Reimagining Stormwater Infrastructure on Campus


With a campus of over seven hundred acres that borders two environmentally sensitive waterways, managing stormwater runoff is an important task for the University of Washington. Currently, the University meets the standards of stormwater management for new development dictated by local, state, and federal agencies, but incorporates very few of the latest and most environmentally sustainable methods of stormwater management. Moreover, the proposed Campus Master Plan, which emphasizes the creation of a more environmentally conscious campus, includes very little in the way of revising and retrofitting existing structures to better manage stormwater on campus. To begin addressing this gap, I have created a retrofit plan that incorporates modern methods of stormwater management based on an existing site on campus. My plan focuses on a single demonstration site, a redesign of the courtyard between Raitt Hall and Savery Hall adjacent to the central Quad. The proposal incorporates easily implemented infrastructure such as bioswales and permeable pavement to create a space that is both functional for its users and acts as a stormwater management site on campus. I chose this site to show how similar methods could be easily transferred to other parts of campus. By creating this design plan, I also demonstrate how the University of Washington could retrofit its existing structures so that they exceed local standards and become an example for other campuses looking to enhance their own stormwater management systems.