Urban SuDS Case Study: Hebden Bridge Town Hall – Courtyard Rain Garden Planters

Calder Rivers Trust & Slow The Flow Calderdale

Rain Garden Planters

Slowing the flow of rainwater into the drainage system, thus reducing the potential for combined sewer flooding

The Town Hall Courtyard planters project is a collaborative community
venture, funded by a grant from the Postcode Local Trust.

It is part of a wider initiative to help us
all understand how urban Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) can play a
part in flood alleviation.

The completed storm-water planters

Five large storm-water planters were installed in the courtyard of Hebden Bridge Town Hall in June 2018. Planters are 80cm high, 75cm deep and range from 90cm to 2.4m wide. They are made from tricoya, a sustainable and extremely durable engineered wood panel.

Ornamental and edible plants were chosen to withstand flood and drought conditions and to improve the riverside bio-diversity corridor.

adding the plants

Raised planters are good if space is tight, or ground conditions don’t allow water to soak away. They divert water from drainpipes, to slow / reduce the flow into sewers. They can be built over existing surfaces as long as there is a plan for any overfow. Excess water can continue into the existing system, as before.

With this being in a public space, it is ideal for promoting SuDS, particularly encouraging people to make their own interventions at home

Assembling the planters

Plants
Resilient plants have been chosen to cope with either flood or drought, and promote riverside  biodiversity – also some that the café can use in their delicious food!
Species list available here.

Monitoring
As part of wider research, the effectiveness of the planters at slowing down rainwater will be monitored by measuring the inflow and outflow of rainwater using the measuring gauges in one of the planters.

River Health
Rain gardens and other SuDS features filter the water and reduce the sediment that enters the river from runoff. By reducing peak flow into sewers they can also reduce the amount of serious pollution from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), improving the quality of water in your local river.

Riverside Biodiversity Corridors
Linking landscaped spaces together along the riverside and including a variety of nectar rich species to attract insects and birds helps to create a wildlife corridor along the riverside.

Rain Garden Planter Construction
These planters are made from “extreme” Tricoya (#MTX) which has all the design flexibility of MDF, but is more durable and sustainable – perfect for external, wet and natural environments.
They were manufactured on a not-for-profit basis by local riverside social enterprise, Green Future Building and installed by volunteers.

The project has been funded by a £20,000 grant from People’s Postcode Lottery with collaborative design and implementation from the following:

To submit your own case study go here.

To find out more about how YOU can help to Slow The Flow, go here.

5 thoughts on “Urban SuDS Case Study: Hebden Bridge Town Hall – Courtyard Rain Garden Planters

  1. Hello! We are working on a similar project in the Westcountry and I was wondering whether you could let me know more details about what equipment you are using to monitor the in and outflow. Also, it looks like an awesome project! Well done.

    Cheers
    Kathi

  2. Thanks Kathi,

    We have used two boxes the same size as each other, one at the point where the down pipe enters the planter, and one at the point of outflow back into the drain. They each have a v-notch weir at their outflow point, with a gauge to measure the height of water next to the v notch. Our clever boffins have calculations at the ready (for when we have some rain!) and will be able to tell us the flow rates at each point – hopefully proving the extent to which the planter slows the flow between the two! We also have a camera set up in order that we can capture this data in heavy rainfall events, even if nobody happens to be on site at the time.

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