportunities for design professionals, and raises awareness about the importance of design in community revitalization.

Philadelphia Water Department serves the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater, and stormwater services. One of the utility's primary missions is to sustain and enhance the region's watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency protects human health and the environment. To achieve its mission, the agency develops and enforces regulations, provides funding, conducts research, sponsors partnerships, and publishes information.
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Laura Copeland
Philadelphia Water Department
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