flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Leo A Daly's minimally invasive approach to remote field site design [BD+C's 2014 Great Solutions Report]

Leo A Daly's minimally invasive approach to remote field site design [BD+C's 2014 Great Solutions Report]

For the past six years, Leo A Daly has been designing sites for remote field stations with near-zero ecological disturbance. 


By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | December 29, 2014
Photo courtesy Leo A Daly, NEON
Photo courtesy Leo A Daly, NEON

For the past six years, architecture/engineering firm Leo A Daly has been designing sites for remote field stations that are collecting environmental data across the country on behalf of the National Ecological Observatory Network, an independent nonprofit entity funded by the National Science Foundation.

Over its 30-year lifespan, NEON’s 106 aquatic and terrestrial sites will track climate conditions, land-use changes, and data on invasive species. The sites have been selected to represent different regions of vegetation, landforms, climate, and ecosystem performance.

One difficult design problem, according to Elizabeth Hunter, the firm’s Project Manager for NEON, has been complying with a mandate of near-zero ecological disturbance. “NEON’s engineers wanted to build [the field stations] with a hovercraft and not disturb anything,” she says, only half jokingly. Leo A Daly, which has designed structures for national parks, had to find ways to meet NEON’s demands using equipment no bigger nor more intrusive than a small skid steer loader.

Case in point: the instrument hut and tower for a site called Dead Lake, near Demopolis, Ala. The site is located close to the Black Warrior River and is susceptible to flooding. NEON has strict criteria about enclosing its instruments within a continuous foundation, so the design team called for the tower to be built on a foundation supported by piers five feet off the ground that allow floodwaters to pass through. The station went live in 2013.

 

 

The sites are mostly self sufficient, but have to be accessible by scientists, who visit the sites periodically to collect data and recalibrate the equipment. At Dead Lake, an elevated metal boardwalk wiggles its way around trees and other obstructions from the site to a staging area a couple of hundred feet away.

Hunter says the buildout of 60 towers and 46 aquatic sites—including 40 relocatable structures—should be completed by 2017. The towers range in height from 26 to 300 feet and take two to six months to build. The sites cost anywhere from under $500,000 to more than $1 million each. 

Read about more innovations from BD+C's 2014 Great Solutions Report

Related Stories

Resiliency | Sep 30, 2022

Designing buildings for wildfire defensibility

Wold Architects and Engineers' Senior Planner Ryan Downs, AIA, talks about how to make structures and communities more fire-resistant.

| Sep 30, 2022

Manley Spangler Smith Architects partners with PBK in strategic merger

Manley Spangler Smith Architects (MSSA), a Georgia-based, full-service architectural firm specializing in educational and municipal facilities, announced today a significant development aimed at increasing its capabilities, expertise, and suite of services. 

| Sep 30, 2022

Lab-grown bricks offer potential low-carbon building material

A team of students at the University of Waterloo in Canada have developed a process to grow bricks using bacteria.

| Sep 29, 2022

FitzGerald establishes Denver office

The new location bolsters FitzGerald’s nationwide reach and capitalizes on local expertise and boots-on-the-ground to serve new and existing clients seeking to do business in Denver and the Front Range, as well as the Southwest United States, California, and Texas.

| Sep 28, 2022

New digital platform to foster construction supply chains free of forced labor

Design for Freedom by Grace Farms and the U.S. Coalition on Sustainability formed a partnership to advance shared goals regarding sustainable and ethical building material supply chains that are free of forced labor.

| Sep 27, 2022

New Buildings Institute released the Existing Building Decarbonization Code

New Buildings Institute (NBI) has released the Existing Building Decarbonization Code.

| Sep 23, 2022

High projected demand for new housing prompts debate on best climate-friendly materials

The number of people living in cities could increase to 80% of the total population by 2100. That could require more new construction between now and 2050 than all the construction done since the start of the industrial revolution.

| Sep 23, 2022

Central offices making a comeback after pandemic

In the early stages of the Covid pandemic, commercial real estate industry experts predicted that businesses would increasingly move toward a hub-and-spoke office model.

| Sep 22, 2022

Gainesville, Fla., ordinance requires Home Energy Score during rental inspections

The city of Gainesville, Florida was recently recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Energy for an adopted ordinance that requires rental housing to receive a Home Energy Score during rental inspections.

| Sep 21, 2022

New California law creates incentive for installing outdoor dining safety barriers

A new California law provides an incentive for commercial property owners to install barriers to protect outdoor diners.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




FitzGerald establishes Denver office

The new location bolsters FitzGerald’s nationwide reach and capitalizes on local expertise and boots-on-the-ground to serve new and existing clients seeking to do business in Denver and the Front Range, as well as the Southwest United States, California, and Texas.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: