Project information

CIRIA delivers a programme of research projects that are identified and prioritised by CIRIA members and industry practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds. These projects are steered and their results approved by leading industry specialists.


Current projects 


Demonstrating the multiple benefits of SuDS - a business case (RP993)

With the development of partnership funding and increasing number of stakeholders involved in the management of surface water the evaluation of the full range of costs and benefits for SuDS (particularly retrofitting) is now becoming essential. This project will collate and evaluate potential methodologies for assessing costs and benefits of SuDS delivery with a view to developing approaches specifically focussed on SuDS but consistent with the growing body of work on ecosystem services assessment and Green Infrastructure evaluation.


The project will also support the collation of evidence using information from actual projects and working with key stakeholders to develop evidence, case studies and robust guidance to demonstrate the full range of benefits from SuDS (eg flood reduction, water quality improvement, amenity and biodiversity provision). 


For further information please contact Paul or Suzanne

Update of SuDS construction guidance (RP1028)

A good SuDS design can be misinterpreted and let down by poor construction and detailing which affects performance and ultimately can cause failure. With SuDS becoming more common place and the diversity of schemes and applications growing it is now timely for this project to update and repackage guidance on SuDS construction to ensure SuDS are built as designed and provide the functionality and performance required. The outputs will be specifically produced to facilitate effective engagement between designers and contractors as well as providing value to on site supervisors and engineers.

For further information please download the proposal or contact Paul or Suzanne

Current proposals 


Actively being fundraised

Scoping study on innovative funding and financing for Integrated Water Management (Proposal 3043)
Following on from the development of  tools to quantify the benefits of IWM measures (ie CIRIA’s BeST) and the growing constraints on the availability of money there is a growing need to understand the role and effectiveness of different funding and finance mechanisms for IWM delivery. This project will scope out and provide guidance on national and international approaches that might support UK IWM delivery by different stakeholders (including organisations, individuals and the community).

For further information please download the proposal and if If you have any interest please contact Paul or Suzanne

Delivering successful integrated water management through the planning system (Proposal 3079)

Planning is integral to the effective management of water and this guidance will support the delivery of effective integrated water management (that include SuDS) for new development and regeneration projects. It will review and showcase good planning policies and the process that underpin their production. It will also provide local government with the confidence to produce their own set of policies and guidance ensuring that high quality developments with good water management are cost effectively delivered.

For further information please download the proposal and if If you have any interest please contact Paul or Suzanne

Currently being developed

Accreditation and/or assessment of SuDS – scoping (Proposal 2802)

The non-statutory standards for SuDS (March 2015) have introduced minimum requirements for the design of SuDS schemes, while the new CIRIA SuDS Manual (C753) expands on this, focussing on delivering good practice and multiple benefits. CIRIA’s guidance will lead to well considered and robust schemes, however evaluating what constitutes a good SuDS scheme is likely to remain challenging. This project would therefore explore the potential and methodology for an accreditation and/or assessment scheme to asses SuDS designs and designers supporting both the approval process and the delivery of high quality multi-beneficial SuDS.

Guidance on the inspection and maintenance of SuDS (Proposal 2866)

As SuDS become more commonplace and experience in undertaking maintenance grows, there is an opportunity to capture good practice in terms of institutional arrangements used and simplifying the presentation of maintenance requirements. This project will assess the need for updating, repackaging and re-presenting guidance to improve maintenance and reflect changes in organisational arrangements that have developed in recent years.

Incentivisation and funding for SuDS (Proposal 3043)

Following on from the development of CIRIA’S BeST (Benefits of SuDS tool) and the growing constraints on funding for capital and operational costs there is a growing need to understand the role and effectiveness of different funding models or incentivisation for SuDS delivery covering capital and operational costs. This project will scope out and provide guidance on national and international approaches that might support UK SuDS delivery by different stakeholders (including individual and the community).

Resource pack to improve SuDS construction (Proposal 3083)

CIRIA’s guidance on SuDS construction will be produced in the spring of 2017. It will be a guidance document, with accompanying presentation that can be freely downloaded. Market research will be undertaken to inform the format of the resource pack that would further support good practice. The aim of the pack is to enable enhanced dissemination on site, improve the communication between the designer, site supervisors and those involved in the day-to-day construction of SuDS components and schemes with the aspiration of reducing construction mistakes and improving SuDS performance.

Guidance on cost effective SuDS delivery (Proposal 3085)

This guidance will help those designing and managing SuDS deliver costs effective schemes. The land, capital and maintenance costs of SuDS are often presented as a barrier to delivery. This project will help overcome these challenges by augmenting the SuDS Manual, collating case studies and disparate research on costs to provide advice on practical approaches to improve the cost effectiveness of SuDS. The guidance will cover new build and retrofit SuDS delivery, it will also focus on what can be done during planning and design of SuDS to make them more cost effective, as well as ensuring that construction and maintenance costs are effectively managed.

The detail of these proposal is yet to be developed but if you have any interest please contact Paul or Suzanne

Other proposal ideas

CIRIA is developing other proposal ideas around SuDS accreditation, maintenance and incentivisation. If you have any other suggestions or queries please contact Paul or Suzanne.








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