Innovative Use of Water

Innovative use of water and water management is an underlying theme for the majority of our projects. We believe future climate change predictions of wetter winters and drier summers with periods of concentrated rainfall will require a holistic approach to water management.  We also believe the habitat benefits associated with sustainable water management add to the character of an area whilst benefiting the local ecosystem.

At the Earth Centre we designed and implemented a fully integrated network of water management that incorporated rainwater harvesting and the treatment, storage and recycling of water for use in irrigation, water features and as a wildlife habitat. This included the Living Machine, a 3 stage biological sewage treatment process which treats all waste water coming from Earth Centre toilets, basins and kitchens.

At Bristol Harbourside we created floating reedbeds that extended out from a wildlife bank to support a localised SUDS system by cleansing water run-off into the harbour.  The floating reedbed is composed of modular prefabricated rafts filled with coir fibres, the rafts are fixed together and then tied back to the bank.  The floating gardens include a floating jetty which is open to the public, providing access to moorings and allowing people to experience the wildlife and open views across the water.

For the landscape surrounding the Rolls Royce Headquarters in Chichester we created an entirely new wetland landscape setting, rich in wildlife and character.  As the headquarters can be seen from the South Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it was important to embed the new building and facilities into the landscape character.  The wetlands achieved this ambition and provided a new habitat resource for the local ecosystem.

At the Hive in Worcester, the water meadow along the western face of the library and history centre acts as a setting for the building and encouraging people to stop, sit, and enjoy a moments relaxation appreciating the calm and therapeutic qualities of the water meadow and its associated nature.

For seasonal interest and diversity of habitat the plan incorporates  two basins, a spring and summer meadow, illustrating the different management regimes and practices associated with flood meadows. The spring meadow is the main collection point for the surface water system and accordingly will naturally be a wet meadow planted with species tolerant of flooding. The proposals also include for distinctive shaping of the basin bottom, a micro topography, providing a hidden landform that is only obvious when the meadow floods. The concept bases the micro topography on a local historical reference so it becomes a piece of hidden archeology . The summer meadow will naturally be the drier meadow and the basin bottom with comprise of rich coloured summer wildflowers.