An exemplary sustainable drainage (SuDS) scheme featuring innovative applications of concrete block permeable paving has won the top prize at the 2017 Landscape Institute Awards.
Concrete block permeable paving is a key SuDS technique, helping in the fight against flooding and pollution, and meeting current planning policy requirements. It can also supply a controlled flow of clean water to other landscape features for amenity use or recycling. It is one of the most space-efficient SuDS components available and does not require any additional land-take and can handle runoff from roof drainage and adjacent impermeable surfaces as well.
Award Winning SuDS
But this technology continues to develop, as demonstrated by an award-winning exemplary SuDS scheme featuring innovative applications of concrete block permeable paving – Bridget Joyce Square in Australia Road, White City, London. Designed by SuDS consultants and landscape architects Robert Bray Associates and McCloy Consulting, the scheme is a SuDS park with community at its heart. Its design introduces the innovative concept of concrete block permeable paving as a thin overlay, replacing a lifeless tarmac road surface, on the original road base.
In this SuDS landscape, rainwater is removed straight from the surface without gulleys, then attenuated and treated within the paving before being released horizontally via stainless steel slots into adjacent, well-planted basins. Finally, flow control chambers on outlets from the basins protect the combined sewer. Thus, rainfall remains within the landscape until storms have passed and the sewer can deal with water again.
Consultation with local people and a realization of the potential for the site led to an integrated design that linked two disconnected spaces and created a social arena celebrating rainfall. Concrete block permeable paving was used to break the existing formal road alignment and introduce a ‘piazza’. Local residents were keen to retain memories of a low wall in front of the school, used as a balance beam in their youth. From this a thematic ‘Wiggly Wall’ was born and became part of a ‘ribbon’ motif that united the linear spaces and symbolised the bringing together of the community.
The scheme won ‘Winner of Winners’ (the President’s Award) as well as Winner of the ‘Adding Value through Landscape’ category at the 2017 Landscape Institute Awards, and also an ICE London Civil Engineering Award in 2016. The Landscape Institute judges recognised the design as: “An exemplary approach to partnership working in delivering solutions to so many problems in a way that can, and should be, replicated nationally”. Most importantly, it has been enthusiastically welcomed by local residents.
Interpave has just published a new case study on this inspirational project, freely available to download from www.paving.org.uk . Here, you can also find a wealth of technical guidance and background information on concrete block paving, flags, kerbs and related products – ranging from domestic uses to the most taxing heavy industrial applications – as well as SuDS.