Less than 20% of the yard will be designed to be grass. Some may ask, why so little? Believe it or not, there is much controversy about the value of lawns. Some of the arguments against lawns include:
• Lawns take chemicals to make them look their best, and these chemicals can leach into the local rivers and streams affecting the populations of native flora and fauna.
• Lawns require a lot of water...and so supplemental watering is necessary
• Lawns are a monoculture that do not support local biodiversity
• Lawns typically require environmentally unfriendly gas powered devices to maintain them (mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers)
However, lawns do provide a place for kids and adults to romp and they do have a certain visual appeal. They have a place in sustainable landscapes, but in a limited scope from the typical American palette.
Stormwater typically goes to the underground stormwater management system. Many times this system deposits large amounts of untreated water to local rivers and streams. The volume erodes these local waterways and pollutants in the water can damage local ecosystems.
Moreover, DC's stormwater system is antiquated and was not designed to handle the amount of rain water it receives today...leading to backups and sewer line breaks. There are ways to arrest this problem. 4310 4th St's landscape manages over 40% of the hardscaped surfaces on the lot.
Mansard roof and porch roof water: rain garden
The front downspout will be disconnected from the storm water system and the storm water will soak into the ground. In fact, this water was routed to an area in the front lawn for a rain garden. The rain garden plants are especially selected to withstand occasional flooding and drought.
Roof stormwater: plant irrigation
The garage has been disconnected from the stormwater drain system as well. This water will be routed to a perforated pipe which waters the bed along the fence line. Excess water is gathered in the grass area until it can soak into the ground.
Rear path: sloped to grass, not alley
Will be sloped toward the lawn so that water runs to the grass, not the alley as many DC row homes do.