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Water buffering and drainage in urban areas by using drainage blocks under the road

Project description

How a concrete block is helping to solve urban flooding

Heavy rains coupled with extensive urban settlements increase the risk of urban flooding. Addressing this issue, the EU-funded Bufferblock project is offering a solution in the form of novel concrete blocks. These blocks are placed in the ground to form a network of channels that enable stormwater to be stored, redirected or dispersed into the ground as needed. To investigate market opportunities for this product, the project will conduct a feasibility study where they will research several producers in Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.


The number of street floods due to heavy rainfall is increasing rapidly. The inevitable climate change results in heavier rainfall for longer periods. Extensive urban settlements and an increasing road volume reduce the natural drainage of the excessive rainfall. Hence the flooded streets, the overflowing sewage water and the resulting traffic jams. Existing artificial drainage or even the use of retention basins is not sufficient. Bufferblock provides a solution.
Bufferblock is a concrete block with drainage and water buffering properties underneath roads, squares or parking areas. It forms a solution for stormwater drainage and buffering in the urban area. The function is similar to that of plastic infiltration crates, but because of the high strength of Bufferblock they can be placed almost directly underneath the road surface where crates need an extra top layer of 75cm. This results in a smaller installation depth, higher buffer capacities and a more cost-effective solution. The relative light construction of Bufferblocks has an average density of around 800 kg/m3. This density is comparable to pumice (lava stone), but has a much higher storage capacity with the same volume. Bufferblock therefore has a lot of potential to become the most important solution against road overflows. The Bufferblock is a patented invention (WO2018143808).
With this SME application, Bufferblock wants to investigate the market opportunities in Europe, particularly Germany, Belgium, England and Italy. These countries have problems with stormwater and need a solid solution for flooding in the dense urban areas. They also have a good industry for local block production and they invest in a good civil infrastructure. The company thinks these countries are the best step to other countries in Europe. The most important research-question lies in an assessment of the rules and regulations of a road/ground construction and the drainage into the soil in these countries.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Groot-Rijnmond
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00