T.Y. Lin International was retained to complete a condition assessment and develop rehabilitations plans for the Monroe County Civic Center Plaza and Parking Garage located in downtown Rochester. The parking garage is a 470,000-square foot, two-level, 1,100-space underground parking structure supporting a multi-level municipal office building above. The roof of the parking garage serves as a public plaza for the Civic Center, encompassing more than three acres. It was originally constructed in 1958 and underwent a rehabilitation project in the early 1990’s. The garage has experienced extensive water infiltration over the years, due to an inadequate drainage and waterproofing, which led to deterioration of the supporting concrete members.
TYLI performed a condition assessment of the plaza and garage waterproofing system in order to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan. This included a visual assessment, NDT testing, and the development of a sampling program to determine properties of the membrane system. The plaza is perceived as a “sterile, uninviting space,” which the County wanted to transform into a more pleasing environment for the Civic Center occupants and visitors. The plaza was originally designed to be completely hardscaped with granite pavers, but the need to replace the underlying membrane created an opportunity to rethink the plaza to make it more inviting. The plaza was redesigned to incorporate large areas of green space and new plantings, which soften the overall appearance and greatly enhance the aesthetics.
The plaza will be the largest green roof in Western New York and consist of over two acres of green space. Large areas of lawn and sedum plantings considerably decrease the amount of hard surface paving across the plaza, and trees were accommodated in custom designed planters that provide increased soil depth. The original granite pavers were reused for walkways across the plaza. This green roof reduces rain water runoff into the storm water system by 30%. Most of the additional rain water will be captured in a 20,000-gallon rain water harvesting system. This system will be capable of retaining water to provide irrigation to the green roof system, all while reducing storm water runoff and providing for irrigation to the green roof. Savings for this green roof system are anticipated to be 20,000 gallons per week in domestic water use.
TYLI also installed energy efficient lighting, including an LED site lighting system with pedestrian poles, flush wall lights, and flag lighting. The new lighting reduces wattage by 50%.