Sunday, December 18, 2011

In 2005, Metro Vancouver Developed Design Guidelines to Complement the Water Balance Model

Capture Rain Where It Falls 
In 2005, Metro Vancouver released Stormwater Source Controls Design Guidelines 2005. This work was based on the adaptation of design standards from areas of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America with similar climatic and soil conditions. The research was commissioned by the Stormwater Inter-Agency Group (SILG) - a Metro Vancouver technical committee - to complement the Water Balance Model for British Columbia.

"The objective of this project was to reduce information barriers that previously stood in the way of effective implementation of rainwater source controls in the Georgia Basin region of British Columbia. Our focus was on the technical details of practices in landscape areas that treat rainwater through plant materials and soils by infiltration, retention, detention and evapotranspiration," stated Ed von Euw, Senior Engineer with Metro Vancouver.

The Water Balance Model Partnership had its genesis as a sub-group of SILG. By 2005, the combination of the Water Balance Model and the Design Guidelines enabled engineers, planners, landscape architects, architects, developers and builders to select, assess and implement landscape-based solutions that made sense.

"SILG provided financial support for development of the Water Balance Model because it is a  tool that will enable Greater Vancouver municipalities to fulfil their commitments to integrated stormwater management planning under the regional Liquid Waste Management Plan. This is the driver for applying the water balance approach," added Ed von Euw in an article that was posted on the Water Bucket website in 2005.

In British Columbia, publication of the Design Guidelines represented an important step in simplifying the technical language so that there would be a clearer public and practitioner understanding of the suite of source control options for capturing rain where it falls.

TO LEARN MORE: The Design Guidelines include typical details, generalized specifications, and guidelines for each of the six priority source control topics:
  • Abosorbent Landscapes
  • Infiltration Swale System
  • Rain Garden 
  • Pervious Paving
  • Green Roof
  • Infiltration Trench & Soakaway
To download a copy of the Design Guidelines and an accompanying set of posters, click on Metro Vancouver Develops Design Guidelines to Complement Water Balance Model to access an article posted on the Water Bucket website.

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