Bottom Line: Green Infrastructure is Worth It

WDG was fortunate to work on two pilot projects this past summer with Pima County and Autocase. Autocase is a company that develops software which analyzes the triple bottom line cost benefit for projects. The software is especially useful for green infrastructure (GI) projects, where analyzing the long-term cost/benefits of GI has been historically difficult.

The two projects were Meander Bend Park (a park adjacent to the Santa Cruz River) and the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center (a building and parking lot with few outdoor amenities). WDG designed a concept for each project which was then analyzed with Autocase. Thanks to Autocase for featuring this work on their website!

The results were quite impressive. Meander Bend Park is projected to have environmental and social benefits that are 6 times the costs of capital expenses and operation and maintenance. The concept for the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center forecasts a triple bottom line net present value of $1.13 million over a 50-year period.

Above: Before and After of Meander Bend Park. While this design is conceptual, the analysis revealed that GI has significant benefits to the community. Why not capitalize on unused space?

Pictured above is underused space at the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center. Below is the conceptual design that would create comfortable outdoor spaces for building occupants, provide beneficial uses for stormwater from building scuppers, and contribute to healthy habitat.