With severe flooding in December 2015 reaching deep into urban centres such as Manchester and Leeds, attention is turning to water management measures that can improve the flood resilience of urban environments in the face of worsening climate change.
Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs), which mimic water drainage in the natural environment, provide an alternative to expensive flood defences and large engineering projects that seek to channel surface water away to other areas.
This innovative approach increases water storage capacity on-site and lowers water flow rates, reducing the potential of more flooding downstream.
One company working in this space is Manchester-based Langford Direct Ltd, which has developed Sudstech, a unique and patented paving technology that utilities recycled car tyres as a porous base layer.
This base can absorb in excess of 50,000 litres of water per square metre per hour, while its natural flexibility works with the natural environment to reduce the cracking associated with tree roots and other intrusions.
The Substech product has been developed over the past seven years for both the commercial and public sector, and has been rigorously tested by the British Research Establishment (BRE). Previous clients include City West Housing Trust, Canary Wharf, the NHS and The National Trust.
Langford Direct is now working with the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub to further develop its position in the SUDs sector.
With the help of the Hub’s Green Growth team, the company hopes to expand its workforce, promote its green credentials and establish new research and development partnerships for future innovations.
It is also a member of the Hub’s Low Carbon Network, joining a growing community of over 100 Greater businesses working in the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector.
Tracey Langford, director at Langford Direct, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Green Growth team.
“We are constantly developing and expanding our range of environmentally intelligent water management solutions using recycled materials, and will shortly be launching porous block paving using recycled ceramics. The support of such an enthusiastic and professional team will be invaluable.”
Daniel O’Connell, low carbon sector advisor at the Business Growth Hub, added: “The severe weather that rocked this region in December 2015 has shown the damage that flooding can do to businesses and properties, and that sort of weather is only expected to increase in future.
“It’s great that we have a company like Langford Direct in Greater Manchester that is actively developing solutions to this global problem and we look forward to working with them to increase their impact.”