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Water: Green Infrastructure

Campus RainWorks Challenge



About the Challenge

U.S. EPA’s Office of Water is pleased to announce the third annual Campus RainWorks Challenge for undergraduate and graduate students. Once again, EPA is inviting student teams to design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus showing how managing stormwater at its source can benefit the campus community and the environment.

2013 Master Plan Winner: University of Florida
2013 Master Plan Winner: University of Florida
This year, EPA invites student teams to compete in one of two design categories: the Master Plan category or the Demonstration Project category. Winning teams will earn a student prize to be divided evenly among student team members, as well as a faculty prize to support green infrastructure research or training.

EPA is also considering whether to conduct a grant competition involving Challenge participants. Grant funding could be made available to help carry out green infrastructure demonstration projects based on student designs. If EPA decides to pursue a grant competition, further information will be provided in the future.

Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater and create healthier urban environments. While single-purpose "gray" stormwater infrastructure (e.g. catch basins, pipes, and ponds) is largely designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment, green infrastructure uses vegetation and soil to manage rainwater where it falls. By weaving natural processes into the built environment, green infrastructure can provide not only
2013 Site Design Winner: Kansas State University
stormwater management, but also heat island mitigation, air quality management, community amenities, and much more.

Download the 2014 Campus RainWorks Challenge competition brief (PDF) (12 pp, 494K, About PDF) for a complete description of the design challenge and instructions on how to compete. 


  • September 2, 2014: Registration Opens
  • October 3, 2014: Registration Closes
  • December 19, 2014 : Entries Due
  • April 2015: Winners Announced


EPA will award a total of $16,000 to first- and second-place winners in the two challenge categories. Winning teams will earn both a student prize divided evenly among student team members and a faculty prize to support green infrastructure research or training. Prizes will be distributed as follows:



1st Prize Demonstration Project 



1st Prize Master Plan 



2nd Prize Demonstration Project 



2nd Prize Master Plan 



Cooperating Organizations

For the 2014 Campus RainWorks Challenge, EPA is cooperating with the American Society of Landscape Architects Exit EPA Disclaimer, the American Society of Civil Engineers Exit EPA Disclaimer, and the Water Environment Federation Exit EPA Disclaimer. These organizations will assist EPA with judging and outreach.


To sign up for e-mail updates or ask a question about the Campus RainWorks Challenge, please e-mail RainWorks@epa.gov.

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