GEOWEB® Green Wall Supports Solar Array

Project Details

Sector:
Commercial
Energy

Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Partners:
Becker Morgan Group, Inc. (Engineer)
Power Factor, LLC (Solar Contractor ) Presto Geosystems (manufacturer)

Critical Products: GEOWEB® GW30V6 Wall

Project Status: Completed 2023

Project Background

Becker Morgan Group was tasked with designing a solution that would make better use of an existing stockpile area adjacent to the Kaiser Permanente Gaithersburg Medical Center. The goal was to install a solar array on the site, however, the pre-existing site conditions could not support the solar panels.

Challenge

Before re-design, the pre-existing stockpile had steep slopes that would not support construction of a solar array. The cost to remove the soil, however, was expensive and would also create construction traffic that would interfere with the medical center’s daily operations.

Solution

Becker Morgan’s Project Manager Ted Hastings, PMP, worked closely with Presto Geosystems and Pat Branin to design a solution that would address all the site challenges and support the weight of the solar array.

The result: a vegetated green-wall constructed from Presto Geosystem GEOWEB geocell. The 6-inch GEOWEB cells constructed a retaining wall that supports the solar panels and is vegetated to blend seamlessly into the site.

One of the greatest advantages of using GEOWEB is the ability to utilize on site fill. Rather than truck off the stockpile load by load, the retaining wall was infilled with the soil.

After the wall was constructed by Power Factor, the site was hydroseeded with Biotic Earth Biotic Soil Amendment, followed by an application of  hydraulic mulch and grass seed. Because the stockpile sat unused for an extended time, the soil was of less-than-ideal quality for revegetation. Biotic Soil Amendment added necessary nutrients including peat moss, Mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria to the soil to accelerate the nutrient cycle and improve vegetation establishment.

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