Sustainable Practices Manage Storm Water for University

Home to over 18,000 students and 4,000 staff, Victoria University, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, follows an integrated campus plan that incorporates sustainable practices in construction and operation of all new buildings and facilities. When the Engineering/Computer Science building needed a new pedestrian drop off and short-term parking, permeable interlocking concrete pavement was a natural fit. University officials asked the engineer to design a 1,800 square foot lot that would exceed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) criteria for storm water management, specifically reducing the rate and quantity of runoff by 25 percent from a two-year, 24-hour storm. The open joints and notches in the paved surface enabled full infiltration of commonly occurring storms through a clean crushed jointing and bedding material. The pavement and subgrade slope gently to one end of the site where perforated pipe drains the subbase within 24 hours. Overflow from extreme storm events are handled by existing catch basins.

Sarah Webb, the university’s sustainability coordinator, said, “The paving stones have exceeded our expectations. Students, faculty and staff have commented on how aesthetically pleasing the drop off is. We have had no problems with wheelchair access, and the stones have continued to perform under our heaviest west coast rains.”

Maintenance for the pervious paving has been minimal, and deicers kept ice from the surface during the occasional winter freeze, nor have there been any problems from freeze thaw cycles.

“Paving stones, and other permeable products, will continue to be used on the campus as a part of our green building program and our commitment in our Integrated Storm Water Management Plan to reduce water runoff and improve water quality,” Webb said.

Project Team
Designer: Bruce DeMaere, A.Sc.T., Bullock Bauer Associates, Ltd., Victoria, B.C.
General Contractor: Excel Contracting, Victoria, B.C.

Additional Reading

For more on interlocking concrete pavement, see the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute.