At one with nature … the way forward in British housing developments

With the housing shortage in the UK at its highest and the Government planning to build 300,000 new homes a year, a permeable SuDS compliant paving system isn’t just ethical and sustainable, it is compulsory when building on greenfield sites in England, Wales and Scotland.
SuDS Compliant Paving

This guide introduces resin bound paving to architects, landscape designers and civil engineers who are working on new housing developments to consider resin bound paving as part of their commitment to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems specified in the planning process.

The need for new housing in the UK

Most believe that the need for new housing in the UK is solely down to population growth. And to the most it is!

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), from 1995 to 2020, the population grew by 9.1 million (15.6%) and is projected to grow by another 3.9 million (5.8%) between 2020 and 2045.

However, the current housing crisis lies with the immense population growth between 1995 – 2020, which has naturally led to a surge in demand for housing. On top of this, there is a backlog need among people currently living in unsuitable accommodation due to the affordability of housing preventing people from moving.

To tackle the housing crisis, the Conservatives, therefore, pledged to increase the number of homes being built to rebalance the market and provide more affordable housing. For this reason, they set a target to build 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s. This will see the UK build at least a million new homes. However, with many being built on greenfield sites, it will inevitably change the rural landscape.

The changing rural landscape and its environmental impact

It is proven that raising urbanisation is linked to the increase in home flooding over recent years. Although the majority is caused by overflowing rivers, it is also triggered by surface water runoff or overloaded drainage systems during heavy rainfall.

Likewise, the surge in water levels can also be attributed to surface water runoff. Non-porous paving is often the cause when flash flooding occurs and has become the main serious impact of urbanisation. During heavy rainfall, water can’t permeate the ground, and this causes a surge in water reaching our rivers and streams in one hit. This most certainly triggers flooding and in more severe conditions, flash flooding.

In contrast, natural surfacing enables water to permeate into groundwater or watercourses and drip-feeds into rivers and streams at a much slower pace. This, therefore, enables them to cope better with the increase in water levels and results in less flooding.

But what can we do? All new developments require surfacing for pedestrians, vehicles and other uses, so how can we keep the environmental impact down to a minimum?

This is where SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) compliant paving comes in!

The way forward; SuDS compliant paving

SuDS compliant paving such as resin bound surfacing is porous paving that replicates the natural landscape by allowing water to permeate the ground.

As a result, England, Wales and Scotland have measures in place to ensure SuDS compliant paving is used in all new developments. Architects, landscape designers and civil engineers should therefore consider (and encourage) the use of SuDS compliant paving in their planning applications.

But what are the environmental characteristics and benefits of resin bound paving?

SuDS Compliant Paving

SuDS compliant paving

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems are designed to decrease surface water and reduce water pollution through natural filtration. Its aim is to replicate rural landscape conditions as much as possible through:

  • Improving water quality
  • Managing surface water
  • Provide amenity and biodiversity

Resin bound paving is a SuDS compliant paving solution that allows water to drain naturally into groundwater or watercourses, therefore, removing or reducing pollutants, reducing surface water runoff and facilitating amenity and biodiversity by providing cleaner and naturally filtered water.

Permeable paving

Thanks to its water-permeable properties, resin bound surfacing stands apart from other commercial and decorative surface treatments. As a result, water can naturally drain into groundwater and watercourses, making this surfacing a natural choice for:

  • Areas prone to flooding or as part of a flood defence scheme
  • Landscaping areas that include trees and foliage
  • Areas around water features and swimming pools
  • Driveways with poor mains drainage
  • Areas that are prone to standing water.

Reduces standing water

Due to its permeable properties, resin bound paving enables water to simply drain through the surface, which stops puddles or standing water from forming. In turn, this helps keep the surfacing looking great for longer, reduces surface runoff and helps prevent flooding.

Natural water treatment

When water permeates resin bound surfacing, natural filtration occurs that removes or reduces any impurities or pollution, which helps ensure our waterways are supplied with clean water. In comparison, some of the more traditional drainage systems simply flush pollutants directly into drains, watercourses and groundwater sources.

Reduction in urban heat build-up

Resin bound paving and its permeable properties allow air to circulate, which permits the ground underneath to breathe. This results in a reduction in surface temperatures that are especially prevalent in larger cities such as London and in hot weather conditions where the effect of an urban heat island is often felt.

Speed up the planning process

Because resin bound surfacing is a SuDS compliant paving solution, architects, landscape designers and civil engineers should include resin bound paving specifications in planning applications. This will inevitably speed up the planning process … a massive plus when ensuring project deadlines are met.

And finally, it is an asset to any project!

Not only is resin bound paving SuDS compliant, but it also adds a certain amount of class to any project. Its decorative surfacing qualities:

  • consists of specially selected natural aggregates
  • long-lasting and can last up to 20 years if installed in the right conditions with an adequate sub base
  • has a smooth, yet slip-resistant finish (why not order some samples and test it out, or visit our showroom)
  • is hard-wearing and low maintenance
  • … and above all, looks fantastic!

SuDS Compliant Paving

Specifying resin bound paving in your planning applications

NBS Source is a powerful repository for architects, landscape designers and civil engineers that enables you to search and easily find the products you need for your project.

By searching for Decra®Set resin bound paving by HMS Decorative Surfacing you can quickly select and add it directly to your project or download and save it for later. This ensures your project has all the technical information required to ensure a smooth planning process.

Why choose HMS as your surfacing contractor?

Here at HMS, we have a team of City and Guilds, NVQ qualified supervisors employed by us as a leading surfacing contractor, to head up teams working up and down the country every day.

From local authorities, main contractors, housebuilders and developers, to private and domestic clients, we always deliver a first-class installation.

We also ensure our installation crews are available 24/7 because we understand that sometimes highway works can only be conducted overnight due to road closure conditions.

At HMS all our in-house operatives are fully qualified in all areas of our business and hold CSCS, traffic management and NVQ qualifications as a minimum.

We offer excellent guarantees on product and workmanship and are fully insured. We hold ISO 9001 Quality Assurance, are a member of CHAS and Constructionline and can be found easily on the NBS Source platform … contact us for more information

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About HMS

HMS has more than 25 years’ unrivalled trading history in providing high quality resin based surfacing treatments for Highways England, Main Contractors, Local Authorities, National Home Builders and private individuals.

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