Design for SuDS

Architects' Datafile May 2023

The Government has announced that it will be mandatory to include Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in virtually all new housing developments in England from 2024. This finally implements Schedule 3 of the 2010 Flood and Water Management Act, which was adopted fully in Wales as far back as 2018. Increasing urbanisation and development for a growing population, combined with more intense weather patterns driven by climate change are causing our traditional sewer systems to be overwhelmed. Without a more effective, holistic water management approach, flooding events from surface water and sewers will cause more frequent and severe effects.

SuDS approaches encompass a range of established green infrastructure as well as ‘grey’ or man-made/engineered solutions to manage stormwater on sites and mitigate the impact on drainage. By its very nature, SuDS is about designing networks, and integrating systems together, both man-made and natural. 

This White Paper discovers architects views on SuDS, as well as client awareness and architects’ role, when arguably they should be at the centre of the design process. Our research also looked at which of the various solutions currently available they were employing, and their views on including green infrastructure in developments for functionality, amenity and biodiversity.

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