Winery, Brewery, and Food Science Laboratory-Stormwater Management System


Photo Source: R&D Magazine, 2011 Lab of the Year-High Honors WBF

Project Info

Location: UC Davis, California Semi-Arid Central Valley, CA

Climate Zone: Hot-Dry, Climate Zone 3B i

Area Managed by the Stormwater Management Facility: 4 Acres

System Area: 1.25 Acres

Scale: Research Facility/Building Cluster

Project’s Time Range: 2007-2010

Project Type:  Stormwater Management System (Stormwater Reduce, Recycle and Reuse)

System Components: Rain harvesting + Bioswales + Bioretention Basin

Project Scale: Research Facility/Building Cluster ii


1 Background

The stormwater management system is an integrated part of Winery, Brewery, and food Science Laboratory’s (WBF Lab) sustainable development. The facility holds Teaching and Research Winery and August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory.

With the generous private donation and University of California’s support of sustainable development, UC Davis was able to build a world-class sustainable research facility to house its rich history of excellence in the wine and food sciences, and push active research and education programs in viticulture, enology and food science further.

The stormwater management system within the facility consists three stormwater best management practices to help the facility reduce the stormwater runoff, recycle and also reuse the stormwater for small-scale commercial use on site. The project was approved by University of California Board of Regents in 2007, and the construction started in May, 2009 and finished in July 2010. And all the equipment and occupancy were moved in during June to Aug, 2010.

Additionally, the stormwater management system achieved all 5 points to help WBF Lab get certified as LEED Platinum research facility in 2010, which was also world’s first LEED Platinum laboratory.iii


2 System Description

2.1 Management Area

Suface Managed.png

Diagram 1-Surface Area Managed by the System (Lu)

The stormwater management system manages roughly 4 acres of impervious area, including the built and landscaped surface within the research facility. The facility preserved roughly 7,500 sq. ft. the existing green space around and in-between the facility to reduce the impervious surface and control stormwater runoff.

Additionally, the facility added additional 0.35 acre of landscaped bioretention basin, including native grass areas, formal plantings (within yellow dash boundary) to collect and infiltrate the stormwater. iv

2.2 Stormwater Management System Component

system distribution 2-02.png

Diagram 2-Surface Area Managed by the System (Source:

system distribution-01-01.png

Diagram 3-System Distribution (Source:Lu&Paul)

The stormwater management system is a combination of different stormwater best management practices. As shows above, it consists bioswales, bioretention, and rain harvesting system. The scale of the system’s stormwater recycle area is mainly constrained within the research facility. However, the system’s stormwater runoff control function serves the parking lot to the east, and reuse of stormwater goes beyond its management area as well, provides landscape irrigation water for half-acre of traditional low-water use landscape and sewage conveyance water for the building’s lavatories, which was the first commercial-scale rainwater harvesting installation in the central valley. v

2.2.1 Rain Harvesting System

The  slope of the facility’s roof directs the stormwater into the pipe system, then the stormwater was collected into underground cisterns, like it shows in the diagram below. After going through another layer of filter, then the collected stormwater is pumped into the storage tank outside of the facility for daily irrigation and lavatory usage.

0e163ebd51c80dffbc6b1b2f27509637Diagram 4-Rain Harvesting Water Circulation (Source:

2.2.2 Bioretention Basin

The stormwater management system consists a 0.35 acre bioretention basin  on site to filtrate stormwater and remove the contaminants out of the water through the purposeful slope design, plants and different layers of soils for filtration in the basin. vi


Diagram 5-Bioretention Stormwater Runoff (Source:

2.2.3 Bioswale6a828b97616a4e2ff1564cebc8a3173d

Diagram 6-Bioswale Stormwater Infilltration (Source: Pinterest)

Bioswales of the stormwater management system are mainly distributed along road edges. By using the gravity, bioswales could filtrate the pollutant and sediments in the stormwater from the road surfaces.

2.3 Reduce, Recycle and Reuse Process

Water Circulation.png

Diagram 7-Surface Area Managed by the System (Lu)

During the rain event, system uses rooftop rain harvesting system  to collect stormwater for small scale commercial reuse. To reuse the water in the facility, the water reuse system was installed with CIP (clean-in-place) water purification system to remove the bacteria and contaminant in the water to meet the small-scale commercial use health code. Also, the water reuse system uses the water quality monitor to monitor the water quality 24 hours a day to ensure the health safety.  Also, the bioretention and bioswales help reduce the possibility of polluting watershed and underground water, and during heavy rain event, these green infrastructure could control the flooding on site.


3 Performance

3.1 Local Precipitation

Local average annual precipitation is around 17”, thus, a facility with water recycling and retention function could help reduce the water usage for the university. Diagram 1 Weather.png

Diagram 8-Precipitation, Davis (Source: U.S Climate Data, Davis Climate Graph)

3.2 Runoff Managed

100% of all 2-year storm intensities are treated through the stormwater management facility according to the official record from the University. Also, based on the calculation from EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator, even during a 24 hour 0.87″ rain event which was close to 50 year 24 hour rainfall (1″), which has 5% probability of happening during certain time of the year (showed in Diagram 6), the system could still help infiltrate and collect 68% of rain water from the site. vii

Diagram 9-24 hour 1″ rain event probability (Source:

By using the percentage of land cover percentage after new development, listed below. All numbers were measured through Google Earth.



Diagram 10-Stormwater Calculation Result (EPA National Stormwater Calculator)

4 Benefits

The system captures and reuses the stormwater for landscape irrigation and toilets, which saves about 300,000 gallons annually for the facility,  also helps the facility to achieve Net-Zero Landscape Water Use on site. x

The rain harvesting system could be used as a showcase development which integrates several stormwater management practices to control and reuse the stormwater. Thus , the system could be replicated and used as an educational resource for other research facilities.


5 Cost of Completion

The total Construction cost of the project was $16 M.

  • Estimated cost of Stormwater Project
    • $300,000-$500,000
    • Design Support: $40,000
    • Piping & Controls: $42,000
    • Ozone System: $70,000
    • Lift Station: $32,000
    • Storage Tanks and Booster Pump: $180,000
    • Electrical: $ 10,000
    • Detention Basin: $20,000
    • General Contracting Overhead (Insurance, bonding, management, etc.): $10,000 vii


6 Policy

The university wide sustainability policy supports the sustainable development on campus, especially in semi-arid central valley of California, the sustainable water management could reduce the irrigation water demand.

University of California – Policy

  • In line with the State of California’s law establishing a goal to reduce per capita potable water consumption by 20%, each location will strive to reduce potable water consumption adjusted for population growth by 20% by the year 2020. This target will be re-evaluated and recommendations for adjustments will be made as necessary by the Sustainable Water Systems Working Group. Locations that have already achieved this target are encouraged to set more stringent goals to further reduce potable water consumption.
  • The location will develop and maintain a Water Action Plan that identifies long-term strategies for achieving sustainable water systems. viii


7 Stakeholder


Diagram 11-Stakeholder(Lu)

The project is fully funded by the private donors, so the stakeholders in the project were mainly the board of the regents, the related departments of the university and the main users, including students, researchers and faculty members of the university. (showed above)

Robert Mondavi donated $25 M for the establishment of Robert Mondavi institute, and also other private donors who worked together to make the research monetary possible for the project construction. Also, from the executive level, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ new facility development was approved by the board of regents of the university which was to extend Robert Mondavi Institution, then the construction has the permission to begin. In summary, the mutual collaboration between the executive board of UC Davis and monetary support from private donors have helped create the sustainable water management system, and facility in whole, for the students, researchers and faculty members in the university. ix


8 Implication

As located within the dry and hot semi-arid central valley, the landscape on site requires low water usage for the irrigation. UC Davis researchers were consulted on how to build the swale to provide for proper slope and drainage and allow the plants to thrive, however, the grass layers within the bioretention basin filtration zone are not low water use landscape. x Thus, it requires extra irrigation water use compares to regular low water usage landscape on campus.Water Impl.png

Diagram 12-Bioswale (HLA Group)


9 Applicable to East Liberty Redevelopment Site?

As part of the world’s first LEED Platinum Certified laboratory, the stormwater management system helps the facility reduce the stormwater runoff and provide water supply for small-scale commercial water use on the site. xi Although the stormwater management system is just a part of the whole facility, but the concept to combine different stormwater management practices, which maximize the stormwater reduce, recycle and reuse approach, could be possibly replicated in other kind of developments, such as residential, industrial and commercial uses if with sufficient monetary support. Nevertheless, the small-scale commercial use in the facility is suitable for low density usage, it may be required to meet more sanitation requirement and other health or safety related issues if in other type of facility. As in East Liberty site, to integrate UC Davis’s example to the site may requires different building clusters to work together to collect stormwater and achieve the rain harvesting goal, however, the bioretention basin and bioswales could be easily integrated with the stormwater garden and also distribute bioswales along the streets.




Design Team of the Project

      • BNB Norcal, San Mateo
      • Flad Architects, San Francisco
      • F.M. Booth Mechanical
      • Red Top Electric
      • KPW Structural Engineers
      • Creegan + D’Angelo Civil Engineers
      • HLA Landscape Architects. xii


i. US Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Volume 7.3, Guide to Determining Climate Regions by County, Aug 2015, P8.

ii., iii.LEED BD+C: New Construction v2-LEED 2.2,

iv. American Society of Landscape Architects, Green Infrastructure & Stormwatre Manageme,,%20Davis,%20CA.pdfnt

v. UC Davis Regents’ Committee on Grounds and Buildings, Brewery, Winery & Food Pilot Facilities, Feb 3, 2009

vi. UC Davis, WBF, link:

vii. Davis, CA Rainfall Database,

viii. University of California-Policy, Sustainable Practices, All campuses, Medical Centers, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

ix. American Society of Landscape Architects, Green Infrastructure & Stormwatre Manageme,,Davis,CA.pdf.

x. USGBC, :

xi. KPW Structural Engineering Inc., Research & Teaching Winery, Brewery and Food Science Laboratory, University of California, Davis

xii. American Society of Landscape Architects, Green Infrastructure & Stormwater Management Case Study, Winery, Brewery, and Food Science Facility.



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