Garrett Churchill, Inc. based in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, was selected to design and install the Gil Rosenthal Garden of Peace at the Samuel A. Green House in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
Originally Federation Housing had hoped to keep and renovate an old mansion that was on the property, but it was too expensive. Instead, the town gave the non-profit organization permission to demolish the mansion as long as a green space that was open to everyone in the town was created in its wake.
The Samuel A. Green House is a low-income housing tax credit building for the elderly and the green space was designed with them in mind.
“The project required a paving material with more porosity than permeable pavers,” said Jane Lahage, NAHP-e and director of operation for Federation Housing. “Otherwise, we would have been required to install additional stormwater retention features at grade, adding costs and detracting from the garden. The average age of the residents is 80. We needed a safe surface so they can get out and enjoy the garden.”
Garrett Churchill ended up installing 1,650 square feet of Porous Pave XL, which made up the five-foot-wide walking paths and 24-foot-diameter patio. The company mixed the batch on site and poured in in place at a depth of 1.5 inches on top of a four-inch based of compacted aggregate.
Porous Pave XL is a pour-in-place paving material that is made from 50 percent recycled rubber chips and 50 percent kiln-dried aggregate combined with a liquid binder.
“With 27 percent to 29 percent void space, Porous Pave infiltrates much more stormwater than permeable pavers,” said Andy Sykes, CLP and owner of Garrett Churchill. “The rubber content gives it good traction and makes it freeze- and frost-heave resistant to eliminate the risks of heaving and cracking.”
The landscape of the Gil Rosenthal Garden of Peace includes 7 shade trees, 3 flowering trees, 120 shrubs and 150 perennials. Wood bench seating circles around a water feature installed in the center of the patio, which utilizes an 800-pound slab of granite that came from the demolition of the mansion.
“The garden is a place of beauty and peace,” Lahage said. “Porous Pave makes it accessible and safe. The color and texture of the material complements the building and blends with the landscape created by Garrett Churchill.”