To provide improved protection from flooding to households, infrastructure and agricultural land and deliver this within tight cost constraints was a very real challenge the team from Kier as part of Team Van Oord and their Dutch based designers RHDHV, faced at Stolford beach in Somerset.
Existing flood protection for the village of Stolford, located within the Severn Estuary Ramsar, SPA and Special Area of Conservation (SAC), was a shingle ridge on the beach that needed regular recharging. This was viewed as unsustainable by the Environment Agency over the longer term, so an innovative new approach was agreed to transfer the primary flood defence function to an existing earth bank further inland. The existing bank required building up to withstand 1 in a 100-year water levels.
Given the cost constraints at Stolford, various options were assessed. Traditional flood protection methods e.g. Rock revetment and wave recurve walls proved too costly both financially and environmentally, meaning a new design was required. Using their extensive knowledge, Kier and RHDHV identified an innovative Dutch block flood protection system called Hillblock as the most cost-effective option that used less CO2.
The project received some funding from the Dutch Government’s ‘Partners for Water’ programme, which supports the use of Dutch water management innovations worldwide, with the aim of improving global resilience while supporting Dutch businesses.
This was the first time Hillblock had been used in the UK. The Hillblock system produces significantly greater wave abatement and up to 50% less wave run-up than existing bank and shore protection. The use of the Hillblock meant that revetments required less heightening.
The development of the Hillblock represents a new standard in coastal protection providing stronger revetments at lower cost.
Hillblock’s shape and mass make it more stable, better for the environment and easier to install. Due to the nature of Hillblock it required less lorries on the roads to deliver it to the Stolford site. It could be installed quickly at a rate of up to 250m2 per day using a special grabber to install 20 blocks at a time. This was significant when compared to other options of delivering large volumes of rock in many large truck loads via small villages and narrow roads to the beach to achieve a similar effect. This reduced the disruption to residents in the area along with reducing environmental impact.
Due to its design the hollow spaces of the blocks provide living space for flora and fauna, both above and below water. This will allow for habitats to develop over the coming years by the waterline adding to the area’s many features of outstanding natural beauty.
" Block revetments are the default solution in the Netherlands for protecting sea banks against waves. Hundreds of millions of Euros have been spent on levee improvements since 1998, and millions more on research and development to optimise solutions. However, all this knowledge and experience is difficult to access outside the Netherlands, due to the specific conditions there and the language barrier. "Leading Professional Resilience with Team Van Oord
Rising from the ashes of a decommissioned former nuclear site, SGS Berkeley Green, a converted 1940’s engineering hall, and new University Technical College (UTC) are the first educational buildings to be completed on a new ground-breaking GREEN campus, within Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park.
Delivering a new £27m and 30.5km pipeline for Bristol Water, overcoming biodiversity and sustainability issues, handling the logistics presented by the pipeline passing through five towns and bringing improved water supply to 280,000 customers.
We completed Clifford House, a student housing association project, for Global Student Accommodation (GSA), two weeks early. It’s our second project for GSA and provides state-of-the-art student accommodation for 312 students studying at Exeter University.
A unique and distinctive regeneration project promoting Gloucester’s unparalleled heritage from archaeology to aviation. The Hub is a highly symbolic part of the rejuvenation of the main entry point into the city, a gateway used in Roman times which is now served by both road and rail.
The addition of high-class sport and leisure facilities for one of the UK’s most distinguished private schools has created flexible, multi-purpose spaces wrapped around the existing centre. Alongside a new sports hall, activity studios, squash courts and a gym, are additional changing rooms, a MUGA and new car park.
Kier worked as part of Team Van Ord (TVO) to improve the standard of protection provided to 39,741 properties in the towns and villages of Worle, Weston-Super-Mare, Kingston Seymour and Wick St Lawrence by improving the 3670m of earth bank tidal defences lining the Congresbury Yeo Estuary.
Kier worked as part of Team Van Ord (TVO) on The Steart Coastal Management Project which was the UK’s largest coastal management scheme, helping to protect homes and business from flooding due to climate change and rising sea levels.
Creating a new £19m aviation museum showcasing the role played by the Bristol site in Britain’s aviation history, including a hangar to house the last Concorde ever to fly, restoring a Grade 1 listed First World War hangar to create an exhibition space
Kier delivers work for South West Water (SWW) under the ‘MEICA Capital Works Framework’, a multi-disciplinary framework for maintenance, refurbishment and the expansion of water treatment and sewage treatment works.
Developing more than six million sq ft of award winning speculative industrial space, with sizes ranging from small start-up to national distribution units through Kier Property's Trade City and Logistics City brands.
Kier used our marine expertise to undertake improvement works to St Mary’s Harbour on the Isles of Scilly, located within areas of national and international environmental and ecological protection.
The design and construction of a sports pavilion, including FA compliant changing facilities, gym, office space and flexible recreation areas. In addition a first floor balcony was incorporated into the design which overlooks the sports pitches.
Designing and constructing a new leisure complex within this holiday village on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park in Devon, including toddler and 20m adult swimming pools, Tornado and Twister flume rides, and water playground, gymnasium, other leisure facilities and associated plant and equipment.
The re-emergence of Gloucestershire County Council’s (GCC) Shire Hall after its retrofit and refurbishment reads like a fairy-tale. Over 165 weeks and 82 phases of collaborative, innovative team-working, the part-listed, part 1960’s building, an eyesore, tired and inefficient, was responsibly and dynamically transformed into an elegant and highly sustainable workplace.
Replacing existing ageing centrifuge assets with a, first of its kind, application of the HUBER Q-Press. This improved odour control measures, reduced chemical consumption and halved annual operating costs at Plymouth Central Sewage Treatment Works, as part of South West Water’s MEICA Framework.
Converting the University of West England conference centre into a temporary hospital in just 20 days, providing increased capacity for the NHS following the outbreak of COVID-19.
Providing a 24/7 reactive service to South West Water during the COVID-19 lockdown to ensure the network could cope with increased water demand. Adopting new ways of working to maintain social distancing.
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, one of Gloucester’s biggest employers, had offices throughout the city which were not considered future proof. They decided to consolidate all Gloucester based staff into a new purpose-build headquarters on Gloucester Business Park. The building is leased from Arlington, owners of the business park, and long-term clients of Kier.
Replacing eroded concrete along a 40m length of Loe Bar Outfall by spraying concrete on the front and top face of the outfall and around the inspection chamber. The works had to be completed by the end of October 2020.
The development of a CL:AIRE Materials Management Plan (MMP), enabled the use of soils, which would normally be classified as waste, from a local development site within flood banks on the Helston (River Cober) Flood Alleviation Scheme, Helston, West Cornwall.
New-build construction of a community Special Academy judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2019, for pupils up to the age of 18 with complex special educational needs and disabilities. The new academy replaces unfit for purpose old buildings, adding animal care, horticulture and construction facilities, a mock flat and pupil-run café.
A brand new 600 pupil secondary academy school for years 7-11, built to support Kingsmere, a new housing development in south-west Bicester. Constructed to BREEAM principles, the academy features 26-classrooms, SEN provision, a four-court sports hall built and fitted to Sport England standard, external social spaces and multi-use games areas.
A ‘Forever Home’ for a nomadic Primary School which originally operated from dilapidated portacabins and then moved to occupy converted offices with no playground. The new Academy is a spacious home to 67 pupils but allows for 420-student capacity as the new housing developments in the area become occupied.