Big Prize for Aco

Aco have become a byword for linear channels over the years. Many of us talk of "Acos" when we actually mean any linear channel; I've even had an architect tell me to use a Hauraton Aco, completely unaware, as only an architect can be, of the oxymoron. So when the company wins an important award for a product that isn't a linear channel, it demands further inspection.

And so it was, at The British Construction Industry Awards 2012 staged at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, that London back in early October, ACO Water Management waltzed away with an award for Product Design Innovation related to its acclaimed StormBrixx® "sustainable stormwater management solution" (How come everything is a 'solution' nowadays? Why isn't being a 'product' enough? Bloody marketing bollocks, that's why!)


Anyway, in case you weren't aware, ACO StormBrixx is a unique, patented, plastic geocellular stormwater attenuation and infiltration system, manufactured from recycled polypropylene. The marketing blurb continues, " It is applicable across all construction environments as a standalone solution or as part of an integrated sustainable drainage (SuDS) scheme. " Is there a prize for mangled English? There should be! Applicable across construction environments? I think that means it can be used in the building trade. A "standalone solution" is obviously a more educated way of saying it can be used on its own, or, if you're feeling really radical, you could think about connecting it to some pipework. Amazing!

However, we shouldn't let the marketing mis-speak virus cloud our opinion of what is essentially a very good product (or "solution", if you prefer), and so I'm going to skip over most of the remaining nonsense which drips with words such as "infrastructural", and "financial footprint". As we say in the trenches: FFS!

Stormbrixx® is not just another storm crate . Whichever way you look at it, there is ingenuity and innovation cascading from every part of its open cellular structure. The way that it stacks to minimise space during transport and delivery; the fact that it can be easily prodded and poked by cctv or jetting kit for assessment and maintenance; the far-too-clever-for-its-own-good crossbonding interlock when assembled. All of which makes for a truly great piece of drainage technology.

There are dozens of these storm crates on the market just now, and it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. Many crates are little more than a leaky plastic box, but as SuDS really begins to take over the way we think about surface water drainage, and the designers begin to appreciate the bigger picture, it will be the genuinely clever products such as Stormbrixx that claim and grow their market share at the expense of the cheap'n'nasty also-rans.

stormbrixx system

Apparently, the judges fell prey to the marketing-mouth virus that seems to be doing the rounds, which resulted in the following being spewed forth:

"Detailed market analysis and an understanding of customer needs have truly reinvented an existing product type. StormBrixx meets clients' needs and provides a solution that otherwise might have been overlooked"

....which more or less means they liked it, so the dreaded infection just affected their vocabulary and not their eye for a good idea.

Meanwhile, ACO Managing Director, Richard Hill, seems to have caught a mild version of the bug:

"It is an incredible feeling winning this award and I am delighted to congratulate our talented and resourceful product development team. Our intensive effort to constantly innovate new products is the key to our success. StormBrixx is now a key aspect of our SuDS offering, it's a future focused product that meets a genuine need."

"Innovate new products"? Is it possible to innovate any other kind?

Answers on a postcard please, but in the meantime, if you want to learn more about this genuinely exciting product, you could try the dedicated and very nice Stormbrixx website or give Aco Water Management a call on +44 (0) 1462 816666

stormbrixx installation