Water Sensitive Design and Renewable Energy: Green Infrastructure as the future path for Flood Resilience, Food Production and Energy Saving

Luis Angel Sañudo Fontaneda, Steve Coupe, Valerio C Andres Valeri, Felipe Pedro Alvarez Rabanal, Sue Charlesworth, William Hunt, Daniel Castro-Fresno, Juan Jose del Coz Diaz, Alan Newman, Craig Lashford, Mar Alonso Martinez, Milena Tulencic, Alcides Gomes-Moreira

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Green Infrastructure (GI) when referring to Stormwater Practices is a set of decentralised stormwater techniques that confer climate adaptation benefits and the provision of better spaces through cleaner water and " environmentally friendly " infrastructure. GI can provide amenity benefits for more sustainable communities on top of the runoff pollutant removal efficiency and runoff control. It also enhances ecosystems by improving biodiversity and also has the potential to reduce carbon and energy consumption in their construction and maintenance. This article presents a pilot study that focuses on understanding the underlying processes of the hydrological behaviour as well as the thermal properties of swales (or linear bioretention systems) since these are some of the most used GI across the world. The potential combination of swales and Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) renewable technology is investigated in this project. The research also studies the potential reuse of the outflow water in swales by undertaking an environmental assessment where water quality and biological parameters are considered in order to establish if the outflow water can be used for agricultural purposes such as crop irrigation. This links with potential end uses in food production and sustainable energy. A comprehensive methodology including field monitoring, laboratory experiments and numerical simulation modelling has been developed. Two full-scale sites have been selected in the UK for their specific characteristics (swales connected to other Sustainable Drainage Systems): Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry, West Midlands; and Hamilton, Leicester, East midlands. The water levels and temperatures of the swales in both sites will be monitored during 12 months. Two different sections of swales (dry and wet) will be studied in the laboratory in order to understand the thermal behaviour of those systems. Numerical simulation through the Hybrid Engineering method will be used to validate the thermal response of the laboratory models. After a few months within this pilot study, the first results have shown a very promising path towards the achievement of the ambitious objective established for the project. The long-term monitoring of the swales both in the laboratory and in the field will provide a rigorous assessment over the next year until the end of the project on the validity of combining GI with renewable energy techniques.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event4th Annual Water Efficiency Conference: Water Frontiers: Strategies for 2020 and beyond - Coventry University, U.K., Coventry, United Kingdom
    Duration: 7 Sept 20169 Sept 2016


    Conference4th Annual Water Efficiency Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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