Members Only Breakfast: Harvesting the Value of Water
Using Natural Drainage Systems in Land Development for Improved Economic Performance and Flood Mitigation
Since 2011, land development regulations in the Houston region have allowed the use of natural drainage systems (known as “green stormwater infrastructure” or “low impact development”). These systems can provide amenities to more portions of the development, which can attract sales premiums. The systems can also reduce detention requirements, reduce drainage infrastructure costs, and increase unit yields. They can be a marketing differentiator and can leverage today’s interest in green products and services among certain buyers.
The recently released ULI report entitled Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate presents a variety of case studies from around the country including one from the Houston region. The report highlights the increased amenity values, higher lot yields, faster absorption rates, high lease rates, lower infrastructure costs, and reduced floodplain management requirements, and other benefits that can be realized using natural drainage systems.
After several years of use in the Houston region, developers and their planners, landscape architects, and engineers have some experience and some case studies to describe to the community. Since Harvey, the land development community has been talking more about how natural drainage approaches can help with resilience and mitigate flood risks. The panel discussion will cover the business case for using natural drainage systems in the Houston region and lessons learned so far.
Michael Bloom, P.E., CFM
R.G. Miller Engineers, Inc.
John Blount, P.E., LEED AP
Harris County Engineer
Terra Visions, LLC
Executive Director, Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance
The Urban Land Institute
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