low impact development strategies
Water running off of roofs and pavement carry pollution through storm drains and into San Antonio’s creeks. Not only does this affect the quality of our water, but the storm-drought nature of our weather causes this to happen very quickly during a rain event. The result is flooding in downstream creek areas.
Bender Wells Clark Design has implemented Low Impact Development (LID) practices on many recent projects. LID uses design techniques like rain gardens, infiltration basins, and rainwater collection systems that store and filter stormwater on a smaller, individual scale. These techniques are based on the premise that stormwater management is very different than stormwater disposal.
LID methods are a more effective and cost-conscious alternative to piping stormwater through miles of underground storm sewers to treat in large, expensive facilities located at the bottom of drainage areas. Almost all components of the urban environment have the potential to serve as an integrated and sustainable way to manage water. This includes not only open space, but also rooftops, streetscapes, parking lots, sidewalks, and medians.
rainwater & condensate harvesting
Rainwater harvesting is an old technology gaining popularity in a new way. Extensive apparatus for collecting and storing rainwater for future use have existed for over 4,000 years. As San Antonio’s rapid urban growth burdens our above- and below-ground water resources, the ancient ingenuity is indisputable of harvesting water from one of the most obvious sources: rain.
Bender Wells Clark Design seized the opportunity with several projects to do just that. While the natural concept of rainwater collection is the same as it has ever been, the implementation of a harvesting system is more precise, more efficient, and more beneficial for irrigation purposes and stormwater management. Most impressive is the amount of water that can be collected from the condensate generated by air conditioning units. In a city where A/C units run 9+ months of the year, this is a remarkable resource.
From public institutions and parks to college campuses and corporations, effectively and efficiently harvesting water from alternative sources has become one of our solicited areas of expertise.