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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.95
Liaison Erin Stanforth
Submission Date July 24, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-27: Rainwater Management

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Steve Heinitz
Recycling Manager
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution use Low Impact Development (LID) practices as a matter of policy or standard practice to reduce rainwater/stormwater runoff volume and improve outgoing water quality for new construction, major renovation, and other projects?:

A brief description of the institution’s Low Impact Development (LID) practices:

VCU has installed vegetated roofs, porous pavement, retention ponds, bayscaping, a rain garden, and a 2,500-square-foot bioretention area to control the quality and quantity of stormwater on campus.

Has the institution adopted a rainwater/stormwater management policy, plan, or strategies that mitigate the rainwater runoff impacts of ongoing campus operations through the use of green infrastructure? :

A brief description of the institution’s rainwater/stormwater management policy, plan, and/or strategies for ongoing campus operations:

VCU has installed several cisterns, rain gardens, porous pavers, and green roofs and seeks to continue installing these stormwater management strategies wherever is feasible on campus.

A brief description of any rainwater harvesting employed by the institution:

VCU has rainwater collection cisterns installed at the Cary St Gym, Rice Center and Snead Hall.

Rainwater harvested directly and stored/used by the institution, performance year:

A brief description of any rainwater filtering systems employed by the institution to treat water prior to release:

The VCU Rice Center promotes efficient water use through dual-flush and power-assist toilets that operate with rainwater collected in a series of cisterns. Pre-engineered, on-site wastewater treatment results in advanced, clear and odorless effluent infiltrated into nearby wooded areas.

A brief description of any living or vegetated roofs on campus:

The Molecular Medicine Research Building has a vegetated roof that captures rain water and is also an exterior sitting space. The VCU Rice Center has a vegetated roof that captures rain water and filters it before it is captured in cisterns. The Pollak Building on the Monroe Park Campus has a vegetated roof that is accessible to students.

A brief description of any porous (i.e. permeable) paving employed by the institution:

At the VCU Rice Center, a plastic honeycomb grid, stoned topped porous paver has been installed.

A brief description of any downspout disconnection employed by the institution:

A brief description of any rain gardens on campus:

A rain garden has been installed at Grace E.Harris Hall. The purpose of the rain garden is to reduce the pollution flowing into the James River by reducing stormwater runoff. As rainwater flows across roads, lawns and other impervious surfaces, the runoff collects chemicals, fertilizers and other pollutants. The rain garden captures the runoff from impervious or paved surfaces that would normally drain into the James River and Chesapeake Bay. The plants absorb the runoff, where toxins and sediments are filtered and retained in the soil, therefore reducing the amount of runoff making its way downstream. Rain gardens help to manage the amount and more importantly, the quality of stormwater runoff.

A brief description of any stormwater retention and/or detention ponds employed by the institution:

There are two retention ponds at the VCU Rice Center. The vegetated bio-retention cells clean the water before it percolates into the soil.

A brief description of any bioswales on campus (vegetated, compost or stone):

A brief description of any other rainwater management technologies or strategies employed by the institution:

Rain water cisterns to collect and store roof rainwater for landscape irrigation, a 2,500-square-foot bio-retention area, a prefabricated retention basin to trap solid debris at peak stormwater runoff, and oversized manholes and storm sewer lines to slow peak stormwater runoff.

The website URL where information about the institution’s rainwater management initiatives, plan or policy is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.