Climate Change and LID Permeable and Sustainable Paving
A recent article in the Water Canada publication highlights the multi-faceted concerns surrounding the decision to include LID alternative and green infrastructure. Most people, especially those reading this blog and Water Canada’s articles, will agree that weather patterns are changing largely in part to the effects of climate change we are witnessing every day.
In this recent article, we learn about a research project out of the University of British Columbia which is trying to quantify and qualify available data to provide BMP for stormwater management.
Nature teaches that different disciplines approach problems in different manners, offering different solutions based on their experience and expertise.
Something that one discipline deems a solution, another industry will find acts contrarily to their needs.
This particular project will explore all the different solutions, weigh them according to their effectiveness, efficiency and long term cost and will aim to suggest goals that balance what they are calling both the “cost-based” or the “value-based” approach. Having been in the “stormwater” industry for a few years now, I am all too aware of the challenges both the client and the consultant face, on many levels.
Permeable Paving Has Been the Norm in Europe for Over 20 Years – What’s Taking So Long in North America?
Although permeable surfaces have been the norm throughout Europe for well over 2 decades and are slowly gaining acceptance in those areas of North America deemed by most as “green”, California and BC for example, they are not fully accepted in most areas of the continent.
More recently, LID alternatives and green infrastructure are being accepted, however, traditional drainage infrastructure and technologies have to be used in conjunction with the “green” products because of the concern that they “aren’t sure how they will perform over time and we have to be ready”.
One can only imagine that taking the steps to include LID alternatives as well as traditional methods takes a very special and very motivated individual. The shorter construction season, especially in Canada, also impacts people’s decisions because no one is that motivated to include alternative products, convincing the zoning and permitting departments, if it means extending the building timeline and postponing the completion date. I have often heard that it is easier and albeit, faster, to “cut and paste” design details into projects rather than try and introduce something new.
After listening to so many leaders in the industry speak about the challenges involved with “green” building, I really feel that one stumbling block in the inclusion of LID alternatives is the lack of communication between the different players involved in the building industry.
There are so many different levels of approvals that must be obtained especially in the larger city centers that often, once you find your “hero”, the team member that understands how the LID technologies work and is confident enough to sign off on them, they then leave, and the process starts again. It is hopeful that with more of these studies and subsequent manuals for implementation and inclusion of LID and green infrastructure, products such as permeable paving and design modules such as rain gardens will become the norm much faster than we have seen before.
More Communication Between Different Players in the Building Industry | LID Paving
I truly believe that once more key players and industry leaders realize that green infrastructure can be used in our climates in both a land-efficient and cost-effective manner, then alternatives such as permeable paving will become, not only fully welcomed and supported, but mandated like the way green roofs are throughout Toronto and key urban centers. We do not have to reinvent the wheel.
There are many documents, manuals and guidelines available throughout the continent focusing on BMP for stormwater management and the inclusion of green infrastructure and LID. Let’s work together to ensure important changes occur in our generation and let’s do our part to leave the world a better place for generations to come.
About LID Permeable Paving Canada | Ecoraster Ontario
LID Permeable Paving Canada is the exclusive distributor of the Ecoraster permeable paving system in Ontario, Canada. For further information, call us or fill out our contact form to learn more. We would be pleased to schedule a time for an informational presentation or arrange to have you visit our different installation sites.