Technical Resources

This Week in Washington


Hosting a Low Impact Development Design Competition

LID workshop cover 

Throughout sections the U.S., there is a lack of familiarity with low impact development (LID) and green infrastructure — otherwise known as “green stormwater infrastructure”  — in the engineering and design community. This is especially true in areas where stormwater regulations have historically been fairly non-dynamic. LID design competitions give engineers, developers, landscape architects, and others a chance to gain experience with LID in a low-risk environment. Competitions can also break down perceived barriers to LID, such as performance and cost, and give the development and permitting community a chance to evaluate the benefits of using LID.  

On May 16 - 17, 2013 WEF hosted a 2-day LID design competition workshop funded by a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant. The workshop brought together representatives from both organizations with experience and those with an interest in holding such competitions. The goal was to address barriers and provide guidance for those who want to host an LID design competition in their region. This white paper offers an overview on various approaches to hosting an LID design competition based on input from the workshop.


 >> Click here to read about how to host an LID design competition.    


Additional Resources

Water Environment Federation

A Roadmap to Developing a LID Design Competition   
This three-part webcast provides an overview of the LID design competition. The key is changing the conversation from “will it work” to “show us it will” by moving the focus from water quality requirements to economic benefits. The information presented reflects experiences from the Houston LID Design competition, which took place in 2010.



Houston Land/Water Sustainability Forum LID design competition Website
This webpage provides information on various aspects of the Houston LID design competition. 

Houston Land/Water Sustainability Forum LID design competition white paper 
The white paper provides a summary of the Houston LID Design Competition experience, from planning to execution through the finals event and beyond. Houston’s white paper provides more extensive details on the HLWSF competition for those interested in following their model.

Harris County LID and GI Design Criteria for Stormwater Management
This document was created in part due to the response and rise in interest in LID and GI in the Houston and Harris County area. 

Re-Visioning Landscapes with LID: The Houston Experience
An EPA Watershed Academy webcast featuring participants from all portions of the Houston competition—competition organizers, winners, and design judges. This webcast features a discussion of the competition's ripple effect on Houston's design/build community as well as the building ordinances in Houston.


North Texas

Dallas/North Texas LID Design Competition
This webpage provides information related to the North Texas LID design competition, including videos of finalist presentations. Watch videos of the finalists’ seven-minute lightning presentations. Videos of the presenters are shown next to their slides.



Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Website
This webpage provides information on various aspects of the Philadelphia GI design competition. 

Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! EPA Webcast 
This webcast features three winners from the Infill Philadelphia: Soak it Up! Design Competition. In Philadelphia’s competition, teams were asked to address the unique stormwater management challenges and opportunities at one of three sites (industrial, commercial, or neighborhood). Winners were selected from 28 teams consisting of 101 firms and 315 professionals from across the nation.

Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Finals Video
This video presents an overview of the Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Design Competition with a focus on the finals event, held at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia where nine teams presented their entries to the public. Winners in each of three categories were awarded $10,000 prizes.

Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! Summary Publication
This 32-page supplement was produced to recap Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! programs, events and competition for a broad audience. It was created in conjunction with Grid, a regional sustainability magazine. It will also serve as a take-away for the Soak It Up! Recap Exhibition, October 7 – December 7, 2013 to coincide with Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia.


San Antonio

San Antonio LID Design Competition website
This website provides information related to the San Antonio LID design competition. 


Washington, D.C.

DC Water Green Infrastructure Challenge website
This webpage provides information related to the DC Water green infrastructure design competition.