Compared with conventional piped drainage, SuDS provide a range of ecosystem service benefits (e.g. better heath and well-being, flood alleviation, air purification). Understanding these benefits and how they can be delivered can help with urban design improvements, support funding applications and assist with decision-making by sewerage and water companies, local authorities and developers (e.g. for cost-benefit analysis). BeST is documented as being the first UK tool to help assess the overall benefits provided by SuDS schemes (as opposed to the individual components) and, where feasible, estimate the economic value without a need for specialist economic input.
Original geographic scope:
Terrestrial, freshwater or marine focus?:
Specific ecosystem services modelled:
- Air Quality - Estimates impact on health using information on the size and type of green components in the scheme. Monetary value provided.
- Amenity - Calculates attractiveness of the area using information on the numbers and types of residential properties and the number of people impacted by the scheme. Monetary value provided.
- Biodiversity and ecology - Values the ecological value of the site based on changes in the size and type of green and blue space. Also considers site designations. Monetary value provided.
- Building temperature - Uses information on green roofs and trees to estimate the effects on building insulation (in winter) and cooling (in summer). Monetary value provided.
- Carbon reduction and sequestration - Estimates the value of trees for carbon reduction and sequestration as a result of reduced building energy use, reduced wastewater treatment and from tree planting. Monetary value provided.
- Crime - Uses non-expert opinion to estimate crimes against property or people. Qualitative only.
- Economic growth - Uses non-expert opinion to estimate impacts on business, jobs and productivity. Qualitative only.
- Education - Uses non-expert opinion to estimate impacts on education. Qualitative only.
- Enabling development - Estimates the 'headroom' for growth resulting from reduced volume and surface water flow into the drainage / sewerage system.
- Flooding - Estimates the benefits to people and property resulting from reduced frequency and severity of flood events. Monetary value provided.
- Groundwater recharge - Estimates the reduction in abstraction or water treatment costs resulting from reduced surface runoff and increased infiltration and purification of rainwater. Monetary value provided.
- Health - Estimates the value of health benefits due to new walking or cycling opportunities and emotional wellbeing brought about by SuDS components. Monetary value provided.
- Pumping wastewater - Estimates the energy use savings from reduced pumping as a result of reduced rainwater runoff. Monetary value provided.
- Rainwater harvesting - Estimates the value of reduced water supply and treatment resulting from rainwater harvesting by homes and businesses. Monetary value provided.
- Recreation - Uses information on the opportunities for recreation, site attractiveness and estimates of visitor numbers. Monetary values provided.
- Tourism - Assesses the attractiveness of tourist sites using a subjective scoring approach. Qualitative only.
- Traffic calming - Assesses the reduced risk of road accidents or potential for street-based recreation using a subjective scoring approach. Qualitative only.
- Treating wastewater - Estimates the change in the cost of water treatment due to reduced flow and runoff. Monetary value provided.
- Water quality - Estimates the value of water quality improvements based on changes in status (according to Water Framework Directive classifications) or following an independent water quality assessment. Monetary value provided.
Estimated working days to complete a project:
As the evidence base is constantly evolving, the BeST tool and supporting user guides will be periodically updated. Users should check the website for the most up-to-date version.
Technical support provided?:
CIRIA (formerly Construction Industry Research and Information Association).
Developer (organisation type):
Bruce Horton and Chris Digman (MWH), Richard Ashley (EcoFutures) and Elliot Gill (CH2)
Number of case studies outside the uk:
Examples of case studies outside of uk:
Third party reviews / cross:
No published review papers found.