Assessing the multiple benefits of SuDS

Updated 2023: JBA Trust supported research and development by CIRIA to produce a tool for assessing the benefits of sustainable drainage systems. First published in 2015, the “Benefits of SuDS” (BEST) tool has evolved to help value the benefits of a wider range of blue-green infrastructures and has been re-branded as the CIRIA “Benefits EStimation Tool”. From May 2023 it requires a paid license.

Our original article, posted in 2016, is shown below.

We supported the development of a new tool to identify and assess the potential multiple benefits of SuDS schemes.

Led by CIRIA, this project created a freely available Benefits of SuDS Tool (BeST) and guidance, to help practitioners estimate the impacts that drainage schemes can create and help make assessing benefits easier without the need for full scale economic inputs.

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) provide multiple benefits, beyond what is expected from a conventional, piped approach. This is possible because SuDS can enhance urban areas and contribute to economic and environmental benefits.

JBA Trust was one of the project partners and worked with the team to develop case studies and test the tool.

BeST provides a structured approach to evaluating a wide range of benefits, often based upon the drainage system performance overall. It follows a simple structure, commencing with a screening and qualitative assessment to identify the benefits to evaluate further. Then it provides support to help quantify and monetise the benefit. On completion of the evaluation, the tool provides a series of graphs and charts based on Ecosystem Services (ESS) and Triple Bottom Line (TBL) criteria.

For more information about BeST and SuDS implementation please visit the Susdrain website.

JBA Trust resources