Bioretention is when water comes down from the sky or roof and into a planted area, which holds the water and allows it to absorb into the earth at a slower rate. Therefore, it reduces the possibility of flooding by slowing the process of the rain reaching a main water source. In addition, the plants start cleaning the water and eliminate some of the pollution before it is piped into a river or lake. Originally, a parking lot was located where the Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (ISE) building now stands. Overall, the changed landscape has reduced the amount of impermeable surface by replacing it with bioretention planters.
The entire back side of the ISE building is a bioretention area containing many plants. These plants were chosen for this particular area because they can survive when there is a prolific amount of water as well as when there is very little water for long periods of time. The plants thrive solely from groundwater - there is no irrigation system. The goal of the landscape is to retain the water on the site and out of the city infrastructure; compared to the previously existing parking lot which allowed the water to drain straight into the main water source at a very fast rate along with pollution. Our system addresses both the quality and quantity of water that is leaving our landscape.