School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Providing Realworld Opportunities for Sustainable Drainage Systems (ProSuDS)


Image of a new residential property development

Providing Real-world Opportunities for Sustainable Drainage Systems (ProSuDS) is a Green Infrastructure innovation research project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the University of Portsmouth.

The aim of the project is to identify economic barriers to the implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in high quality designs that may have higher land take, but that maximise benefits to the environment and society.

This research is undertaken by a team of experts in SuDS, costing, valuation, innovation and sustainability at University of Portsmouth with a number of partners including professional bodies, practitioners and developers, policy makers, regulators such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Hampshire County Council (HCC), Southern Water, First Wessex, Atkins, Grainger, Mayer Brown, The Environment Agency, and CIRIA.

The outcome of the project will be to increase the uptake of high quality SuDS designs as part of Green Infrastructure strategies that will deliver multiple benefits to the UK - through improved flood protection; higher quality surface water; improved urban landscape; improved urban habitat and biodiversity; health improvements due to increased access to public open space; and more resilient urban infrastructure.


Establish a standardised toolkit of valuation and costing techniques and guidance that can be used to provide evaluation of SuDS particularly in housing developments.


  • To establish the current state of the art with respect to the valuation of whole life economic costs associated with SuDS and investigate the development of standardised approaches and definitions that provide a consistent basis for evaluating such costs;
  • To investigate the potential for SuDS to influence, and establish the likely magnitude of, values associated directly with the development through uplifts in property prices;
  • To investigate the potential for SuDS and how these broader ecosystem services and other off-site values incorporated within decision making;
  • Based on the outcome of the above, to develop a toolkit of valuation techniques that can be used to evaluate the broad, whole life values associated with SuDS implementation.

Project Management

The project is divided in to four Work Packages (WP) over 2 years.

  • WP1: Direct costings of Capital and Whole Life Costs
  • WP2: Benefits to the development
  • WP3: Ecosystem Services and off-site benefits
  • WP4: Toolkit development and dissemination