Green Infrastructure

Project Page

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center worked with GW Scientific, the City of Fairbanks, and the Fairbanks Soil & Water Conservation District to develop plans for ten designs home owners can implement to reduce rainwater and pollutant runoff from their property. This project is made possible by funding from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Several of the designs will be demonstrated at sites throughout Fairbanks.

PDF icon Green Infrastructure Resource Guide

10 design plans you can use to reduce runoff at your property:

PDF icon Rainwater Catchment: Installing a rain barrel to collect rainwater for non-potable uses is an easy way to help the environment and to save money.  Anyone that can screw on a garden hose and has a saw and a screwdriver can install a rain barrel.

PDF icon Rain Garden: A rain garden is usually a low section of land that is assembled with water-tolerant plants that absorb rainwater and also ?lter out harmful chemicals. It is a very effective and attractive way of diverting runoff from your home’s gutter. PDF icon Rain Garden Plant List

PDF icon Tree Pit: Installing a tree pit is an easy way to improve the look of your yard. A tree pit will increase the health of your tree and your lawn. Trees need about one inch of water a week and are good water retainers. PDF icon Tree Pit Plant List

PDF icon Infiltration Planter: A  Flow-through planter has an impervious bottom with a porous pipe that drains the water after it has been  ?ltered by the plants and soil. In?ltration planters have a pervious bottom to allow water to in?ltrate the ground below.

PDF icon Swales and Berms: A vegetated swale is usually a grass-lined ditch that slows down runoff water velocity and in?ltrate the water into the soil. Berms can be used to help retain runoff in a designated area along the downhill side of the location.

PDF icon Riparian Zone Revegetation: A strip of wooded land adjacent to waterways. Forest buffers help reduce erosion, improve water quality, create wildlife habitat, and help sustain aquatic life. Native plant species are preferred.

PDF icon Dry Well: A perforated pipe that drains into a small pit ?lled with gravel. Only roof runoff should be redirected into a dry well.

PDF icon Grass Mesh: A polyethylene grid placed directly on grass and secured with metal U-Pins or plastic pegs, the mesh helps stabilize the grass so that it can handle much more traf?c without damage.

PDF icon Green Roof: A roof completely or partially covered with vegetation in a growing medium planted over several layers of waterproof membrane, root barrier, and a drainage board. A green roof can absorb up to half of the rainwater and greatly increase the insulation value of your roof.

PDF icon Permeable Pavers: These porous concrete blocks allow water to pass through them and into the soil. Permeable pavers can be used instead of concrete or asphalt for driveways, patios, and walkways.


Garage Wall Analysis CCHRC is looking at attached garages to see if they adequately prevent pollutants from entering the house.
Alaska Water-Sewer Challenge The Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge looks for innovative, affordable water and sewer solutions for rural households.
Portable Alternative Sanitation System (PASS) Affordable in-home sanitation for homes without running water and sewer.