Lynnhaven Mall Sustainability Initiatives
Lynnhaven Mall is the largest shopping center in Southeastern Virginia, serving the more than 6 million tourists who visit the oceanfront attractions at Virginia Beach every year. Over the past several years this premier GGP property has experienced a multi-million dollar transformation that has enhanced the shopping experience while upholding GGP’s commitment to fostering energy efficiency, conserving natural resources and reducing waste.
A new Food Court has expanded the dining options along with a new outdoor lifestyle plaza that features five national brand restaurants, new retail and dining concepts, and contemporary finishes, improved lighting and upgraded amenities.
To better serve the new retail and dining components, an enhanced parking field, improved drive lanes and valet parking were incorporated into the expansion plans, which involved the redevelopment of more than 430,000 square feet. In order to uphold GGP’s commitment to exploring ways to foster energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and reduce waste, the construction team reused and recycled approximately 6,000 tons of crushed concrete from the demolition of the parking garage, flat lots and hardscape. The planned partial removal of the parking garage made it possible to develop four outparcels and at-grade parking areas to serve customers and tenants.
One focus of the expansion was to mitigate the adverse effects of the reconstruction on stormwater runoff. The improvements included replacing approximately 60,000 square feet of impervious asphalt with attractive, landscaped islands which help to slow the rate of runoff from the site, while at the same time providing areas where stormwater can infiltrate into the underlying soil. The new landscaping at Lynnhaven Mall was specifically designed to avoid the use of off-site water sources for irrigation; rather, two existing onsite retention ponds were slated for irrigation purposes. These ponds were created to comply with the State of Virginia’s stormwater quality standards, which require a reduction of the phosphorus load and runoff volume from redeveloped areas.
Excess runoff from a site may result in erosion and sedimentation of downstream stormwater conveyance channels. The sedimentation caused by erosion harms downstream flora and fauna. GGP’s plan to manage stormwater included the removal of a minimum of 2.12 pounds of phosphorus from the runoff per year. Lynnhaven Mall’s bioretention ponds exceeded the required phosphorus removal by approximately 38%, and with the utilization of an oversized pipe stormwater storage system, the ponds exceeded the required runoff reduction by approximately 6%.
In addition to reducing the phosphorus load from developed areas, these bioretention ponds continue to remove a wide range of pollutants from stormwater including suspended sediment, nitrogen, metals, hydrocarbons and some dissolved pollutants. Bioretention ponds filter stormwater runoff through an engineered mixture of soil and organic matter and are planted with vegetation that helps clean the stormwater through evapotranspiration.
Lynnhaven Mall’s ponds were designed to collect stormwater runoff in underdrain piping due to the center’s coastal plain location on the high water table of Virginia Beach. The collected water is conveyed to the existing retention ponds where it is reused as irrigation water for the property’s landscaping.