A grounds up approach to sustainable development

The Innovation Park follows a ‘ground-up’ approach to sustainable planning and development. The site features porous road surfaces and paving, a site wide SUDS system, native planting and landscaping, street furniture and lighting, and a natural play area.


The masterplan follows a ‘ground-up’ approach to sustainable planning and development, created with the themes of energy, sustainability, affordability and community in mind. The site features porous road surfaces and paving, a 3-stage SUDS system, native planting and landscaping, street furniture and lighting, and a natural play area.

The Innovation Park @Ravenscraig was designed to provide ten construction plots where demonstration buildings will showcase products and technologies which meet the future energy requirements for Scotland. The plots have been themed to allow developers to show how different construction methods are able to meet future energy targets. The plots have been generally orientated east-west on the site to maximise solar gain and passive ventilation.

A road and pathway system ensures that the park will function properly and safely with both construction traffic and pedestrian visitors on site. Construction vehicles will use a circular road at the edges of the Innovation Park, with pedestrians using central spine pathways. The development plots are centred round an open landscaped area that provides collection and attenuation of surface water run-off. The grouping of buildings plus seating and a play area make the Park feel like a real neighbourhood.

A planted bund at the west of the site gives a green frontage for the development and houses the Innovation Park @Ravenscraig sign. Car parking facilities are at the opposite end of the site to allow a drop off area and parking next to the Visitor Centre. The entrance road also gives Plots 5, 6 and 7, a ‘street front’.

The infrastructure works for the Park began in December 2010 and were completed in June 2011. Construction started on site in April 2012 with the Visitor Centre.

Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

SUDS have a key role to play in all development proposals. The correct management of surface water will prevent pooling or flooding during times of heavy rainfall and can integrate storage facilities for rain water harvesting.

For the Innovation Park @Ravenscraig, a SUDS has been devised which integrates the water management strategy in a very visible way, turning them into an feature of the landscaping. This often happens in European developments but is rarely seen in the UK. As the site topography falls 1.3m from North to South, the SUDS is entirely gravity fed. The site has been organised into three different catchment areas, all forming part of the SUDS.

Catchment 1 – Car Park and Access Road The access road and the car park at the higher, Northern edge of the site allows water collected from hard surfaces to be given the longest zone of treatment before reaching the site outfall. Hanson Formpave has been used here with a bio-filtration zone in the centre of the car park to treat the run-off. The outfall from this first zone passes into a swale leading to the attenuation pond.

Catchment 2 – Central Park The central area provides not only a pleasant setting for the development plots but a collection point for the discharge from development plots. A shallow swale wraps around the playground area and feeds directly into a filtration pond. A pipe under the walkway discharges into the attenuation pond.

Catchment 3 – Perimeter Swale A perimeter swale runs from the foot of the mound in the West of the site, towards the attenuation pond. This swale acts as an interceptor for solids running off the mound or the circular loop road.

The attenuation pond discharges via the culvert at its Southern bank. This feeds into the South Calder Water, a major tributary of the River Clyde, which resurfaces nearby after a culverted section and runs to the South of the site. The hydrological impact of the site has been calculated and this SUDS slows the run-off, minimising potential flooding risks.

Flag Soprema UK Ltd. provided a pond liner for the base of the ponds and Althon supplied the pre-cast outlet head-wall for the culverted end of the SUDS.


One priority for the Innovation Park was to ensure that the development does not decrease the permeability of the area such that it is likely to increase surface run-off or exacerbate flooding. Permeable hard paving systems have therefore been used to allow water to filter through the material or else water is allowed to run-off only through a bio-filtration system (a series of filtration channels and ponds). A mixture of different solutions have been utilised to ensure that the landscape is varied. Hanson Formpave provided paving for the Innovation Park.

Timber decking has been used to create bridges across the swale system. Timber Tech have provided their composite decking boards for the bridges at the playground and for a deck projecting over the attenuation pond. Timber Tech’s composite material is made from a variety of cellulose materials and polythene. These materials would otherwise be hard to recycle but through the manufacturing process all contaminants are removed, so the decking can be fully recycled at the end of life. BSW Timber provided quality homegrown timber decking for the other swale bridges.

Marshalls provided paving blocks for the pedestrian walkways around the Innovation Park and Sudscape provided a permeable material for other pathways. The playground area has a BASF Elastopave paving solution, which when combined with local aggregates creates a smooth, porous surface as an alternative to concrete or tar.

Street Furniture

Street furniture and lighting for the Innovation Park has been provided by Woodhouse and Aquila. Woodhouse have supplied their GEO lightstacks, LED bollards and complementing Aubrilam Orlam benches.


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