From Parking Lot To World-Class Public Space In Tulsa

December 12, 2016

The George Kaiser Family Foundation shares the story of Guthrie Green: an amazing transformation of a contaminated truck loading facility in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma into a vibrant urban park that showcases the best of modern-day “green” technology.

A Look At The Green Technology Integrated Into Guthrie Green

Remediating the environmental impact of the site's historic use as a truck loading facility proved to pose several challenges during the transformation of this space. Prior to construction there were two rusting fuel tanks identified for removal. During construction a total of 12 rusting tanks were discovered. The tanks and their contents were removed, yielding a total of 35,000 gallons of fluid total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contamination. 90 cubic yards of TPH impacted soil and 95 tons of contaminated tank fill sand were removed and disposed. The total remediation cost totaled roughly $170,000.

Guthrie Green utilizes an innovative ground source heat pump energy system that includes 120 wells drilled to 500-foot depths and grouped in 15 circuits. By circulating the water through the earth, these wells take advantage of the constant year-round temperature of about 50 F that is just a few feet below the ground’s surface. The wells provide 600 tons of heating and cooling, which is distributed via underground pipes to the neighboring Tulsa Paper Company building and the Hardesty Visual Arts Center, reducing their heating and cooling costs by approximately 60 percent.

Unseen to naked eye, Guthrie Green is a complex, man-made ecosystem that harnesses the power of Mother Nature. Image Credit: SWA

A depiction of the innovative geothermal and solar system hidden underneath Guthrie Green. Image Credit: Manhattan Construction Group

“The Guthrie Green returned an existing, unsafe and contaminated downtown eye sore into a vibrant urban get away that is also a showcase of ‘green’ technology,” said Manhattan Construction Project Manager Levi Frost, who oversaw the project. “All lighting on the site is LED, reducing the overall site demand for electricity. Water runoff on the site is diverted to bio-swales, which help irrigate the landscape and clean the water before it enters the storm sewer. Solar panels on the roof of The Pavilion contribute to the overall energy demands of the park amenities.”
The geothermal field was developed with a $2.5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Energy Demand Reduction grant and a $200,000 Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Brownfield Development grant.

Bioswales are integrated into the park's landscape to manage water runoff. Image Credit: SWA.

“George Kaiser Family Foundation has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and dedication to the City of Tulsa for many years,” said Oklahoma DEQ Brownfields Program Manager Lloyd Kirk. “The recent completion and development of Guthrie Green will become a model for other communities as an example of how redevelopment, reuse and renewable technology can be applied to create a vibrant downtown park.”

Next: A Tulsa Favorite Opens Anchor Restaurant Space At Guthrie Green

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