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High Performance Sites: Making the Case for Green Stormwater Infrastructure


One of my favorite things about our profession is that we are constantly pushing the envelope to make things better – whether it be with more sustainable buildings, more efficient systems, or improved technology.  Such is the case with stormwater management and the movement towards green infrastructure. 

Last month Austin, Texas became the latest city to officially endorse green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) when it unanimously passed a resolution calling for an increase in its usage.  So what is GSI, and why the sudden focus on it?

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HW Central Opens for Business, Offering Sweeping Views and State-of-the-Art Amenities

This month we celebrated the much-anticipated Grand Opening of the new Headwaters Amenity Center. As the heart of the new Headwaters community, HW Central is a recreational complex that includes a split-level resort style pool, splash pad, expansive sports field, state-of-the-art fitness facility, large outdoor pavilion, Wi-Fi café, adventure playground, and multiple informal outdoor gathering spaces.  RVi worked with members of the project team, including Marsh & Associates architects to design modern amenities that blend seamlessly into the landscape and existing heritage landmarks found on site.

Located along Highway 290 in Dripping Springs, Headwaters is a 1,500 acre master planned community located on the former Hazy Hills Ranch at the confluence of Barton Creek.  Surrounded by dramatic topography, the community is unique because nearly all of the homes back up to open space, many offering expansive hill country views. The community also features an innovative green stormwater system that utilizes localized biofiltration throughout the steeply sloped site. Headwaters is being developed by Freehold Communities. RVi is providing master planning and landscape architecture services for Headwaters.

For more photos of the completed amenity center and Grand Opening event, check out our Facebook Post.

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Education Spotlight: Native Plant Gardening Series

While formal degree programs go a long way towards preparing us for our careers, RViers are lifelong learners. Every RVi employee receives an annual education budget that they can use toward learning new things. Fortunately there are a lot of unique local resources that provide educational opportunities for the community, including The University of Texas at Austin’s Informal Classes.

This year, RVi Designer Nhasala Manandhar enrolled in the Native Plant Gardening Certificate Series, a 6-course sequence that covers the basics of gardening with native plants. Originally from Nepal, Nhasala has an architecture degree from Tribhuwan University in Nepal as well as Masters Degrees in Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning from The University of Texas at Arlington. She spent her first few years working in the Dallas area and joined RVi Austin about a year ago.  “Being new to Central Texas, I found this certificate program to be a great way to learn a lot about native plants in a short amount of time,” she said.

In addition to classes about plant types, the certificate program also covers topics like design, installation, maintenance, and pest management.  “As a landscape architect, it was helpful to learn about installation and maintenance because now I have a better understanding of what to look for on-site during construction,” she said.  “The best thing about this program is that it is equally helpful for landscape architects as well as casual home gardeners.  There really is something for everyone.”

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