The Silva Cell is a modular suspended pavement system that uses soil volumes to support large tree growth and provide powerful on-site stormwater management through absorption, evapotranspiration, and interception.

DeepRoot Silva Cell Installation Guide

In order to help you plan for your Silva Cell 2 installation, we’ve prepared a detailed video. Watch it to get a better understanding of labor, assembly, equipment, and phasing.

How It Works

Meet regional stormwater requirements using underground bioretention designed for tight urban spaces. The DeepRoot Silva Cell is a stormwater BMP that leverages soil and trees to provide:

Water quality / pollutant control

Peak overflow reduction/flow control


Any type of soil

Grow big trees
The soil contained in the Silva Cell serves two important functions: growing large trees and treating stormwater onsite.

Interception and Evapotranspiration:

Large trees intercept and evapotranspire significantly more rain than small trees. For example, a healthy 40 year old Hackberry tree is estimated to provide 14 times as much interception as a 10 year old Hackberry (McPherson et al 2006).

Long-Term Infiltration:

As roots grow and then decay, they leave open channels in the soil that restore and/or enhance porosity and infiltration rates. Several studies have found a significant increase in saturated hydraulic conductivity in bioretention with plants as compared to those without (e.g. Lucas and Greenway 2011).

Water Quality Benefits:

Vegetation is crucial to many water quality benefits, including removal or sequestration of dissolved nutrients, hydrocarbons, and Total Suspended Solids (TSS). Plants also slow water flow, allowing more time for sedimentation to occur (Hunt et al 2012).
Using DeepRoot Silva Cells to meet your stormwater management goals? This tool is your guide.
Stormwater Sizing Tool

Pollutant Removal Levels: Silva Cell compared to typical bioretention systems

Unlike some bioretention systems, which leach nutrients and negatively impact receiving water bodies, DeepRoot Silva Cell systems also provide nutrient removal. Additional low-impact development benefits of the system include:
– Water quality
– Peak overflow reduction
– Low/no maintenance
– May use any type of soil
– Efficient use of space

DeepRoot Silva Cells can be used on almost any type of site, including:
– Streets
– Plazas
– Parking areas
– Green roofs/on-structure
– “Break-out” zones.

Read more about stormwater


Open Interior: completely open design is ideal for the vertical and horizontal spread of roots and water.

3 Sizes to Fit Your Needs



~35 ft3

*Average volume with spacing*

The Silva Cell is covered by one or more of the following patents (other patents pending):
United States: 7,080,480 | 8,065,831 | 9,085,886 | 9,085,887 | 9,775,303 | 10,285,339
Canada: 2,552,348 | 2,662,129 | 2,829,599 | 2,976,915
United Kingdom/Europe: EP 2059114

Getting Started

"Installing the planting soil in the Silva Cells was simple. The open structure at the top made it easy to place the soil in lifts"
- Jordon Enns, Everlast Construction
Silva Cells at Arizona State University
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