Client/Builder/Developer: Shelter Group
Location: 9200 Darnestown Rd., Rockville, MD 20850
Market: Senior Living
Size: 3.69 Acres
Zoning: R-90, Special Exception
MBIA Environmental Award, Category: Land Development
Brightview at Rockville is a senior Assisted Living Facility specializing in the care of Alzheimer’s patients. The current zoning is R-90 which is a residential zone that allows a special exception (subject to specific minimum requirements) for housing for senior adults or persons with disabilities. Challenges centered around saving existing mature trees and designing for new environmentally sensitive stormwater management design requirements.
From the outset GLW identified an existing double row of mature white pine trees located on the western and southern property lines and a majestic, mature 45” dbh American Elm tree located at the center of the property. Careful site grading allowed the elm tree to not only be saved but become a focal point around which the building, parking and seating area were sited. The existing double row of mature pines and other existing mature vegetation was saved to buffer the proposed building from the surrounding neighbors while providing a quiet, secure sense of place that is appropriate for seniors, particularly Alzheimer’s patients. Remarkably, 105 of the 160 mature trees which existed on site were retained.
At the time, new stormwater management regulations were met using innovative environmentally sensitive design that utilized many small bio-retention facilities scattered around the property and landscaped with ornamental wetland plants. All roof and parking lot runoff was piped to the bio-retention facilities or dry-wells for no net additional untreated drainage leaving the developed area. Parking spaces and sidewalk around the building was constructed using permeable pavement allowing rainwater to drain directly into the soil rather than having to be collected and managed in a stormwater facility. Additionally, a garden/seating area was designed for Alzheimer’s patients with distinctive, colorful plants and flowers intended to stimulate the mind and create a memorable experience for residents.