Dec 04, 2015

Wisconsin Nature Preserve Employs Green Design Features

The nature preserve is pursuing LEED Platinum certification

Presto Geosystems porous pavements the Ridges Sanctuary Wisconsin

Presto Geosystems’ GeoPave porous pavements were utilized along with other environmental and sustainable products in a popular Wisconsin nature preserve, The Ridges Sanctuary, in its pursuit for a LEED Platinum rating. With certification expected by year end, this facility will be the first LEED-certified commercial building in Wisconsin’s Door County. In addition to the GeoPave aggregate system delivering porous parking and walkways around the facility, other green design features incorporated include high-performance and low-energy materials such as insulation, lighting, heating and cooling, water use, and a multitude of recycled materials.

Design choices that encourage land preservation and conservation were important to the 7,400-sq-ft center and serve as an example to the community, both homeowners and businesses, of how sustainable and low-environmental impact materials can be included in buildings.

Protecting the Lake Michigan watershed was a primary concern at this facility’s location on the northeast shores of the Door County Peninsula, and the western shore of Lake Michigan. Located adjacent to Lake Michigan, the GeoPave system was an important part of the overall plan to protect the waters against the negative effects of storm water runoff on water quality. The system, infilled with porous stone, allows water infiltration, and acts as a natural, onsite storm water retention system, storing storm water in its aggregate base after rain events and allowing for natural percolation. Unlike hard pavements that shed water from the surface, the GeoPave system with its permeable infill accepts water, reducing runoff into the surrounding sensitive areas.

The limestone crushed aggregate used for the parking area and the contrasting colored buckshot crushed aggregate for the walkways were both obtained locally. The GeoPave paver structure is made from recycled polymer and is designed specifically to contain aggregate infill. The system’s integrally molded mesh bottom contains the aggregate infill and minimizes aggregate movement under vehicle loading and turning stresses. These pavements are designed to accept everyday traffic and can be designed with appropriate base to accommodate heavier loads such as for emergency and utility lanes.

“We are extremely pleased with the level of interest visitors have expressed in the GeoPave product and delighted we’ve had the opportunity to talk with them about this very practical way of making a personal investment in the environment," said Judy Drew, assistant director for The Ridges Sanctuary.