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Apartment Community Canopy on Central Enhances its Garden Home Community While Controlling Erosion

It isn’t easy to find everything you want when living in the city—easy commutes, excellent schools, close to major transportation hubs. But it’s not just the location for which people are looking. Many want to feel like they have a bit of nature around them. Trees, parks, playgrounds, creeks are all beautiful amenities that help sell your complex. The challenge of having an apartment community with all these amenities is balance. How do you provide the right amenities to attract new tenants while giving a natural, attractive setting? The Canopy on Central community has provided this balance. Ideally located in Bedford, Texas, this garden-style apartment community offers access to great schools, top-notch employers, and for many residents, a view of an open space backed by trees and a small creek.

Prior to excavation, erosion ate away at the creek shore's edges exposing roots

Prior to excavation, erosion ate away at the creek shore’s edges exposing roots and creating a hazard.

The challenge is that creek bank erosion is perhaps the most common problem facing many creeks and streams in today’s waterway systems. Eroding creek banks cause unstable soil that will gradually eat away at the creek’s boundaries and cause expensive foundation issues. Creeks are also prone to flooding, endangering people, and the animals that might inhabit them. Addressing streambank erosion can help to restore the natural balance of the stream ecosystem while providing a more stable foundation for buildings and prevent potential flooding during heavy rains. Project Manager, Kevin Narveson, and the EarthWorks team approached this project with a three-fold objective:

  1. Stabilize the creek bank, preventing further erosion
  2. Minimize the effect on nature
  3. Provide a safe, natural setting for children, pets, and people to use in the future

Retaining wall and French drains under construction.

Retaining wall and French drains under construction.

They began with excavating almost four feet below the ground and along the creek’s bank to install concrete footing. A mortarless concrete, stacked block retaining wall was then added per engineered specifications. EarthWorks noted that when building any wall taller than three feet, a wall permit is required. Walls over four feet need to be engineered by a qualified team. EarthWorks secured the proper permits and engineering specs. The area was then backfilled with a flex base French drain* behind the wall. Why French drains? Water flows downhill, and via the easiest route possible. This is the rudimentary concept behind a French drain. As an efficient, cost-effective approach to routing water away from your building, French drains are created by building a slightly sloped trench, filling it with round gravel, and linking it to a pipe that diverts water away from your building, and to an exit point.

Lee Brown, Senior Construction Project Manager at management firm American Landmark said “We had a massive retaining wall need and EarthWorks quickly stepped up to the job. The original job quote was on point with no change orders and no issues throughout the process. The work was completed quickly, cleanly, and professionally and we are incredibly happy with the end result!”

The finished project: Retaining wall, French drains, safety fence and turf create an inviting area along the creek's edge.

The finished project: Retaining wall, French drains, safety fence, and turf create an inviting area along the creek’s edge.

Soil backfill and new sod surface were installed, along with a five-foot black iron fence added atop the wall for safety—the result: a safe, usable space for kids to play and residents to enjoy. Projects, like these, are part of EarthWorks’ core expertise. They can help your organization achieve all of your construction and landscaping needs while meeting the requirements of your local municipal permitting. If you have questions or would like us to provide you a complimentary assessment, contact EarthWorks.

 

*Oh, and a little side trivia. The name does not come from the country. It comes from Henry French, a farmer, and judge from Concord, Massachusetts, who promoted the idea way back in 1859 in a book about farm drainage systems.