Low Impact Development and Stormwater Management

As new “smart growth” and storm-water regulations mandate new approaches to land development design, F. X. Browne, Inc. is leading the field in combining sustainable approaches to ecological landscape design with rigorous civil and environmental engineering.  

F. X. Browne, Inc. is a charter member of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance (DVSGA), a new initiative of government, private sector and non-profit organizations, promoting smart growth projects by recognizing proposed projects prior to development approval. Our site designs will meet the DVSGA criteria of effectively protecting, conserving, or mitigating damage to open space, water quality, and important ecosystem components.


Our designs can also help our clients meet the U. S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards for such credits as Erosion and Sedimentation Control, Reduced Site Disturbance, Stormwater Management, and Innovative Wastewater Technologies. 

In addition to our award winning design work, F. X. Browne, Inc. presents workshops on low impact develop and conservation design techniques throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.  We are also currently serving on the review committee for the development of a state-wide Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) manual for Pennsylvania.  

F. X. Browne, Inc. specializes in creating environmentally-sensitive, low impact development plans for projects ranging from residential developments to schools and corporate campuses.  Our designs are based on the concept that developed areas which integrate natural features and landscapes require less maintenance and site infrastructure, provide increased beauty and sense of place, reduce environmental impacts, and improve the health and well-being of those who inhabit them.

We pride ourselves in working with our clients to meet their specific needs.  For example, we work closely with planners and developers to create a landscape that reflects their values while meeting at municipal, conservation district, and DEP stormwater requirements.  The new Notice of Interest (NOI) for the NPDES construction permit now reflects the concepts and BMPs that we have been designing for years.   

From project planning and conception to construction, F. X. Browne, Inc. provides affordable, client-driven consulting through all phases of the land development process.  Our approach to low impact design starts with understanding the natural landscape elements of the site and conducting an in-depth site characterization of drainage characteristics, site topography, and salient natural features. During the design process, F. X. Browne, Inc. weighs the benefits of low impact development against the associated costs in order to create the optimal development plan for the site.  For example, we evaluate potential cost savings associated with reduced infrastructure and utility maintenance needs, land clearing and grading costs, lot and community marketability, ecological and biological preservation benefits, as well as site and regional water quality improvements.   

We are experts in designing innovative, environmentally sound stormwater management systems to control the volume and quality of stormwater runoff.  We integrate stormwater management into all phases of our design from layout and grading to the design of innovative stormwater treatment systems such as bioinfiltration systems, grass swales, porous pavement, naturalized detention basins and constructed wetlands.  All of our designs fully comply with NPDES Part II requirements.   

In addition to designing new site development plans, F. X. Browne, Inc. works with clients to retrofit existing developed areas into low impact development plans.  We review the proposed site development plan and site-specific characteristics in order to help maintain a hydrologically functional and more natural landscape.  Specifically, we integrate green space, native landscaping and low impact concepts into the retrofit plan to reduce impervious surfaces, and use small-scale stormwater best management practices (BMPs) such as bioretention and infiltration to mimic natural hydrologic functions.  This results in a practical, innovative, and cost-effective retrofit plan.

Our comprehensive low impact site development services include:

          ●   Soil Infiltration Testing

       Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plans

   ●       Low Impact Sustainable Site Design

       Natural Features Inventories

   ●      Stormwater BMP Design

       Wetlands Delineation and Permitting

    ●       Constructed Wetland Design         Water and Wastewater System Design
    ●       Green Roof Design         Decentralized and On-Site Wastewater System Design
    ●       Rain Garden/Bioretention System Design         Environmental Assessments
    ●       Naturalized Basin Design         Lake and Stream Studies

   ●       Landscape Design

       Water Quality Modeling

   ●       LID Site Layout and Design

       Ecological Evaluations

   ●       Low Impact Site Grading

       Water Quality Monitoring

    ●       Stormwater Management Planning and Design

       Public Participation and Outreach

Low Impact Development Workshops:

F. X. Browne, Inc. presents workshops on low impact development.  The topics below are covered in  half or full-day or evening workshops.   

v           Impacts of Stormwater Runoff  on Aquatic Ecosystems

v           Introduction to Low-Impact Development Concepts

v           Using Hydrology to Implement Low-Impact Development

v           Case Studies: Comparisons of Low-Impact Development and Conventional Development

v           Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs)

v           Golf Course Management and Audubon Certification

v           Retrofitting Existing Stormwater Facilities


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