Cost Analysis of Green Infrastructure Compared to Conventional Stormwater Storage

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Pengfei Zhang
Samuel T. Ariaratnam


Low Impact Development (LID), or green infrastructure, refers to a land planning and engineering design practice to address urban storm runoff. The nature of LID is to mimic the pre-development environment to retain runoff through infiltration, retention, and evaporation. Despite the fact that numerous studies have analyzed the performance of runoff volume reduction and peak flow of various green infrastructures, little is known regarding the economic benefits of adopting LID practices. In this research, three completed construction projects in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area were selected to perform an alternative LID design including extensive green roof (GR) and permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP), to determine the cost effectiveness of using LID to reduce the use of a conventional stormwater storage system. A life cycle cost (LCC) analysis was conducted to better understand the cost benefits of applying LID to meet current drainage design criteria as per the project requirements. The results found that applying LID resulted in an average LCC saving rate of 23% compared to a conventional stormwater storage system over a 50 year service life and 15.1% over a full LID (GR+PICP) strategy.  Furthermore, it was discovered that LID has little cost savings benefits when constructing above-ground retention basins due to cheaper associated construction costs.

Low impact development, conventional drainage systems, life cycle cost, stormwater storage.

Article Details

How to Cite
Zhang, P., & Ariaratnam, S. T. (2021). Cost Analysis of Green Infrastructure Compared to Conventional Stormwater Storage. Journal of Engineering Research and Reports, 20(1), 6-19.
Original Research Article


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