Western Michigan University South Neighborhood Master Plan

Western Michigan University (WMU) was looking to revitalize its southern district into a bustling mixed-use hub to serve WMU students and residents of Kalamazoo. Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) was the civil engineering consultant on the design team tasked with creating a South Neighborhood Master Plan comprised of residential, commercial, and academic developments.

During the development of the four-phase master plan, EEA’s team helped create the blueprint for utility phasing to ensure existing buildings remained operational throughout construction, while providing for the needs of future development. During the creation of the plan, EEA participated in round table discussions with the lead architect to offer quantity and cost estimating insights to keep the stormwater and utility infrastructure within budget.

In addition to considering the site’s future building developments, EEA capitalized on the University’s sustainable campus vision to manage the site’s natural resources. EEA civil engineers used best management practices (BMPs) to inspire the design of infiltration, naturalization, and stormwater detention measures.

Green roof goals were incorporated in the design intent for multiple buildings in the district to enhance environmental protection and meet strict discharge limits due to the nearby Arcadia Creek. Stormwater reuse cisterns were incorporated to reduce the demand on potable water use. Working closely with the project’s landscape architecture team, EEA engineers proposed a naturalized drainage creek through the site and wetland-style ponds to not only meet stormwater capacity, but also enhance the appearance of the campus.

EEA reviewed all Geographic Information Systems (GIS) maps, records of utility infrastructure, and underground utilities to provide an accurate representation of the existing campus capacity and pinpoint areas in need of improvement. EEA determined how all watermain changes would be coordinated with the city to ensure proper fire protection and domestic flows through out all four development phases.

Rendering courtesy of Perkins+Will

  • Architect Perkins+Will