North Houston Bike Park

Sustainability Statistics

Land

  • Once a wastewater treatment plant allowed to grow over as a first-tier successional plot, the project redevelops a site into a public amenity.

Planting

  • The project controls and manages the invasive Chinese tallow trees, which once covered the site.
  • Reference communities informed the planting design. Sweetgum trees located on-site inspired the selection for more sweetgums.
  • 800+ trees were saved.
  • 500 trees were planted.
  • 90% of the trees planted are native to the region, including: sweetgum, live oak, red oak and bald cypress.
  • Plants are allowed to go from seed to flower life.
  • The project avoids annual planting.

Water

  • Located in a flood plain, all buildings are raised one foot above the floodplain, and the site is designed to mitigate runoff.
  • A bioswale collects stormwater and creates a richly planted space in the landscape. The planting and slope of the swale removes silt and pollution from the water before it infiltrates into the ground source.
  • The project required 2.1 acre feet of detention. This is zoned to the parking lot, with three feet allocated for water storage under the gravel pave. By putting the detention requirement under the gravel parking versus a detention pond, a larger portion of trees could be saved on-site and there was a cost savings of more than one million dollars. This also keeps the park usable and active during seasons of frequent storms.
  • Trees have the potential for intercepting 250,000 gallons of water which is equivalent to the water usage for 250 American residents for one day.*

Carbon, Energy + Air

  • The trees sequester 30,000 pounds of carbon annually, which offset 3.6 cars per year.**
  • Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke is removed through prohibited smoking on-site.

Economics

  • The project is predicted to be a catalyst for growth.
  • 51% of the planting requires no irrigation or maintenance, offering savings.
  • The park created jobs, with three full time employees managing the park along with 24-hour security.

Social

  • The project connects to more than 150 miles of trails as part of the Bayou Greenway. The bayou system reaches almost every type or neighborhood in Houston. Having a free, outdoor activity space for fitness, education, and community gathering becomes a tremendous resource.
  • With an adaptable, multipurpose room and a community center within the park, the bike park plans to offer educational programs and community gatherings. The programming staff is excited about courses, such as bike maintenance, as a tool for gathering the community together.
  • The track is certified for national and international competitions by the Olympics, UCI (Union Cycle Internationale), and USA BMX.

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts)

**120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

North Houston Bike Park

North Houston Bike Park is a 22+ acre bike park centrally located between Downtown Houston, The Woodlands, and Kingwood, Texas. The Greater Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority hired The Office of James Burnett to design this one-of-a-kind world-class bike park following the completion of the 10-acre North Houston Skate Park which lies directly to the north. The creation of this area has already provided a benefit to the local community and impacted development in the neighboring region.  

The focus for the North Houston Bike Park is to provide something for everybody, whether it’s a beginner rider, expert rider, visitor, or spectator. Programming for the park will include a BMX track, Welcome Center, 25,000 SF of concrete bike bowls, performance pavilion with large event lawn, urban riding plaza, large and small pump tracks, tot-track, a dirt-jumps track, and off-road trails with break-out areas for various skill work.

OJB has incorporated sustainable elements into the design, and the park is being built to be space-efficient. The starting hill sits atop the park’s 2500 SF entry Welcome Center. Another unique element provided to visitors entering from the north is the pedestrian bridge above the bike bowls, which are held up by rideable planters. This offers viewing of the riders below as well as tree-top views extending to the south end of the park.

Promenades run from the north to the south, framing the event lawn and creating a variety of pedestrian gathering spaces. Bike activity happens to the east and west of the promenades ensuring an active experience for all visitors.

The park’s anticipated completion date is January 2018, and it was recently announced by Union Cyclist International (UCI) that the North Houston Bike Park has been selected as the site of the 2020 UCI BMX World Championships.

Location: Houston, TX

Team: Endrestudio, Walter P. Moore, Wylie Consulting Engineers, Stantec, SITE Design Group, Minor Design, Carter Design Group, Jones|Carter