Expert for Civils & Green Urbanisation

Steve Durdant-Hollamby

Managing Director, Polypipe Civils

profile

Steve is a well-known figure in the merchant sector and across the UK construction industry, bringing over 25 years’ experience to the Expert Panel. He started his career in builders’ merchanting before moving into a supplier role with Polychannel as National Sales Manager. In 2000 Steve joined ACO Water Management and progressed to Commercial Director. Steve was appointed Managing Director of Alumasc Water Management Solutions (AWMS) in 2014 where he introduced and established AWMS as the first joined-up brand in rain-to-drain water management. He led an active industry campaign to change the way water is managed in the built environment at a time of accelerating climate change. Steve is now Managing Director of Polypipe Civils. In January 2020 Polypipe Civils changed its name to Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation, redefining the business around new technologies that enhance sustainable and resilient development.

Polypipe

Founded in 1980, Polypipe is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of piping systems, water and climate management systems, delivering engineered solutions that enable a sustainable built environment.

The development of Green Urbanisation introduces a new generation of techniques that optimise urban green spaces through an extended, fully integrated, sustainable water management network. This includes the provision of hybrid water management solutions that combine green assets such as blue/green roofs, gardens and trees with smart water infrastructure within any urban environment. The benefits are multiple: greater resilience to flooding and drought, increased biodiversity, lowering of the heat island effect, more green spaces and amenities, better air quality, and improved health and wellbeing.

Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation is part of Polypipe Group plc and operates two UK manufacturing centres: Loughborough and Horncastle. With products focused at specific applications across all construction sectors including residential, highways, rail and power, each range has been developed around optimised use of recycled materials. The company currently transforms over 16,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year in the manufacture of its products.

Visit www.polypipe.com/civils

Twitter @PolypipeCivilGU

LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/showcase/polypipe-civils-and-infrastructure/

Expert Comments
Blog Posts

Polypipe Civils Comment: Q4 2019

Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Managing Director Polypipe Civils is BMBI’s Expert for Civils & Green Urbanisation.

Bad weather, the disruptive effect of the election and a longer than normal Christmas shutdown, knocked Q4 activity across the board. Post-election political stability has improved the situation, and there are definite signs of market improvement and increased confidence in Q1 2020. Many delayed projects have started, and orders are up.

Government announcements on major infrastructure investment programmes such as HS2 are helping to drive this wider confidence. The availability of credit insurance for contractors remains an issue, however. The low-margin model that saw the level of insolvencies rise through 2019 is changing but that will depend on the strength and speed of the recovery we are witnessing.

Looking at Green Urbanisation specifically, extreme rainfall continues to put the country’s existing drainage infrastructure under pressure. Urban and suburban flooding is never far from the headlines, along with stories related to climate change. According to the Environment Agency, more than five million homes in England and Wales are at risk of flooding – a point underpinned in December, when the agency issued 79 flood warnings for the South, Midlands, East and Yorkshire, and again in this February’s widespread alerts.

Green Urbanisation is a genuinely new design approach that enhances the resilience and sustainability of urban development. It brings together conventional SuDS and green infrastructure in a single, fully integrated, scalable solution. Adaptable to any size project or catchment, Green Urbanisation allows the introduction of green assets into any landscaped area, providing optimum growing conditions through an extended sustainable drainage network.

This approach has been developed to mitigate the impact of climate change and help developers and architects realise urban landscapes that are healthy, biodiverse and attractive for rapidly expanding populations. Green Urbanisation solutions will help meet the requirements of Environmental Net Gain – an approach the government is considering making mandatory. Under this, developers would need to deliver new housing or commercial projects that enhance the pre-development habitat for wildlife.

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s final report, published this February, reinforces the Green Urbanisation approach and is set to be a key influencer in the shaping of future planning and environmental legislation.

Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.

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