Stephenson Construction
Stephenson Construction installs an integrated drainage system

Wavin excels in every degree on uni hall installation

In the wake of significant flooding across Europe in recent years, a growing number of housing developers are taking proactive steps to protect properties from flood water. More and more is being demanded of stormwater drainage installations. Construction experts Stephenson Construction turned to Wavin’s Q-Bic Plus, in harmony with Wavin Vortex valves, to address this key issue with a bespoke solution. 

The challenge


To protect against the potentially catastrophic damage caused by excess water overwhelming standard drainage systems, developers are turning to SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems). Developers of a 202-bed student accommodation in Cambridge for Anglia Ruskin University, enlisted the support and expertise of Stephenson Construction in installing an integrated drainage system within a tight time frame. 
 
With over 200 students set to descend on the halls upon its completion in January 2019, the developer needed a solution that could not only be installed quickly, but could fit into the tight space left by a derelict car dealership on the corner Newmarket Road and River Lane. 

Our approach

After careful consideration of the size and space of the site, it was clear that traditional stormwater solutions which direct water into pipe systems to be carried away by a local watercourse would not be sufficient. Such systems fail to mitigate the impact of such high levels of surface water – rather, moving it elsewhere. The challenge with this is that it can make flooding worse in other parts of the local area, as water is directed away from access points.  

To overcome this issue, Stephenson Construction worked with specialist experts from Wavin, who recommended the use of an engineered solution specifically designed to support the infiltration and attenuation of stormwater. The installation of such a system would help provide a place to store excessive groundwater away from the halls for later controlled release. 
The system also needed to be flexible to make best use of the limited space of the site. This required a modular system that they could, in effect, mould to the shape and size of the usable space. 

To meet the brief, Wavin’s Q-Bic Plus infiltration system, with integrated and bespoke Wavin Vortex valves, was selected for the student halls site. This is a specialist sustainable drainage solution (SuDS) consisting of a series of tanks buried underground.  The result was a network of more than 140 Q-Bic Plus units installed beneath the halls, arranged into five different tank configurations of units optimising storage capacity. The system will be connected to the guttering on the final build, as well as the drains for the local area, ready to collect excess groundwater during extreme weather events.  

The benefits

For Stephenson Construction, the company leading the drainage system installation, the Q-Bic Plus system offered a number of unique benefits. 

The Project Manager said: “Wavin’s first class customer service and products far outstripped our other supplier options as they provided bespoke solutions that addressed our need for speed and maximising the use of the small space we had.  

“We were able to work efficiently, saving time and costs, by having a 3D model from Wavin of the full attenuation system – Vortex valves included – meaning we were able to plan with minute accuracy. The products themselves solved the issue of our space restrictions, with Q-Bic Plus allowing both regular and irregular shaped tanks to be constructed. Wavin helped us to make what could have been a near-impossible task straight-forward, quick and effective.” 

“Wavin’s first class customer service and products far outstripped our other supplier options as they provided bespoke solutions that addressed our need for speed and maximising the use of the small space we had.  
Project Manager , Stephenson Construction

About Q-Bic Plus

Designed to mimic Mother Nature by managing stormwater at source, the Q-Bic Plus system works by collecting excess stormwater from across a site, and storing it until it can be released in a controlled manner back into the surrounding soil or into the local sewerage network. Working in tandem with existing management systems, it can help significantly reduce the risk of flooding. 

The modular nature of the Q-Bic Plus system – with integrated connectors incorporated into each unit – meant that the engineers working on the design for the new halls had considerable freedom to devise the most appropriate drainage solution for the needs of the site.