A Case Study Based Cradle-to-Grave Environmental Assessment of Low-Impact-Development (LID) Stormwater Management Approach
The thesis focuses on the life cycle impacts of a low-impact-development (LID) parking lot retrofit, designed to manage stormwater, at the IMAX headquarters in Mississauga, ON. The retrofit consisted of three bioretention cells and three permeable pavement systems (PPS) placed in parallel, which were instrumented for performance monitoring. Over a 3-year period, 53% – 99% volume reduction was achieved, which also lead to a substantial reduction in effluent pollutant loads. A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) of the systems and site was performed, and the life cycle impacts were compared to those of a traditional detention pond of an equivalent treatment capacity. The life cycle impacts of LIDs, compared to the pond, were ~20% lower, and the LIDs’ benefits from stormwater treatment were ~300% higher. Further work is needed to quantify the benefits of LIDS on aquatic and plant life associated with mitigating changes to flow, thermal and sediment regimes.