susdrain / CIRIA Showcase 2022 SuDS Winners
R-LA's Director, Cristina Refolo, was delighted to kick-start the susdrain webinar on Thursday 8th February, guiding a packed online audience through our
project, which won a coveted susdrain award in 2022.
The Fourfields scheme was praised for its early engagement of a SuDS scheme. As Cristina clearly outlined in her presentation, the project's success was attributed to the fact that the Masterplan was primarily driven by landscape SuDS solutions. The project starts by considering the wider context and allows this to inform the SuDS strategy and the landscape design. The early involvement of a multidisciplinary team with a common goal allowed SuDS solutions to be prioritised, Finally, the design restitches the site back to the wider context, both in terms of blue/green infrastructure, wildlife corridors and human circulation.
Graham Fairhurst, Chair of susdrain's Project Steering Group was so impressed with the scheme he remarked that R-LA's holistic approach, as shown in the presentation, should be used as a template for all projects.
Not only was the event brilliantly attended, but it was extremely cheering to hear from such a varied panel of SuDS enthusiasts. As Jo Bradley said from Stormwater Shepherds, 'A single rain garden might not have much of an impact but cumulatively we can make a difference.' Jo also talked about how we as designers should think
more toad-like when we are creating a scheme and in that way we can guarantee success!
Toads featured heavily within the session as David O'Brien from NatureScot talked animatedly about how important nature-based SuDS are for creating habitats for amphibians up and down the country.
Sam Briscoe from Stomor Civil Engineering spoke passionately about water being treated as an asset and not something we should try to get rid of as soon as possible. This is a sentiment we often emphasise when we approach schools; if we can get children to understand this simple fact, we can be optimistic about the future of SuDS. Graham Fairhurst reiterated this in his closing remarks when he said that SuDS is not just about water quantity.
We were very impressed by the work carried out by Enfield Council. Ian Russell shared an impressive flood risk map for the area which demonstrated how important it is to start any project studying the GIS data that is available.
Keri Trimmer from Elliott Wood Partnership talked about winning the commercial development award and finally rising star, Andrew Mindham from the City of Bradford Metropolitan shared his experience collaborating with highways and drainage engineers.
Thank you so much to our friends and colleagues who attended. The session was recorded so do get in touch if you want to watch it back.
Flood Risk Map from Enfield Council
An image from Jo Bradley's nightmares