Best Stormwater Management Designs using Bio-retention Retrofits at Dalhousie University
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This project was designed to reduce Dalhousie University’s contribution to the stormwater surges that cause the city’s treatment facilities to overflow by answering: What external bio-retention retrofit designs can Dalhousie University apply to their campus in order to uphold best stormwater management practices (BSWMP) and how can these designs be transferable to properties of different spatial and economic scales across the HRM? Designing Best Stormwater Management Practices (BSWMP) at Dalhousie University was worth studying because the current state of the campus allows for flooding and green-space over-saturation. This flooding and over-saturation would likely to lead to future water-damage maintenance costs as well as increases in stormwater runoff into the city’s already burdened treatment facilities. If this project’s proposed designs are successfully implemented, Dalhousie can become a leader in stormwater management retrofits and act as a role model for other HRM properties. Therefore the storm events that currently render the municipal treatment facilities useless, would no longer contribute the great volumes it does today, protecting the harbour environment and the HRM population. This study offers BSWMP designs for three economic ranges that Dalhousie can use to effectively mitigate any areas that are prone to stormwater issues. The main goal when offering different economic ranges for the designs is to allow the Dalhousie community to make a choice as to the extent and costliness of their retrofit. The variety in the designs will also allow them to pick and choose different aspects of the BSWMP retrofits that can fit within their budget. If the study’s proposed designs for the targeted areas on campus are implemented, the currently untreated water will pass through a bio-retention area and ultimately reduce Dalhousie’s contribution to Halifax’s volume of stormwater runoff. Finally, by looking at the costs as well as the efficiency of different external retrofits, for both parking areas and buildings, the results of this study developed an accessible “retrofitting guideline” for different scaled property owners to mix and match designs.