Affordable Housing Complex Gains Extra Space wtih Cultec System

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BROOKFIELD, CT/- After the Wilmington Housing Authority completed construction of the affordable housing complex Taylor Estates in Wilmington, N.C., it successfully applied for a $6.7 million Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency in 2009. That helped kick off the development of New Brooklyn Homes in the spring of 2010.

New Brooklyn Homes at Taylor Estates consists of 12 multi-family buildings and a community building, creating a total of 32 townhomes and 16 apartment units for rent. The 4.5-acre development site offers many on-site amenities including ample parking, a picnic area with tables and a grill, sitting areas and a playground. Additionally, the design of the housing complex retains a number of existing oak trees, preserving a touch of greenery for the benefit of the community.

These buildings and amenities did not leave much room for the engineers at ESP Associates in Cary, N.C., to install a detention pond for managing stormwater runoff onsite. State regulations required developments to store and treat 100 percent of stormwater runoff onsite. To comply, the engineers used a best management practice that had already proved to be an effective and successful method during the Taylor Estates' first construction phase - a CULTEC underground infiltration chamber system.

"CULTEC provided a variety of chamber sizes for the first project phase to accommodate different water table elevations," said Walter Kusek, CULTEC's sales representative and President of Kusek and Associates. According to Kusek, the installation of those systems went quickly and smoothly, contributing to the engineers' decision to select the company's product for the second project phase.

"We came up against two main challenges: the first was horizontal site constraints, and the second was fitting the system onsite to accommodate the proposed buildings and a number of existing old oak trees," said Terry Boylan, Landscape Architect with ESP Associates.

The engineers designed the CULTEC system to retain and treat stormwater at New Brooklyn Homes. The sandy soil was conducive for installation of an infiltration system, allowing stormwater to infiltrate back into the ground, thus removing pollutants from runoff and recharging groundwater. According to Kusek, this infiltration system might also detain stormwater due to Wilmington's low-elevated Coastal Plain location, which might cause chambers to hold water after a heavy rainfall.

ESP Senior Engineer Neal Kochis worked closely with CULTEC's technicians to select the chamber that would be the best fit for Taylor West. The groundwater was deep enough to allow the use of one of CULTEC's largest chambers Recharger® 330XL. The model is 30.5 inches high, 52 inches wide and 8.5 feet long and has a capacity of 7.5 cubic feet per linear foot. Each chamber holds nearly 475 gallons and provides a minimum of 80 cubic feet of storage per unit when surrounded in stone.

"It makes sense to select the tallest chamber possible because the larger the unit is, the less cost per cubic foot you get," advised Kusek.

The CULTEC system provided 24,100 cubic feet of storage and was installed in five beds throughout the site, occupying the total area of 11,500 square feet. The beds had to be located at least 10 feet away from the foundations of the adjacent buildings and were concealed underneath grassy areas, a playground, parking lots and driveways.
While hidden from sight, the underground system allowed engineers to use the space above the chambers for other uses while satisfying federal and state stormwater requirements. CULTEC's solution now works to capture high-volume runoff and infiltrate it into the ground, eliminating pollutants and preventing groundwater contamination.

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In 1986, CULTEC introduced its Contactor® and Recharger® HDPE septic and stormwater chambers and helped begin a revolution toward the use of plastic construction products. Since then, several product developments and strategic alliances have made CULTEC a cutting-edge R&D-based manufacturer. CULTEC chambers can be used as subsurface retention or detention systems and as replacements for ponds, concrete structures or pipe and stone installations.

CULTEC manufactures nine different chamber sizes ranging from 8.5" - 32" to accommodate almost any site parameter. The chambers' perforated sidewalls and fully open bottoms promote maximum infiltration capability and allow for the transfer of high volumes of water at a low velocity. The units can be installed singularly or in series in single- or multi-layer beds.

In addition, CULTEC developed its own in-line side portal manifold system, which eliminates the need for a conventional pipe header system, and water quality unit for maintaining CULTEC chamber systems. CULTEC products meet H-25 wheel load requirements, have a 10-year warranty and are currently modeled in HydroCAD, Bentley Systems, Inc.'s PondPack®, Autodesk's Autodesk® Storm and Sanitary Analysis, and Streamline Technologies' ICPR.

CULTEC's technical staff offers free design assistance including preliminary calculations and job-specific CAD details. A free CULTEC StormGenie(TM) -- AutoCAD® Plug-In for designing CULTEC systems and a free HydroCAD CULTEC custom edition is also available from the company. In addition, CULTEC products can contribute to the U.S. Green Building Council's credits, under the LEED rating system, when the project is designed per LEED requirements.

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