Launch of BS 8582 – a much needed step forward for practical, sustainable drainage

The recently published BSI standard provides a hugely useful ‘code of practice’ to those of us involved in the specification, installation or maintenance of surface water management systems.

One of the key topics recognised by the standard is the relevance of proprietary drainage systems, and how they can provide flexible, effective, and complementary alternatives to natural infiltration systems.

With space and ground conditions such a major factor on new urban developments, this acknowledgement of hybrid surface water drainage solutions will be a welcome development to designers and planners.

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BS 8582 recognises the use of proprietary drainage elements as part of a sustainable drainage system (SuDS)

And with the forthcoming legislation changes, BS 8582 also provides SuDS Approval Boards (SABs) with a structured methodology to assess drainage planning applications.

For more information on BS 8582:2013 Code of practice for surface water management for developed sites, visit the BSI website

How important is Flood Resilience to our cities?

We now live in a world where more than half the population live in cities. This urbanisation is expected to increase, along with changes in our weather and climate. Therefore we need resilience to become a fundamental concept embraced throughout the design, construction and maintenance of our environment.

Image care of the Sheffield Telegraph

Image care of the Sheffield Telegraph

Our research director Martin Fairley will be delivering his views on this subject at September’s International Conference on Flood Resilience at the University of Exeter.

Martin’s lecture will discuss the need for resilience, balanced with the parallel requirement for economic growth and sustainability. Using a manufacturer’s perspective, Martin will highlight recent collaborations with commercial entities, such as supermarkets, to overcome surface water management challenges whilst maintaining a sustainable and economic venture.

For more information about the conference, which takes place 5th – 7th September, visit http://icfr2013.ex.ac.uk/

Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

From July 1st 2013, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) has made it compulsory for all manufacturers to draw up a Declaration of Performance (DoP) and apply CE marking to any of their construction products covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) or a European Technical Assessment (ETA).

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With the implementation of this regulation, designers and contractors can be confident that they are choosing products that are compliant and permitted to be sold in the UK as well as the rest of the EEA. To demonstrate their compliance products must bear the internationally recognised CE mark.

ACO is proud to state that all its products covered by the CPR comply and have the relevant supporting documentation available. Although CPR compliance legally permits the product to be sold throughout the EEA, it does not signify a mark of quality.  ACO takes product quality very seriously and believes that quality standards are vital for any product used in permanent works. Therefore, ACO operates a quality management system which complies with requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2008, and the ACO KerbDrain and ACO RoadDrain products are BSI Kitemarked, demonstrating that both the product and its production control meet high standards on an on-going basis.

To find out more about the requirements of the CPR and to access ACO’s compliance documentation, please visit www.aco.co.uk/DoP.php

“We Made 2012”

Starting this evening The Building Centre’s latest exhibition takes a look at the 2012 Olympic Games one year on as it remembers the various challenges and accomplishments of staging a monumentally successful event in our capital, as well as looking towards its legacy for Britain.

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“We Made 2012” gives the people who made the Games the chance to show the results of their ingenuity and tell their story. ACO supported the Olympics build by meeting diverse and complex drainage requirements across various venues and infrastructure improvements and are thrilled to be a part of this exhibition showcasing our involvement.

For more information on the event visit The Building Centre website

Central Europe on Flood Alert

Current weather patterns are causing serious problems throughout Europe. According to a recent BBC news piece, Central Europe is on high alert with emergency operations under way in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic in order to deal with record levels of rainfall and the evacuation of thousands of homes. The German cities of Passau and Rosenheim have declared a state of emergency and in Austria, the meteorological service said that the country has witnessed two months worth of rain in just two days.

Now may be the time to highlight the importance of water management at every level in order to help protect our environment. As Central Europe experiences on-going urbanisation, each country’s population continues to grow and migrate towards larger settlements, with towns and cities continuously expanding. As a result, the natural landscape is replaced by hard, man-made surfaces leading to potential problems with water quality and safety, as pollutants mix with the rainwater run off as well as altering the natural drainage patterns. Coupled with the ever-changing weather pattern, a more extreme climate rainfall is expected to increase year on year according to the Met office.

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This increased risk of flooding during high rainfall will have a significant and widespread impact on people, businesses and essential services. Addressing these flooding issues will inevitably not be easy, and it is likely that numerous different initiatives will be required to help alleviate the dramatic and disastrous effects impacting people’s lives and livelihoods. However, by turning to more considerate and innovative approaches to drainage we will have a better chance of over-coming the challenges of rapid climate change now, as well as in the future.

Since the introduction of the Pitt review and the Flood and Water Management Act, we are seeing greater urgency to introduce more sustainable solutions on the micro level that will help manage surface water in a macro context. The SuDS concept is one that looks to deliver effective management of quality and quantity whilst also recognising some of the real positive aspects of water – sustaining biodiversity, improving local amenities, the re-use of water and of course the replenishment of groundwater.  As urbanisation increases so does the urgency for drainage technology to address and support natural processes; ACO are working hard to deliver solutions that integrate with effective natural elements to best manage surface water. Years of experience in dealing with surface water all over the world has put us in a favourable position to provide product and advice with regards to managing surface water.

ACO ready to ‘Rock n Roll’ in the 2013 Jukebox Rally

For the third year running ACO are pleased to announce their involvement with The Prostate Cancer Charity and the Jukebox Rally. The aim of this challenge is to raise £100,000 for the charity by completing an epic journey to Barcelona and back over 4 days.  With music the inspiration for this year’s rally, around 60 people will be driving a variety of cars and taxis disguised as their favourite band or musician.

ACO’s very own Commercial Director, Steve Hollamby will be participating with his wife Rachel in their ‘Pink Floyd’ 1991 TVR. ACO are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful event and hope Steve and Rachel put pedal to the metal to make us proud!

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Please show your support by donating at our Just Giving page.

 

Looking forward to sunny days and playing in the water?

It certainly seems to be have been a long, wet spring. There have been a few peeks of sunshine that have maybe bought with them the hopes of summer but many of us have started to yearn for the warm sunshine expected at this time of year. The thoughts of warm sunshine fits nicely with the beautiful surface fountain that has been installed as part of the Granary Square redevelopment at Kings Cross, London. It has 1080 individual jets of dancing water designed for beauty and fun at the centre of this redevelopment of a canal basin site.

Granary Square, Kings Cross Central

Granary Square is now one of the largest urban spaces of its type across Europe and within it are over 1000m of ACO drainage products from the MultiDrain MD range. The fountain looks as though it is level with the surface of the square but the surrounding paving is in fact slightly higher to prevent water overflow. To enable effective management of the surface fountain water, the site uses a customised version of the narrow Brickslot inlet to the channel drainage system. With just a 40mm profile, instead of the standard 105mm, the drainage inlets around the spectacular fountain are covered by surrounding paving. Water is channelled through an open joint between the covering slabs making the drainage invisible to passers-by.

Invisible as the solution is, it has enabled a magical effect for the fountain – helping to create the beauty of this impressive place. All we need now is for the sun to shine so people can laugh and dance with the jets of water!

Elliotts StormBrixx Competition FINAL

On sunny Bank Holiday Tuesday 8th of May the Elliotts head office in Southampton hosted the ACO StormBrixx Challenge Final. Established in 1842, family owned Elliotts is Hampshire’s leading independent Builders Merchants with 11 branches located throughout the county. Each Elliott’s branch has been busy hosting competitions since March, encouraging their devoted customers to construct an ACO StormBrixx soakaway configuration in the fastest time possible.

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With the fastest time of 55 seconds and cheered on by the lovely staff of the Elliotts head office, Ben Penny, qualifier from the Totton branch, was successful in constructing the StormBrixx soakaway configuration system winning a fantastic iPad mini!

ACO’s Business Development Manager, Graham Barton has been following the competitions progress closely and reports that there has been a steady stream of builders at the trade counter keen to have a go! Customers have loved the concept of the new product and found it incredibly easy to construct, making for very competitive construction times.

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ACO are thrilled that Elliotts have hosted the competition as it has provided the perfect platform to demonstrate the easy to transport benefits of the StormBrixx system, with its stackable design, the traditional 1m3 soakaway installation can easily fit into the back of a car.

Progressing Water Sensitive Urban Design

Progressing Water Sensitive Urban Design

Water Sensitive Urban Design provides towns and cities with the opportunity to create beautiful, successful and resilient places. It can be said that we can no longer deny the importance of the relationship between water and our urban areas, which must be given a higher priority in providing integrated solutions to flood risk management, sustainable water use and supply, and the improvement of water quality in our treasured watercourses.

In March this year, the Mayor of London and RoDMA announced a tender to create the UK’s largest floating village in London’s Royal Docks, on an area one and a half times the size of Green Park. In a recent article Sue Illman, from The Guardian highlights the concern of built environment professionals that water management is considered too late in the planning and design process of development.

“We already know, for example, that sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) can be a cost-effective way to prevent surface flooding while creating valuable public amenities. But we need to go further than SuDS and start joining the dots between flood risk management and water resource management, and start putting water at the heart of discussions about what makes places great to live.”

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ACO have helped fund a CIRIA led project aimed to draw up guidelines for designers, planners and architects for use in Water Sensitive Urban Design – the process of integrating water cycle management with the built environment through planning and urban design. Two main principles are essential to its application:

1. All elements of the water cycle and their interconnections are considered concurrently to achieve an outcome that sustains a healthy natural environment while meeting human needs.

2. Consideration of the water cycle is made from the outset, and throughout the design and planning process. Accordingly, water management solutions seek to meet the expectations and aspirations for design of successful places.

Benefits of Water Sensitive Urban Design are endless, providing greater security of water supply with a reduction in flood risk, improvement of water quality in watercourses, a reduction of carbon and energy associated with water management, increased support of local food production and a creation of more attractive places.