Bioretention Standards – Another Tool in the LID Toolkit

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
12:00 - 1:00 PM Central Time

Education Track: Stormwater Management
Audience Level: Intermediate
Price: FREE for IECA Members/$25 for Non-Members
Credit: 1 Professional Development Hour

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National bioretention design and construction standards were developed as a National Research Council Canada’s Climate Resilient Buildings and Codes Infrastructure initiative. The standards were developed, under the auspices of the Canadian Standards Association Group, to provide a tool to support surface water protection and flood mitigation.

Proper stormwater management has become increasingly important as severe storm events become more commonplace, populations continue to increase, and development expands. Bioretention has been shown to provide many positive outcomes with respect to stormwater and the environment, the primary functions of which include: treatment of runoff; reduction of runoff volume; rate control; and groundwater recharge. These outcomes are strengthened by good Erosion and Sediment Control practices during construction of these systems and during construction of adjacent sites.

The primary benefits resulting from these functions include: improved steam baseflows; reduced downstream flooding and erosion; improved water quality; improved in-stream habitat; and improved aesthetics of the urban environment. Bioretention systems, when properly designed, constructed and maintained, offer a long-term financially viable stormwater management solution.

The standards documents provide requirements and recommendations for the design and construction of bioretention systems intended for the management of urban stormwater runoff and cover systems with and without underdrains, biofilters, planters, and bump-outs. The standards establish performance and design criteria and provide a design process, including sizing calculations, media requirements, configurations, and plant material recommendations. The standards also establish construction, operational and maintenance criteria. The presentation will provide an overview of each of these components.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Raise awareness of new Canadian national-level standards that support surface water protection.
  2. Understand the intersection with Erosion and Sediment Control Measures.
  3. Through an awareness of the content of these standards, provide an opportunity to identify ways in which the ESC aspects of the standard can be improved for future editions.

CO-Presented by Bert van Duin, M.Sc., P.Eng & Jim Laidlaw, AALA, BCSLA, LEED® AP

     Bert van Duin is the Drainage Technical Lead at the City of Calgary Water Resources where he is responsible for the evolution of Calgary’s stormwater management practice, specifically related to the practical implementation of sustainable drainage practices. He has over 30 years of experience in the analysis, planning, design and management of urban drainage, stormwater management and watershed management projects in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

      Jim is an experienced Landscape Architect and Team Lead for Stantec’s Calgary Landscape Architecture Business Centre. He has worked closely with municipal, provincial and federal governments, the land development industry, and not-for-profit corporations as a consultant for 23 years. His expertise extends into several areas of landscape practice, including site inventory and analysis; historical landscapes; low impact development; urban renewal; urban forests; environmental restoration; naturalization projects; green roofs; sensory gardens; and LEED related projects. Jim's breadth of project management experience with both the private and public sectors, as well as his considerable field experience, allows him to successfully navigate clients and staff through the visioning, conceptualization, detailed design, and construction processes for landscape architecture projects.


IECA is the foremost organization for those involved in or concerned about soil erosion control. Membership (in IECA) tells others you take erosion control seriously and you want to help make a difference.

Scott Velting, CPESC, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA