Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company LLC

landscape architecture | planning | urban design

  • Chicago Waterwise Guidelines


    University of Chicago

    Chicago, IL


    Conservation Design Forum

    Chicago, IL


    Terry Guen Design Associates

    Chicago, IL


    Roy Diblik, Northwind Perennial Farm

    Burlington, WI

  • Awards

    2013 American Society of

    Irrigation Consultants Excellence in Irrigation Honor Award

  • Description

    Understanding water management and conservation is essential to the functioning of a University—especially one with an historic urban campus that evolved as a botanic garden. The University of Chicago asked JBC to create comprehensive guidelines for the wise use of water. Management of this natural resource has enormous financial, cultural, and environmental implications for the University.


    Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company led inventory and evaluation of irrigation systems, consumptive use, and landscape water demand. JBC worked closely with the University to define:


    • Water-harvesting criteria

    • Water-quality parameters

    • Alternative water sources

    • Storage requirements

    • Repurposing stormwater detention cisterns

    • Data collection strategies.


    These precedent-setting guidelines demonstrate how a major urban University can define water use objectives in a comprehensive, integrated strategy. By focusing on the benefits of the consumptive use of landscape irrigation, the plan creates policy that connects water harvesting and meeting stormwater regulatory requirements. The study also defines and attempts to break down the regulatory challenges against using the vast amounts of alternative water sources that go unaccounted for in most urban settings.


    In the past, water has been partitioned between indoor and outdoor water use, where little consideration is given to the implementation of water management in a comprehensive fashion erasing the boundaries between building and site. These guidelines create an institutional objective toward comprehensive water management that transcends conventional approaches.



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