Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems – NHS Property Services

12 Dec 2019

Our client: NHS Property Services is a government-owned company with one of the largest property portfolios in the UK, valued at more than £3bn, which is about 10% of the total NHS estate.

Their challenge: Due to the number of natural soakaways being replaced by hard standing, in certain facilities there was an increased volume of rainwater was heading down the drains; the water rates were punitive. As a company, NHS Property Services’ goal is to make the right property choices to enable excellent patient care.  In line with Greater Manchester’s wider environmental programme, they also needed a solution that would set them apart as sustainability leaders.

Because we’ve worked very successfully with them on previous projects, NHSPS approached us to lead on design for the solution at Shaw Heath Health Centre in Stockport.

Our solution: With experience in the design of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, UDC created one with a decorative planting area so that excess surface water would soak away into the soil and be used by the plants, with any excess being slowly released back into natural aquafers.

With customer care at the heart of everything we do, we ensured that the drainage system was a highly attractive area, creating a pleasant environment for both NHS employees and patients, whilst reducing flooding and benefiting the environment.

Weekly conference calls with the Centre made sure everyone was fully up to speed and happy with progress throughout.

Results: As well as enriching the facility in a variety of ways; providing a quiet, relaxed environment for busy NHS staff and those waiting for treatment at the Breast Screening Van, which is right next to the area, it’s also bringing in wildlife and pollinating insects. This solution has reduced the banding category for the water rates, resulting in much needed savings which could then be ploughed back into improving patient care.

At UDC we pride ourselves on our quality delivery. So we’re happy to report that this project been recognised for the extra value it adds and is now a demonstration site for companies who want to invest in this sort of development in the future.

UDC. Class leading excellence through streamlined construction processes.

To find out how UDC can help solve your problems, call us on 0845 468 0250 or email us on