Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
OP-22: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Andrews
Project Director
Sustainability Institute
"---" 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:

Through close collaboration between the UNH Stormwater Center and the Campus Planning office, UNH takes a holistic approach to stormwater management on campus. UNH has sited more than a dozen green infrastructure installations across our core campus, including bioretention areas, tree filters, sub-service gravel filters, green roofs, permeable and porous pavement installations and others, which serve both a functional and a research purpose. For a (partial) map of these installations, see https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1ppyPrWUhqpth1-NUnVTcHeOFvME&ll=43.13726499715662%2C-70.94125269577017&z=14.
For more information, see https://www.unh.edu/unhsc/.

UNH’s approach to LID and sustainability is framed at the level of the Campus Master Plan and guided by the Landscape Master Plan Update. The 2012 Master Plan (that will updated in 2021-22) includes sustainability as one of its five overarching goals and states that the plan “incorporates a holistic view of sustainability” as “making decisions today that benefit our quality of life without compromising the long-term health of biodiversity, climate, food, communities and citizens.” It also recommends best practices to identify and preserve ecosystem services, to address water quality, to access alternative forms of transportation, and to respect the cultural heritage of the campus.

The Master Plan also calls for the strengthening the ecosystem management of the campus stating that “the campus itself boasts a remarkable array of natural resources constituting a New England setting of exceptional character and beauty and providing rich grounds for teaching and research, and recommends “continued collaborative efforts to preserve and enhance [ecosystem] resources through the leadership of the UNH Ecosystem Task Force, whose efforts are aimed at land use, ecosystem health, biodiversity and development, watershed protection, and waste minimization and management. The overarching goal of these efforts is to protect campus eco-system services and expand the university’s stewardship of campus lands and natural resources.”

The Landscape Master Plan Update (2021) establishes a framework for sustainable and resilient design, planning, landscape management and project management practices. Additionally, it sets specific standards for land use planning as well as best management practices within the university’s footprint in terms of storm water, plant material selection and paving strategies. And referencing UNH’s commitment to sustainability situates the plan “as a landscape planning standard for the university and as a complement to the Campus Master Plan in order to facilitate the university’s goals to develop a vibrant, attractive and sustainable landscape.”

The Campus Master Plan, Landscape Masterplan, and LID policies and practices are connected through UNH requirement that all new construction meet at least LEED Silver. LEED Silver calls for LID with respect to “sustainable sites” including the way a building design moves rainwater and “water efficiency” including drainage gardens and systems that make irrigation systems redundant. UNH’s general design principles being with LEED equivalency and state that detailed Landscape Design Guidelines, which can be seen in their entirety in the Landscape Master Plan, are principle-based, founded on the tenets of sustainability and the belief that landscapes should be managed not simply maintained.


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

UNH’s Planning Standards Principles call for at least LEED silver equivalency and sustainability principles that focus on ensuring that all projects are enduring, efficient, effective, adaptable, engaging and meaningful. LEED Silver calls for LID with respect to “sustainable sites” including the way a building design moves rainwater and “water efficiency” including drainage gardens and systems that make irrigation systems redundant. UNH’s general design principles begin with LEED equivalency and state that detailed Landscape Design Guidelines, which can be seen in their entirety in the UNH Landscape Master Plan, are principle-based, founded on the tenets of sustainability and the belief that landscapes should be managed not simply maintained. Guidelines are divided into Landscape Preservation, Landscape Restoration, and Landscape Enhancement. UNH Construction guidelines include the following: protecting existing vegetation that will remain on building site; temporary erosion and sedimentation control measures to prevent soil erosion and discharge of soil-bearing water runoff; and arborist review and reporting for existing conditions and remediation post construction activities.

In addition UNH and the New Hampshire Seacoast Storm Water Coalition have written Guidelines and Standard Operation Procedures for Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination, Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping. These guidelines are followed by UNH planning, facilities and grounds and events staff. This document can be found on the State of New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services website at des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/stormwater/categories/publications.htm and on the UNH website at https://www.unh.edu/facilities/storm-water-management.


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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