"Towards 21st Century Drainage: A Structural Perspective" 20th November 2018


‘Towards 21st Century Drainage’ – another successful Business Breakfast co-hosted by The Future Economy Network and Integral Engineering Design!


 On Tuesday 20th November 2018, The Future Economy Network and Integral Engineering Design co-hosted an event entitled ‘Towards 21st Century Drainage – A Structural Perspective’. The event took place in Integral’s premises in Bath and attracted a varied audience comprising engineers, architects, community energy groups, carbon management professionals and water specialists.

Claire Thomas, MA(Oxf) CEng MIStructE, an Associate at Integral with over 20 years’ experience of designing building structures, spoke about the various drainage solutions which can help accommodate the increasing rainfall events associated with climate change. She opened with reference to the SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) hierarchy, where soakaways are the preferred option for managing drainage, followed by connection to surface water bodies and then the controlled discharge to a surface water sewer. Claire explained the different rates of run-off (Greenfield rate, Brownfield rate and Brownfield rate with betterment) and also defined the term attenuation in the context of drainage i.e. the slowing down of water, for example via a hydro brake.

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Claire continued by giving some examples of the different methods Integral has employed in order to achieve the desired run-off rates. Attendees heard about the employment of buried attenuation tanks and the difficulties associated with physical disruption and cost implications. In contrast, the example of a blue roof construction appeared less disruptive and more cost effective. Claire also cited work completed on Apex City of Bath Hotel where a bespoke concrete tank was integrated into the basement of their building and gave an example of Amesbury Salt Store where a pond has been used to collect run-off.


The event ended with a question and answer session and some lively networking over the fruit and pastries!



We would like to offer sincere thanks to Claire for her in-depth and enlightening presentations and to all at Integral who helped facilitate the event. Also, a huge thank you to all attendees – we hope you found it worthwhile and came away with some useful insights/collaborations.  

And for all Future Economy Network subscribers, please save the date for our Xmas drinks: Wednesday 19th December, The Shore Bar, The Bristol, Prince Street, BS1 4QF. 6pm-8pm Invite only, 8pm onwards, open bar! Hope to see you there!