- Major earthworks including stabilisation and design
- Design and coordination of utilities providers infrastructure
- Drainage works
- Landscaping and reprofiling
- Partnered with Welsh Government to deliver wellbeing objectives
- Use of innovative sustainable technologies to reduce our carbon footprint
- Ecological Mitigation Plan
- Social Value Outcomes
- Excellence in Sustainability and Performance from CEEQUAL
Welsh Government appointed Walters to undertake a new 116-acre mixed commercial use development in the strategic town of Bridgend. The development consisted of 9 plots available for industrial or office use.
Constructed by cut to fill earthworks, with a high-spec earthworks performance standard to ensure multiple options for future sales of the development plots.. This included a contractor design element for the earthworks to ensure the plots could accommodate any required loading to suit the end user’s requirements. The design included the long-term management of ground water to ensure earthworks material performance achieves a 50 year design life.,
The plots were all connected by over a kilometre of newly constructed roads connecting the development to the A48, a key artery of the Welsh road network. The road construction included accesses to each of the plots as well as footways and utility corridors connecting each plot to the main grids.
Several existing services needed to be diverted and altered to facilitate the new development requirements and enable the construction phase, including the undergrounding of an 11kv overhead cable which ran through the site.
The scheme also included the demolition of existing derelict buildings to make way for development plots. A European Protected Species licence was granted to ensure the works were carefully undertaken with due consideration for roosting bats. A bat house and multiple bat boxes were provided as alternative habitat for the bats.
The scheme involved the management and treatment of invasive species across the site including Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Wall Cotoneaster. An invasive species management plan was produced in close consultation with all key stakeholders to certify eradication of the invasive species from the development site.
Other works included new service installations, construction of foul, surface water drainage and highway drainage, creation of public open spaces, landscaping, and works to prepare the site for potential future development. Sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) also featured attenuation ponds and gravity-discharging sewers, new infrastructure and highway works, provision. The surface water drainage discharged into the local brook requiring a flood risk activity permit which were granted following collaboration and optioneering with NRW.
On Completion of the earthworks and civils elements an extensive landscape operation was required including multiple planting areas, new hedgerows and grassland creation across the site, all maintained for a further 5 years post-completion.
Walters self delivered the earthworks utilising our extensive fleet of earth moving equipment. We worked closely with our geotechnical consultant to optimise the cut to fill earthworks utilising the generated rock from the cut areas to ensure the required strengths could be achieved in the fill areas. We utilised our own design department redesigning the plateau levels to remove the requirement for 60,000m3 to be removed from the site making substantial cost savings for the project and significantly reducing the overall carbon footprint of the scheme. We worked closely with Welsh Governments designers to incorporate the impact of the redesign into the permanent works. This design was continuously monitored throughout the construction phase, our dedicated site engineering team continually updated the design department on the cut to fill balances so that together they could ensure the volume excavated was equal to the required fill volume across the entire development preventing the need to import or export any materials. All suitable excavated material was reused, including the topsoil. The Employer required the earthworks design to comply with HD22/08 standards and they had appointed an Overseeing Organisations Geotechnical Advisor where certified and signed off the Geotechnical Design, and the Feedback Report. At the end of the construction period a collateral warranty was provided to the Employer for the earthworks performance.
To facilitate the utilities design extensive coordination and planning was undertaken by Walters with the statutory undertakers prior to commencement on site to ensure the services could be installed to each of the 9 plots in line with the master programme. These included extensive off site works included supplying a new gas main which had to be pipe jacked beneath the local Ford Factories Network Rail operated railway line. We coordinated and managed these works through Contractor design and integrated site team collaboration and optioneering meetings.
As part of the scheme Welsh Government aimed to achieve Excellent in CEEQUAL.. Its objective is to encourage the attainment of environmental excellence in civil engineering, and to deliver improved environmental and social performance in project specification, design and construction.
Prior the global pandemic Walters were also impacted by the wettest winter on record which included Storm Dennis a 1:200 year flood event. Walters worked closely with NRW and employed a dedicated water management team to control surface water runoff, protecting the adjacent watercourse and the works to enable the works to continue throughout the wet period with minimal impact on the planned works.
Added Value and Client Partnerships:
We identified the adjacent Brocastle Manor Care Home as a key stakeholder due to the project scope including the construction of two access junctions that linked to the care home's access road. To reduce the risk of disruption to the care home, which provides critical health care support, we programmed the works to prevent large sections of traffic management, minimised the duration of temporary traffic signals, and avoided working in the most disruptive and noise sensitive periods, without compromising project delivery. We liaised with the care home management team throughout the project, providing them with programme and progress updates, and promptly addressing any concerns they raised. The works to the care home access road required full width carriageway surfacing and due to available residual road widths, the works required a full road closure. To maintain the care home's requirement for constant access, and in consideration for workforce safety, we did the works at night on agreed dates to minimise disruption
Walters offered ongoing optioneering thought the construction phase and into the landscaping element of the works offering ongoing savings by reducing the planting density but still achieving the requirements of a European Protected Species licences for dormice. We also promoted sustainable landscaping techniques that reduced the requirement of single use plastics.
During the construction phase Welsh Government secured a buyer for some of the development plots. Walters worked closely with Welsh Government to bring forward elements of construction and altered the programme to enable the plots to be available ahead of the new requirements including additional works to facilitate the buyers requirements, combining 2 plots through the infilling of a valley and redesign of the groundwater drainage.
A key performance indicator for Welsh Government was to reduce the carbon footprint of the development. We installed an AutoMate Gaia unit as part of the heat and energy management system to reduce the site's carbon footprint by managing electricity consumption within our site team integrated offices. This delivered a 63% reduction in CO2 generated on the site offices compared to other similar schemes, saving 40,000kg of CO2 (13,000ltrs of fuel). The project also used a company minibus and transit tipper for the workforce, to reduce the number of vehicles attending site picking up and dropping off the team as it drove to and from site. We installed push taps in all welfare blocks to reduce water consumption, replaced light switches with motion sensors to reduce energy use, provided staff with reusable plastic drinking beakers to reduce single use plastic cups and drinking water stations. We also worked with our suppliers to reduce single use plastic on packaging and we held paperless meetings on the project with agendas and minutes of meeting being managed electronically through our project SharePoint site.
Collaborating with Bridgend Bridges to Work we offered trial opportunities for local long-term unemployed residents, and offering full time positions to four people. Employing two unskilled labourers and two unemployed plant operators and provided them with further training on operations of articulated dump trucks. Employing an apprentice engineer for 12 months as part of a year in industry scheme from Cardiff University. Attending a job fair event for school children at Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff and attending a meet the buyer event. Two members of our staff are part of The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Wales Foundations group, engaging with school children to encourage and promote the construction industry.
Implementing the above and continually monitoring the requirements of CEEQUAL enabled Walters and Welsh Government to surpass expectations and achieve the Excellent in sustainability and performance rating for the Whole Team Award under the CEEQUAL scheme.