ASLA Wisconsin Announces Recipients of 2017 Design Awards

March 06, 2017
Civil Engineering & Water Resources Sustainability Landscape Architecture College & University

RDG Planning & Design has been honored for work that displays a deep commitment to the profession of landscape architecture.

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA Wisconsin) has recognized RDG Planning & Design with a chapter award. Conferred annually, this awards program recognizes persons and organizations who have displayed great commitment to the profession of landscape architecture. In 2017, RDG received an Honor Award in Design (Built) for its work on Western Technical College’s Integrated Technology Center Courtyard in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

“RDG is proud to partner with Western Technical College to identify sustainable opportunities, address cost savings initiatives and realize its sustainability goals,” said RDG Landscape Architect and Senior Partner Ryan Peterson, PLA. “Together with the college’s facilities planning team and HSR Associates, we’re integrating ecological and environmental design to improve the campus and elevate the user experience.”

RDG’s design for the new courtyard transforms an underutilized and outdated pedestrian corridor in the downtown La Crosse campus to connect people to nature by embracing an indigenous ecotype of the region, tamarack bog, a part of the Driftless biome of southwest Wisconsin. The courtyard combines a unique blend of native plants, indigenous materials and open spaces to create a “campus sponge” and a living laboratory that teaches students about their local natural environment.

Sustainability is the predominant factor in the design and evolution of the courtyard. Using endemic materials that integrate hints of the surrounding landscape helped create spaces that allow users to engage in the landscape and benefit from its design. The project puts the building and site technologies in the hands of students and educators alike, uncovering the physical infrastructure for use within the academic curriculum. Notable site and sustainable features include a 15,000-gallon water reclamation system that collects discharged chiller water and rainwater to account for 100% of the site’s irrigation and the integration of permeable pavers, bioretention cells and native plants helps remove more than 640 pounds of sediment and infiltrate more than 1,683,000 gallons of rainwater on an annual basis. The project, which is LEED Platinum Certified, ultimately helped the college demonstrate its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director