Working with The Hydrologic Cycle

The way water moves from the earth’s surface, into the atmosphere, and back to earth again is called the hydrologic cycle. As technology evolves how we manage and harness water at each stage of this cycle provides us with the solutions to make better use of water and moisture throughout the built environment.

Solutions that work with nature

The hydrologic cycle illustrates how nature deals with rainfall. It is a continuous cycle whereby precipitation becomes surface run off, surface run off goes through the process of evaporation or transpiration, then becoming condensation and the cycle repeats.

At Genuit Group, our products, systems and services are designed to intercept, harness, or manage water at different points of the hydrologic cycle for the benefit of all.

These range from small scale blue-green roofs and tree pits to large storage tanks used for surface water runoff and water management, through to market-leading ventilation systems that manage the progress and effect of moisture in commercial and residential settings. Our solutions aim to provide storage and/or routes for excess water, which can then be released into the environment in the most beneficial way. 

Our systems are also designed to enhance the impact of the hydrologic cycle by encouraging  biodiversity in built up city environments through water retention systems, or managing the rate of water flow back into natural watercourses to reduce the risk of river flooding.

How Genuit Group systems manage water in all forms

1 . Precipitation

We often experience excessive and unpredictable rain fall and storm weather in the UK, which is only increasing as a result of climate change. 

The Permavoid system involves the installation of a tank or network underground. This provides stormwater retention, attenuation, or infiltration. This solution not only provides storage, but also ensures that the water which is fed back into the atmosphere is filtered of any pollutants it has encountered when passing through ground level. 

2 . Evaporation/Transpiration

Polypipe Civils & Green Urbanisation provide a tree root solution, ArborRaft. The solution aims to address the issues often seen in city centres whereby tree roots break through the surface of the road and compromise nearby infrastructure due to lack of space for a healthy root to grow. 

ArborRaft serves to reinforce the ground above the root, reserves root growth space, and provides water to surrounding greenery. This protects the natural cycle of water absorption through the root, leading eventually to ‘leaf stomata’ – the release of water as gas.

On a larger scale, Polypipe Civils are expert in creating blue/green roof technology, very popular for office and residential buildings. 

While allowing for the natural renewal of water to occur through effective drainage, and encouraging biodiversity, the roof also has some natural heating and cooling properties. This is an important consideration especially amidst the hiking up of utility prices, and recent heatwaves.

3 . Condensation

Condensation within homes and other buildings typically affects kitchens and bathrooms, rooms that involve the use of heated water.

Condensation causes damp. At best, some staining, peeling of wallpaper, cracking of paint will occur. At worst, damp causes harmful mould to grow on walls, ceilings and floors which can cause respiratory issues to the users and structural damage to the building. It also makes the sale of the property difficult. 

Adequate ventilation systems are required to eliminate this risk. While opening a window will provide some ventilation, it is not as effective at eliminating condensation as heating solutions for the entire property. When vapourised water does not encounter cold surfaces, condensation will not form.

The most effective and sustainable solution would be MVHR (mechanical ventilation and heat recovery) such as the solutions provided by Nuaire. 

These ventilation systems work by taking the hot evaporated air produced in bathrooms and kitchens, combining this with cool air, and dispersing around the house. This provides a more sustainable method of heating or cooling the property whilst preventing against condensation simultaneously. 

Genuit Group continue to invest in sustainable innovations which allow us to continue to develop and progress in modern ways, without compromising the environment. We continue to use water management to protect nature, and to provide solutions for infrastructure, for both commercial and domestic use. 

For more information about our products and systems, our efforts towards sustainability targets, and to find out about our unique and innovative businesses, visit:

The Future of Sustainable Cities

Research shows that 63 of the largest cities and towns in the UK generate 45% of all carbon emissions in the country.

At Genuit, we want to explore the concept of ‘Sustainable Cities’ and what type of investment is needed to ensure that we meet carbon net-zero targets, and consistent with our own Net Zero commitment.

The objective of the national Net Zero strategy, published in 2021, is for the UK to lead the world in carbon reduction, and to slow the effects of climate change – which is a particular problem for large urban areas.

Cities are centres of carbon production, with many aspects of modern living contributing to this, including the lack of green space and the concentrated population. There are efforts under way to reduce these pressures and sustainable building is one of the top priorities.

Sustainability in construction

Sustainable building is at the heart of what Genuit businesses do and there are many ongoing initiatives across the Genuit Group that contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

With many innovations aiming to limit the embodied carbon, Genuit businesses have taken steps to become more sustainable and are also working hard to create solutions to existing problems.

Ineffective water management is a major issue arising from the ever-expanding nature of the city, and of growing urban populations. 

The damaging effects of this come when green spaces are replaced with buildings and infrastructure which is not designed to effectively deal with surface water. This results in water run-off, which adds strain to sewer systems, increases temperature and starves the green life in our cities of water and clean air. 

Polypipe Civils and Green Urbanisation works with planners, developers and landscape architects to bring green spaces back to urban centres – including providing green roof technology which encourages thriving ecosystems. 

Green roofs have been cited as ‘a key to mitigating climate change’. The main benefits are:

•           Reducing energy consumption

•           Insulating buildings during colder months

•           Absorbing heat during hotter months

•           Using surface water to encourage eco-systems

Polypipe Civils has taken this one step further with their Blue Green Roof technology. While still ensuring irrigation and drainage, Blue Green roofs focus on water storage, and the intelligent release of water.

Managing urban water

Another solution from within the Genuit Group is Permavoid. This is a solution designed to deal with stormwater in already built-up urban locations. 

While permeable paving absorbs surface water, it does not account for where the water will go once it has sunk beneath the paving. 

The Permavoid solution involves installing both a tank, and a filtration system beneath the paving, where silt and debris will be filtered out before the water is fed into the storage tank. The water is then released at a manageable rate into the most viable or beneficial destination – whether this be river, sewer, or used for nearby trees and other plants that line the streets.

Also contributing to the future of sustainable cities is the ArborRaft system. This is a geocellular raft system that aims to provide adequate space for tree roots to grow in hard landscapes. 

A lot of pressure is often put on existing tree roots to reinforce the manmade structures around them. This often results in compaction of the soil surrounding the root, leaving no space for growth. 

The ArborRaft system prevents damage to the root structure, by absorbing the pressure of the load placed upon them. This permits root growth of both existing and newly planted trees.

Businesses across the Genuit Group are developing innovations that will create a positive impact on the environment while also promoting economic growth.