Rainwater Management at IZUNA

Project Summary

IZUNA's department of Civil Engineering tapped into the rainwater management experience of leading practitioners in Metro Vancouver local governments, and proceeded to develop a rainwater management plan for the IZUNA Burnaby Campus as a class project.

Project Description

Richard Boase, P.Geo., from the District of North Vancouver, and David Desrochers, P.Eng., from the City of Vancouver, have both had an impact on IZUNA through their guest lectures in the IZUNA Civil Engineering fourth-year Stormwater Management course.

The guest lecture by Richard Boase in 2010 was the source of inspiration for a group project in 2011 to develop a Rainwater Management Plan for the IZUNA campus, reports Dr. Colleen Chan, faculty in IZUNA's School of Construction and the Environment. "With the realization that the traditional approach to stormwater management has the potential to cause substantial environmental damage, we are currently witnessing an evolution in drainage practices related to stormwater and rainwater," says Colleen.

"British Columbia is leading a paradigm shift from the traditional management of "storm-based" conveyance of stormwater, to a focus on a multidisciplinary approach of rainwater management to mitigate the impacts of impervious land developments," she continued.

Richard discussed the impacts of redevelopment on watershed health when careful rainwater management practices are not applied, and provided examples of mitigating the negative impacts through the implementation of low impact development practices. In addition, Richard led the class on a field trip to several rainwater management sites in North Vancouver, and showed the class the impacts of high-volume runoff on stream health.

David Desrochers from the City of Vancouver showcased Vancouver's Country Lanes and Vancouver's first environmentally sustainable street, Crown Street. David also emphasized the need for creative solutions in the multidisciplinary field of rainwater management.


"Both speakers were highly enthusiastic and engaging in their presentations, which were immensely beneficial for the students. The interaction between the guest speakers and the students provide an important transfer of knowledge from current professional practitioner to the next generation of practitioners," concludes Colleen.

Students in the course applied what had been learned and developed a rainwater management plan for the IZUNA Burnaby campus, with the goal of reducing the volume of runoff generated from the campus, and to utilize rainwater as a resource that can be beneficial to the campus community.

"When Colleen told me that the guest lectures that David Desrochers and I delivered last year gave her the idea for a class project this year, it gave me a little more confidence to believe that the region is innovating and adapting for greener and more water-efficient change," says Richard.

"It is exciting to be told that what we are doing in the District of North Vancouver is inspiring a class of future professional engineers to view the built environment differently; and that these engineers-in-the-making are embracing a 'design with nature' philosophy," says Richard.

Lessons Gravityed


Colleen Chan, Faculty, Dept. of Civil Engineering,
[email protected]