Fairlane Green Green Development of a Closed Landfill
The National Phoenix Award for Excellence in Brownfield Development
The Ford Allen Park Clay Mine Landfill is an industrial landfill located on 200 acres in Allen Park, Michigan. Owned by Ford Motor Company, the site became operational in the 1950s for disposal of waste related to Ford’s manufacturing facilities. With the exception of 20 acres, the site was closed and capped years ago. Ford Land, Ford’s real estate division, envisioned creating an environmentally sensitive, one-million square foot development at the site. When completed, the site, named Fairlane Green, would include both retail space and a community recreational area.
Project Scope NTH Consultants, Ltd. was retained to provide regulatory, environmental and geotechnical engineering services for the project. The NTH Project Team identified three major issues related to the reuse of this land. Each of these issues were addressed in design and construction:
NTH’s rapid response to potential settlement, sloping and waste issues enabled our client to meet environmental guidelines on a tight construction schedule for one of the largest landfill redevelopment projects in the United States.
Reducing Post-Construction Settlements - Since the retail development was being built on a landfill, large amounts of fill were needed to protect the landfill cap and create an effective layout. Preloading the foundation soils and using geofoam to reduce the weight of the fill reduced settlement to levels that made construction with shallow foundations possible.
Maintaining Slope Stability - The placement of one million cubic yards of fill on top of a 40-ft high slope raised serious concerns about stability of the landfill slopes. A soil buttress was designed and constructed to maintain an acceptable factor of safety of 1.3. Because this factor of safety is lower than the normally accepted target of 1.5, a monitoring program was implemented during construction to assure the estimated factor of safety was adequate for this project.
Preventing Methane Gas Migration into the Buildings - Although the landfill was primarily filled with non-putrescible industrial waste, low concentrations of methane were detected at isolated locations across the site. To reduce the risk of methane migrating into the buildings, a gas collection system was designed and installed below the floor slab of every building. Methane detection systems were installed in every building for additional protection.
Project Highlights The Fairlane Green development is an innovative design that is environmentally friendly and provides economic growth for the area. The project is expected to generate about 2,000 permanent jobs.
Environmental and sustainable design considerations also went into the construction of the retail buildings. White reflecting roofs and high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment will reduce energy consumption. The project team encouraged the use of recycled materials and the recycling of construction waste materials. The Target building features more than 250 skylights that will allow for the conservation of energy when conditions provide enough sunlight to illuminate the sales floor.
With the implementation of these features, Fairlane Green is applying for certification a a “green” site through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Core and Shell pilot program for developers.