Red Hill Primary School – SuDS in Schools
Red Hill Primary School is an example of how a creative approach to the use of SuDS features and consultation with a supportive Head Teacher and staff can create an exciting and functional landscape for a school. A swale maze and wildlife pond are the main attractions for pupils. Red Hill is one of a number of schools to be redeveloped in Worcester over the last decade or so where we have delivered Sustainable Drainage Systems that contribute significantly to the landscape quality as well as play and educational potential.
the client: Worcestershire County Council
site area: 34885msq
return period: Un-specified due to unknown overland flow inputs from off-site
discharge destination: Combined sewer
discharge flow rate: 5L/sec/Ha
techniques used: Swales, integrated sleeper storage wall, sealed storage gates, slot weir, shallow bridge crossing, rain gardens, concrete block channel, flow deflectors integrated
Robert Bray Associates worked closely with Worcestershire County Council’s architects and the school staff and pupils to design a scheme full of interest, fun and educational potential yet designed to rigorous performance standards.
It was important that the system be easy to manage without specialist knowledge. The management of the SuDS continues to be undertaken by the site manager who is now interested in SuDS and understands the straightforward tasks needed to keep the site in good operating condition.
The runoff flows above ground in nearly every situation and the children can follow the path it takes to the outfall. All the SuDS are accessible although open water features are surrounded by toddler fences to about 750mm.
A shallow swale runs almost the length of the site providing a flow route for incidental runoff and for interim flows for the temporary school. Runoff flows either to the west of the school from the main playground along a sett channel to a swale and then the swale maze and storage or to the east of the school towards the permeable pavement car park and storm sewer outfall.
The swale maze is located in an area of existing trees which were seen as a negative development feature but a simple bund around the group of mature Limes with a set of shallow channels for water to move has provided 1 in 10 year storage for this part of the site and a feature that is the most popular outdoor space on the site.
There is a small wildlife pond at the end of this SuDS sequence ensuring only clean water enters this biodiversity asset.
Runoff from the access road flows across grass filter strips to join the swale maze.
The eastern flow route collects some water through a silt trap and into a below ground diffuser but mainly by soaking into a permeable car park space. There is 20m2 of sub-base replacement storage within the car park profile to meet the storage requirements.