Creating the Concorde of rainwater harvesting projects

Former UK airfield being redeveloped into YTL Arena, a sustainable area that houses a surface water system to capture water from 10,000sqm roof

YTL Arena Complex (Photo credit: Grimshaw)

The former home of the Concorde supersonic aircraft is set to take off once again, but this time with innovation on water in the circular economy.

In Bristol, UK, the former Filton Airfield is being turned into a sustainable new mixed-use neighbourhood, with circular water developments at the heart of the redevelopment.

Purchased by Malaysian company YTL Developments in 2015, a subsidiary of YTL Corporation and sister company of a local utility, Wessex Water, the project will create over 2,600 new homes and over 60 acres of commercial space, schools and community facilities.

Jan Hofman, director of the water innovation and research centre, University of Bath, said: “YTL is developing the site in a very sustainable manner, including creating a living environment that includes water recycling.”

A showcase of rainwater harvesting
A key part of the redevelopment is a strategic surface water system to enable the local reuse of captured rainwater at the new YTL Arena Bristol.

The Brabazon Hangars from the former airport are being converted into a 17,080-capacity entertainment destination, respecting the site’s engineering legacy past but thrusting it into the future to put Bristol on the world stage.

Rainwater harvesting will be installed over 10,000sqm of roof surface, with plans to collect, clean and use the water for toilet flushing. Excess rainwater will feed ponds and lakes, created as part of green spaces to enhance the area.

“We are investigating whether we can expand the rainwater collecting system to the roofs of the housing areas, including the commercial areas in the whole Filton development,” Hofman added. “We are looking at how this affects the water balance and flows of the entire area, including whether we can close that cycle.”

The full article is published on the latest Water & Wastewater Asia Sep/Oct 2021 issue. To continue reading, click here.