Residential Green Infrastructure (GI) Standards for Imagination Zones, Harris County Engineering Department and Harris County Community Services Department, Houston, Texas


RGME was selected as one of two prime consultants to assist Harris County with implementing its Single-Family New Construction Program (SFNCP) using U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant funding, through the Texas General Land Office.  RGME’s contract was task order based.  Under Task Order No. 2, RGME was retained to prepare residential green infrastructure standards to support the program. Harris County is in the process of developing standards, called Imagination Zones.  Created using alternative land planning and platting guidelines, imagination zones will encourage a mix of affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing and will enhance the resilience and equity of Harris County communities.  RGME initiated work on the GI standards in March 2020 and delivered a pre-final draft on September 30, 2020. The delivered pre-final report includes guidance on planning, engineering, and landscape design for a whole suite of GI techniques including curb cuts, curb inlets, vegetated swales, bioretention systems, rain gardens, and tree boxes.  The report also includes guidelines for operations and maintenance.  Appendices include engineering design standard details in computer-aided design software format along with standard specifications for bioretention systems and permeable paving. Harris County has not moved forward with the implementation of the new standards.

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