When you supervise one of the world’s highest profile construction projects, every detail is important, especially when it impacts the site’s longevity and beauty. Kevin Smith, project manager for Navillus Contracting based in Long Island City, NY, has been supervising site work at the memorial section of the World Trade Center. One item on the agenda was the placement of earth boxes that will provide separation between structural and landscape soil as well as containment for the site’s 500 trees. Smith specified the earth boxes himself because he wanted a material that was easy to work with and that would not rot under constant moisture. He found Vycom’s Hitec HDPE to be the best for the job.

“The trees have an irrigation system that will regularly pump water into the earth boxes, which are set into concrete surrounds,” said Smith. “We needed sturdy, moisture-resistant earth boxes to maintain all of the trees over the long-term.” He explained that the easily-fabricated Hitec earth box units were designed with openings and angled slats for drainage and tree root expansion and extraction, if a tree should die. “That saves the concrete surrounds from having to be broken up and replaced and the structural soil from being compromised–if a tree dies, they can grind and remove roots through the openings,” he said.

The Black Hitec HDPE panels being utilized on the World Trade Center Memorial Site are manufactured with a percentage of recycled material. The recycling of scrap in the factory is cost effective, better for the environment, and keeps material out of the landfill.

Hitec HDPE is part of Vycom’s Corrtec family of products, with excellent impact strength, stiffness, scratch and chemical resistance and low moisture absorption. It is easy to fabricate and replaces wood or metal in many applications. Hitec HDPE is available in oversized sheets and several color options and thicknesses.

AIN Plastics of Yonkers, New York is the supplier for Navillus Contracting’s total of 2,000 Hitec 4X8 panels. AIN Branch Manager John Colleluori has been working with Navillus to facilitate material supply as development work at the memorial section of World Trade Center continues. Founded in 1970, AIN Plastics is a division of ThyssenKrupp Materials NA. Another ThyssenKrupp company is supplying elevators and escalators to the 1,776 ft. tall Freedom Tower at World Trade 1.

The 500 trees, which look like a virtual forest in the site’s architectural renderings, are an integral part of the landscape design in the World Trade’s Memorial area, as the greenery will add natural serenity and beauty to the Memorial. The trees will surround the two fountain pools that mark the spot of the twin towers, which will feature water cascading over 30 ft. black stone walls into pools below. Bronze plaques around the pool will honor those who passed on 9/11.

Navillus Contracting will complete the site work for the WTC Memorial section in May 2011 and it will be dedicated on Sept 11, 2011.