Unit 7. Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure
After completing Unit 7, students will be able to:
- Describe low-impact development storm water management controls
- Apply the EPA National Stormwater Calculator to determine storm water management benefits of low-impact development controls
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
- Download and install EPA's National Stormwater Calculator on your computer
- Review Chapters 1 and 2 in the EPA National Stormwater Calculator Users Guide ( This site may be offline. ) . Approximate reading and comprehension time is 45 minutes.
- Read the EPA fact sheet on the benefits of low-impact development
- Watch two videos:
- NYC Green Infrastructure YouTube video, posted by NYC Water.
- EPA National Stormwater Calculator YouTube video, posted by EPA.
- Complete pre-class questions, see the Pre-Class Assignment handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 24kB Jul4 16).
(15 min) Warm-up and Discussion
- Orient students to lesson and place in module
- Present lesson learning goals
- Review student responses to pre-class questions and discussion;
(20 min) EPA National Stormwater Calculator Activity, Part 1: Setup Case Study
- See EPA NSC In-Class Activity handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 28kB Jul4 16)
- Instructor uses EPA NSC In-Class Activity PowerPoint (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 6.3MB Jul4 16)
- Instructor guides students through setup of site conditions for case study
- Students work individually on their own computers
(10 min) EPA National Stormwater Calculator Activity, Part 2: LID Controls
- Students continue with case study and explore LID control alternatives
- Students encouraged to work with rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, and pervious pavement
- Compute LID control benefits and compare with the baseline conditions
- Select final plan and record results
(15 min) EPA National Storwmater Calculator Activity, Part 3: Report
- Students prepare individual report
- Select results to report
(10 min) Mind Map Extension
- Review water system mind maps created previously
- Add or improve green infrastructure practices and other storm water management solutions
(5 min) Summary and Next Class
- Review lesson learning goals
- Next class " extreme events
- Assign Unit 7 homework (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 22kB Jul4 16)
Teaching Notes and Tips
- Instructors need to be aware that this unit requires the use of the PC-only EPA software noted. Working with software is always a challenge because of the myriad issues that may arise — software/operating system incompatibility, power, laptops needed, etc. The instructor needs to be confident the students have their own laptops and they are instructed to bring them to class with the software installed. Or a class may be held in a computer lab and the instructor needs to take responsibility for having the software installed.
- The EPA software accesses the Internet to acquire data. Internet access is required.
- It is important to have additional help in the classroom to troubleshoot the software application as students work through the exercise. Teaching assistants and/or graduate students will be very helpful and should do the training before the class and have basic knowledge and experience with the software tool.
Three assessment instruments are used in Unit 7:
- Pre-class questions are collected and reviewed to assess the first learning goal.
- Student submittals of case study application of EPA National Stormwater Calculator provides assessment of learning goal #2.
- Homework is used to assess learning goal #1.
References and Resources
- U.S. EPA. (2014) National Stormwater Calculator User's Guide Version 1.1 ( This site may be offline. ) , Publication No. 600/R-13/085b.
- EPA LID fact sheets
- EPA Green Infrastructure (instructor can locate reading materials specific to region)
- Cool video about pervious concrete from TechInsider
- Explanation of how green infrastructure contributes to sustainable communities is provided by the EPA in the following report: Enhancing Sustainable Communities with Creek Infrastructure