Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.24
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date April 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dickinson College
OP-27: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tyce Herrman
Projects Coordinator
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution use Low Impact Development (LID) practices as a matter of policy or standard practice to reduce rainwater/stormwater runoff volume and improve outgoing water quality for new construction, major renovation, and other projects?:

A brief description of the institution’s Low Impact Development (LID) practices:

Dickinson Campus Master Plan

Managing Stormwater
Increased stormwater runoff from developed areas is one of the most pervasive problems of an urbanizing world. While the opportunity exists to capture stormwater runoff and allow it to infiltrate the soil mantle, the conventional approach has been to treat the runoff as a drainage problem and to “solve” the problem with engineering
solutions. These solutions are expensive, require a lot of maintenance, remove natural habitat, are usually unattractive, and ultimately not sustainable. Promoting open space development that is based on sustainable principles will also involve integrating sustainable alternatives to conventional stormwater management. Demonstration projects can be incorporated into site development associated with new buildings as well as retrofits. These projects can be based on models that replicate the natural hydrologic cycle.
• Identify small-scale projects that have the potential to capture and divert existing run-off into landscape features designed for storage, conveyance and reuse. These retrofit opportunities can be made economically viable in conjunction with new buildings, building improvements or site improvement projects.
• Integrate stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP’s) like rain gardens, green roofs, cisterns, retention ponds, bio-filtration swales, and pervious pavement into site and building design. These landscape features can be designed to discreetly fit within the urban landscape or integrated into planting areas. For instance, the redesign of the site and landscape behind Alt House can include disconnecting roof drains and diverting them into a rain garden, creating a green roof on the existing footprint of the Central Utility Plant (CUP).
• Develop campus wide landscape “management” strategy to convert lawn areas in parts of the campus into an ecological landscape using native plantings. This will help to reduce storm run-off from these areas and provide screening, ecological, aesthetic, and other intangible benefits to the campus.
Due to the karst geology in this area all the Best Management Practices should be carefully designed to prevent development of sinkholes.

The college’s strategic planning efforts over the past 10 years have placed a high emphasis on sustainable growth and modernization, and Low Impact Development (LID). A great example is the Space Utilization Study performed in 2013, which was a complete utilization analysis of existing college space aimed towards maximizing the usefulness of existing spaces prior to the consideration of new construction, resulting in reduced annual operating expenditures and obviated negative ecological impacts associated with unnecessary expansion. In short, the most sustainable and LID building is the one that is never built!

In instances where new construction is necessary, the college has subscribed to sustainable design and construction, culminating in 5 LEED Gold buildings, all which have emphasized LID best practices, especially in relation to storm water management. Our new construction projects have incorporated pervious pavements, rain gardens, rain collection systems, green roofs, native plantings, and more. Also, in 2013 the college completed its Landscape Design Guidelines, which provide a detailed assessment of campus hydrology and target storm water management best practices for the college’s landscaping crew. The guidelines have resulted in many LID grounds projects, such as native planting installations, bio-swales, rain gardens, and edible landscapes. Also, the college participated in a regional storm water study in 2014 and is currently working with the Borough of Carlisle on a potential joint application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to mitigate an area of campus, and town, that is prone to flooding.

+ Date Revised: May 19, 2015

Has the institution adopted a rainwater/stormwater management policy, plan, or strategies that mitigate the rainwater runoff impacts of ongoing campus operations through the use of green infrastructure? :

A brief description of the institution’s rainwater/stormwater management policy, plan, and/or strategies for ongoing campus operations:

Green roof on Rector Science Complex

A brief description of any rainwater harvesting employed by the institution:

Rainwater harvested directly and stored/used by the institution, performance year:

A brief description of any rainwater filtering systems employed by the institution to treat water prior to release:

A brief description of any living or vegetated roofs on campus:

There is a vegetated roof located on our Rector Science Complex Building that was donated by Carlisle Syntec.

A brief description of any porous (i.e. permeable) paving employed by the institution:

Permeable interlocking pavers were used at a bike rack pad behind Althouse Hall (LEED Gold academic building) and at service vehicle parking pad. We have porous asphalt for the automobile parking area at the Kaufman Hall Greenhouse. Permeable pavers were used for the pavilion in front of the greenhouse.

A brief description of any downspout disconnection employed by the institution:

A brief description of any rain gardens on campus:

A brief description of any stormwater retention and/or detention ponds employed by the institution:

There are two retention ponds at Dickinson Park athletic facilities and at the Kline Center.

A brief description of any bioswales on campus (vegetated, compost or stone):

Vegetated swales were incorporated into a pavilion project connected to The Quarry, a dining service franchise, on campus. The vegetated swale features the integration of native landscaping and a rainwater pond.

A brief description of any other rainwater management technologies or strategies employed by the institution:

Rain barrels are used at the Center for Sustainable Living (Treehouse) and at the Kaufman Hall greenhouse.

The website URL where information about the institution’s rainwater management initiatives, plan or policy is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.