Behind the concrete barriers and orange construction fencing at the corner of Superior and Ontario, there is an overwhelming amount of activity taking place to renovate Public Square.
Cleveland.com showcased aerial images of the site's progress in a recent story as crews rush to take advantage of good weather to stay on schedule for a 2016 completion. But what's happening underground?
Often overlooked is the infrastructure that will help improve water quality and manage stormwater at the same time, innovations that will increase greenspace on the site and promote sustainability.
Stormwater Technical Specialist David Ritter recently took us behind the barriers to give us an idea of how this "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity that began last October is taking shape and how sewer improvements have a positive effect on Lake Erie.
"The Sewer District saw this as an opportunity to manage stormwater in a highly urbanized environment," Ritter said, "and was able to work with [partners] to leverage the work that was already going on here at Public Square."
Despite a sketchy 1954 report of a bull-shark attack on Lake Michigan, fears of a Great Lakes Sharknado is nothing to keep you up at night. But could any Great Lakes monster rain from the sky in a so-bad-it's-good made-for-SyFy-channel movie? Our investigators named one.
"I would say the sea lamprey," said Supervisor of Environmental Assessment Seth Hothem.
In 2009, the District began designing a new incineration facility that would conserve resources, reduce air emissions, and generate electricity.
Six years later, the Renewable Energy Facility (REF) has been awarded LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, for its sustainability features including water efficiency, innovation, and indoor environmental quality.
The LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, program is the most widely used green-building rating system, with 1.7 million square feet of construction space certified every day. See the REF's official LEED scorecard.
This certification is a reflection of the facility’s success in saving money and resources, while promoting renewable, clean energy. Compared to the average commercial building, LEED Gold buildings consume less energy and less water, with lower maintenance costs, higher occupant satisfaction, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
—Story by Communications Specialist Yolanda Kelly. Thanks to Kellie Rotunno, Jim Bunsey, Tom Vasel, Steve Janosko, and everyone who worked to get the REF LEED Gold Certified.