Natural Selection

29.08.17 Members

With a heritage spanning more than a century, FRAENKISCHE Rohrwerke Gebr. Kirchner GmbH & Co. KG has developed a pioneering status in numerous engineering niches – not least in its high-performance stormwater management systems. Mr Stephen Herd – FRAENKISCHE’s Australasian Regional Business Manager of Water Management Solutions – describes the innovative end-to-end systems, modelled on nature, that are safeguarding high specification infrastructural assets across the world.

Intensifying environmental dangers were highlighted as one of the top trends set to impact development across the planet over the next 10 years, according to the World Economic Forum’s most recent Global Risks Report, with ‘extreme weather events’ pinpointed as the single most prominent risk that humanity faces. In such a context, it becomes ever more vital that we protect our infrastructure from adverse weather events like storms – inevitably on the rise as a result of climate change, but whose effects are invariably exacerbated by the spread of urbanisation in practically all parts of the world. Resultantly, many cities and other built up areas simply cannot handle additional water discharge. “As a city grows with the addition of further developments – more carparks, more buildings, more roads, and soon – that obviously leads to greater surface water run-off and bigger flows, which, in turn, is why most cities will experience flooding at certain times,” advises Mr Herd.

“Having in place a system that can actually capture, store and detain water during a peak event – and then release it in a controlled manner into the network – is therefore what developers should now be striving for.” Having explored the natural water cycle - where the water that falls to earth is transported, treated by sedimentation or infiltration into the ground, stored above and below ground, and finally discharged into the environment – FRAENKISCHE has, over nearly three decades, developed a comprehensive stormwater management system that fully addresses the challenge of controlling water flow at those four cyclical stages. “What’s impressive is that the company has essentially modelled nature to come up with its own four drainage principles – transport, treatment, storage and discharge,” informs Mr Herd, whose business boasts three dedicated facilities for developing and manufacturing its drainage products in Europe today – two in Germany and another in France. Having achieved considerable success with projects installed across Europe, FRAENKISCHE’s sights are now increasingly set on strengthening its presence further afield – in the Middle East and Far East, where the firm sees strong opportunity to implement its advanced proprietary water treatment (SediFamily) and attenuation/ retention (Rigofill ST) systems.