Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 76.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

McGill University
OP-22: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Philippe St-Jean
Sustainability Construction Officer
Facilities Operations and Development
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Which of the following best describes the institution’s approach to rainwater management?:
Comprehensive policies, plans or guidelines that require LID practices for all new projects

A brief description of the institution’s green infrastructure and LID practices:

Currently, most rainwater management on campus is done with subsurface concrete retention basins. Only a few projects include subsurface perforated basins, and no projects include LID surface infrastructure. However, according to our Rainwater Management Strategic Priorities in the Facilities Management and Ancillary Services (FMAS) Design Standards, over time the landscape "is to be modified to include natural Low Impact Design (LID) rainwater basins to manage as much of the required volume of rainwater as the available area permits" (pp. 1-2). The 2019 Campus Planning and Development Office (CPDO) Master Plan also mandates that the university "[p]rioritize rainwater management techniques that are sustainable, natural and plant-based over more cost-intensive concrete and plastic basins" (pp. 110-11).

For context, the McGill Master Plan guides the physical evolution of McGill over the short, medium, and long term. It serves as a framework that translates the strategic directions of the University to tangible actions and it will make the connection between buildings, transportation, landscape and the utilization of space. The plan is a document that allows the university to effectively allocate resources, functions and manage change in the pursuit of its mission.


A copy of the institution’s rainwater management policy, plan, and/or guidelines:
A brief description of the institution’s rainwater management policy, plan, and/or guidelines that supports the responses above:

From the Facilities Management and Ancillary Services Design Standards:
"Projects are to prioritize onsite rainwater management strategies in the order in which they are below. The order of priority was developed based on both the cost and environmental impact of the measures listed.

Rainwater Management Strategic Priorities:
1. The roof is to be transformed to act as the retention basin for the required retention volume (only for flat roof renovation projects). Projects must validate with the Utilities and Energy Management department and Operations department if the roof structure is capable of supporting the necessary load, if the parapets are high enough to ensure there is no risk to the building envelope, if the maintenance or operation of any existing or future equipment on the roof will be adversely affected, and if the retention of rainwater on the roof represents any unacceptable level of risk to assets of high value within the building.
2. The landscape is to be modified to include natural Low Impact Design (LID) rainwater basins to manage as much of the required volume of rainwater as the available area permits. Retention must not occur within 3 meters of buildings’ foundations. Planting strategy is to follow the requirements outlined in McGill’s Landscape Design Standards and must be approved by the Design Services department.
3. Plastic subsurface open retention systems, e.g. the StormTech Chamber, or similar low-cost subsurface retention systems, are to be installed a minimum of 3 meters away from buildings’ foundations.
4. Oversized subsurface rainwater drainage pipes with flow restrictors.
5. Concrete, or similar, closed rainwater retention basins are to be installed within a building, or subsurface outside."
Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/buildings/files/buildings/mcgill_33_40_00_rainwater_management_3.pdf

Moreover, the McGill Master Plan, released by the Camus Planning and Development Office (CPDO) in 2019, outlines the following five measures:
"1. Minimize the amount of impermeable surfaces to decrease the amount of runoff that the campus generates.
2. Ensure that each neighbourhood has sufficient water management measures in place to address the runoff that is generated locally.
3. Prioritize rainwater management techniques that are sustainable, natural and plant-based over more cost-intensive concrete and plastic basins.
4. Employ methods that are intentionally visible to increase awareness where appropriate.
5. Wherever possible, proactively exceed the minimum requirements for rainwater retention to address future changes in climate as well as more restrictive municipal and provincial policies and regulations.
6. Align rainwater management measures with the ongoing execution of projects to ensure that capacity is always maintained."
Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/campusplanning/files/campusplanning/mcgill_university_master_plan_20190813-compressed.pdf


Website URL where information about the institution’s green infrastructure and LID practices is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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