Betts Associates Blog

When you need expertise and precision to tackle today’s design challenges, it helps to have a full service engineering consultancy

Cycling to Raise Money for The National Autistic Society

Cycling to Raise Money for The National Autistic Society

Thursday, September 07, 2017

As you may already know, our Managing Director-Mel Frimston, enjoys raising much needed funds for a variety of charities.


In October 2018 himself and eldest daughter Lydia will be supporting autistic people and their families by taking on the Angkor Watt to Bangkok 400km Cycle Ride.

If you wish to support Mel & Lydia you can donate to the charity on the below link:

Donate now




Chester Projects

Chester Projects

Monday, June 13, 2016

With Chester experiencing significant development it's worth looking back at some of the landmark projects we at Betts have worked on in the city.

The new SuDS Manual has arrived

The new SuDS Manual has arrived

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The new SuDS Manual has arrived

The highly anticipated SuDS Manual (C753) was published last month but what’s new in the world of SuDS?

For those of you less familiar with the term SuDS I find this is a useful description: - ‘SuDS recognise the value of rainwater, seeking to capture, use, delay or absorb it, rather than reject it as a nuisance or problem. Sustainable drainage delivers multiple benefits. As well as delivering high quality drainage whilst supporting areas to cope better with severe rainfall, SuDS can also improve the quality of life in developments and urban spaces by making them more vibrant, visually attractive, sustainable and resilient to change by improving urban air quality, regulating building temperatures, reducing noise and delivering recreation and education opportunities.’ – CIRIA, 2015.

Back in April 2015 a ministerial statement made by The Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles MP (The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government at the time) identified that SuDS must play a more significant role in the planning system. As a result it was made a requirement that sustainable drainage systems be provided in all new major developments, wherever appropriate. I certainly noticed an increased requirement to provide SuDS on new sites from Local Planning Authorities following this statement, or at the very least a more robust and rigorous discussion as to why in specific circumstances they were not viable or appropriate.

The SuDS Manual (C697) was first published by CIRIA in 2007 and was aiming to be an all-encompassing guide on SuDS and it is this document that has been updated. ‘The new SuDS Manual (now C753) incorporates the very latest research, industry practice and guidance. When delivering SuDS there is a requirement to meet the framework set out by the Government’s ‘non statutory technical standards’ and the revised SuDS Manual complements these but goes further to support the cost effective delivery of multiple benefits.’ – CIRIA, 2015. ‘The new Manual bridges the gap between currently available national standards and guidance and the realities of surface water management faced by multi-disciplinary decision-makers and practitioners in the UK.’ – HR Wallingford, 2015.

What’s new?

There is now more clarity provided identifying the various stages to plan and design a scheme and there is an entire chapter dedicated to the design process. There are chapters reviewing how best to incorporate SuDS into existing situations and various development types and a whopping 13 separate chapters providing advice and guidance on a very broad range of SuDS component types from ponds to permeable paving.

Within the design of SuDS the approach to hydrology and hydraulics been updated to reflect the most up-to-date research and developments; this includes rainfall runoff estimation and stormwater storage volumes.

The new Manual also includes a hierarchical risk approach to managing water quality and provides a simple index method for assessing SuDS designs.

Will the new SuDS Manual deliver the impact that it aims to, or will the scale and size of the guidance document put people off resulting in ineffective application? Only time will tell, but I certainly hope it will achieve its core objectives.

Richard Nicholas
Betts Hydro Limited



Friday, December 11, 2015

One of many official descriptions of BIM (Building Information Modelling) is – “...process for designing, constructing or operating a building or infrastructure asset using electronic, object oriented information.”

For over 2 years we at Betts have increased our use of, and involvement in, BIM in the production of drawings using Autodesk Revit and Civils 3D.

However, throughout our history we have been using 3D analysis and design concepts in our work designing 3D frames, pipe networks and site infrastructure which have then had to be presented in 2D formats.

The advent of new detailing software has enabled us to transform our 3D design concepts into 3D models and presentation drawings.

We are now experiencing the promised benefits of BIM with the ability to develop projects in an integrated environment without the inefficiencies created by our traditional work processes.

With a greater degree of in built quality control and co-ordination we are achieving new levels of consistency and economy of designs.

Whilst the benefits of BIM are readily apparent in our structural engineering services our civils, Hydrological and geotechnical services are also seeing the benefit as BIM is becoming an industry norm. I’m glad to say we have fully embraced the BIM concept and believe we offer the best combination of small practice personal attention and wide ranging expertize in design, detailing and modelling.