When you think of the color green, what comes to mind? Right away we think about plants, the Earth, recycling, money, and anything naturally clean. Green means go and green is good. If you think about it, green is a color you normally don’t associate with anything bad. Because green is important to us, green infrastructure is top on our priority list.
Now, why is green so important to us? Well, we like the idea of keeping the Earth alive and healthy enough for us to live happy and healthy lives. The same goes for the many generations to come. The planet existed before we stepped our caveman feet on its dirt. We owe it to be kind and take care of our gigantic home.
In addition to recycling and not taking hour-long showers, there are other ways to stay green that will help out the Earth, which houses your community. How? Green infrastructure.
At the Atlantic Builders Convention, we had the opportunity to sit in on the Announcing the Developers Green Infrastructure Guide panel. It was moderated by George Vallone and featured Elizabeth Fassman-Beck, PhD, Jeromie Lange, PE, Paul Mankiewicz, PhD, and Rod Ritchie.
So, what is it? A green infrastructure is an approach to managing stormwater that is modeled on natural processes and systems. In other words, why allow the rain to fall into sewers and pipes that’ll just drain away? Why not install a green infrastructure that will allow the rain to filter where it lands for beneficial reuse? This will help restore the natural water cycle, can save money and allow you to install rain gardens, green roofs, pervious pavements, and other types of green infrastructure. Recycling to save the trees is a great way to stay green, but think about how much you can help your community with green infrastructure.
On another approach, going green falls under the “sociological imagination” theory. If one person makes a choice to go green, that choice will inspire others, especially when they see the positive difference in the environment, creating a worldwide phenomenon of green! We just want to make sure that whatever we do internally, benefits our rotating home.
In addition, stormwater management fits right into the green infrastructure category. To be clear, stormwater management is a specialized area within the field of environmental engineering. Practitioners have used the term BMP to describe both structural or engineered control devices and systems to treat polluted stormwater.
To explain the database further, according to International Stormwater BMP Database, there are 5 levels for BMP monitoring:
- Low-Intensity: You would get basic performance summary information for BMPs. The typical users include public officials, casual users, and those seeking quick/fast answers.
- Mid-Intensity: You would get detailed statistical analysis for individual BMPs. The typical users include consultants, public works staff, and designers.
- Researcher: You’ll be able to download the Master Database to conduct an independent analysis. The typical user is usually just university researchers.
- Data Provider: You’ll obtain data entry spreadsheets. The typical users include public agencies, consulting firms, and university researchers.
- New to BMP Monitoring: You’ll obtain monitoring guidance. The typical users include public agencies, consulting firms, university researchers, and graduate students.
We’re interested in staying green to help our communities and to keep our planet alive. How about you?