ACO provides drainage at University of Northampton

Aco was involved with a project at the University of Northampton to provide a drainage system that suited the needs of the location. The university’s close proximity to the River Nene meant that it was deemed a high-risk area for flooding. Installing an effective water management system was considered one of the most important design challenges.

Another key element of the new campus development was the design and delivery of a robust infrastructure network, including a series of adoptable roads throughout the campus, and strong links to the town centre and wider area.

Jon Williamson, specification manager – East, at ACO Water Management, worked closely with the team at PBA to ensure all elements of the drainage system would match the aspirational nature of the campus. He begins: “I’d worked alongside the team at PBA on a number of different projects, and was delighted to get the call to provide further support on the Waterside campus project. University of Northampton Brickslot KD MonoBlock KD Textured MultiDrain 008SUBBED

For paved and pedestrianised areas in open view, PBA specified ACO’s Brickslot channel drainage system. Designed as standard with a heel guard 10mm offset drainage inlet, ACO Brickslot is a subtle and unobtrusive grating which, when combined with ACO MultiDrain MD channels, can be used as a solution to complement discreet drainage applications. Ideal for use against building facades, and compatible with most paving materials, the vertical sides of the grating enable pavements to be laid directly to the unit’s edge. A number of the Brickslot channels also drained directly into swale outlets, located throughout the site to help facilitate the release of surface water back into the local environment in a controlled way.

Jon continues: “Another key area of the design identified by the consulting engineers, given the volume of road infrastructure, was kerb drainage. Specifically, they needed to find a unit that would match the finish of the solid granite paving that would be used throughout the campus. ACO’s KerbDrain met both the structural design and hydraulic capacity criteria, but crucially we were able to tailor the finish to the PBA’s exact specification on this occasion with a texture to match the surrounding granite.”

For quieter roads and other areas such as car parks, PBA turned to ACO’s MonoDrain channel. MonoDrain is a monolithic general-purpose channel drainage system made from high performance, recyclable Vienite® polymer concrete. Unlike other monocast solutions, the inherent strength of ACO’s MonoDrain channels mean they require significantly less concrete haunching when being installed. As such, it can offer a £5/m saving on installation costs.

Jon concludes: “What ultimately helped ACO secure the tender from PBA was not only our flexibility in design, but the ability to provide a broad portfolio of solutions to create a SuDS focussed solution on a high flood risk site from a single point of contact. As arguably one of Northamptonshire’s premier developments in recent years, it was an incredibly diverse and exciting project to be involved in, and one we are very proud to have our products installed throughout.”

For more information on ACO’s broad portfolio of water management students for major infrastructure projects, please visit:

About Catrin Jones

Assistant Editor

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