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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Suburban water flows Labrie, Michel Rene

Abstract

Typical suburban housing water cycle practices are polluting the natural water cycle and contributing to the degradation of watersheds. This thesis defines and applies a process that prioritises strategies for transformation of existing suburban housing water cycle into an ecologically sensitive on-site water cycle. An existing typical suburban block located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia is used as a primary vehicle for this investigation. The process is composed of two distinct sections: assessment and transformation. The assessment section consists of two principal objectives: assessing existing conditions and prioritising strategies for transformation. The transformation section consists of four objectives prioritised as follows: first, eliminating on-site degradation; second, reducing the water demand; third, treating and using wastewater; and fourth, collecting and using rainwater. This thesis exclusively examines on-site flow management strategies in order to efficiently and appropriately transform the existing conditions. Social, political, and economic strategies are not studied in this thesis. This research acknowledges the importance of respecting on-site ecological requirements in order to avoid on-site degradation during suburban housing operation. This thesis suggests that it is possible to address the Brentwood Bay suburban housing water cycle on-site with no impact on the host watershed. Furthermore, it is possible to significantly densify the existing site conditions while avoiding degradation of the host watershed. Given the generic nature of the process, it can be readily applied to other climates, building types, and scales. The process can also be applied to both existing retrofit and new construction. The application of the thesis process facilitates the elimination of on-site degradation, the reduction of municipal loading and the increase of natural on-site water cycle carrying capacity.

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