Water management is now a crucial part of sustainable building practice.
Environmental stress is increasingly being placed on our resources. As more land is developed, the natural water filtration provided by the soil is continually being diminished. In turn, storm water runoff – mixed with motor oil, fertilisers and other contaminants – can pollute lakes, rivers, coastlines and groundwater.
Current legislation calls for more integrated approach to water management. The Environment Agency is keen to reduce the impact of flooding from storm water runoff by promoting the wider use of sustainable drainage.
A wide range of permeable materials have become more readily available and widely used as alternatives to conventional road construction materials. These have proven to be practical, cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable due to their ability to reduce urban stormwater runoff. Because these permeable materials allow water to pass through the surface (in the case of porous asphalt and porous concrete) or through void spaces (in the case of concrete or paving), both runoff volume and water quality impacts are reduced. That keeps nuisance flooding down, recharges groundwater supplies, and helps to keep drinking waters healthy.