A new digital platform which substantially accelerates the speed at which housing developers gain required approvals has the potential to revolutionise how drainage designs are validated in Scotland.
Developed by Scottish Water Horizons in partnership with Atkins, a global engineering consultancy, the pioneering new system ‘FastTrack Drainage’, radically reduces the time needed for technical approvals, helping accelerate new homes to market.
The innovation has been welcomed by developers who face mounting pressure to meet increasing demand for new housing, particularly in the affordable housing sector.
The first of its kind in the UK, FastTrack Drainage automatically validates drainage designs against Sewers for Scotland 4 (SFS4). The system utilises an automated intelligent technology process to significantly reduce the time required to review drainage designs.
Currently, all new wastewater drainage systems are checked manually against various criteria to ensure compliance with regulations. This can result in delays, with developers facing uncertainty around costs and project timescales.
FastTrack Drainage checks and validates each design– completing the process in weeks instead of months – significantly reducing delivery times and costs.
Colin Lindsay, Operations Manager of Scottish Water Horizons, said: “Scottish Water Horizons is thrilled to have developed this exciting new system with Atkins.
“Now more than ever, sites where new homes are being built must be approved, constructed and delivered on time, and budget. One of the most fundamental components of any new housing development is the wastewater drainage system.
“With FastTrack Drainage, designs are validated within a matter of days, knocking weeks or months off existing validation processes. 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.
“We believe this innovative new system will play a key role in facilitating development across Scotland, contributing to economic growth and ultimately benefitting consumers.”
Guy Ledger, Atkins Digital Director for the Infrastructure Division adds “We’re extremely excited to be launching this brand-new online service with Scottish Water Horizons. It will help developers get their projects completed far more quickly by significantly speeding up technical approval of new sewer network assets. The automation technology underpinning our solution is truly groundbreaking and transformational for the industry”
Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister for the Scottish Government, said: “It’s encouraging to see Scottish Water Horizons taking steps to speed up the design and approvals process. I want to see developers working closely with utilities companies to unlock delivery of housing, helping to deliver strong communities and places. This is a welcome step forward in how approvals are processed so that more homes can be delivered across Scotland.”