Nizar Eldaher to Present PhD Dissertation Thu 18 April @ 10am


Nizar Eldaher will be presenting his dissertation entitled "Green Storm-water: Infrastructure Strategy Generation and Assessment Tool For Site Scale and Urban Planning" to obtain a PhD in Architecture Engineering and Construction Management (PhD-AECM) degree.

DATE: Thursday, 18 April 2019
TIME: 10:00am

PhD Committee:
Dr. Erica Cochran Hameen (Chair), Assistant Professor, School of Architecture
Dr. Jared L. Cohon, President Emeritus, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Engineering & Public Policy
Dr. Chris T. Hendrickson, Professor Emeritus, Civil & Environmental Engineering


Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI), which includes design strategies such as green roofs, bioretentions, pervious pavement and cisterns, has proven to be a cost effective alternative. Additionally, GSI provides a wide range of benefits for stormwater management compared to the single-purpose grey/traditional infrastructure (Combined Sewer System or Municipal Separate Storm and Sewer System). However, the implementation of GSI as a replacement or support system for grey infrastructure faces barriers that reduces its utilization and adoption by planners/designers and decision makers, in the private as well as in the public sector.

Planners and Designers face challenges pertaining to hydrologic calculations, including the sizing of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Elements (GSIEs), cost estimation (life cycle costs), and benefit assessment. To provide sound decision making and facilitate the adoption of GSI plans requires that professionals understand and quantify the full costs and benefits of GSI strategies.

This thesis provides a proof of concept tool (prototype) that was developed to help Planners, Designers, and key Stakeholders facilitate a comprehensive GSI planning process. The tool generates GSI alternative solutions (combination and size of GSI’s) that meet the user’s financial and hydrologic objectives. These alternatives are generated to maximize benefits, reduce costs, and account for design specifications and multi-functionality of GSI. The original prototype has three modules:

  • An Interface Module (including Input and Output Interfaces).

  • A Process Module for hydrology, cost and benefit calculation, and an optimization model for strategy generation.

  • A Database Module for storing collected data that are used for multiple process module calculations.

The prototype, was successfully tested for functionality and usability on a residential development site in Pittsburgh, PA. The prototype required minimal input from the user (site specific data) and generated strategies that doubled the net annual benefits compared to the plan proposed by the developer. The tool also generated multiple strategy scenarios that responded to multiple user objectives.

View thesis here.