Improving storm water attenuation is increasingly becoming a consideration in the planning process. Green roofs form part of an effective sustainable drainage solution by reducing the amount of storm water run-off and attenuating peak flow rates.

However, they increase costs and can be difficult to fit due to poor access particularly in built up urban areas and require long term maintenance. These problems are restricting the use of such roofs. Given this background the principal parties in the Aquaten project set about developing a more cost effective solution to the problem.

The solution is a lightweight modular roofing tile or blanket containing a highly super absorptive water attenuating fibre, which absorbs and holds three days of average rainfall before releasing it back into the atmosphere through trans-evaporation or into
the watercourse in a controlled manner.

The solution will be 50% cheaper than a green roof solution and eliminates many of the retro-fit problems such as weight and accessibility. Innovation Networks funding has allowed them to develop their first prototype. Working alongside industry experts they now have a pre-production model which they are able to demonstrate to third parties. This prototype gives a clear realisation of the concept and allows others to grasp the modularity of the product.

Martyn Melling, Director, “the application process itself was useful to us as it forced us to write down what we were planning to do and especially how we were going to address the sales and marketing. Since working with the Innovation Networks scheme we are now receiving other support from Coventry University who are going to conduct trials on their test roof.”