One of the first 'green' parking lots in the City of Buffalo has been installed at the 257 Lafayette Center conversion project. The three-story, 34,320-sq.ft. former Catholic Academy school is being converted into 20 two-bedroom units at approximately 825 square feet each, 7,000 sq.ft. of office space and 4,000 sq.ft. for a day care center that will be leased and operated by the Waldorf School.
The conversion project is being undertaken by architect Karl Frizlen and contractor Paul Johnsons' 257 Lafayette LLC. They purchased the circa-1928 school building from the Archdiocese of Buffalo for $200,000.
Dave Majewski's Premium Services oversaw the parking lot construction at the project, installed the landscaping and pavers. Runoff from the parking lot will be channeled into the site's landscape areas. No water is expected to enter the city's storm drains. Since City codes have not officially recognized bio-retention, traditional drainage systems were also installed at the site.
Says Majewski, "There still has to be a catch basin installed on site. It will hardly ever be used however. It is situated 6" above ponding. Any ponding would only happen if there was a severe 100 year flood at best."
"There are also under drains of 6" perforated pipe installed as a last chance drainage back up," says Majewski. "The City has been supportive of the effort, but until bio-retention is proven as reliable, we need to follow existing code."
"Since this may be the first true bio-retention parking lot, it'll be scrutinized. We need to prove that it works," says Majewski, adding that an interpretive sign will be installed at the site. "We have had at least six people stop and and inquire about what we are doing. They all ask why this is not happening on other projects. I tell them this is the future- it will be."