Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2016

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News from Our Members

From Patricia Algara:

I would like to share that BASE Landscape Architecture (my firm) has won a national award for the Roving Rangers, two bright and beautiful mobile park ranger stations currently serving communities in California. The American Society of Landscape Architects recognized our work on the Rangers with a 2016 Communications Honor Award, which honors achievements in communicating about landscapes and their value. Made from retrofitted bread trucks and resembling food trucks, the Rangers are a thrifty, flexible and non-traditional approach to bringing parks to people—and encouraging more people to come to parks.

You can read more about it here.

Also, I'm excited to announce that BASE is now officially registered as a Local Business Enterprise (LBE) and a Woman Owned Business (WOB)!

One of the Roving Rangers

From Rebecca Friedberg:

Rebecca just started her own firm, Synapse Design Studio. She has years of experience working on retail and commercial projects, as well as multi-family residential work. She's excited to be working on smaller retail and residential projects now. From build-outs and remodels to ground up construction, Rebecca enjoys working closely with the owners and end-users.

From Eliza Hart:

Eliza Hart of Hart Wright Architects recently completed work on a project for the College Hill Reservoir site, a PUC owned, previously empty piece of land that has now been transformed into an outdoor classroom and environmental systems demonstration garden. The PUC, working with the San Francisco Unified School District and Green Schoolyard Alliance, came up with the idea of a garden and outdoor classroom designed to serve students during school hours while also allowing nearby residents, not affiliated with the schools, to access the garden in the afternoons and on weekends. There are few school gardens in San Francisco that also provide gardening space for community members.

We were grateful to be a part of a project that has such an innovative use of public land. Hart Wright Architects, as part of a team, designed this site to serve both students and the general public, and we are excited to see a site and a design project dedicated to building awareness of environmental systems and environmental issues.

The modified shipping container serves as an office and logistical staging area for the teachers. It's right beside the main central space, the outdoor classroom. On the roof are painted metal brackets that extend out to provide a structure for photovoltaic solar panels. The energy generated by these solar panels powers the container building lighting and the entire site. Inside the container building is a closet for batteries that store electricity generated by the panels, in what is known as an off-grid solar installation.

To demonstrate a “green roof”, planters sit on the container building roof and are planted with butterfly attracting wildflowers. At the base of the container downspout is a rainwater storage barrel demonstrating rainwater harvesting.

The onsite facility does not use any water. It is a an M54 Trailhead model by Clivus Multrum, also known as a waterless composting toilet. There are only two other facilities in San Francisco like this that do not use water. Waste is collected in a tank as compost.

The gathering area uphill from the main classroom space is surrounded by garden with native plantings. The small elevated building in the background is a rabbit hutch.

Additional features of the site include a small grey water collection trough, a pond planted with wetland plants, a rain garden, run off water storage tanks, swales, a rain water barrel, habitat gardens and observation areas. Various types of water pumps are sprinkled around the site.

The College Hill environmental systems demonstration garden educates students and the public about Earth’s systems, biological cycles, and green design, and encourages a sensitivity towards the environment. This project shows a range of cutting-edge, site-specific, ecologically-based strategies known as “green infrastructure” on a micro-scale and provides a resource for students to learn about the ways that caring for our water, wastewater and power systems can help create healthy, vibrant communities. The various installations demonstrate San Francisco’s water, wastewater, renewable energy and energy efficiency systems. Programs will allow for hands on exposure to healthy food cultivation and sustainable living practices.

We used a great big culvert to serve as the gate into the garden.

The shipping container building and main gathering space and large table to be used for all kinds of programs. Note the solar panels, which allow the building to be off the grid.

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