Low Impact Development

Low-impact development (LID) implements practices that use and/or mimic natural processes to replicate the pre-development hydrologic regime of watersheds.  Another name often used for LID is “green infrastructure” (GI).  LID/GI practices help restore and/or preserve the pre-development hydrology, replenish ground water, preserve the integrity of streams, and improve water quality.  These practices involve infiltrating, filtering, storing, evapo-transpiring, and detaining storm water runoff near its source.  LID also can involve planning practices such as preserving open space and farmland, establishing buffers around streams, reducing the area that becomes impermeable during development, and strengthening community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.

S&ME has significant experience incorporating LID/GI into civil site developments and retrofitting LID/GI in existing neighborhoods.  Examples of our LID/GI design include rain gardens, bio swales, storm water wetlands, cisterns, permeable pavement, and storm water detention basin retrofits.  Our staff has participated in development forums to provide comments to regulators regarding various design methodologies and has a thorough understanding of the regulations and analytical methods used for LID/GI evaluation, selection, and design.