Houston Hotel Stormwater Design with USGBC LEED Focus

  • 2016

Houston Hotel Stormwater Design with USGBC LEED Focus

Author:
Christopher Wells
Abstract:

This project explored the use of the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED sustainable design program and parameters in relation to a multi-purpose hotel and convention center’s site stormwater collection and maintenance system. Base stormwater flow calculations exiting the site were performed according to the standard design practices supported by the City of Houston. This included utilizing a two-hour, 10-year storm as the base design for sizing and capturing 50% of the water created by the newly developed landscape through the use of an underground storage basin. Redesigning the system to achieve LEED credits, improvements to the design were made in the form of a natural wetland, green roofs, rainwater irrigation cisterns, and a permeable pavement. These improvements resulted in a negligent peak flow during the two-hour, 10-year storm. Utilizing a larger, two-hour, 100-year storm as an additional test of efficiency, the peak runoff levels were lower than those of the basis of design flows for the 10-year storm. The steps taken towards LEED certification not only lead to a removal of the underground storage basin concrete, but provided a green oasis in a city asphalt and helped improve the runoff potential in a city that continues to struggle with massive flooding.