Luxury shopping mall minimizes environmental footprint

Case Studies
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Fashion Island, a premier outdoor retail center in Newport Beach, Calif., is owned by the Irvine Co., a well-known Southern California private real estate company. The shopping center covers 1.3 million sq ft and has a history of renovations over the past 40 years, most relating to the additions of new fashion boutiques and dining experiences.

The most recent, however, was an improvement to the shopping mall’s parking lots in order to reduce pollution in the water flowing underneath.

Committed to environmental stewardship, the Irvine Co. wanted a high-tech storm water pollutant removal system to trap and treat storm water runoff and help protect local water quality. The company chose the Stormwater Management StormFilter from CONTECH Construction Products Inc. It would be installed beneath the parking lot outside a major department store, where it would treat a significant portion of the runoff from the shopping center.

Designed to meet stringent water quality regulatory requirements, the system targets a full range of pollutants in urban runoff, including fine solids, soluble heavy metals, oil and grease and total nutrients.

“It’s a whole water quality system, a comprehensive, integrated scheme for the way water runs through everything,” said Robyn Uptegraff, senior vice president of environmental affairs at the Irvine Co.

Adding to the system’s green footprint is the filter’s structural housing, which is composed of “green” concrete, called 2X Green. Unlike regular concrete, 2X Green is made from partly recycled materials, such as silica fume and fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants. 2X Green, manufactured by Clean Water Resources (CWR), provides twice the durability and up to a 70% reduction in CO2 when compared to standard concrete used in drainage and underground infrastructure.

“It also should last longer—at least 125 years—which is double the lifespan of regular concrete,” said David Sinclair, president of Clean Water Resources in Connecticut. “If it lasts 100 years, it could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 14 tons below what might be emitted using regular cement that would need to be replaced sooner.”

The Fashion Island StormFilter is one of the first green concrete vault filters of its kind used in southern California.

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