UniverCity Stormwater Management Plan – Burnaby, British Columbia

SFU Aerial Photo

UniverCity is a high-density residential and commercial development by the Simon Fraser University Community Trust (SFU-CT). The development site is located on Burnaby Mountain next to the SFU campus, and it replaces a previously forested area.

The objective of the Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) is to create a post-development hydrology that mimics the pre-development flow conditions, and maintain healthy salmon habitat in the streams at the bottom of the mountain, while providing the appropriate level of storm drainage service for the high-density development.

The original SWMP was developed by CH2M HILL Canada Limited (CH2M HILL) prior to 2002, though there was limited information available on the site’s subsurface conditions.

The planned management techniques included landscape features (design by PWL Partnership) such as absorbent landscape soils, permeable pavers, rain gardens, green roofs; as well as infiltration galleries, vegetated swales, streams, ponds, and detention basins.

SFUSFUThe objective for these features was to minimize surface runoff and maximize infiltration into deep groundwater that feeds springs and supports base flows in the streams throughout the year. The effectiveness of the planned stormwater management techniques for the site-specific conditions required confirmation. The implementation plan for the SWMP included enhanced subsurface explorations and an extensive monitoring and adaptive management program. Investigations determined that the subsurface soils contain various density, gradation, and infiltration capacity sandstones; and also revealed that the infiltration capacity of some of the sandstones may be increased by breaking them up and using the pieces for compacted fill.

SFU SalmonTo implement the concept, an over-excavation and backfill program was incorporated into the design of subsequent project phases. UniverCity-pondThe monitoring and an extensive hydrologic and hydraulic modeling (XPSWMM) program assisted in quantifying the practical infiltration capacity of the soils and identifying the reasons for the variations at the site. In search of opportunities for increasing the site’s total infiltration capacity, analyses identified that utility trenches could create an interflow network for distributing water over large areas; thereby, promoting deep infiltration. Based on the findings of these programs, GMV Engineering updated the SWMP in 2011, incorporating the various new or modified stormwater management concepts into design guidelines. Following these guidelines, the UniverCity stormwater management system will satisfy the performance criteria upon completion of the development project.

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