Revitalization of the National Mall project wins 2017 Vanguard Award in the landscape category

The Vanguard Award was introduced by the IA Awards and Honors Committee in 2017. It was created to honor an innovative installation project in the irrigation industry. After detailed discussions, the Revitalization of the National Mall project was selected as the winner of the Vanguard Award in the landscape category.

The National Mall revitalization project was completed in three phases ending in the fall of 2016. The group spent three years planning the project followed by four years of construction. The process included the installation of a new irrigation system for the eight center tree panels and edge irrigation for the bordering tree panels on both sides of the Mall. The project also included installation of new curbing, structural soils and a new drainage system.

The system minimizes potable water use and maximizes stormwater availability by utilizing the stormwater from the Mall lawn panels and the walkways surrounding them. This collected stormwater is filtered and disinfected before being applied to the turf. The system utilizes four 250,000-gallon underground cisterns transferring water from three of them to a primary cistern from which the stormwater is pumped.

The system is a mix of commercial and golf products, and everything is pressure regulated to save energy. On-site control is accomplished using a smart device app that uses a Wi-Fi signal allowing communication between the irrigation interface and pump station and the central computer that is about 1.5 miles away. The Mall was one of the first commercial sites to use this technology.

“It is the first system that I know of that matches outgoing flow to make up water requirements and that is Wi-Fi based for having the components communicate with each other,” said Brian Vinchesi, EIT, FASIC, LEED AP, president of Irrigation Consulting Inc.

The area now drains better and is designed for less maintenance and less watering time so the lawns are more available to the public.

“It was designed to create a healthy and water-efficient landscape to be enjoyed by the millions of people who visit the site every year,” said Chris Watson of Rain Bird Corporation.


Vinchesi will be accepting this award during the general session at the 2017 Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, on behalf of a large group of companies that contributed to the project’s success. IA participant companies included 3M, Atlantic Irrigation, Brightview, Buckner Superior, Campbell Scientific Inc., Flowtronex, Harrington Corporation, Hunter Industries, Irrigation Consulting Inc., ISCO Industries LLC, Lasco Fittings Inc., Oldcastle Enclosure Solutions, Paige Electric, Rain Bird Corporation, Sure-Flo Fittings, T. Christy Enterprises Inc., The Toro Company and VAF Filtration Systems.