Orchard Meadows

Ellicott City, Maryland

KCI provided site/civil engineering and landscape architecture services for Orchard Meadows, a green, 144-unit residential rental community. The proposed completion of North Ridge Road through the site and the proposed extension of Sonia Trail resulted in a plan with three small individual parcels, which posed a challenge in developing a homogenous community.

Four, four-story linear apartment buildings and a community clubhouse comprise the development. The clubhouse serves as the rental center and its amenities include community meeting space, an exercise facility, and an outdoor pool. Emphasis was placed on strong pedestrian links within and through the site to allow for convenient access to the on-site amenities as well as adjacent neighborhood facilities and public transportation.

The landscape design at Orchard Meadows incorporates large street trees that provide not only shade for pedestrians, but also assist in reducing the heat island effect. Each parking lot also features several islands that are planted with shade trees to help reduce the ambient pavement temperatures. The tight 10-acre site was also challenging in terms of stormwater management. Thirteen bio-retention facilities, rain gardens, and enhanced landscaping were designed. Stormwater management was addressed by integrating micro-scale facilities into the site plan and exposing the natural processes of infiltration and groundwater recharge. The micro-scale facilities satisfy the stormwater management requirements while also providing an opportunity to design and landscape these facilities as an amenity for the residents. In all of these instances, native plant materials were selected.