The Art of Stormwater Management grant, awarded by Washington State Department of Ecology, funded the installation of a green roof, pervious pavement and bio-retention in the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building. The project provides a unique stormwater educational experience for visitors to the museum in addition to funding a 2-year monitoring program to determine the effectiveness of the low impact development (LID) elements. The Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building is a prominent, high-profile and prestigious attraction located in the heart of Downtown Bellingham’s Art District. The project reduced the site’s impervious surfaces by 38% by adding the following LID elements to the building:
- A 2,700 sf extensive, ADA compliant, publicly accessible green roof
- Over 3,400 sf of porous concrete in the courtyard and alley
- Enhanced treatment and pollutant removal through approximately 1,300 sf of vegetated bio-retention cells in the courtyard.
These improvements will help ease peak flow rates by reducing stormwater runoff by 64% based on a 2-year storm event. Most importantly, the grant will fund the creation of a robust and diverse public education campaign including:
- Two permanent museum installations highlighting the form and function of LID
- Public participation through site tours for architects, builders, engineers, elected officials, government staff, school groups and developers
- Public education and outreach through articles, brochures and video documentation
Education, by nature, is a preventative action used to foster future results. This project will seamlessly integrate and display the form and function of three effective and beautiful low impact development techniques into a unique educational environment.