The shift towards Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDs) is gaining significant traction among asset owners in both the private and public sectors.

The global surge in extreme weather events, leading to heightened pluvial flood risks, necessitates a revaluation of traditional drainage systems. In response to these challenges, SuDs offers a sustainable alternative, not only addressing current issues but also fortifying our infrastructure for future climate resilience.  

The rising tide of SuDs

This February, at the NTI Sustainability Summit, NTI Diatec will delve into the growing prominence of SuDs and the benefits it can bring to engineering and civil­-infrastructure projects.

The escalating frequency of extreme weather events globally, especially heavy rainstorms, means the imperative to design drainage systems that can adapt and endure severe flooding becomes increasingly apparent.

The British government’s National Risk Register for 2023 estimated that one in six homes are at risk of flooding, a figure that is likely to rise. SuDs present a holistic solution, aligning with sustainability goals while simultaneously mitigating flood risks.  

Mitigating pollutants: A crucial aspect of SuDs design

One of the key aspects we will look at in the discussion is the role SuDs play in mitigating pollutants. Traditional drainage systems often contribute to environmental degradation by allowing pollutants to flow freely into water bodies.

SuDs, on the other hand, incorporate natural processes, such as biofiltration and attenuation, to purify stormwater runoff. This can take the form of green roofs, retention ponds, and detention basins that can provide a habitat for flora and fauna, enhancing local biodiversity.

This not only safeguards man-made infrastructure and natural ecosystems but also enables us to move achieve sustainable development targets. Pollutants captured within the drainage system removed for treatment, clean-up or rehabilitation (where possible).  

Autodesk InfoDrainage: A cornerstone for SuDs design

Central to our exploration is Autodesk InfoDrainage, our preferred supporting design tool for delivering SuDs structures. This technology serves as a linchpin in the design process, facilitating the integration of SuDs into existing urban landscapes.

Autodesk InfoDrainage not only streamlines design workflows but also empowers design teams to meet compliance standards and construction requirements effectively. 

Achieving compliance and construction goals

SuDs integration hinges largely on the ability of design teams to maintain regulatory compliance. Autodesk InfoDrainage emerges as a key technology in this endeavour, providing tools and features that empower designers to navigate the complexities of regulatory frameworks and construction standards.

The talk will offer insights into how design teams can leverage these capabilities to ensure their SuDs projects meet and exceed industry and government expectations.  


In the face of escalating climate challenges, the adoption of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDs) represents a pivotal step towards building resilient and sustainable urban landscapes.

The talk not only explores the rising importance of SuDs but also highlights the role of technology such as Autodesk InfoDrainage in supporting design processes.

By embracing SuDs and leveraging innovative design tools, we pave the way for a future where our urban environments are not only functional but also environmentally friendly and adaptable to the challenges that lie ahead.

The implementation of SuDs challenges existing working methodologies, encouraging a paradigm shift towards more environmentally conscious and resilient urban planning. By understanding and adapting to these disruptions, design teams can harness the full potential of SuDs in creating robust and sustainable drainage solutions.

See here to register for the NTI Sustainability Summit and look a the full agenda

Author: Jonathan Brookfield, Autodesk technical consultant at NTI Diatec.