Posted by: greeningvacapitol | September 29, 2010

Retrofit Construction Begins!

Meet our contractor! Messer Landscape of Virginia was awarded the contract bid.  They are a professional land development services organization that has clients such as SunTrust, City of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

This week they are beginning work on the project. First up is the terrace steps walkway.

Terrace Steps before Retrofit

Here, the steps will be replaced with permeable brick pavers.  A new walkway that connects the top of the terrace steps to the existing walkway that goes towards the Bell Tower will also be installed – using pervious brick pavers too of course. These pervious pavers will allow the water to soak into the ground underneath instead of just run off down the stairs during storm events such as the one we’re having right now.  The walkway will be installed first, to allow for an alternative path while the steps are under renovation.

There are other options for pervious surfaces, such as porous concrete blocks.  You can check out this study which compares runoff volume and the pros and cons for four different types of pervious pavements.  For more technical information, here is a porous pavement fact sheet.

With the large amount of impervious surface in Richmond, we hope that residential and commercial property owners join in with the state and city in trying to retrofit our impervious surfaces with porous surfaces.

Stay tuned…we’ll be documenting the progress on Capitol Grounds with pictures and periodic updates!



  1. As a native Richmonder and landscape architect, it is great to see the
    progressive ideas that are moving forward with the Greening of the Capital.
    My highest compliments to the landscape architect(s) involved in coordinating all of these beautiful and efficient features for generations to come. I currently live and work out of state as a landscape architect myself, so I appreciate the outreach and detail that goes into such an effort, especially when it involves the transformation of my home town. Landscape Architects are creative visionaries and this project makes an excellent case study.

    Nanci Bateman, RLA, ASLA

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