Douglas J. Daley, P.E.
Rain Garden (Bioretention) for Managing Roof Drainage, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, NY
SUNY ESF Illick Hall bioretention cell
A bioretention cell 14’ W x 35’ L was constructed in the summer 2008 at the southeast corner of Illick Hall on the SUNY ESF main campus. The cell was designed to provide 0.5’ ponding depth for a peak flow of 2.1 cfs (100-year return interval). Native plants are supported by a 0.5’ mulch layer over 3.5’ planting soil over 2 feet compacted granular subbase. The cell receives drainage from approximately 10,270 square feet of the Illick Hall roof through a 2.5 x 4.0 ft influent weir box. A trench drain, which connects to the local storm sewer, underlies the bioretention cell. The cell was equipped with sensors to monitor flow, soil moisture and temperature in Spring 2009. Instrumentation is listed in Table 1. Water level sensors will be used in combination with V-notch weirs to measure influent and effluent flow.
TABLE 1: Instrumentation
Green Infrastructure at SUNY ESF
SUNY ESF Gateway Building Green Roof
Performance monitoring commenced in 2013 of the intensive green roof on the College's newest building. Local native plant communities (alvar and dune) were used as templates for the planting design of the green roof. Investigators Tim Toland, Doug Daley and Don Leopld work with graduate students to assess plant establishment and success, water balance and nutrient management. Daley presented a project summary at the 2013 NYWEA Spring meeting.
SUNY ESF Porous Pavement
SUNY ESF installed a porous pavement (trade name Flexi-pave) in summer 2008 on an elevated walkway at Moon Library. The installation offers the advantage that the water which permeates the pavement is conveyed to an underdrain system, where the flow and/or volume can be measured at four outlets. Flexi-pave is a flexible paving material comprised of 3/8” (8mm) wire-free recycled tire granules, 3/8” to ½” aggregate and a proprietary binding agent. Installed depth is generally 1 to 2 inches. Flexi-pave advocates claim that its high porosity reduces runoff to storm sewers and stormwater retention facilities.
SUNY ESF Green Roof
The SUNY ESF green roof installation on Walters Hall was completed c. 2005. Planting medium was installed over a PVC roof membrane. Plants are predominately sedum planted at 12” o.c. in approximately 6” of M-2 growth medium. An adjacent roof is covered with conventional builtup membrane roof materials. Some minor retrofit of the roof drain leaders will be needed in order to measure flow rate and obtain water quality samples from the two roof systems.
An urban watershed weather station is installed on the green roof (http://weather.esf.edu/ESFweather.htm) which provides current climate data.
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May 2017: Commenced greenhouse evaluation of water use efficiency of native plants for use in local green infrastructure practices. MS Candidate Mike Reubens will assess the impact of irrigation and drought conditions on percolation and ET rates.
April 2017: Working with collaborator Tim Toland (SUNY ESF Landscape Architecture) on a 5-year evaluation of runoff reduction using optimized drainage medium. Field installation of 24-inch diameter lysimeters and one-dimensional computer simulations will be used to assess water and heat fluxes, as well as nutrient impacts of green infrastructure.
Summer 2014: Research continues, and full development of alvar plant community is evident.
May 2013: Commenced evaluation and monitoring of the intensive green roof on the Gateway Building. MS student Krystal White is assessing nutrient fluxes and heat and water budget for the first growing season.
August 22, 2010: Syracuse experienced a significant rain event sustained for about 24 hours and over 10 cm inches of rainfall. The rain garden held substantial water volume, at least 15 cm deep, but even this type of event needed to go somewhere, in this case over the outfall weir. This was the second time in a week that the rain garden overflowed the outlet, and only the fourth time in my recollection since the garden came on line. Note the vegetation growth over two seasons and how readily the garden softens the hard edges of the quad.
April 2009: A new interpretive sign will be installed this summer to inform campus visitors. See the near final version by following the link (PDF) to Illick Raingarden Interpretive Sign_DRAFT
October 2008: The bioretention basin adds color to the campus.
July 2008: Planting is completed and the bioretention basin operational.
June 2008: The bioretention basin walls are pured and ready to be backfilled.
May 2008: the 6" underdrain is installed along the south face of Illick Hall.