We are often asked by design-teams “what’s different about designing for low environmental impact projects”?  The answer is that we “SLIP” a couple of things into the normal process.

SLIP refers to a “Sensitive Low Impact Project”.  Low-Impact development is simply one that works with the attributes of a site, such that development can occur without creating environmental problems during construction or anytime after it is constructed.  To see an outline of the process, click here to download a PDF file. To accomplish this we need to completely understand what the project is about and how the site presents opportunities or challenges.  We look at five critical areas of the project site.

  1. Site Design Considerations
    This requires that we look at conditions that need to be protected or limitations that should be met.
  2. Pollutant Source Control
    This is accomplished by understanding the function and operations of the new project.  Then including protective measures into the project design that prevent negative impacts.  These measures are known as BMPs (Best Management Practices).
  3. Pollutant Treatment Discharge Control
    Knowing this allows us to construct naturalized treatment into the project.  These items often look like special garden areas or sometimes small wetland areas.
  4. Hydromodification and Discharge Flow Control
    We can mitigate increases to rainfall-runoff (flow) by constructing BMPs to temporarily detain flows so that when it leaves the project, it mimics conditions before the project was constructed.  In fact, some jurisdictions require that we take this process to the extreme and design post-project discharges so they are less than the natural stormwater flows of the site when it was completely natural and no building had ever occurred.
  5. Construction Pollution Prevention
    Using years of experience and information from local, state and federal agency tools, we design construction site protections to keep silt, trash, and other pollutants from impacting adjacent or downstream areas.