This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. Drainage Systems - SuDS The 2012 National SuDS Conference

“Getting on with SuDS”

By Chris Hodson

The SuDSsource, 2012 National SuDS Conference, was held on 20th and 21st June in Oxfordshire and themed ‘Getting on with SuDS’. Architect and consultant to both SuDSsource and the trade association Interpave Chris Hodson was there and reports on the event.


Bridget Woods-Ballard, HR Wallingford Paper 1: Where we are now (issues and opportunities)?

Aydin Zorlutuna, Principal Landscape Architect - Urban Designer, Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd. Paper 2: NW Bicester Eco Development

Roger Nowell, Landscape Architect – Green Infrasrtucture and Flood Risk Manager, Sheffield City Council Paper 3: A day in Hannover

– Stormwater management in Kronsberg

Nicola Keen, Senior Landscape Architect, Allen Pyke Associates

Paper 4: Great Western Park Didcot

Chris Patmore, Director, RSK Paper 4: Great Western Park Didcot

Bob Bray, Robert Bray Associates – SuDS Consultant and Landscape Architect Paper 5: Amenity and Biodiversity in SuDS

Simon Bunn – Drainage Engineer, Cambridge City Council.

Paper 6: SAB Overview and Seminar introduction

Anthony McCloy – McCloy Consulting Paper 7: Flows and Volumes – a Practical Approach to the Standards

Nathan Davies, Team Leader (Leisure Safety), RoSPA Paper 8: Designing for Health and Safety

Steve Wilson, Technical Director, EPG Paper 9: SuDS Guidance – an Authorʼs View

Chris Digman, MWH Paper 10: SuDS Retrofit – a Review of the The CIRIA Guide

Richard Stevens, River and Coastal Scientist – Water Management UK, Haskoning UK Ltd. Paper 11: The FLOWS

– monitoring SuDS at Lamb Drove, Cambourne.

Stephen Wielebski, Divisional Development Director, Miller Homes Limited. Paper 12: A Housing Developer’s Perspective on SuDS

Bob Bray, Robert Bray Associates – SuDS Consultant and Landscape Architect Paper 13: Taking SuDS Forward


Masterplanning with SuDS In the Masterplanning session, landscape architects and engineers described a fascinating diversity of projects. At first- phase design stage, the NW Bicester Eco Development seeks to fully integrates urban and landscape design with SuDS on this 5,000 home Ecotown. Also in Oxfordshire, at Great Western Park Didcot – another major development - a drainage strategy has been developed to keep discharge from site to an absolute minimum, with phased implementation linked to landscape design.

With the prospect of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) becoming mandatory under the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act, the debate about their wider impact on new developments continues and there is a clear need for practical information and consensus. The SuDSsource conference set out to meet this need, in response to calls from experienced practitioners.

SuDS have been in use for decades and much experience has been gained, both through practice and research, over the years which the SuDSsource conference pulled together. Although intended as a forum for debate, not just a series of presentations, the conference also provided support for the new ‘SuDS Approving Bodies’ (SABs), local planning authorities, designers, practitioners, developers and their consultants in dealing with implementation of the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act and draft National Standards.

The two-day, packed programme was split into four distinct, themed sessions:

Masterplanning with SuDS SuDS Law and Standards SuDS on Site SuDS in Practice

An intriguing virtual tour through Kronsberg in Hannover demonstrated a pioneering and inspirational approach to management of rainwater in the landscape. Back in the UK, Robert Bray Associates showed how SuDS can contribute to the quality of the landscape experience if integrated early in the design process, with examples at schools, housing and retrofit projects (read case study SuDS for Amenity). These two presentations highlighted the low-key nature of effective SuDS techniques and the challenge of applying them to meet engineering criteria to substantial new developments such as Bicester and Didcot. The session also provided a reminder of the importance of integrating engineering and landscape design from the start.

SuDS Law and Standards Individual papers and group seminars explored a wide range of issues facing all those involved with the development process in interpreting and implementing National Standards for SuDS – once they are finalized – based on the current draft. How should county councils, unitary authorities and other organizations set up SuDS Approving Bodies (SABs)? How can engineering designs be evaluated by SABs? The design of SuDS at or near the surface, and particularly the use of open water, requires us to consider the issue of Health and Safety: what is a realistic approach to this? How can SuDS be retrofitted to existing developments? All these issues were debated

enthusiastically and it became clear that there is a real need for more detailed guidance – and this is unlikely to be forthcoming from government.

SuDS on Site

An essential part of this Conference, which focused on the practical issues surrounding SuDS, was inspection of two contrasting schemes in Oxfordshire. Oxfordshire County Council has taken a positive and pragmatic approach to adopting SuDS - notably concrete block permeable paving - for some 15 years

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