ICON Solar House Landscape EPIC Irrigation

We've been getting a lot of questions about our EPIC irrigation landscaping trays.  Landscape Architecture Team Leader Jason Lamers tells us more.
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Landscape Materials
When the sun is blazing, the Icon Solar Landscape becomes a great space to relax and spread your own solar panels to soak up the rays!  The material palette used throughout the Icon Solar House landscape displays some of Minnesota's richest resources.  Northern Minnesota is a major exporter of iron ore which is used in the production of steel, found as accent pieces to the deck.  The cedar wood decking was collected from local sources to reduce the carbon footprint of the Solar Landscape and was chosen to accentuate the wood used throughout the icon house.

EPIC Irrigation

In urban development storm water management and design is an integral part of designing a landscape.  The Minnesota Icon Solar Landscape has been fully integrated into the storm water system by utilizing water from the impervious roof, cleansing storing and using it for irrigation purposes in a little more than 275 square feet of turf grass.   The EPIC profile will treat and store the 1 inch rainfall event from the roof of the house in the 12 inch sand profile.  This is equal to about 90-95% of Minnesota rainfalls.
construction lining of EPIC boxes for grass

The EPIC Systemâ„¢ (Environmental Passive Integrated Chamber) is a non-clogging drainage and irrigation technology utilized in green spaces. Efficient water management is achieved through natural drainage processes and the reuse of water for passive irrigation, via capillary physics (water wicking up through sand).  Rather than simply storing water, EPIC chambers serve as control structures for water movement. Water storage and treatment occurs within the sand layer and plant root systems. EPIC Systemâ„¢ technology enables any green space to clean and manage water, increase irrigation efficiency and provide multi-functional landscapes.
EPIC landscaping box of turf at ICON Solar House solar decathlonTurf
Hard fescue (Festuca brevipila) is an excellent low-input turf grass.  The species has several attributes that make it an excellent choice for a low-input lawn:
Grows in shady or sunny conditions
Tolerant of most important turfcgrass diseases
Exhibits excellent drought tolerance
Maintains green color longer than most other turf grasses during summer stress periods
Has ornamental value when left unmown

MNHD1 is a breeding population that is being improved by the University of Minnesota turf grass breeding program.  We hope to develop a variety that is well-adapted to the conditions of Minnesota so that homeowners can utilize this excellent species for more sustainable home lawns.