Cottage Grove: Darling Street Development Urban Solutions Team:
Cottage Grove: Darling Street Development
Urban Solutions Team: Loliya Bobmanuel, Mark Brundage, Becca Sagastegui, Alex Tehranian (Architect)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University, Houston, TX, 2010-2011
Darling Street is a typical residential street in the
Cottage Grove subdivision north of Interstate-10
within the 610 loop. Currently there are very narrow
streets that inhibit on-street parking, no sidewalks,
deep ditches and culverts on both sides of the street,
and old utilities (circa 1962). The project involves the
design of new apartments and sufficient parking in
addition to increasing the width of the road and
incorporating low impact development. The entire
design is confined to a 50 foot right of way.
There are unhealthy levels of lead and arsenic in the
historic fill (2 below ground level) on the site. In situ
solidification and stabilization will be used to
remediate the soil. The process involves a cementbased binder (ash, silicates, aluminoferrites) that is
injected into the soil and reacts with the metals to
form less mobile forms (such as metal hydroxides).
These forms will remain in the soil but will not cause
harm. A benefit of the vegetation in the bioswales is
that the complex root systems can effectively filter
nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus from fertilizer,
thus degrading water pollutants in the runoff.
Low Impact Development (LID)
LID has two purposes: 1) to manage storm water and
imitate natural hydrologic patterns, and 2) to use and
conserve natural features of the site.
A 15 x 15 rainwater catchment tank, green roof,
vegetated bioswales, and permeable pavement for
parking are utilized to meet these goals.
Darling Street: 2-year Storm Event
Bioswale Cross Section
The apartment complex includes 24 units and was
designed to attract young professionals given its
proximity to downtown Houston. The central
courtyard creates internal public space with rooftop
balconies and green roof gardens. The glass faade
and louvers provide enhanced aesthetics .
The Site Plan
Leadership in Energy &
Environmental Design (LEED)
LEED for New Construction is a green building certification
system that incorporates strategies to improve building
performance, including energy and water usage, indoor
environmental air quality, CO2 reduction, and stewardship
of resources. The apartment complex achieves LEED Silver
certification with the following breakdown:
Sustainable Sites: 21/26
Water Efficiency: 8/10
Energy & Atmosphere: 3/35
Materials & Resources: 5/14
Indoor Environmental Quality: 11/15
Regional Priority Credits: 4/4
Total points: 52
A standard isolated footing
embedded to a depth of 3
was designed to take
advantage of the bearing
capacity of the soil. Because
the site is located within the
100-year floodplain, the
bottom elevation of the
building is raised 12 inches
above base flood elevation
(BFE). The backfill is a silty
clay to inhibit water
infiltration to the highly
expansive clays beneath the
The four-story structure has a steel frame with enough
capacity to support both the green roof and the multiple
cantilevered units. The components include W21x83
beams with 15 spacing and W24x146 girders with 30
Acknowledgements and References
The road will be widened from the existing 18 to 28 as well as provide onstreet parking. The north lot will accommodate 1.5 spaces per unit for the
apartment residents. On both sides of the street bioswales (11 and 6 wide)
filter runoff and retain storm water. An under drain system provides
additional capacity for storm events greater than the 2-year intensity.
City of Houston Code of Ordinances
City of Houston Infrastructure Design Manual
Harris County Flood Control District Procedure Manual
International Building Code
Texas Administrative Code (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)
Tropical Storm Allison Recovery Project (TSARP) Flood Insurance Rate Map
Special thanks to Dr. Philip Bedient (and research group),
Mr. Charles Penland, Dr. Calvin H. Ward, Alex Tehranian, and the Oshman
Engineering Design Kitchen.
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