water management residential

Master plan for sustainable water management in an urban residential area

Reference case Ecowijk Gantoise Ghent

Introduction to the challenge

Ecowijk Gantoise is a project that aims for a comprehensive sustainability concept. The project provides for the construction of 60 residential units per hectare. The total project area is 5 hectares. The level of sustainability will be quantified at district level based on BREEAM Communities certification. The ambition is to achieve the 'Outstanding' rating. The allotment concept will, via town planning regulations, be the basis for the volume and typology requirements to be met by the individual buildings. As part of this development, HydroScan was asked to prepare a water management master plan with very high ambitions in terms of sustainability, and to advise and support clients and the design team throughout the further elaboration and implementation of the project.

Our approach

Sustainable water management strategy for water consumption, rainwater management, wastewater management and flood control

Ecowijk Gantoise
Picture 1
Ecowijk Gantoise
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Step-by-step approach:
  • In an initial phase, an overall strategy for sustainable on-site water management was developed, including an inventory of the existing water management and bottlenecks in the area. This formed the basis for the development of an overall strategy on water use, rainwater management, wastewater management and flood control.
  • Picture 1: The expected on-site water consumption was estimated in detail based on the provisional design plans, with a distinction being drawn between high-value applications requiring the use of mains water and low-value applications for which alternative water sources may be used. This analysis served as input for the elaboration and optimisation of a number of rainwater reuse scenarios.
  • Since the on-site rainwater supply proved insufficient for practical use, a number of additional scenarios were examined for the sustained application of water-saving technologies and for the treatment and reuse of grey wastewater. Based on a cost-benefit analysis, we advised to collect the grey wastewater on-site and reuse it, after treatment, for low-value applications, in addition to the available rainwater.
  • Based on these principles, a conceptual design was made of the on-site rainwater system, which focuses on systematic infiltration and buffering in order to limit the drainage of on-site rainwater above and beyond the norms adopted in the currently applicable guidelines.
  • A drainage system was also developed for the wastewater, whereby a portion of the grey water is collected for reuse and the remaining grey water is discharged to the public sewers in the surrounding streets.
  • An analysis was made of the local flood risks so that flood-proof construction levels could be selected.
  • Based on this water strategy, the on-site rainwater and wastewater system was further developed by the design consultants involved.
  • This rainwater system was further optimised using Sirio, a hydrological model, further dimensioning the various components (rainwater reservoirs, infiltration and buffering facilities) to meet the target levels demanded.
  • The drainage system for both rainwater and wastewater was then extrapolated by means of the hydrodynamic model Infoworks ICM and further optimised to mitigate the flood risks on the site itself. In addition, the hydraulic impact on the surrounding drainage system was simulated.
  • Picture 2: During the further elaboration of the project, clients and design team are advised on several other aspects of sustainable water management, such as the submission of applications for environmental and building permits.

Our solution

Sustained water savings, treatment and reuse

This assignment has resulted in a master plan for Ecowijk Gantoise, a new construction project in Ghent, which set high ambitions in terms of sustainability. The master plan includes elements such as sustained water savings, treatment and reuse of grey wastewater, as well as extensive on-site infiltration and buffering. This contributes to achieving a high rating under the BREEAM certification.

During the further project implementation, this master plan will be used as a guide for the detailed elaboration of the different project phases.

Ecowijk Gantoise

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