28th November 2023

Ireland’s National Transport Authority publishes sustainable drainage systems advice authored by Civic Engineers


Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) has published a best practice advice note for incorporating greening and nature-based sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) in active travel schemes, which has been authored by our team. 

As a nature-based approach to managing drainage, SuDS help to reduce the risk of flooding and improve the quality of water that enters watercourses. They form part of the Government’s goal to implement water sensitive urban design across Ireland, in line with its Climate Action Plan 2023.  

The guidance will support the NTA’s implementation of a transport strategy for the Greater Dublin area. With the authority also set to be heavily involved in developing similar strategies for other regional cities across Ireland, the launch of the document represents a significant step towards meeting nature-based SuDS goals across the country. 

Designed to provide design engineers with advice on implementing and retrofitting SuDS into new and existing projects, the guidance draws on lessons learned from past schemes. It includes design consideration guidance for different types of SuDS interventions, including rain gardens, above ground planters and tree pits. 

Stephen O’Malley, our CEO, commented: “We’re increasingly seeing the effect of climate change on the environment. Extreme rainfall events are becoming more frequent, causing increased risks of flooding and ‘urban heat island’ effect, whereby dense concentrations of pavements and buildings retain heat.  

“SuDs not only mitigate these effects, but the reintroduction of nature to our streets encourages more people to spend time walking and cycling, which helps to improve people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life. 

“It’s critical that we champion nature-based solutions in the face of the global climate emergency. We’re passionate about improving people’s lives and creating a legacy for Ireland, which is why we’re committed to sharing our expertise and innovative approaches with the industry.”  

Alongside reducing flood risk and improving the quality of water entering watercourses, SuDS increase biodiversity and amenity through the introduction of plants, making for more ecologically valuable and more attractive places.  

With their many benefits, SuDS are growing in prominence. Earlier this month, a pioneering pilot scheme for Ireland’s first raingarden demonstrator was launched in Cobh. We’re appointed as the design engineers on the project, which will help the local town to build a more resilient approach to flooding and extreme temperatures. 

Delivering SuDS can be challenging, so the advice note aims to simplify the decision-making process, and support our industry, governing bodies, supply chains and communities in experiencing the benefits they can bring.  

Read more here. 

[Image credit to Brady Shipman Martin].

Ireland’s National Transport Authority publishes sustainable drainage systems advice authored by Civic Engineers