New storm water catchment concepts

Living Lab Rainshell water concept

Construction of the Rainshell concept and its filter bed of shells and minerals to retain and simultaneously clean the runoff water.

Last week, VP Delta opened a living lab facility for new storm water catchment concepts for a more smart way to handle storm water in cities.

As a result of the expected increase of extreme rainfall events, several Dutch SME-companies developed innovative concepts to handle extreme volumes of storm water and store in underneath hardened urban surface.

Local retention, anticipating on dry periods

VP Delta took the initiative to gather 12 new concepts at one location on the campus of the Delft University. The facility got the appropriate name of Water Street.

A smart aspect of the new concepts is the local retention of the storm water runoff to anticipate on dry periods.

‘The Netherlands is more often faced with extreme showers’, said Marjan Kreijns, program director of VP Delta during the opening ceremony. ‘We cannot change the weather, but we can try to limit the nuisance and damage.’

The Living Lab is a wonderful opportunity to take the next steps towards a nationwide climate proof and water resilient approach.

smart water release

The Smart water barrel that can be programmed to slowly release its water before an extreme rain shower hits.

Living Lab storm concepts

The facility is the intermediate step between a laboratory setup and actual application in the public space.

  • It features several abilities for the SME’s to further develop their concept. For instance, there is a special shower that can be used to simulate extreme rainfall.
  • It is also possible for the SME’s to use researchers of the Civil engineering department of the Delft university.
  • At the same time the Water Street offers the possibility to demonstrate the concept to municipalities, water authorities, estate owners, or even foreign water delegations visiting The Netherlands.

12 water concepts

The Water Street shows 12 different solutions to handle storm water in cities. These include:

  • Urban Rainshell by Ecological Water Management
    An underground storm water buffering and purification system with shells and minerals to purify the collected road run off water. The treated run off water allows local re use for instance as fire water, irrigation of sport fields and process water
  • Flowsand by Aquaflow
    a special kind of sand for use in street pavements so the rain water drains more rapidly and prevents clogging. The sand has a capillary effect on the rain water so the street will be water free more quickly.
  • Smart rain barrel by Studio Bas Sala
    a rain barrel with a tap that can also be operated online and linked to the local weather forecast. In case a heavy rain shower is predicted, the barrel can slowly be emptied in advance, so the full retention capacity can be used during the actual rain fall.

The Living Lab is an initiative of The Green Village, the regional Delfland Water Authority and VP Delta



VP Delta – Valorisation program Delta Technology & Water
Delft, the Netherlands

Marjan Kreijns
+31 6 482 61 845