Key Considerations for Your Outdoor Drainage Project

Poor drainage design and surface grading can exacerbate surface runoff (an environmental hazard) and cause substantial damage to landscaped areas.

Moreover, poor drainage flow, resultant from substandard drainage design and placement, remains the chief cause of ponding, which can degrade impervious surfaces and cause serious structural damage to any property. Here are some of the key considerations for your outdoor drainage project to help architects, specifiers, builders and skilled DIY practitioners select and implement the best drainage solutions.

1. Drainage Layout & Availability

One of the chief considerations for outdoor drainage sites is their access to existing plumbing and drainage systems.

The advantage of new building sites is that most allow for drainage systems to be established in order to meet the ‘lay of the land’, ensuring maximised water flow and adherence to best practice water-sensitive design principles (WSUD). However, older properties may offer fewer possibilities for alteration, and may be better suited to more traditional drainage arrangements.

Building surfaces (such as earth, stone or concrete) will also impact one’s ability to move or increase the number of available drains.

2. Use of Outdoor Area

If your drainage area is heavily trafficked or used for vehicular access/parking, it is critical to ensure your drainage solution can bear the weight of these excessive loads.

Many drainage solutions offer superior load ratings to ensure they can withstand these load forces and avoid buckling even under constant load pressures.

3. Environmental Concerns

Australia’s unique environmental challenges will greatly impact on the type of drainage materials and grating required for your outdoor area.

Key external variables such as exposure to airborne salinity (i.e. proximity to seashore), tree debris (e.g. leaves and seeds), exposure to urban pollutants (e.g. PAHs and corrosive chemicals) and even weather (dry arid versus wet tropical) conditions will all have a significant impact on the type of drainage you require and the materials best suited to withstand these unique environmental conditions.

Boasting an unrivaled depth of experience with linear drainage solutions, Stormtech welcomes questions about product selection and compliance, and can advise prospective clients on the most suitable drainage product for your building project.

Our skilled specialists work closely with specifiers, architects and builders to offer tailored drainage solutions, including bespoke drawings and plans for customised drainage designs. We work proactively with plumbing advisory services to ensure drainage is not only fit for purpose, but meets stringent Building Code of Australia (BCA) compliance measures. 



Choose from our collection of White Papers produced for Stormtech products and services.


Style and Function: Specifying linear drainage systems for the hospitality industry

For the past five years, the Australian hospitality industry enjoyed a sustained period of growth. Buoyed by high tourist numbers and plentiful investment, it moved from strength to strength - and naturally a strong foundation of hospitality-focused architectural projects accompanied the boom. However the global economic havoc caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the industry - both in real terms and in short-term growth potential. At the time of writing, in March 2020, businesses are closing, full rosters of employees being laid off and future investment in the sector has all but dried up as the world waits to see just how protracted the fallout will be.

Form and Function- Current Bathroom trends

Bathrooms may not be where the majority of anyone’s time is spent, but they do adopt a particularly important role within our homes with their baseline purposes of hygiene and waste management. This has been recognised by the industry, which has shifted its focus towards the development of products that place equal weighting on functionality and aesthetics. Form and Function: Current Trends in Bathroom Design examines a variety of the industry’s current concerns, and how they are reflected in the products currently being produced. These issues include sustainable design, healthy living, comfort and personalisation, digital and technological integration, as well as reducing maintenance requirements. By tackling these issues, current products are tapping into an area of development that moves past innovation for its own sake – instead creating long-term value for clients.

Tips to avoid a Tiling Disaster

While tiles are one of the main visual elements of any bathroom or outdoor area, understanding their role in a much larger system is imperative in order to avoid a tiling disaster. Rather than being an isolated product, tiling from a practical perspective makes up only one portion of drainage and waterproofing, complementary to substrates, waterproofing membranes, sanitary ware, tap ware and the drainage itself. A failure to address all of these components as a system can lead to the leakage of water into floor spaces or wall cavities, causing incredible amounts of damage before any physical evidence of such reveals itself.

Grate Cares

Faced with a rapidly aging population, Australia’s care facilities are experiencing overwhelming demand for their services. With increased demand comes the inevitable push to expand, upgrade or re-furbish facilities: critical to ensuring the ongoing health, wellbeing and autonomy of residents. Accessibility and ease-of-mobility remain key focus points in the design and construction of today’s aged care facilities. After all, a misplaced step or sharp gradient fall could put frail residents at risk of a serious fall injury – the leading cause of death from injury for those aged 65 and over. Frequently overlooked, traditional drainage solutions present one of the most insidious and prohibitive barriers to universal access within the aged care setting. Step-downs, uneven floor surfaces, and high gradient falls are among the most dangerous and pervasive hazards for vulnerable residents; yet with the right design solution, these hazards can be mitigated or eliminated entirely. Specifically designed to eliminate the access hazards of conventional ‘step-down’ barrier drainage, lineal drainage is a cutting-edge ‘zero stepdown’ drainage solution for both indoor and outdoor applications. Unlike conventional drainage, this level-plane (i.e. flush with the ground surface) drainage solution requires no hob and only a single gradient fall, providing seamless access possibilities for residents and staff. Lineal designs conform to the strict accessibility requirements of AS1428 (Access and Mobility), while ensuring superior water conveyance and egression.  

Getting on the Green

Stormwater runoff is a major contributor to the degradation of Australia’s water catchments. The impact of unchecked urban sprawl has raised the stakes for architects, specifiers, builders and legislators to collectively improve the quality of urban drainage. A high-quality drainage solution can greatly reduce one’s negative impact on our waterways. Consistent drain flow will ensure material debris and pollutants are not collected, absorbed and conveyed during heavy downpours. Nevertheless, drainage positioning, installation and build quality all significantly impact on the quality of outflows.

How Proper Planning can stop your project going down the drain

Drains are a vital element of any residential or commercial project. When properly installed, they are effectively out of sight and out of mind, and ensure that important everyday activities including bathing, cooking, and washing can be done safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, drain planning is an often-overlooked element of the construction process. In this whitepaper, How Proper Planning Can Stop Your Project Going Down the Drain, we take a closer look at the importance of planning drain installations. The whitepaper outlines the main factors that must be taken into account when planning a drain: location, drainage style, timing of construction, and regulatory compliance and details the complex regulatory framework surrounding drainage products in Australia.

Drainage Selection Guide: 15 Common Applications Areas

The bathroom, and specifically the shower, is often thought of as the most important space to ensure good drainage. However, there are many other spaces that require consideration in relation to adequate drainage. This whitepaper addresses 15 different potential drainage application areas into clear sections, and highlights the importance of ensuring proper drainage in each area. In each section, potential safety hazards, installation shortfalls, and area-specific challenges are identified. The paper goes on to explain how in most cases, Stormtech’s linear drainage systems offer the best solution to these problems.

Compliance of Regulations and Why It Matters

The issue of non-conforming and non-compliant products affects every stakeholder in the building industry. By ignoring regulations, building professionals endanger, not only their own reputation, but also the status of the entire industry. The plumbing industry has a number of regulations that are important to adhere to. Aspects like minimum size requirements, load restrictions and accessibility are vital for the success of plumbing and drainage systems. In this white paper, we examine why it is important that everyone plays by the rules.

The Pitfalls of Investing in Low Grade Drainage

The importance of choosing compliant and conforming products in construction is regularly discussed in the media and within the industry. The most dramatic examples of the failure of substandard products – such as the Melbourne Docklands fire and the Infinity cable recall – are widely broadcast, yet the range of implications involved in choosing cheaper products remain largely underreported. For building professionals, it is important that the hallmarks of sub-standard drainage systems are easily identified so informed decisions can be made. Products demonstrating reduced flexibility can signal low quality, as they are only relevant for general applications. A cheap solution also suggests a lack of testing, or a short research and development period, which could lead to problems later down the line.    

Specifying Balcony Drainage Systems

Balcony design, and in particular drainage systems are a critical design consideration for multi-residential developments. Balconies are an external element of the building that must be properly integrated to work with the internal elements of the building. Balconies require appropriate drainage and isolation from the internal elements of the building.  

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