Malletts Creek Branch - NEWS RELEASE

August 14, 2003


Grant Will Provide Funding For An Innovative Storm Water System
For New Branch Library

The Ann Arbor District Library has has been awarded a $236,006 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The grant was awarded for the project Ann Arbor District Library: Innovative Storm Water System, which is a natural-systems approach to storm water management that will be utilized at the Library’s new Malletts Creek Branch.

This branch, currently under construction, is being designed to integrate many sustainable systems in order to maximize the amount of energy that can be harnessed from the environment. The branch is scheduled to be open to the public in early December 2003.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recommended this project to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for funding. The funds were available for the project through Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act. The grant was obtained with the support of the Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner, Janis Bobrin.

Ecological Benefits

Unlike traditional storm water management systems, which have heavy reliance on expensive underground pipe systems, this natural approach to storm water management takes advantage of the ability of native plant materials and soils to clean, slow and store water. The quality of local ecosystems is thus enhanced, and begins to create a ‘green network’ through the surrounding urban infrastructure through the use of native forbs, grasses and shrubs.

The water that is not taken up by the storm water waste management system will enter the waterway - clean and at pre-development volume and velocity.

Project Goals and Objectives

The storm water management program for this site has the following goals and objectives:
- Serve as a model for effectively handling storm water in an urban watershed
- Reduce urban sprawl and the degradation of natural, undeveloped land
- Reduce impervious surfaces
- Improve plant diversity and increase habitat
- Provide detention, reduce storm water velocity and quantity and increase water quality by implementing innovative storm water management techniques. These techniques will reduce the use of traditional underground systems and increase the sites potential for infiltration and pollutant removal by means of:

    - a vegetated green roof
    - overland flow
    - vegetated bioswales (also known as bioretention)
    - exfiltration trenches and
    - level spreaders

Project Management

The Ann Arbor District Library will be implementing the project through the contracted services of local landscape architects InSite Design Studio. Water quality monitoring will be performed by Tetra Tech MPS, Inc. The effective date of the grant agreement is August 8, 2003 and the end date is November 30, 2005.

The Mallets Creek Branch

The new Malletts Creek Branch is designed by Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects PLLC. The branch is intended to be an example of sustainable design. Both the building itself and the surrounding landscape will capitalize on environmental principles, thereby allowing the overall project to operate more in harmony with the ecosystem and the community which it serves.

In addition to naturally capturing and filtering storm water, this building will incorporate:
- solar heating
- natural daylighting
- convection cooling
- materials that are from renewable resources and/or recycled products.

The Library will teach, by example, responsible coexistence with the natural environment.