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Having been coined Music City’s “front porch,” this urban renewal project is the first phase of the new riverfront redevelopment for the City of Nashville. Major components of the redevelopment include: 1.5-acre Ascend Amphitheater with capacity for up to 6,800 people, redevelopment of 1st Avenue, over one mile of multi-use greenway trails, Nashville’s first downtown dog park and ornamental gardens. Several custom designed items, such as large-scale precast decorative swings located around the park’s perimeter, are the result of a collaborative effort between Skanska and the design team. Other unique features include: a 45-foot tall sculpture that mimics the nearby Cumberland River’s flow through Davidson County, The Betty Brown Tree Trail that includes 225 individual trees representing 43 different species; this feature gained the park Level 1 arboretum status, and The Ascend Amphitheater’s electronic, open bandshell that allows spectators to view downtown Nashville through its opening.
This project exceeded its original goal of LEED Silver Certification by achieving LEED Gold. This project also greatly exceeded it's diversity participation goal of 20 percent project expenditure made to minority-owned, female-owned and small businesses.
Dennis GeorgatosVice-President, Account ManagerSkanska USA Building+1 615 656 6925
E-mail Dennis Georgatos
Market segment: Recreational
Academy of Country Music Industry Award for Venue of the Year, Medium Capacity
Associated General Contractor’s National Alliant Build America Award for Environmental Enhancement
The amphitheater building is equipped withthree interior recycling stations and two exterior recycling dumpsters in the loading dock. The ticketing and food preparation areas also have large recycling stations. Recycling facilities are designed to receive paper, cardboard, glass, metal and plastics.
The park is designed to use around 30 percentless potable water than the LEED baseline for the site. The amphitheater building is equipped withwater efficient and low-flow bathroom fixtures. A rainwater harvesting system ensures that no potable water is used for irrigation. Local and native plants and grasses have also been used in the landscaped areas to reduce the demand for irrigation.
The site has a rainwater harvesting system that collects rainwater from the amphitheatre building and the surrounding hardscape into a 1,500 m3 underground rainwater cistern under the artist wing. The system supplies water to the nighttime irrigation system, and is topped up with groundwater via pumps during periods of low rainfall but when irrigation is required. The park also has a 190 m2 rain garden to allow excess stormwater to infiltrate the ground and reduce stormwater runoff.
Other Green Aspects
Reducing local environmental impacts during construction
The project is adjacent to the Cumberland River,and measures were taken to minimize soil erosion and the possible sedimentation of waterway.Biweekly soil erosion inspections were carried outat least 72 hours apart and rainfall was monitored on a daily basis. Soil erosion and sedimentation were part of worker training, and corrective action was required following maintenance checks and observed deviations from approved practice. Erosion control measures included rain inlet protection and silt fence socks around the perimeter of the site, which allow water to flow through while trapping silt.
Other measures included a wheel wash at the construction entrance/exit, temporary sediment basins and dust control measures. Risks associated with oil spills were mitigated byusing designated refueling stations situated away from drains and watercourses, not storing bulk fuel on site, and regular equipment inspections and maintenance. Spill cleanup kits were located in the Skanska project office, and all subcontractors with equipment onsite were required to have their ownspill kits. A Master Chemical Inventory List specific to the project was kept and updated regularly. Paintbrushes were washed in a designated area and rinsewater contained and disposed of properly.The team also worked to reduce the energy they used on site during construction. For example, energy efficient project lighting was used throughout the site and programmable thermostatswere installed in the Skanska office along with a power down function, which allowed lighting, office equipment and heating to be switched off at night and over the weekend when possible.
The amphitheatre building has 325 m2 of sedum green roofing in total over the back stage area and the ticketing booth. Green roofing provides additional thermal insulation and extends the roof ’s lifespan by protecting it from weathering and UVlight. In addition, roof vegetation can filter airborne pollution and reduce stormwater runoff.
225 trees have been planted in the park, including 36 different species to promote biodiversity and avaried habitat for urban wildlife. The park is in the process of achieving the status as an arboretum, which requires an exhibit of at least 30 differenttree species according to the Tennessee arboretum standard.
The park is at the risk of flooding from the adjacent Cumberland River. Phase 1 of the Riverfront ParkRedevelopment has an integrated flood mitigationwall that is designed to protect parts of downtown Nashville against 500-year flood events. The wall consists of a below-grade seepage cut-offwall that is 2.5 to 10.5 m in depth and has been constructed along the full length of the park. The flood mitigation wall is designed to significantly slow down the underground movement of water in the event of a flood in downtown Nashville. Less than 1 m of the wall is above ground and forms a decorative garden and seat wall capped in limestone.
The Nashville Metro Council held over 250 meetings with local community groups during the planning of the project. The park was consequently designed to create an enjoyable space in downtown Nashville for people of all ages and interests.
Local economic benefits
Over 1,500 people worked on the construction site, and the majority of the workforce was from the Nashville area. Around 75 percent of the project’s subcontractors by value were based locally.
Diversified Business Enterprise (DBE) program
Skanska ran a successful DBE program, which hired minority-owned, women-owned and small businesses as subcontractors and vendors for a significant proportion of the project expenditure.The project had the minimum DBE requirement of 20 percent, which was greatly exceeded at 36 percent. The team worked closely with the local authorities to identify DBE firms early in the project, and organized outreach events to meet and encourage DBE companies to support the Riverfront Park project. Major DBE firms included the steel and electrical companies. Skanska also successfully implemented Metro's cancelled check process by working directly with subcontractors to collect invoices and cancelled checks to ensure that every DBE received the amounts discussed in their contract.
There were no lost time accidents on the project. The team had a very strong Injury Free Environment® (IFE®) culture. IFE is a cultural aspect of Skanska’s safety program, which promotes a work environment intolerant of injuries and incidents and goes beyond standard safety practice in the USA. Various IFE orientations and training sessions were held for Skanska and subcontractor workers, as well as IFE Supervisor Skills training. One employee was recognized each month for safety excellence and the team had a project board where everyone posted photographs of their families, which served as a reminder of the importance of returning home safely. Other health and safety initiatives included ‘stretch and flex’ sessions every morning to warm up before work followed by coordination team meetings and pre-task planning, which included safety considerations, before commencing particular tasks.
• Greatly exceeded the project's DiversityParticipation Goal of 20% project expenditure made to minority-owned, female-owned andsmall businesses
• Reduced utility bills throughout the project lifespan