Hard SuDS Infrastructure in the Urban Environment

June 2014

This ROCK is a sister publication to FR/R0011 Urban Drainage and the Water Environment: A Sustainable Future? (2013) and FR/R0014 Surface Water Management and Urban Green Infrastructure (2011).

This ROCK focuses on hard Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) infrastructure, particularly pervious paving systems (PPS), infiltration trenches and rainwater harvesting, discussing their role in the “SuDS triangle”; also covered are the ways in which they can mitigate and adapt to climate change, and address the Urban Heat Island Effect.

PPS, rainwater harvesting and infiltration trenches can be stand-alone devices, easily retrofitted into existing built-up areas. To be successful, SuDS devices have to be properly designed into the landscape, and hard infrastructure can be successfully combined with soft (eg vegetated areas, swales, filter strips, ponds and wetlands) to provide a “management train” focused on source control at the individual building level. They can also be combined with other sustainable approaches, such as a tanked PPS in combination with Ground Source Heat capture.

In England and Wales, under the Flood and Water Management Act (2010), SuDS are encouraged, particularly in new-builds. This requires a philosophical change of view, from run-off water being seen as a nuisance, to it being treated as a resource; from it being hidden from view, to being treated as an amenity.

Copies of the report are available from the Foundation for 15.00, less 20% for FWR members.

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