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The mission of SUstainable Land Development Today is to be the leading forum for the exchange of ideas to advance the principles of sustainability-balancing the needs of people, planet and profit. In fulfilling that role, divergent beliefs and perspectives will at times result in debate which we believe will produce the solutions required to address the ever-changing challenges of the industry.

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Our Voice: ExecutiveDirector,TerryMock with an important message.

12 Building Smart: BIM - Defined and Evaluated

Design and construction firms have been told that the benefits of adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) far outweigh the associated costs. Here is some additional insight

18 Urban Redevelopment: An Answer for Infill


The use of vegetation to control soil erosion through structural integration is being utilized on three projects detailed in this article. Three types of coir materials have been and/or are being used.

A look at an innovative concept that will open the doors for significantly more sustainable urban development projects.

20 The Bottom Line: REITS

A healthy 27% retum in 2009.



The sustainable redevelopment of Newport is redefining the country's first resort community.

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22 Resources: Industry News


According to one expert, commercial notes may be a key investment opportunity in 2010.


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L On the Cover:

Westem Botanical Services, in conjunctionwith Ziegler Civil Engineering of Healdsburg CA, planted coir logs at Hobart Mills, CA and provided assistance and oversight during the six-week growth


Reader responses to articles in Sustainable Land Development Today are encouraged and may be sent via mail or email ([email protected]),or online through Mailing address: Sustainable Land Development Today, Attention: Ed~,~275 East 10th St. Suite 201, Luque, IA52001



ioengineering, or soil bioengineerand is used extensively in erosion coning, is the use of vegetation to con- trol products, as well as in other industrol soil erosion through structural tries. Sources of coir are India and Sri Lanka. This article discusses three projintegration. For these applications plants ects in which three types of coir materials provide an important structural component and are not just a landscape feature. have been and/ or are being used with In addition to live material, dead vegetation for soil bioengineering. branches can also be used to control erosion. (Schiechtl, 1980). Snow Creek Stream and As early as 28 BC, the Chinese used Wetlands Restoration Projed bioengineering techniques for dike reThe Snow Creek project is on the pair by building willow, hemp or bamnorth shore of Lake Tahoe, west of Kings boo rock-filled baskets (Finney, 1993). Since the Industrial revolution, much of Beach, CA and was built in the summer and fall of 2000. Partners included the the development and documentation of California Tahoe Conservancy (CTC) techniques has taken place in Germany and Placer County, with Lumos and Asand Austria, with relatively recent adopsociates as the design engineer. As a subtion of selected methods in the United States. Most common has been the use of consultant to Lumos, Western Botanical willows (Salix spp.) in a variety of applications such as wattles or fascines, cuttings, poles, layers, fences, and mattresses, mainly on creek or river restoration projects. More recently a variety of erosion control materials derived from coir fibers have been used to propagate wetland mats and live "green logs." Coir is a coarse fiber extracted from the fibrous outer shell of a coconut Lifting and placement of vegetated coir along the channel.


Services (WBS) was tasked with revegetation design and oversight. In addition to willow and sod salvaging and with seeding specifications as part of the revegetation effort, the design called for 20,000 square feet of vegetated fabric along new channels. In 1999, the Nevada Division of Forestry was contracted to propagate the fabric and a coir mat. HP 90, a Bon Terra product, was selected as the growth matrix. This coir fabric was initially designed as a biodegradable silt fence but was selected for propagation due to the limited availability of suitable materials at the time. Boxes were constructed and lined with 0.2-inch black polyvinyl film and a two-inch layer of barnyard media was spread out and overlaid with the

Channel aile year following restoration. 5

Placement and securing green logs. erosion control blanket. An irrigation system was installed above ground. The CTC and Comstock Seed Company collected seed on site during the 1998growing season. Propagation began in May of 1999with hydroseeding at various rates of mulch application. Grass seeds, and to a lesser extent forbs, germinated quickly, but the more desirable sedges and rushes were difficult to propagate in this media. However, nine years after installation, the fabric is no longer visible and the plant community has changed substantially. This method of stabilization is very effective for drainage outlets and other areas requiring immediate protection and its installation was extremely efficient due to the relative lightness of material and ease of handling. However, due to the level of planning and production required, it is an expensive methodology. Its use should be selective, as exemplified in the third project described below.

Almost a month following completion and several fall storms. engineering specifications using vegetated coir logs (green logs) for live toeof-bank stabilization, requiring close coordination among designers, growers, and the contractor(s) to ensure timely and successful production and establishment within a short construction window. Some of the hard armoring was replaced with 520 feet of the more flexible green logs. A grower located close to the project site (AI Pombo Inc.) was selected and was provided with specifications and wetland plugs. WBS, in conjunction with Ziegler Civil Engineering of Healdsburg CA, provided assistance and oversight during the six-week growth period. Planting began on July 13th with locally grown wetland plugs (Carex nebrascensis and Juncus balticus), planted on onefoot centers through the 12" diameter logs. The green logs were then topdressed with topsoil produced by Pombo from local materials and seeded with a mix almost identical to what was used elsewhere on the project site. The green logs were irrigated with a duel system by flood irrigating the pond and with drip emitters placed on onefoot centers over the plugs. The plugs initially went through transplanting shock in 95° F plus mid-summer heat but recovered a few weeks later, with newly germinated seedlings. After a mere six weeks of growth, roots had grown through the logs, protruding from the bottom, and were deemed ready for placement along the channel. The logs were irrigated in place until well established, continuing after the release of the creek into the restored channel. Although the ENTRIX contract was not approved until January 2009, the restored l,500-foot new channel was completed on September 18, over three weeks ahead of schedule. This truly 'green' project employed local contractors in a recession year. ative wetland plugs, seed, sod, trees and shrubs were provided by local growers and suppliers, reducing the carbon shipping footprint. Importation of material was reduced by recycling stored sod and using rock stockpiled on a lot next to the project area. Only the coir logs, manufactured in India, had a long journey.

Kings Beach Water Quality and Stream Environment Zone Improvement Project. Phase 1, Fox Clean Water Pipe

This comprehensive stormwater treatment project on the north shore of Lake Tahoe within the community of Kings Beach will be constructed in 2010. Placer County received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) stimulus funding to build this project and selected Entrix as the design engineer. Quoting from the ARRA web site ( "This project creates and sustains jobs to promote economic recovery and invests in environmental protection to provide long term economic benefits." The proposed construction includes storm drainage pipe, inlet construction, storm drainage manholes, sediment

Third Creek Restoration Project

Third Creek is a small tributary to Lake Tahoe running through Incline Village, Nevada. In 2009, ENTRIX, on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers, Nevada Department of State Lands, and Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGlD), spearheaded the effort to restore the creek and improve the recreation access in the area. WBS was subcontracted by ENTRIX to develop the revegetation and restoration plans which included a landscape berm to screen and protect the creek from overuse by the public. WBS also developed unique bio6 February 2010 Sustainable Land Development Today

traps, drainage channels, porous concrete, concrete curb and gutter, rock lined channels, and revegetation. Although a relatively minor component of this project, a vegetated mat approximately 1400 sq. ft. in size will be installed at a culvert that outlets to the beach and the lake. Due to construction scheduling constraints, the mat can only installed after September 1, allowing little time for establishment and erosion control. Unlike the Snow Creek and Trout Creek projects, a series of wetland mat is being propagated in Bio-D pillows ( ?p g=pillow) that measure 3'x15' , with a coir liner installed underneath to provided sheer strength until the vegetation becomes established. Additionally, sedge and rush wetland plugs will be planted into the mat following installation, and green logs will be installed as check structures upstream of the' propagated wetland mats. As in the other projects, the growers (AI Pombo and Ziegler Civil Engineering) are working with local seed, soil, and wetland plug suppliers.

which has been used for centuries in preand post-Columbian Mexico in a wide variety of products, including clothes, paper, rope, and blankets (the fermented and distilled 'pineapple' or heart of Agave tequilana yields tequila). Numerous agave species, as well as its relative Yucca (Yucca,spp), also known for its useful fibers, grow in the deserts of the

south and southwest United States as well as in Mexico. SLOT

About the author: Julie Etra, CPESCis president of Western Botanical Services Inc. Reno. NV.


Restoration and erosion control designers are constantly adapting to new materials and should try to apply soil bioengineering techniques when possible and where appropriate. While many local materials may be available, the reliance on imported fabrics limits the ability to shop locally and may impact the "degree" of project sustainability obtained in some rating systems. A more 'local' alternative for soil bioengineering fabrics in the future may be sisal hemp, or maguey, a fiber obtained

from agave plants (Agave cantala),

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