2015-12 RAs Jonathan Fillmore detail

Pentair helps RAs get ready to make a splash

December 15, 2015 by Janette Law

Phil Rolchigo, VP of Technology for Pentair, the Minneapolis-based global water management leader, made a special visit with MPF’s Research Assistants in Practice (RAs) last week. Phil volunteered to impart his expertise in water filtration system design to an exciting aspect of the Water Works project on which three students Han, Jonathan and Chris, are working.

The initial Water Works concept calls for an innovative approach to water management. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is exploring the possibilities further, with the help of our RAs, all graduate students in the Landscape Architecture program at the College of Design. Bruce Chamberlain, Minneapolis Parks Fellow, is supervising the project.

The University of Minnesota’s Research Assistants in Practice program assists agencies in the examination of emerging best practices around sustainability and interdisciplinary professional and agency collaboration. This is the fourth year that MPF has hosted RAs, a program that’s donor-supported through the College of Design.

This semester, we tasked RAs Han, Jonathan, and Chris with diagramming and creating a working model for a system that would draw stormwater from two adjoining properties and re-use it in the park for irrigation, grey water, and water features, including:

  • Irrigation of native plantings
  • Running the seep/ice wall
  • Select purposes in the pavilion
  • Wading pond and skim fountains

Pentair’s Phil Rolchigo was called in to consult on the students’ early calculations and system design. His good advice helped Han and Jonathan refine their ideas, as well as encouraged MPF to think creatively about features and uses beyond those already scoped.

Following the students’ refinement of the filtration scheme, they’ll be making a splash with a working scale model.

Stay tuned for more. Until then, our thanks to Phil and Pentair for supporting this project!

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