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LID Design Competition

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What was the LID Design Challenge?

Resource Rain Chattanooga: Low Impact Development (LID) Design Challenge was a design competition jointly sponsored by The City of Chattanooga, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, green|spaces, The Lyndhurst Foundation, River City Company and Hamilton County Water Quality Program.

The City of Chattanooga developed new runoff reduction standards for development and redevelopment sites. The goal of this design challenge was to accelerate the adoption of LID and green infrastructure practices as the preferred method of managing stormwater, and complying with the new standards.

Green infrastructure has a suite of options for the developer and design professional's toolbox. It has been proven to provide benefits in water quality, natural habitat and flood control, reduce long term maintenance costs of stormwater management, increase the quality of life and livability of communities, and can potentially lower the cost of development. This competition will advance innovative, cost-effective, sustainable site designs that can serve as inspiring, regional models for watershed protection and community revitalization.

Competition Objectives

  • Raise awareness about green infrastructure and the City of Chattanooga's new development requirements.
  • Garner community stewardship and enthusiasm for LID/green infrastructure practices.Promote innovation and present engaging, cost-effective strategies.
  • Catalyze private interest and spur property owners to invest in LID/green infrastructure retrofits.
  • Demonstrate cost effectiveness of LID green infrastructure alternatives.
  • Provide a hands-on learning experience in which design, construction and development professionals in the Chattanooga area will gain meaningful experience with LID methodologies that can be applied to everyday practices.
  • Demonstrate the economic, environmental and marketing benefits of green infrastructure.
  • Encourage greater use of sustainable development in the Chattanooga area.Recognize the participants for creativity, innovation and application of sustainable site design.


  • Each entry must come from an integrated design team consisting of at least two licensed professionals including a Professional Engineer and a Registered Landscape Architect.
  • One of these Professionals must be licensed within the Chattanooga MSA.
  • The inclusion of team members from urban planning, architecture, homebuilding and construction disciplines, including students, is strongly encouraged.
  • Individuals may not participate on more than one team competing on the same Design Challenge Site.
  • There are no limits on the number of individuals from a single firm that may participate in the competition as members of teams.
  • Teams with members who are based outside the Chattanooga area are welcome, but at least one member of each team must be a Chattanooga area-based design licensed professional.


Benefits of Participation

Winning team received a cash prize in the amount $10,000 to first place winners, $3,000 to second place winners and $1,000 for third place in each Design Challenge Site. One finalist will be selected as People's Choice Winner with a prize of $2,000. After listening to all the presentations, the audience selected their favorite via a live voting system, giving them the opportunity to present in the Final Awards Program before local developers and leaders. 

Terms and Conditions

The Low Impact Development Design Challenge Competition was organized and administered by the Partnership between The City of Chattanooga, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, green|spaces, The Lyndhurst Foundation, River City Company and Hamilton County Water Quality Program.

The decisions and opinions of the judges represent their professional view points.

All prizes awarded at the discretion of the Partnership and all decisions are final. This competition is purely conceptual, and the selection of finalists or prize winners in no way indicates intent of the property owners or the City to implement the proposed schemes.

By entering the Competition, entrants agree in full to these Terms and Conditions.

Registration and Submissions

The Partnership reserves the right to refuse any entry. All submissions were vetted for eligibility and strict adherence with all Competition Rules and Criteria as defined herein or in any competition brief (or similar). The City or Partners in the Design Challenge assumes no responsibility for postal, technical or natural conditions that prevent the receipt or judging of a competition submission, or any part thereof. Through participation in the Competition, entrant agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless any party from any liability; any claim for damages, and/or suit for or by reason of said submission. All images must either be created by the team or sufficiently cited. Upon registering for this competition, all competitors agree to waive any and all claims against the City or Partners as a result of the competition.

Publicity and Promotion

By registering, the entrants transfer unlimited use for publication, exhibition and electronic posting of all entries to the Partnership. Any entrant may be asked to take part in publicity and promotional activities for the competition.By entering the competition, the entrant acknowledges and accepts that all aspects of any submission may be used for publicity purposes. The entrant may be invited to personally partake in publicity opportunities such as interviews put forward to the entrant by the Partnership. Each opportunity will be taken on merit and the entrant will have the right to decline any opportunity. All winning boards become the property of the Partnership.




Chattanooga Water Quality Program's LID Design Competition Awards Event

We had over 200 people at the Low Impact Development Design Competition Awards Finale at Loose Cannon!

Teams made up of the area's top landscape architects, engineers, planners and designers worked to develop and integrate green infrastructure into four sites around Chattanooga as part of the Resource Rain Low Impact Development (LID) Design Challenge.

A group of technical Judges selected the first, second and third place winners, but the public's help was sought to select the People's Choice Award of $2,000.
The four properties that were designed are: Broad Street, Cherokee Blvd, a multi-use property off Bonny Oaks Drive and Northgate Mall.

The Technical Committee conducted the first round of judging and aided with setting up the Design Competition:

Crystal Piper, Hamilton Co Stormwater; Dawn Hjelseth, Michael Walton and Anj McClain, green|spaces; Dodd Galbreath, Assistant Professor of Lipscomb University's Institute for Sustainable Practice; Harry Hawkins, Thompson Engineering; Mark Heinzer and Karna Levitt, City of Chattanooga Land Development Office; Heather Shank and Karen Hundt, Chattanooga Regional Planning Agency; Gene Hyde, Chattanooga Urban Forester; Jim Williamson, River City Company; Mary Beth Sutton, Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance; Minkara Mounir and Don Green, City of Chattanooga Water Quality Program; Macon Toledano, Lyndhurst Foundation; Roger Tuder, AGC; Mrs. Tyler T. Jeffrey, TDEC - Regional Director - External Affairs.

Awards night pic-2



1. Robert Goo, Environmental Protection Specialist at US EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Washington DC
2. Dodd Galbreath, Founding Director and Assistant Professor at David Lipscomb University's Institute for Sustainable Practice (ISP)
3. Tisha Calabrese-Benton, TDEC Director, Division of Water Resources
4. Russell Moorehead, Chattanooga Office Manager at Barge Waggoner Sumner Cannon Engineering and Architectural Firm
5. Philip Grymes, Executive Director at Outdoor Chattanooga
6. Doug Stein, President at Stein Construction Co., Inc.
7. Linda Harris, Senior Watershed Representative at TVA (retired)

Presentations at this awards event were required to be no longer than 7 minutes long; so you had to come early and listen fast!

LID Design Teams focused their projects on conservation of natural resources, development of practical designs and incorporation of urban design and traditional neighborhood development. They will include LID and green infrastructure practices as the preferred method of managing stormwater, and comply with the new standards set forth by TDEC that go into effect December 2014. Specifically, Challenge entrants were asked to utilize the City of Chattanooga's storm water management practices as a guide for their designs.

Mayor Andy Berke attended the event and said this event is an example of why Chattanooga is on the rise. "We are excited to see the site proposals developed over the past several weeks," said Mayor Andy Berke. "This competition is an innovative way to promote and support sustainable practices. Through this partnership, as well as the involvement of numerous talented professionals, we will have solutions to help make neighborhoods stronger throughout Chattanooga."

"You cannot pick up a newspaper or magazine without somebody talking about what's going on here, and that is a fantastic feeling," he said. "What is really tremendous about this is sustainability is a huge portion of what people think of when they think of our city."

Berke said with competitions like this one, Chattanooga is becoming a quality-of-life city.

"It's why people visit here, live here and put their businesses here," Berke said. "And for us to truly be a quality-of-life place and to be a marker, we have to have events like this to build strong neighborhoods and to certainly build a sustainable city."




The competition was sponsored by the City of Chattanooga, Lyndhurst Foundation, River City Company, Regional Planning Agency, green|spaces, Hamilton County Water Quality Program and sponsored by AquaShield and Belgard.

The following Teams were winners for the Design Competition:

Broad Street:
Winner: 1) W.M. Whitaker & Associates Landscape Architects | GeoSyntec | Garth Brown Designers: Submittal |Overviewl |Board|
2) Stantec Consulting Services: Submittal |Board|  |Overview|
3) LDA Engineering| Ross Fowler: Submittal |Board|

Cherokee Blvd:
Winner: 1) Arcadis: Submittal |Board| |Overview|
2) Farmer Morgan: Submittal: Submittal |Board| |Overview 1|  |Overview 2|
3) Ragan Smith | URS | Kennon | Calhoun Workshop: Submittal |Board|  |Overview|

Northgate Mall
Winner: 1) DH&W Architects | March Adams | Casey Neal Landscape Architects: Submittal |Board| |Overview|
2) Volkert | Neuhoff Taylor Architects: Submittal |Board|  |Overview|

Bonny Oaks
Winner: 1) Ragan Smith | URS | Kennon | Calhoun Workshop: Submittal |Board| |Overview|


LID Excellence Awards

There were also awards for the City's Low Impact Development/ Green Infrastructure Excellence Awards that night, which was sponsored by a grant from Tennessee Stormwater Association.

Winners were:
1) The Crash Pad
2) Fairmount Avenue Townhomes
3) Jarnigan Medical Center

Other applicants were:
· 18 Market Street
· New Covenant Fellowship Church
· Normal park Museum Magnet School
· Fairfield Inn and Suites



 AquaShield-sponsor     Belgard-Sponsor 


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Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea