LTU parking lot project selected for White House Water Summit

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published March 23, 2016

 Construction workers prepare the area Dec. 17.

Construction workers prepare the area Dec. 17.

File photo by Donna Agusti

SOUTHFIELD — A green parking lot that incorporates integrated technology on campus at Lawrence Technological University was among the water quality improvement projects to be showcased at the White House Water Summit March 22.

“We’re just happy to be included,” said LTU College of Engineering professor Don Carpenter. “To me, it’s a great acknowledgment to the partnerships that LTU is working with. We’ve built some strong industry partnerships, and this is recognition of that.”

According to the White House website, President Barack Obama’s administration will host the summit to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions across the U.S. The event, in conjunction with the United Nations World Water Day, is also designed to create ideas and actions to build a sustainable water future through technology, according to the website.

Construction began last December on parking lot D at Lawrence Technological University, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, to install an innovative drainage system that utilizes new eco-friendly technology called energy-passive groundwater recharge products.

The school is one of the first in the nation to test the drainage system.

The parking lot is in front of the new Taubman Complex, which is currently under construction. This year, the university will open the $55 million Taubman Complex, which will house architecture, engineering, biomedical, science, technology, engineering and math programs.

LTU has partnered with Detroit-based green water management company Parjana Distribution on the new drainage system.

Parjana Distribution CEO Greg McPartlin said in a news release that through the partnership with LTU, his company has been given the opportunity to use its innovative technology to improve an important aspect of green infrastructure.

“Stormwater runoff is one of the most pressing issues of development for municipalities and corporations. We expect this project will be an ultimate guideline to design and implement integrated green infrastructure for the future,” McPartlin said in a news release.

Energy-passive groundwater recharge products work by balancing soil moisture and facilitating the movement of water between horizontal soil layers, according to an earlier report. The system addresses soil moisture imbalance, excess water runoff and the lack of underground water recharging, which is the process of surface water becoming groundwater.

The new drainage system incorporates haydite, a stone that provides water quality and control, and the porous pavement Xeripave.

Carpenter said in a previous report that stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution, and the system is designed to absorb up to an inch of rain in a 24-hour period.

The parking lot, which was completed at the end of December, is holding up well, Carpenter said. Data from the parking lot will be more available as more rainfall events occur.

“It made it through the winter, no problem. We’re starting to collect data. The big thing is how does it handle rainfall,” Carpenter said. “So far so good.”