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Retrofitting – restoring the benefits of natural drainage

by on May 10, 2012

CIRIA recently launched its latest guidance – Retrofitting urban areas to effectively manage surface water (C713). Micro Drainage part funded the project, with James Berryman sitting on the project steering group. 

The project was concerned that communities have lost the benefits of natural drainage processes. The guidance on retrofitting hopes to deliver:

  • Drainage systems that mimic natural drainage processes
  • Management of pollution alongside flood risk
  • The ability to adapt and manage extreme events
  • Extra benefits from better amenity, improved biodiversity, and greater resilience to climate change
  • Integration with urban design to create better places to live.


Before retrofitting …

As a result the guidance sets out a different approach to managing surface water run-off to sustain communities as pleasant and vibrant places to live. It challenges many of the current conventions employed to manage surface water run-off by integrating the principles of urban design with surface water management.

As well as dealing with the engineering aspects, the guidance covers the organisational and statutory aspects of drainage, the need for adequate funding, appraisal approaches, how different agencies can work better together, how public expectations can be better managed and why incentives and disincentives are important.

... and an image of afterCiria launched the guidance at three events organised across the country. The events gave an overview of the work completed and how this has drawn on experience from both the UK and overseas. There was also an opportunity to hear from a range of other speakers who have been or are actively engaged in retrofitting to manage surface water.

For a copy of the guidance please follow this link.


From → Future Design

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