LID on Campus


About Low Impact Development Tour

Low Impact Development (LID), also known as conservation site design or green infrastructure, is a process of sustainable development that conserves and protects natural resources. LID manages rainwater where it falls by integrating natural systems and best management practices (BMPs) into the site. By having less water run off the land, non-point source pollution is reduced, watersheds are protected, and water quality is improved. LID is especially important in urban and urbanizing areas where it is crucial to promote water conservation, protect our waterways and enhance green space.

Lawrence Tech is home to numerous LID techniques including a green roof, bioswale, porous pavers, naturalized areas, cisterns, and rain gardens ( see map ) . These techniques are highlighted in a new stormwater education trail funded by the Erb Family Foundation. The trail will provide educational benefits to a broad spectrum of the population including students, citizens, public policy makers, planners, landscape architects and engineers. 

With support of the Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project, Lawrence Tech has constructed and monitored the performance of rain gardens - shallow depressions planted with vegetation that capture and filter stormwater runoff.
These gardens were planted in 2007 as part of a Rouge River Project research and outreach project. Both gardens were retrofit around existing catch basins, with optional underdrains and stone reservoirs included. The only difference between the two gardens is the composition of the planting soil. The addition of topsoil and clay in one of the gardens slowed down the infiltration rate; using more compost in the other increased the volume of water that can be stored.
A bioswale circling the campus quadrangle is planted with native grasses and shrubs that absorb and filter rainwater.
This bioswale was completed in 2005 as part of the A. Alfred Taubman Student Services Center landscaping. The bioswale is 3 feet deep and consists of native grasses and shrubs over engineered soils designed to filter water run-off. The bioswale was designed to handle a 10-year storm event before overflowing into existing stormwater systems.
This rain garden was constructed in June 2011 as part of a student project. It consists of five native plant species carefully selected for this site's conditions. LTU will retrofit the garden in 2012 to include "dry" river rock beds to facilitate the flow of stormwater into the garden.
A 12,000-gallon cistern captures stormwater runoff from the green roof for re-use in the Taubman Center.
The vegetated roof retains approximately 70% of annual precipitation, with the remainder draining into this 12,000-gallon underground cistern. The cistern recycles the "grey" water into the Taubman Center to flush toilets.
The Taubman Center's 10,000-square-foot Hydrotech Garden Roof includes a 4-inch granular soil that supports 9 different species of sedum ground cover. The roof has been monitored since 2007 and has proven effective in water management and energy savings.
Special patio pavers absorb water instead of allowing it to run off into streams.
This outdoor dining patio was constructed in 2009 with Uni-Lock Eco-Stone pavers. The porous pavers allow water to infiltrate into the engineered stone layer below. The 6-inch layer is designed to hold stormwater and allow it to infiltrate into the native soil layer below with zero run off.
Lawrence Tech planted two acres of riparian grow zones in 2009 as part of a RRNWDP grant. This area is the smaller of the two zone and is vegetated with more than 20 species of native plants and grasses to protect a small tributary of the Rouge River flowing through campus. This buffer zone plays a key role in improving water quality by filtering run off.
With assistance with the Alliance of Rouge Communities, Lawrence Tech planted two acres of native flowers and grasses on campus to act as a streamside buffer along the Rouge River.