2019 LID Design Competition

A cash prize in the amount of $5,000 will be awarded to the winning team of the competition.

Finalists will present at the symposium.


What is Low Impact Development (LID)?

LID is a toolbox of site-scale practices that the site designer and developer can utilize to:

  • manage urban rainfall where it occurs for minimized stormwater concentration and runoff
  • potentially lower short-term and long-term development costs
  • improve water quality
  • enhance natural habitat and flood control
  • improve green space aesthetics and potentially increase property values
  • increase community quality of life and livability

There are many practices that are used to support these benefits, including bioretention systems, rain gardens, vegetated rooftops, bioswales, rain barrels, and permeable pavements to name a few. By implementing LID principles and practices, water can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas on the environment while providing numerous additional benefits.

The Competition

Final design submissions are due June 7, 2019



Important Dates


Design Goals

Provide a hands-on learning experience through which design, construction and development professionals in the Great Plains region will gain meaningful experience in working with LID principles and practices that can be applied to their everyday practices.

Demonstrate to local design professionals, real estate developers, civic groups, and the general public the economic, environmental and social benefits that are available to entities that adopt and innovate with LID.

Identify and attempt to remove potential barriers to the implementation of LID practices in the area, while illustrating practicality by showing what is feasible.

Encourage through the body of work represented by the entries submitted, greater use of these LID practices in our area and highlight local incentives where applicable.

Recognize the participants and finalist design teams for their creativity, innovation and application of LID principles and practices.

Prepare contestants for potential upcoming regulations requiring LID techniques by giving them an open forum to explore ideas and design methods that strive to accelerate the implementation of innovative LID principles and practices.

Each entry must come from an integrated design team consisting of a minimum of three key licensed participants, including at least one Engineer, one Architect and one Landscape Architect. The Architect member may be replaced by an engineer with transportation expertise on teams competing in the design challenge.

The inclusion of team members from the Land Planning, Development, Homebuilding and Construction disciplines, including students, is strongly encouraged.

Individuals may not participate on more than one team competing in the same Design Challenge Category. There are no limits on the number of individuals from a single firm that may participate in the competition as members of teams.

Teams with members who are based outside the Front Range are welcome, but at least one member of each team must be verifiably based in the region. A Front Range-based member must be one of the key design professionals.

• February 25, 2019 Registration opens & competition begins.

• Design competition pricing is $300 per team entry, which includes one entry into the Symposium and Exhibit Hall.

• May 1, 2019 11:59pm (MST) Design competition registration ends

• June 1, 2019 Final Program Announcement

• June 7, 2019 11:59 pm (MST) Final design entries due

• June 17th, 2019 Finalists announced – All finalists will present at the symposium

• June 25, 2019 Finals Event and Awards Program Banquet at Colorado State University- Lory Student Center, Grand Ballroom (rm 350)

• June 26, 2019 Fort Collins LID or Craft Brew Cruise

Click here for Team Design Competition Registration Form.

  • A Registration fee of $300 for each team must accompany the completed Registration Form (price includes 1 admission into symposium and exhibit hall).
  • Each Registration Form must:
    • Identify at least two of the required design professional team members.
    • In the event that individuals are not able to be identified at the time of Registration, a firm name may be substituted.
  • In the event that all team members are not identified on the original Registration Form, entry submissions must include a revised Registration Form which includes any individuals who were not originally listed on the original Registration Form and must include all team member information requested, including signatures.
  • Upon acceptance of the Registration, an Identifying Number will be provided to the team via e-mail. This number must be placed on ALL materials submitted, including the first page of the electronic submission, and on any and all correspondence. No other identifying marks are allowable.
  • Preserve and protect natural features that provide natural functions that help with managing and filtering stormwater.
  • Use decentralized, small-scale LID practices to create a system to:
  • Reduce runoff water quantity by mimicking the pre-development hydrology of the site.
  • Improve the water quality of runoff leaving the site.
  • Minimize and disconnect impervious surfaces from the storm sewer and lengthen the time of concentration.
  • Demonstrate cost benefits designing with LID principles and practices.
  • Realize the environmental, social, and economic benefits inherent with the life-cycle costs of LID practices and utilize them to increase marketability of the development and long-term property values.
  • Identify current codes that prohibit or inhibit the construction or implementation of LID techniques.

Design Challenge Procedure

The design challenge represents an actual property for which the owner has an interest in developing utilizing the sustainable methods to be showcased in this competition.


Expert Judging
– Stage One

Finals Jury Presentation
-Stage Two

More Information

  • Final design entries must be submitted by 11:59pm MST June 7th, 2019.
  • Each entry must be submitted as follows:
    • At least one, but no more than two foamcore presentation boards (30”x 40”), on which the team’s key concepts and elements of the design are presented visually, including a summary of the economic and hydrologic modeling results. Selected boards will be displayed, with identifying team information, at the Finals Event and Awards Program, and may be used in a traveling exhibit, following the competition.
    • An electronic submission package must be provided on CD or USB drive, in Power Point (PPT) format which includes:
      • All images and data contained on the foamcore presentation boards submitted with the entry.
      • Images of all drawings, plans and details.
      • A written overview, presenting the design team’s concept.
      • Justification for the hydrologic/drainage modeling used to develop design conclusions.
      • An explanation of project costs and an economic comparison with the same project if developed using traditional methods.
      • Submission plan sets must include at a minimum: Site Plans, Drainage Plans, Landscape and Irrigation Plans, Elevations, and Details.
    • Electronic submissions are limited to a maximum of 30 Power Point pages.
  • Submissions may NOT include identifying features or marks which might reveal the identity of any member of the design team or any organization that may be represented by members of the team.
  • Submissions must include a revised Registration Form, which includes any team members who were not originally listed on the original Registration Form and must include all team member information requested, including signatures. This form must be submitted in a sealed envelope and marked on the outside with the team’s identifying number.
  • Submissions must also include an identification card (8.5”x11”) containing team, and team member identification for display with the team’s presentation boards at the Finals Event and Awards Program. These cards must also to be submitted in a sealed envelope on which the team’s Identifying Number is prominently displayed.
  • A Submittal Guidelines (PDF) may be viewed/downloaded by clicking here
  • The first round of judging for each Project Design Challenge will be conducted by a panel of five Expert Judges, each with pertinent experience and expertise.
  • The Expert Judges will be professionals from categories such as:
    • Licensed Engineer
    • Landscape Architecture
    • Low Impact Development
    • Architecture
    • Hydrology
  • Finalists will be determined by the scoring of the Expert Judges.
  • For Finalists, the Expert Judges’ scores will represent 80% of their total final score.
    • In the second stage of the competition, finalists will present their entries, verbally and through use of Power Point, to an esteemed local Jury Panel made up of interested and influential leaders in the Colorado Front Range area from the development, civic and government community.
      • Tickets will be available to the public for the Finals Event and Awards Program and the event will be highly publicized and promoted.
      • This event will bring together all contestants and other design, development and construction professionals, as well as, civic and governmental leaders from throughout the area.
      • Selected entries, in addition to the Finalists’ submissions will be displayed with team name and member identities, in the public areas of the hall utilized for this program. Attendees will be encouraged to arrive early to allow ample time to view all entries.
    • Finalists must utilize a “Lightning Presentations Format” to present their design challenge solutions to the Jury Panel. This format is designed to make each presentation short, exciting and to the point, and will allow for participation of a maximum number of semi-finalists.
      • Each Finalist team will have up to 7 minutes to make their presentation.
      • Presentations will be stopped at exactly 7 minutes.
    • The scores of the Jury Panel will account for 20% of the Total Final Score for each Finalist entry and will be combined with the Expert Judges scores from Stage One to determine the winners in each category.
    • Tabulation of Jury Panel scores and Total Final scores, and the determination of winners will take place immediately after the finalists make their presentations.
    • Questions & Answers – If you have questions about the competition or the rules, please email the Competition Committee at GreatPlainsLID2019@gmail.com. FAQ’s and updates to competition information will be posted on a regular basis.
    • For a listing of Colorado-licensed Architects and Landscape Architects, visit the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/boards_programs
    • For a listing of State Board of Licensure for Architects, Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/AES


    Background & Description

    This project is located in Larimer County, Colorado, immediately west of Fort Collins.  The project location covers an area of 4.1 acres. The development is planned to add a 18,750 sq. ft building, and approximately 100,000 sq. ft of sitework. The project is an equine therapy teaching facility that includes an enclosed riding arena with observation area, a classroom and offices. The project is located partially on an existing parking lot, and partially on an existing drainage swale. The existing drainage swale is part of a treatment system for stormwater from an Animal Feeding Operation. The existing drainage swale is planted with native grasses and has 5:1 slopes. The new building will require narrowing the drainage swale while maintaining functionality. Surface drainage in the vicinity of the proposed building is to the north. Landscaped areas are proposed on the south side of the building.