After the flooding, Cummins needed assistance in developing ways to protect their Engine Plant. By collaborating with civil engineers and architects, we were able to support their design efforts in creating a unique solution to the problem.
When we were asked to support the design team, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. The engineer’s solution required a complex system of walls and gates for storm water management, made more difficult by a small space allotment and tight construction tolerances on the structural design. Our challenge was to make the design aesthetically complimentary to the campus through the use of surface detailing, lighting, canopies, benches, and landscaping—all within the tight site constraints.
To accommodate the tight spaces, we had to come up with unique solutions. Not many trees thrive in confined urban environments, but we were able to find a variety of Elm tree that was proven to do well in this situation, while also providing a lush, full canopy.
Getting the trees was only part of the battle—we still needed to figure out how to make them uniform in appearance, and how to get them adequate water and nutrients. To do that, we hand-selected each tree based on trunk size and head shape, and undersized the root balls to fit the planters. To make sure the trees get the nutrients they need, we will plant them in specially engineered soil, as well as design and install a supportive irrigation system.
The Cummins flood risk reduction project has been an exciting project that’s allowed us to be involved in a large-scale effort requiring lots of collaboration. It has presented us with the special challenge of working with a team to create a solution that will not only help protect the Cummins Columbus Engine Plant, but one that will look great, too.