DesignClinic

Inventory of Green Infrastructure Opportunities and Retrofit Designs for Stormwater Management

Northampton Department of Public Works

Northampton Department of Public Works

2012-2013: In collaboration with the Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW), this student team developed resources and designs to integrate green infrastructure into the City’s stormwater management program.  Green infrastructure is an environmentally sustainable method of managing stormwater on site, contrasted with the traditional grey infrastructure of storm drains and pipes.  The project is part of the initial steps necessary for compliance with an upcoming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit regarding municipal stormwater management.

The team created an inventory of all City-owned sites in Northampton where green infrastructure could be implemented and then prioritized that inventory based on imperviousness, urban density, ease of implementation, possibility for public education, and proximity to known problem drainage areas.  The team also developed a green infrastructure toolbox to help in the selection of appropriate types of green infrastructure for a given site.  Using the prioritized inventory and toolbox, the team designed rain gardens for three specific sites.  The team prepared construction drawings and cost estimates for each of the three designs.

The DPW will implement, evaluate, and maintain the suggested green infrastructure designs.  As funding becomes available, the DPW will use the team’s inventory and toolbox to select locations and designs for green infrastructure implementation across the City.