After HS2 Ltd appointed Arup to complete route engineering studies (for a high-speed railway line between London and the West Midlands), the company required a new design solution that would support them in completing their ‘HS2 Phase 2a’ project.

Given the enormity of the scope, Arup needed sophisticated software, which ensured that they could deliver designs for quick approval on time and on budget.

At the time Arup’s Principal Engineer, Phillip Clay, was having issues with their previous design provider and wanted a fresh start with a more cost-effective option.

As HS2 is currently the biggest earthworks project in the UK, it was important for Arup to get it right the first time when choosing a design partner and after an extensive testing phase, the company found that Causeway was well-suited to their requirements, even with the complexity of the project:

We wanted a robust, intuitive and complete solution. Causeway ticked all our boxes, and more! That’s why we were more than happy to roll the solution out to our teams worldwide.”

Read on to find out how well Causeway Flow and Smart Drainage helped Arup to:

  • Collaborate with its teams globally, using our cloud-based solution
  • Create fully BIM-compliant drainage systems efficiently within time constraints


The Challenge:


Finding a cost-effective and compliant solution


Arup required a powerful end-to-end drainage design solution that would support the creation of streamlined and adaptable designs.

They opted for, Causeway Flow, a hydraulic modelling solution for the design and analysis of optimal, compliant and cost-effective storm and foul water drainage networks.

The team at Arup found that the hydraulic design process in Flow is intuitive, efficient, and effortlessly leads to an optimal traditional or sustainable drainage design.   

Phillip Clay, Director at Clay Civil Consulting (formally a Principal Engineer at Arup) said:

“I have been using Causeway Flow and Smart Drainage since 2017 and have been very impressed with the regular updates and enhancements provided over the years.

“The tool has helped our engineers to stay on target throughout the project and has become my default hydraulic modelling software.”

As one of the lead engineers working at Arup on the HS2 ‘Phase 2a’ project, Phillip chose Causeway solutions to model the railway drainage systems as they had the ability to efficiently model in 3d and to include all of the asset data within the BIM models.

“When modelling within Flow, the view options are very helpful, ensuring the user can track the input values, the changes in plan and the changes in long section; all in real-time."

When planning and producing drainage for a project like HS2, it is vital that engineers keep ‘bigger picture’ in mind. When speaking about Causeway Flow’s biggest benefits.

“There are significant benefits of using Causeway software for this task included for the ability to show drainage systems in the 3d view, on cross sections and to show asset and performance data from the hydraulic model without needing to take any additional steps in the conversion process,” said Phillip.

These features were extremely useful to the team at Arup as they were not only able to analyse the site and visualise the entire model, it means that Phillip could better understand the impact of his design and help his team quickly identify any potential problems.

Remote Access


Utilising the Causeway License manager


Due to the size and scale of the HS2 project, it was important to Arup that the solution they picked for this project could be accessed by teams both locally and globally.


Utilising the Causeway License manager, the team at Arup could collaborate in a transparent manner with consultants across Europe and Asia. Speaking on Causeway’s cloud-based abilities, Phillip said:


“Unlike other solutions in the marketplace, a huge benefit of working with Causeway is that it is cloud-based, and it can be accessed from anywhere in the world.


“We needed a solution that could be used anytime, anywhere. As well as using the solution in the UK, I had a team of four using Causeway’s tools in Istanbul, and consultants in Hong Kong, many of whom said the solution has changed the way they work forever!”


By using a cloud-based solution like Causeway, Arup was able to prevent a lot of problems that plague other construction contractors that rely on on-premises infrastructure. This has helped Arup to deliver the project on-time and within targets.


“The build network feature is magical and the entire process of creating hydraulic models with Causeway is super intuitive.”


Phillip ClayDirector at Clay Civil Consulting (formally a Principal Engineer at Arup)


Industry Approved


Understanding our customers challenges


After years of working on the HS2 project, Phillip has now left to start his own consultancy firm, he continues to use Causeway solutions for his new clients.


Speaking on his work with Arup and why Causeway is his preferred choice, Phillip said:


“As Causeway’s solution is fully BIM compliant when creating drainage systems, the fact that the same CAD data can be used for modelling and displaying in the drawings means there are major efficiencies when making amendments throughout the development of a design.


“The latest version of the product gives you everything you would ever need! If you work in site development and you use Autodesk products, the integration into that software is seamless. It’s a no-brainer, why wouldn’t you use Causeway?”


As Phillip mentions, Causeway Flow now integrates with CAD programmes like Autodesk. This means that drainage design can be mapped onto the wider site design, including BIM plans, for improved visibility that enables optimal design. 


Making these updates continues to improve our products and although Causeway Flow and Smart Drainage are both well-rated by our customers, constant development is integral for Causeway’s growth. That is why we work very closely with our customers to truly understand the challenges they are facing.


Great service at Causeway starts from the very beginning, on the implementation process, Phillip commented:


“Getting started with Causeway was really easy and the product managers are fantastic. At the start, if there were any issues or teething problems, the team were quick to resolve it, and really were willing to go out of their way to assist our team.”


When facing any issues, our customers can access our portal 24/7 and can rest assured that their query will be managed by someone with extensive technical expertise and familiarity across our entire range of solutions.


We also offer a comprehensive selection of training courses along with online resources which have been designed to suit the varied needs of your business and teams, this is helpful for teams like Arup that work globally and may require different levels of support.


Are you interested in hearing how you can achieve the same results for your business? See how Causeway Flow could make an instant difference to your business by booking a 30-minute demonstration here.

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