Urban areas
Sustainable Drainage System in Beaufort Housing Estate Foto: ZIELENIARIUM Joanna Rayss

Sustainable Drainage System in Beaufort Housing Estate

Jury Award in the Adapterra Awards 2019

Normally, rain from roofs, roads, car parks and other hard surfaces is collected in gullies, channels and pipes before being released directly to streams, rivers and soakage, or, in urban areas, to the sewer system. But this is not the case of Beaufort Housing Estate, a complex of multi-family buildings in Pogórze, Poland. It has its special system of ditches and channels that transport rainwater to point solutions and rain gardens, troughs and ponds that retain it.

The project shows one of the natural ways to manage rainwater in the city and shows the problem of proper water retention that many cities in the world are struggling with. The goal of water system planning and management should be to achieve a balance in the city's water budget. Water falling in the form of rain, snow, hail or fog is treated as a valuable resource without a substitute, not just a problem and a threat.

The Adaptation Journey

The positive impact
We have seen a massive reduction in the amount of green spaces as the increase of vehicles on our roads has demanded paved surfaces. This has made it much harder for water to naturally soak into the ground leading to i.e. increased flooding and erosion.

The design includes elements of the sustainable drainage surface system; this means that the estate greenery is not only a decorative element here – it is a green estate infrastructure, which thanks to constant supply of rainwater from the estate does not require additional irrigation and brings a number of ecological benefits.
How does it work?
Water is intended to supply a single object in a dispersed manner (surface runoff) or accumulated from a small surface of the hardened micro-basin. Excess rainwater drains in the facility via an emergency overflow or a planned surface runoff path to the next facility. The solutions created in this way are built with individual micro-retention objects, using a system of ditches and channels planted with hydrophyte vegetation, draining water from paved surfaces to troughs, rain gardens and ponds. Hydrophytic vegetation also have a retention function and will purify the water flowing through them.

The primary purpose of rain gardens, troughs and ponds is water retention and evaporation, supported by evapotranspiration through planting.
Original state
Originally, it was an undeveloped meadow.
Operation and maintenance
Sustainable drainage surface system is a green estate infrastructure, which thanks to constant supply of rainwater from the estate does not require additional irrigation, but in the future weeding in necessarily.
Why was the measure chosen?
Building a traditional drainage in underground pipes and hermetic reservoirs is the more common approach but this solution is more effective, cheaper and sustainable, not to mention the aesthetic value.
Obstacles and challenges
During the project, the problem was to adjust the size and gradiation of the slopes and the height of the excess overflows to the natural terrain.

Family and apartment houses Urban greenery Use of rainwater Green roof Floods and torrential rainfall Soil erosion 

Gdynia, Poland
2 – 8/2019
Zieleniarium Joanna Rayss
Fabryka Zieleni
Euro Styl S.A.
Joanna Rayss
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