A new digital platform which has been billed as ‘substantially’ accelerating the speed at which housing developers gain required approvals has the potential to revolutionise how drainage designs are validated in Scotland, Scottish Water has said.
Developed by Scottish Water Horizons in partnership with Atkins, a global engineering consultancy, the new FastTrack Drainage system ‘radically’ reduces the time needed for technical approvals, helping accelerate new homes to the market.
Scottish Water said the innovation has been welcomed by developers who face mounting pressure to meet increasing demand for new housing – particularly in the affordable housing sector.
FastTrack Drainage automatically validates drainage designs against sews for Scotland 4 (SFS4). It utilises an automated intelligent technology process to reduce the time required to review drainage designs.
Scottish Water said the standard procedure of checking new waste water drainage systems manually against various criteria can result in delays. However, they added that the new system validates each design in a matter of weeks, rather than months.
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 on budget. One of the most fundamental components of any new housing development is the waste water 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 benefiting consumers.”
Guy Ledger, Atkins digital director for the infrastructure division, added, “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, commented, “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.”