WithersRavenel’s SearStone stormwater system in Cary can tackle a 100-year event

WithersRavenel’s SearStone stormwater system in Cary can tackle a 100-year event

The SearStone project has been a multi-disciplinary effort for WithersRavenel that included a close relationship between civil engineering, landscape design, and architecture.

SearStone is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that offers assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory support to independent and active residents aged 62 and above.

The retirement community in Cary was expanded to include several new buildings. WithersRavenel designed community gathering spaces between, above, and inside the new buildings that included plantings, furnishings, walkways, and programming.

Stormwater was central

Stormwater design was a central element to the landscape design. In the final phase of SearStone, WithersRavenel’s stormwater team designed a system that can handle a 100-year stormwater event.

With a 1-acre footprint, this cavernous structure that was built for the most recent phase of the project is 11 feet tall and located right under the park, sidewalks, and other recreational amenities. This is one of the biggest such systems in place in the Town of Cary.

The SearStone project began in 2008, and the WithersRavenel’s team adapted to meet a recently-passed Town of Cary ordinance, which requires stormwater control measures to manage a 100-year event. This innovative approach is environmentally sound while also satisfying client needs.

WithersRavenel put in place the proprietary StormFilter, a cartridge-based system that reduces sediment loading and nitrogen loading before emptying stormwater runoff into a stream to the east of the project site. The underground system has a capacity to hold 2 million gallons of runoff that will get filtered, ensuring that the environment downstream doesn’t bear the brunt of pollutants.