Frontier Highway, Price Bell, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government


Lexington, KY


Civil Engineering, Stormwater Engineering, Landscape Architecture


LEED Gold Certified, 2018 and 2019 ASLA Kentucky Award of Excellence in Planning & Analysis

2018 KY APA Outstanding Project/Program/Tool

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According to Lexington’s Open Data Portal, there are over 2,050 acres of multifamily land uses across Fayette County, Kentucky, many with impervious surface areas that impact stormwater quality and cause flooding issues. In need of infrastructure improvements, three small-scale, aging, multifamily properties on Lexington’s north side would serve as an unlikely catalyst for reimagining how multifamily sites throughout the city handled stormwater runoff.

Thinking outside the box, a multidisciplinary team led by our landscape architects developed an innovative approach for multifamily stormwater retrofits. We leveraged public grant funding to address our client’s issues with the properties while advocating a more extensive agenda for improving urban ecologies and stormwater systems.

Check out the Multifamily Stormwater Retrofit Manual here.

acres of multifamily land-uses countywide
case study properties
Map of Lexington

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Winning grants isn’t easy, and to secure the initial funding, we encouraged our client to think broadly about how the stormwater retrofits on their properties could inform other aging multifamily sites across the city. We then came up with a concept to utilize each property as a case study to develop educational materials around stormwater quality improvements. These materials ultimately became the Lexington Multifamily Stormwater Retrofit Manual. A vital educational resource, the manual can be used by City agencies and multifamily property owners alike to illustrate how to improve stormwater quality and reduce impervious surfaces.

map of Lexington with project sites identified

A Citywide Reach

Using the three case studies, the manual describes the process of evaluating a site’s stormwater issues and opportunities and then outlines stormwater strategies and the design process for improving stormwater management. As each case-study property was developed before the term “green infrastructure” had even been coined, they represented a unique opportunity in developing a series of stormwater retrofits applicable to the thousands of acres of multifamily sites across the city.

Site examples of small, medium, large projects

Small, Medium or Large?

Because multifamily properties come in different shapes and sizes, not all stormwater management solutions are appropriate for all sites. That’s why we developed the manual to include a small, medium and large site to convey how this work can be completed in multiple ways and can be scaled up or down depending on site context.

Labeled rendering based on the stormwater manual

Making BMPs Add Value

Completed in 2022, the refreshed Fifth Third Plaza will evoke Nashville’s infectious energy, providing a space where residents and visitors alike can gather to connect, collaborate and create on Music City’s new center stage.

Labeled rendering featuring vegetation

Getting to the Triple Bottom Line

Putting quality of life and quality of environment at the forefront, the award-winning Lexington Multifamily Stormwater Retrofit Manual will play a critical role in how Kentucky’s second-largest city understands both landscape architecture and the true opportunities associated with developing 21st century infrastructure. Outlined within its covers, our triple-bottom-line approach for stormwater retrofits goes beyond simply burying infrastructure below ground—it creates an immersive infrastructure that increases a property’s social, economic and ecological value.