Atkins and Scottish Water Horizons launch drainage approval tool

15 December 2020 3 min. read
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Global engineering consultancy Atkins has partnered with Scottish Water Horizons to produce an innovative new drainage system. FastTrack Drainage will reduce the time required to review drainage designs, enabling for fast development of land to meet affordable housing targets across the UK.

Atkins is a design, engineering and project management consulting firm, which was acquired by Canadian conglomerate SNC-Lavalin in 2017. Employing over 19,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe, the company’s portfolio notably includes work on the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power-plant, and Crossrail2 project.

The firm has been part of a £120 million six-year technical consultancy framework with Scottish Water since 2016. Two contracts saw Atkins and RPS JV and Mott MacDonald and MWH chosen to provide project management, design and development work as well as feasibility studies to support Scottish Water’s construction partners.

Atkins and Scottish Water Horizons launch drainage approval tool

The latest infrastructural project Atkins has been involved in with Scottish Water has seen it produce a transformational automated design tool. FastTrack Drainage was developed by Atkins in partnership with Scottish Water Horizons to automatically validate drainage designs against current regulations. It is now being used to radically reduce the time needed for technical approvals of drainage designs and help accelerate new homes to market.

Guy Ledger, Digital Director at Atkins, commented, “The automation technology underpinning this solution is truly ground-breaking and transformational for the industry. Its application with Scottish Water Horizons demonstrates its potential to significantly save time and cost by speeding up technical approval of new sewer network assets.”

Presently, all new wastewater drainage systems are checked manually against various criteria to ensure compliance with regulations. This is often time-consuming resulting in long delays for developers and creating uncertainty around costs and project timescales. The first of its kind in the UK, FastTrack Drainage utilises Dynamic Objects – an automated intelligent technology process created by Atkins – to significantly reduce the time required to review drainage designs. The innovation has been welcomed by developers under strain to meet increasing demand for new housing, especially regarding affordable homes.

Colin Lindsay, Operations Manager of Scottish Water Horizons, said, “Now more than ever, sites where new homes are being built must be approved, constructed and delivered on time, and on budget. One of the most fundamental components of any new housing development is the wastewater drainage system… The quicker developers get designs validated and submitted for approval, the faster they can get on with their development, saving time and in turn, money.”

Elsewhere, Atkins has also been helping water management in England, having been appointed as a strategic delivery partner to Thames Water. The work will see the firm deliver asset management, project management and technical assurance services to support the utility’s transition to an ‘intelligent client’ model.