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Young Hall Rain Garden Demonstration Project

University of California, Davis

Young Hall currently directs its roof runoff from exterior downspouts towards multiple courtyard spaces surrounding the building.  Our project site used to be an overgrown and forgotten landscaped space.  The Young Hall Rain Garden now captures several thousand square feet of impervious area runoff from the rooftop and conveys this water away from the building foundation into a formal rain garden.  Kevin Robert Perry and UC Davis SLGI students utilized the Tactical Green Infrastructure™ methodology to completely transform this existing underutilized space into a high-performance green infrastructure demonstration project. 


A defining features of design are a series of acute angles that transect the site.  These angles are formed with both hardscape/landscape materials and grade change that match the bold angles of the Young Hall courtyard railings.  To accentuate this bold angular form, a 15' long wooden “stormwater runnel” directs downspout water towards the rain garden where it can cascade into the new rain garden.  The Young Hall Rain Garden features low-water succulents, pollinator plants, and a small paved area with a relocated memorial bench for seating.  This project took approximately four months to construct and cost less than $5,000 to create.  As the third Student Leadership in Green Infrastructure retrofit project at the UC Davis campus, the Young Hall Rain Garden demonstrates that simple, cost-effective design, can be also be visually intriguing.

"This rain garden is sleek, visually powerful, and resourceful"
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