JFS Engineering
Land Development and Water Resources Engineering
Infill Philadelphia: SoakItUp! Exhibition
Categories: Uncategorized

Raised Bed Rain Garden Exhibit Board

UPDATE: Our presentation board from the event is now available for download (3 MB). A design book from the exhibition is also available online.

We are proud to announce the selection of two projects for the Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Exhibition. Co-sponsored by the Community Design Collaborative, Philadelphia Water Department, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, this exhibition will run from September 17, 2012  through October 19, 2012 at the Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA .

The projects are “Raised Bed Rain Garden” by JFS Engineering, PC and “Café Olam” by our frequent collaborators and good friends at LiMN Architects (www.limnarchitects.com). For our friends and colleagues, please save October 4, 2012 for a reception at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture.

Raised Bed Rain Garden

The proposed stormwater management structure is intended to provide groundwater recharge, peak flow attenuation, and urban agricultural use for piped roof runoff. Stormwater runoff is introduced into a structure similar to a rain garden, however, instead of native plants in a pit, a raised bed food production garden is installed. The balance of the garden area is covered with ordinary turf grass.

In concept, by introducing stormwater runoff into a discharge point adjacent to the plantings, the water will be treated within the soil matrix; this is as opposed to rain barrels that do not offer this treatment. In addition, the deliberate concentration of stormwater will cause a localized groundwater mounding effect, which will reduce the need for irrigation. Where most current stormwater BMPs rely on rapid infiltration, the mounding effect is most pronounced in relatively poor draining soils.

Following the theme of infill, this concept BMP is intended for deployment in dense urbanized areas and can be adapted to both block scale installations and use in the right-of-way.

The project is intended to be “accessible” to the average gardener in a lawn area. A perimeter sod berm can be constructed utilizing existing turf stripped from the future raised bed footprints. This berm is raised to accommodate a design storm from the contributing roof(s), creating supplemental runoff attenuation as well as a “key” for rodent fencing.


Café Olam

Infill Philadelphia: SoakItUp! Exhibition 2012


Café Olam (http://www.cafeolamphilly.org/) is a Philadelphia based community organization in predesign phase for the creation of a new expanded location. Café Olam is and will be a place for Jewish life and culture geared towards young adults; a place for cultural programming, music, film, arts, performance, talks and education; and a place for food & drink, a microbrewery, food trucks, and event spaces.

This proposed adaptive reuse of an underutilized historic theater property in the Northern Liberties will expand, integrate and channel all aspects of Café Olam’s mission into a new facility that engages with both its community and the surrounding urban environment. Utilizing its extensive southern exposure the design incorporates urban agricultural elements both vertically, in the form of living walls, and horizontally at rooftop and ground level. Along with these highly visible and productive living elements, rainwater collection and pervious outdoor areas for a sidewalk café and parking area will contribute significantly to reducing stormwater runoff.

For more information about Cafe Olam, please contact Benjamin Walmer, AIA, LEED-AP at bwalmer@limnarchitects.com