My role as designer for WRT and as private consultant for Construction Administration included analysis, design, documentation and specifications for the reuse of concrete demolition materials from the site and architectural salvage stone from Philadelphia. The reused materials provide erosion control at the outfalls where stormwater enters the park through pipes from modified street inlets. Additionally, the hard materials provide erosion protection around the forebay and at its overflow. The forebay is where stormwater temporarily pools so that suspended sediments fall to the bottom. Reused concrete and salvaged stone are also used at the bioretention area overflow, where excess stormwater enters a device that connects Womrath Park’s green infrastructure system back to the city’s traditional combined sewer.

The onsite reuse of demolished sidewalk concrete and locally sourced salvaged bluestone recaptures value from materials that would otherwise be crushed and used as fill. Reuse also avoids the energy consumption associated with crushing/recycling, transportation and new materials production. Pairing sustainable materials reuse with green infrastructure projects lessens construction impact and begins to tell a story about waste within urban systems. For as stormwater was (and still is, in many places) considered a waste material, so is clean construction and demolition debris. Both of these materials are in great supply in the urban environment, and may be repurposed by changing the handling systems that process these materials. Green infrastructure is redefining stormwater as a resource by capturing it for use and infiltration before it runs off to impact water quality downstream. With construction and demolition debris, reuse of materials in their largest and most intact form can save energy, protect the environment and reinvest in local materials and places.

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