Singing in the Rain - How Wesbrook Village makes the most of rainfall

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You might notice a happy flock of ducks padding around Wesbrook Village’s ponds. They’re probably attracted to (and playing in) the neighborhood’s many water features – a result of our eco-friendly storm water plan.

Normally, urban developments channel water off their hard surfaces into the ocean at speeds that can create damage. Since the entirety of South UBC drains through Booming Ground Creek, right behind Wesbrook Village, the community took that problem seriously and tackled it on several fronts.

The Director of Planning and Design with UBC Properties Trust, Paul Young, says, “our goal is to emulate pre-development conditions.” Check out the pond in Smith Park, for example: rainwater captured on rooftops is led through a series of channels into the pond, with excess water being held in detention ponds and released at a controlled rate.

On the west side of Wesbrook Village, a similar series of drainage channels forms what looks like a natural creek. Those feed into large underground tanks beneath Nobel Park where a series of boxes, laid end to end, release the water at a manageable rate.
“You’ll also find that some of our buildings have green roofs with rain gardens on them. They’re filled with water-loving plants and rock pits below to absorb all the extra water,” says Paul, “because we wanted to make them as beautiful as they are functional.”