Urban Surface Design Designing surface water runoff in urban environments


Urban streets are used for a wide variety of activities, walking, cycling, driving, trading, meeting and socialising and it is therefore no surprise that streets comprise more than 80% of public space in cities.

Commercial streets, residential streets, shopping boulevards or main transit corridors all need to be sensitive to the multifaceted role streets play.


Good surface water management represents both risk and opportunity, but in all cases, there is a requirement for specific products and design solutions. ACO’s extensive range of KerbDrain caters for specific needs from aesthetics to application, and is frequently incorporated in areas such as bus set-down areas, cycleways and traffic calming “pinchpoints”, as well as the more conventional traffic lanes.

The shift away from moving as much water as possible as quickly as possible from the surface has led to a variety of new opportunities to improve urban ecology, microclimates, air quality and amenity.  ACO GroundGuard is used as a permeable pavement to assist infiltration and reduce both thermal mass and stormwater runoff volume. ACO channel systems are used to convey water to suitable areas of infiltration, storage or amenity while ACO StormBrixx is used to enhance storage and infiltration capacity. 

How we can assist you

Our Design Team

Collaboration is very much a part of ACO’s way of working. For over 50 years we have been offering creative design solutions to all sectors of government, public and private enterprise and have a track record for development and regeneration informed by community aspirations and environmental context. Our in house design team and our external design engineers have excellent technical understanding of interconnected systems that can help you create sustainable drainage solutions in all categories of the urban environment.

Tools to support you

We also offer software for design surface to assist you in making your own calculations, as well as design visualisers to assist in helping assess impact of various grating/inlet details. BIM product files along with a variety of other support documents are all available for download here.