News from Tennessee: Architects, engineers challenged to improve green infrastructure, meet new stormwater standards


Chattanooga_LID Challenge

New Standards for Runoff Reduction in Chattanooga

Local architects, engineers and other designers in Chattanooga, Tennessee are participating in a challenge that aims to prepare them for meeting new rainwater runoff reduction standards.

Resource Rain Chattanooga: Low Impact Development (LID) Design Challenge is a design competition jointly sponsored by the City of Chattanooga, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, green|spaces, The Lyndhurst Foundation, River City Company and Hamilton County Water Quality Program.

The Goal: Accelerated Implementation of Green Infrastructure Practices

Over the last year, the City of Chattanooga developed new runoff reduction standards for development and redevelopment sites. The goal of this design challenge is to accelerate the adoption of LID and green infrastructure practices as the preferred method of managing stormwater, and complying with the new standards.

Dawn-Hjelseth_Green Spaces_120p“In March, we kicked off the event and had meetings to tell people about the competition,” Dawn Hjelseth, director of development for GreenSpaces, said. “We have these new codes, and we are using the competition to teach architects, designers and engineers how to incorporate the new requirements to lessen the impact of stormwater.”

Local leaders are changing the codes because the Environmental Protection Agency has modified requirements, she also said; and want to accelerate the adoption of these standards and improve green infrastructure practices.

Hjelseth said that the new standards go into effect in the city in December and for the rest of the county in May 2015.

For the challenge, leaders selected four sites. “It’s not just about reducing the amount of stormwater, but also about making these places better,” concluded Dawn Hjelseth.