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2019; a year in the character of innovation and product development

An important goal for the Skjæveland Group is to offer expertise and products that can solve tasks related to the handling of storm water in projects.

Skjæveland and Multiblokk have long been among the leading companies in the field of surface water solutions and products. Four years ago, they established the consultancy company Storm Aqua, which takes part of this work further.

– When we started, several products were already developed and on the market. However, in order to offer the developers further assistance in solving the tasks they face, we had to develop some more, says Per Møller-Pedersen. He is general manager of Storm Aqua AS.

Increasingly, Storm Aqua is asked for input prior to development. Inge Harveland from Sola is discussing the possible solutions for rain water with Per Møller Pedersen and Aage Gjesdal from Storm Aqua.

An important toolbox

– Over the years we have developed a comprehensive  toolbox for suface water management. It includes Urban detention roofs, Alma raingarden, permeable pavers, infiltration basins and -systems, detention facilities and treatment plants, Per Møller-Pedersen adds.

The innovation process used when developing new products on behalf of Skjæveland and Multiblokk, consists of six steps.

Along the way, workshops are arranged where the involved participants decide whether to continue as planned, whether the course should be adjusted or whether they should stop. This assures specific challenges are solved and ensures that all the stakeholders are completely involved.

Assist the advisors

The toolbox makes it possible for Storm Aqua to assemble system solutions that can cover many storm water tasks. Increasingly, the company is asked for input prior to development.
– We describe possible system solutions for a development, with project planning. Landscape architects, consulting engineers and developers find this useful and use it in their work, Møller-Pedersen explains.

– Sometimes what they need is a better decision-making basis. In those situations we provide measurements of infiltration capacity, precipitation, groundwater level and water flow, he adds.
When considering rainwater infiltration to the ground, one must, for example, be sure that the ground has sufficient infiltration capacity, one must survey the distance to the groundwater as well as the drainage in the groundwater, before it is prudent to choose such a solution.

Urban Space on Roofs is one of the concrete results of the research work Storm Aqua has been involved in. The roof is covered with light concrete blocks, on top of a layer of draining crushed Leca. This roof is in Lilleborg. Sola Hage & Anlegg did the work.

Ambitious research plan

An important part of the innovation process for new products is documentation of their function and properties. This is done through testing as well as development and pilot projects, where measurements are often carried out. These again form the basis for student assignments in connection with universities. So far, Storm Aqua has been involved in a completed bachelor’s thesis and three master’s theses.

In 2019, six master students from NTNU will complete their master’s theses on various products and projects initiated by Storm Aqua.

Per Møller-Pedersen (in the midle of the photo) together wit two of the master students who are involved with Storm Aqua spring 2019.

– We have come a long way in the development of the toolbox, but we do have some more development work to do before we are satisfied.

Therefore, we have set an ambitious plan for development and innovation work in 2019, and we look forward to embarking on the work. I am at the moment especially looking forward to preparing supervisors for operation and maintenance, Per Møller-Pedersen concludes.