This City of Los Angeles project is a $40 million bridge renovation spanning the Los Angeles River between the I-5 and I-110 freeways. The roundabout, designed to help control smog and exhaust impacts on surrounding residents, was the first roundabout of its kind in LA. Hyphae served as the landscape designer and civil engineer for the sustainable stormwater features of the project. Hyphae worked with the Bureau of Engineering and local public artist Greenmeme to make the roundabout not only an art piece, but also a stormwater bioretention landscape. The system has the capacity to capture and treat a 10-year rainfall event, or 500,000 gallons, off the adjacent bridge and roads. The system also includes a 25,000-gallon cistern that supplies a water feature as well as a solar tracking photovoltaic system that powers irrigation, lighting, and the artwork. We worked with engineers AECOM/HNTB and the City of LA to design and size the systems, convinced all relevant agencies of its engineering viability, and then produced full landscape and civil construction documents and specifications for the roundabout and surrounding street trees and bioswales.
The Lake Merritt Floating Island Pilot Project is being developed by Hyphae Design Laboratory in conjunction with The Planning Center/DC&E, Floating Islands West, and the City of Oakland. The intent of the project is to launch a floating island in Lake Merritt to improve water quality and provide habitat for birds and fish. The buoyant matrix forming the island structure has a large surface area, providing an excellent habitat for biofilm creating microbes. This biofilm has been shown to uptake excess nutrients in aquatic environments and to increase dissolved oxygen. The island can provide new fish habitat by providing a shaded refuge, as well as a food source. The island will be studied over the course of the project to learn how it can help to improve water quality and provide habitat as well as providing a visual amenity for the Lake Merritt.
Hyphae Design Laboratory in collaboration with Habitat Horticulture are designing a 5000 s.f. living wall for the new SFMOMA expansion, designed by Snohetta. The living walls will be 30' high by 100' long, the fern covered north-facing slopes of SF's maritime mountains serving as its ecological reference point. The wall will be one of the first ever to feature fungus, lichens, and other species found in our complex ecosystems. Most notably, the living wall will have an innovative 100% non-potable irrigation system that recycles the museums air conditioning condensate (visitor generated humidity). Additionally, the living wall will recycle water and nutrients like a hydroponics system, further reducing its environmental impact and water use by 60%. The living wall has an expected construction cost of $1,800,000, and the total project cost is $190 million.
Working with Intersection for the Arts and the Luggage Store Gallery, Hyphae has reversed an outdoor trend by installing the first public benches in Mid-Market since the City of San Francisco removed seating along Market Street, Civic Center Plaza, and United Nations Plaza in the 1990s. Supported in part by the NEA and the San Francisco Art Commission’s Artery Project, The Trailhead (the Trailhead of the Tenderloin National Forest) is an urban ranger station that provides trail maps of the Tenderloin National Forest initiatives, which also houses a plant nursery where starts can be purchased, an art gallery space, and a youth group meet up space. Visitors can grab a coffee at the farm to table run cafe, and then sit at the reconfigurable pygmy forest on Market St. Via its flexibility and rapid installation, the pygmy forest street-scape has inspired the Planning Department in their Parklets 2.0 initiative.
Situated in a single parking space at 357 Ellis St. between Jones St. and Taylor St., the latest PPlanter trial (with the new and improved PPlanter 2.0) ran from July 12th to July 24th. The Street Trial is one step in a masterplan put forth by NOMTL CBD, in partnership with the Hyphae Design Laboratory. The design goal is to provide low-cost, rapidly deployable, community based, ecological sanitation solutions to the Tenderloin and North of Market Street community. The Street Trial provided an opportunity to test some innovative greening strategies, to collect data on daily water and waste flows, as well as their maintenance requirements, and to get feedback from the community on usability and privacy. Over the course of the two-week trial, volunteers from YWAM SF assisted with daily maintenance, logged data, and collected feedback from the public. Compiled data and feedback from the trial was used to inform the design of the full public toilet installation planned for 2014.
The PPlanter works for both men and women. Similar to a parklet, it conveniently takes up a single parking space. The PPlanter system works as follows: a sink is supplied with a human powered foot pump connected to a freshwater supply tank. The greywater from the sink, along with soap residue, flushes and cleans the urinal, keeping odor to a minimum.The graywater, soap and urine (blackwater) from the ADA-compliant urinal are then funneled to a sealed storage tank. The combined blackwater is then pumped into an adjacent planter that houses bamboo plants set in a lightweight mixture of soil and recycled styrofoam coated in pectin. The water from the urinal and sink is evapotranspiration by the bamboo and released into the air as distilled, purified water. The bamboo harnesses the incredible amount of nitrogen and phosphorus found in the urine and uses it to produce more bamboo. Within high traffic areas, additional urinal planters can be added to the system in series.
Hyphae Design Laboratory together with The North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District (NOMTL-CBD) has embarked on a campaign to improve access to public bathrooms. The ecological toilet planned for 2014 will have features such as composting, greywater reuse for the passive irrigation of planted trellis screens, urine nutrient cycling for plant health, and solar panels for lighting and power. After conducting an extensive six-month community research process, Hyphae Design Laboratory developed a 90-page Public Toilet Masterplan that includes a comprehensive, neighborhood-wide toilet survey conducted by a local resident, input from hundreds of community members, three preferred toilet locations, and schematic design guidelines that meet ADA compliance (http://issuu.com/hyphaedesignlab). The Public Toilet Project is funded in part by a Community Challenge Grant and a Community Development Block Grant.
Working with the project architects, Hyphae designed grading and stormwater strategies to deal with both on-site water management, as well as a flash flood stormwater management basement to alleviate site-specific, upstream campus flooding issues. Hyphae also worked on the living roof waterproofing design, in addition to greywater reuse for landscape and interior toilet flushing.
Hyphae Design Lab redesigned the hardscape and landscape surrounding Woodside Elementary School’s new gymnasium. Utilizing the more organic circular shape, Hyphae designed all the walkways surrounding the gym to have a more playful feel suited for an elementary school. In addition, the landscape must meet the California Department of Water Resources model Water Efficiency Landscape Ordinance. All the planters surrounding the gym are biofiltration planters. The planters are interconnected and will drain into the bioswale at the low point of the site. Drought tolerant or wetland plants were used depending on the location of the planter to ensure a water efficient design was achieved.
Since the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar began in 2016, more than 1 million Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh. By September 2019, the Kutupalong refugee camp had become the largest refugee camp in the world, housing over 600,000 people. To create housing in the camp complex, millions of poles of bamboo have been harvested as a sustainable building material. To make the poles resistant to local pole-borer beetles and fungus, the bamboo must be soaked in borate water prior to being used in construction. The IOM team at Kutupalong worked with Wicked Ops, Hyphae Design Laboratory, and dozens of refugees to design, build, commission and operate the world's largest bamboo pole treatment facility. Hyphae developed a water treatment system to remove the buildup of bamboo sap in the borate solution, enabling the borates to be recycled indefinitely. Hyphae first tested numerous treatment strategies, such as coagulation, oxidation, adsorption and filtration to determine possible methods to do pilot testing on. The most promising strategies, oxidation and adsorption, were scaled up to pilot size with Hyphae providing guidance documentation on full scale implementation strategies.
The City of Berkeley contracted Hyphae Design Laboratory to complete a study of public sanitation in Berkeley. The study will assess existing public facilities, understand the city’s need for public sanitation using data and public feedback, and propose a set of strategies to fully meet the need based on precedents and lessons from other cities. WASH refers to Water, Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene. Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is a basic human need and right. It applies to everyone and is a public health issue. For the purpose of this study we are including the following in our definition of WASH: potable water and handwashing, toilets, showers, laundry, and toiletries. Providing sufficient public sanitation services can be more affordable and proactive in preventing public health risks. Most people access sanitation where we live, where we work, when in transit, and or in public areas (parks and shopping). Some of us have less access at different times. Unhoused folks don’t have access where they live; some workers don’t have access on the job (delivery drivers, taxi, bus, and rideshare drivers, and market workers); many transit routes don’t have access; and some parks and public areas don’t have access. Some populations have additional specific needs across these conditions: young children, families, eldery, people who are differently abled, and people of different genders.
Adapt Oakland is a greening plan that identifies environmental hazards and pairs them with adaptation strategies to create a healthier, more sustainable urban environment. These strategies can best be described as interventions to develop green infrastructure that uses biological and ecological systems to provide ecosystem services vital to our urban environment, such as clean air, soil, and water. Additionally, such interventions serve to mitigate the effects of extreme temperatures and lower the risk of flooding and contamination, both of which are projected to increasingly impact communities as a consequence of global climate change. In the past few decades, cities across the country have faced the challenge of improving the poor environmental quality associated with outdated infrastructure and industrial land use. Global warming, sea-level rise, increasing levels of pollution, and extreme weather events pose a threat to our social and economic fabric, but our current infrastructure is not equipped to adapt to such challenges. Moreover, cities lack the necessary funding to ensure its maintenance and improvements. As a result, many communities suffer from the associated externalities, including healthcare costs, lower property values, and an overall lower quality of life. The proposed strategies in Adapt Oakland can mitigate these negative environmental and social impacts, meeting multiple environmental goals in priority areas, incrementally and cost-effectively.
Brent Bucknum was the lead designer and project manager for the design of living roofs for these two buildings. One roof uses all drought tolerant natives and provides habitat for endangered Bay checkerspot butterflies. The other mimics the Hillsborough native grassland ecosystem. Bucknum also worked with Agilewaves, a building automation company, to design a living roof monitoring system.
Hyphae Design Laboratory is working with the University of Louisville’s Envirome Institute, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), National Institute of Health (NIH), Washington University, and other partners on a multi-year study to determine if dramatically increasing vegetation through the planting of thousands of trees in the South Louisville study area positively impacts the resident’s cardiovascular health.
The Harmony project is a renovation and adaptive re-use of a historic building in downtown Louisville into a living laboratory; the intent is to create a vibrant urban ecosystem whose architectural programming and ecological design bridge the gap between humans and nature. The design is driven by goals of ecological and human health and structured by an integrated, iterative design process.
The Belcampo agritourism facility aims to be a flagship model for highly sustainable, fully integrated organic rum, chocolate and coffee production, in which every step of the process from planting to processing, is managed meticulously for integrity, quality and sustainability. The facility will not only be for production but serve as an educational facility, with day tours, lectures, classes and tastings, as well as longer retreats and workshops, focusing on both the artisan production techniques, as well as the unique organic process and sustainable infrastructure at work. Hyphae designed systems to treat and reuse the water from the rum production process.