Last edited 08 Nov 2020

The SUDS manual

On 13 November 2015, CIRIA (the Construction Industry Research and Information Association) published The SuDS Manual (C753). It was the result of a CIRIA research project (RP)992 and its preparation was guided by a project steering group.

The SUDS manual front cover.jpg

SUDS (Sustainable urban drainage systems) are systems designed to manage the drainage of surface water in the urban environment, providing an alternative to, or addition to, traditional drainage systems that drain surface water into underground, piped drainage. SUDS techniques seek to capture, use, delay or absorb rainwater and include; filter strips and drains, swales, permeable surfaces, basins and ponds, underground storage, rainwater harvesting, and so on.

The SuDS Manual was first published in 2007 when SUDS was still a relatively new concept. The 2015 edition significantly revises the guidance to include the latest research and best practice. It complements by the government’s ‘non statutory technical standards’ but goes further, supporting the cost effective delivery of multiple benefits.

CIRIA describe C753 as the most comprehensive industry SuDS guidance available in the UK. It is intended to; support uptake, manage floods and create better places and spaces. It deals with the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of SuDS. It considers amenity and biodiversity and has supporting information about materials, landscape, community engagement, costs and benefits.

Its contents include:

  • Introduction.
  • Philosophy and approach.
  • Applying the approach
  • Technical detail.
  • Supporting guidance.
  • Appendices.

Its publication followed a ministerial statement by The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government earlier in 2015 which made it clear that SuDS must play a greater role in the planning system, and that it is a requirement in new major developments wherever appropriate.

Paul Shaffer, Associate at CIRIA said:

The SuDS Manual reflects CIRIA’s stance that well designed SuDS deliver multiple benefits, as well as manage local flood risk. The Manual is the cornerstone of CIRIA’s work on SuDS that includes the BeST project (Benefits of SuDS Tool), susdrain, CIRIA’s SuDS training and extensive catalogue of SuDS related guidance. CIRIA is also developing future work to improve SuDS construction, planning and assessment providing the industry with the competence and confidence to embrace SuDS fully.”

C753 is free to download, available from the CIRIA website.

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