Areas of Experitise
- Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development
- Green Roofs and Vegetated Walls
- Low Impact Development
- Sustainable Community Design
- Sustainable Construction
- Water Conservation in the Site and Landscape
Mr. Acomb has been teaching at the University of Florida since 1996. In 2009, he was selected as the College of Design, Construction and Planning’s “Teacher of the Year,” and in 2011, he was awarded the college’s FRSA/Earl Blank Fellowship to enhance roofing technology.
LAA 3420 Landscape Architecture Construction 1
This is the first course taken by first-year upper division undergraduate and graduate students. The course presents the fundamentals of implementing site design and construction through grading, roadway alignment, and drainage as applied through technical drawing documents. Sustainable site design and construction practices are integrated throughout the course.
LAA 3421 Landscape Architecture Construction 2
The second course in this sequence focuses on the materials used in construction, continued application of grading and drainage, retaining wall technology, wood structures design, and presents the use of construction details to achieve design and materials sustainability.
LAA 2360 Principles of Landscape Architecture (summer)
This course if often taught as the second half of the introductory graduate design studio, exploring concepts and techniques of site analysis, design and drawing documentation.
LAA 4260/6931 Water Conservation through Site Design and Green Roofs
This course explores water conservation through low impact development (LID) and green roof design. For the first part of the semester, students investigate a variety of LID applications both in class and in field trips. The remainder of the semester is devoted to green roof technology, water harvesting, media and plants, and maintenance, with particular emphasis placed on design in sub-tropical climates.
Mr. Acomb has participated in numerous past research grants that provided assistance to State Agencies, national trade organizations, and community groups to provide assistance in creating sustainable design standards, exploring sustainable solutions to site design through water conservation, and exploring green roof technology. Examples include the National Association of Home Builders, Florida Department of Transportation, U.S. EPA, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Current research activities involve researching new selections of green roof media and plant materials for projects in sub-tropical climates; wind uplift on green roofs for hurricane regions’ building codes; and the performance of design and plant selections in LID stormwater devices in Florida.
Areas of Specialization
The Effects of Wind Uplift on Green Roofs
In association with UF’s Department of Coastal and Civil Engineering, Mr. Acomb is working on a grant from the Florida Building Commission to measure the effects of wind uplift to green roofs in hurricane-force winds (120-140 mph). Test protocols include green roof applications for trays (4” and 8” media depths) as well as built-in-place green roofs of 6” depth. Plant and media selections will vary in order to test the variables of plant height, massing of like plants, succulents vs. woody stems, and differing root systems. Tests will be conducted utilizing the College of Engineering’s hurricane testing facility.
Green Roof Plant and Media Selections for Sub-Tropical Climates
In 2007, Mr. Acomb designed (with Dr. Mark Clark) the University of Florida’s first green roof on the Perry Construction Yard Building. Since then, he has managed the green roof and is monitoring its performance with a focus on plant species (native and ornamental), adaptation to climate (periodic droughts and freezes), as well as testing moisture regimes for the 5” extensive green roof. For the past year, he and his student assistant have conducted field trials of new plant selections, media types and moisture retention products to learn how to better design for the rigors of a green roof environment in this climate.
Sustainable Community Design and Land Development
In 2003, Mr. Acomb co-founded the “Program for Resource Efficient Communities (PREC),” a cross-college, multidisciplinary group of faculty that conducts outreach and research of sustainability measures in community design and land development practices. In 2005, through PREC, he designed the site improvements to portions of “Madera,” a 44-acre (88 lots) market-based subdivision near the University of Florida campus, as well as the site design for Madera’s Model Home. The Model and the project has become nationally recognized for its sustainable site design/LID practices such as its goal of zero-discharge of each lot’s stormwater runoff, conservation of vegetation/habitat, significantly reduced use of turf and irrigation, pervious pavers, and use of native plants in the landscape. In a market comparison with area subdivision products, the Madera Model documented significant savings of capital costs of site improvements as well as landscape management costs, and has been published in national magazines.