Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)

In addition to the need to minimise the impact of extreme flooding events, a much more sustainable approach to managing surface water is necessary in order to create a more balanced and natural ecology, in both our urban and rural areas.

By embracing the core principles of SuDS, geosynthetics help to minimise the impact of flooding, whilst also facilitating a much more attractive and sustainable landscape in which to work and live.
SuDS in the built environment

The advantages of geosynthetics in SuDS
For more than 50 years, geosynthetics have been used extensively throughout the world, helping to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions across a diverse range of sustainable drainage applications. Their use offers many advantages over ‘traditional’ construction techniques. As a consequence, both the structural and stormwater treatment benefits of geosynthetics have been recognised and universally adopted in the development of SuDS solutions that deliver source control – both above and below ground.

One of the primary benefits of incorporating geosynthetics is that a more sustainable, shallow solution can be achieved which minimises both the risk and cost of construction. This reduced depth of construction also limits the use of natural materials and off-site disposal, which optimises the environmental credentials of a project.

Another prime benefit in the use of geosynthetics is their ability to enhance the water treatment capability of a SuDS system. Source control solutions rely upon a series of treatment stages in order to achieve an acceptable quality of discharge water, and geotextiles and geocomposites in particular have an important role to play in achieving this requirement, with SuDS techniques set to become mandatory throughout the UK.

Typical applications

  • Sustainable porous paving
  • Green & blue roofing
  • Tree root protection
  • Podium deck drainage


  • Control & filtration of surface water at source
  • Reduced depth constructions that reduce the carbon impact of quarrying and transport of mineral drainage materials
  • High flow alternatives
  • Stormwater attenuation at roof and ground level

Green roofs, blue roofs and podium decks
ABG green and blue roofs (constructions that have the ability to attenuate collected water within the roof/podium deck structure) have been used extensively across many leading sustainable developments across the UK. Offered as a full turnkey solution, including PI covered design through to on-going maintenance, ABG can provide a full design, supply and installation service.
ABG green roofs and blue roofs are a SuDS system
The final design of the system is dependent on the project specific requirements, with a number of final surface finishes available including extensive, intensive and biodiverse vegetation along with paved or decking finishes. The drainage/storage capacity is also project specific to meet the requirements of the SuDS design, with a blue roof often more cost effective than underground SuDS tanks. Geosynthetics are an integral element of green and blue roof construction, allowing the build to be thinner and lighter, whilst maintaining building performance. The use of geosynthetics contributes to the drainage and storage capacity, whilst having a positive impact on the quality of water discharged from the roof.

Porous paving systems
Permeable paving provides a solution to reinforcing pavements for traffic on a gravel or grass surface. Sudspave porous pavers are suitable for access roads and car parking areas where a retained gravel or reinforced grass surface is required. Truckcell heavy duty permeable pavers are suitable for HGV access, fire access routes, lay-bys and hard-standings. Advanced Turf (ATS) provides an invisible surface reinforcement for grass surfaces and landscaped slopes that are lightly and infrequently trafficked.

Geosynthetics are integral to the successful function of porous paving systems, allowing pavements to be constructed using less imported stone, improving water quality by their filtration and allowing pavements to be used for the infiltration/attenuation of collected surface water.
Porous paving systems for SuDS source control parking surfaces
ABG offer a range of complementary components to create an integrated porous paving system, designed to effectively manage the safe collection, treatment, management and dispersal of surface water. The ABG Sustainable Paving system is configurable to individual project requirements and offers a range of surface solutions to meet aesthetic and performance requirements.
SuDS Geogrids and Geocells from ABG Geosynthetics
A range of geogrids and geocells can both minimise construction depths and meet structural requirements. In addition, high performance geotextiles help treat collected water to meet quality expectations.

Tree Root Protection
Abweb TRP geocell protects tree roots where a pavement, access road or parking area is to be constructed, without damaging nearby trees. Abweb TRP geocell is a no dig solution, preventing damage to the tree root structure during the installation process and greatly reduces the depth of imported stone required – saving time and money and reducing the environmental impact of the project.

SuDS Ponds

The geotechnical / landscaping section of our website has details of our pond lining and geocellular earth retaining wall solutions for pond construction applications.

Project Design Service

Submit your project design request via our Design Solutions forms.


Additional information

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