Innovative Stormwater Solution Helps Maximize Useable Land

IKE BOATWRIGHT, LEED® AP
CIVIL ENGINEERING TEAM LEADER

pervious paver installation

pervious paver installation

Today’s stormwater regulations often create a dilemma for smaller projects. Sites between 0.5 – 2 acres have trouble maximizing buildable area with standard stormwater practices.   Once vehicular and pedestrian access, required parking, buffers, setbacks, grand trees, and retention ponds are taken into account many projects are only left with around 25% of the site for vertical construction.   This can render projects economically unfeasible with current land values.   How can developers meet or exceed their bottom line in these situations?  Here is an example where innovative stormwater infrastructure substantially increased usable area for vertical construction.

Brickyard Business Park is a 0.7 acre commercial project being developed by S.L. Shaw and Associates.   In the initial planning stages we studied the projects stormwater options and found that an infiltration system would increase the usable area for vertical construction from 0.25 acres to 0.35 acres which meant significantly more square footage for build-out.   We were able to meet stormwater requirements without a retention pond by utilizing the permeability of existing soils with a pervious paver system in vehicular areas.

Once the project was bid, we compared the costs for the pervious paver system versus the standard asphalt system and determined that the more innovative pervious paver stormwater management solution was 2.5 times more expensive; however, this only accounted for a $50,000 increase in construction cost.  The client decided to go with the new technology, which  not only enhanced the sustainable design aspect of the project but increased the amount of space available for sale by 40%.

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