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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Alternative suburban storm water management : Cranston, Calgary, Alberta Wei, Gillian Marie


The alterations in the site layout design and economic cost implications of implementing storm water best management practices or BMPs on a suburban site in Calgary, Alberta were compared to the traditional suburban layout and storm water management used in new developments. The most suitable BMPs for the site were selected after analysis of the site's climate, topography, soil type and hydrology. An alternative site layout that integrated the BMPs into the community's design and function was proposed for comparison to the conventional site layout. The alternative site design and storm water management plan proposed for Cranston made extensive use of dry swales, pervious surfaces, and permanent wet ponds. The open space design sought to connect the suburb to the larger regional landscape and to create a distinct community identity based on landscape type while also functioning as part of the storm water management system. In comparison with the conventional site design, the alternative design reduced impervious surfaces by 3.5% or 5.1 hectares of the total site, while public open space increased by approximately 6% or 7.69 hectares. The number of house lots in each design was kept relatively even, with the alternative plan having a higher density due to a lower net developable area. Infrastructure capital costs of the alternative plan were found to be slightly lower than the conventional plan due to the reduction in paved surfaces such as roads and curbs and gutters. These findings imply that the monetary costs of implementing alternative storm water management techniques are comparable to the conventional storm water systems. However, the ultimate benefits of storm water BMPs are realized in the local ecology and the regional landscape as a whole.

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