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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Rain gardens-Massachusetts-Northampton-Design, Sustainable design, Storm water retention basins, Environmental engineering, Green infrastructure, Stormwater, Smith College. Ziskind House


In the last decade green infrastructure has been normalized in designs ranging from permeable pavers for driveways, to green roofs for skyscrapers. Rain gardens, generally planted depressions which flood during storms, offer a relatively low-tech green infrastructure option that can be affordable and effective at cleaning runoff from storms. When this runoff is left untreated, it flows to rivers, potentially damaging the riparian ecosystem. This report presents a design of a rain garden for the western side of Ziskind House at Smith College in Northampton MA. In this site a rain garden is especially beneficial because it can be used as a learning tool for students and as a case study in green infrastructure for the college. The final design consists of layers of gravel, filter fabric, and soil, all covered with mulch and planted with native trees, shrubs, ferns, and wildflowers. The use of native plants means that the original topsoil could be used by adding compost instead of importing all new planting soil. This cost saving measure means that with a $10,000 budget, the rain garden could be amply planted, cover 1000 sqft, and store a volume of water equivalent to the 10-year, 24-hour design storm.




29 pages : color illustrations, map. Honors project-Smith College, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (page 25)