The Challenge:

Our client, Canary Wharf Contractors, were looking to undertake the development of South Bank Place, a new 800-apartment development close to Waterloo station. Source Design Services investigated the existing services which would require diversion to accommodate the new Public Realm works and new incoming supplies required to supply the scheme.


The common problem across London is the complexity of services in both footway and carriageway, and traditional methods of construction would have seen each utility provider digging up the road in Chicheley Street and York Road, potentially leading to significant disruption, lane rental charges and associated costs. CWC tasked Source Design Services with finding an innovative solution that would reduce interruption for traffic and residents, maintain road access and keep stakeholders, including TfL and Lambeth Council happy.

The Solution:

Source Design Services worked closely with Canary Wharf Contractors and used BIM technology to design a different approach for the project, creating a multi-utility corridor that would move the affected utilities from the footway and into the carriageway whilst maintaining 2-way traffic in Chicheley Street (a TfL and Lambeth Buses requirement).

The team excavated the corridor, mainly using Vac-Ex machines, which are tailor-made to safely expose underground live utilities. This approach minimised dust, allowed the recycling of materials and meant each utility could use easily accessible jointing points to connect new services, removing the need for excessive power and comms outages in the area.

The Impact:

Early engagement and collaboration with TfL, the local community and Canary Wharf Contractors was vital to the project’s success. Regular Key Stakeholder updates and effective collaboration with the client’s other contractors meant the resulting project took just 12 weeks, saving over 18 months from the original schedule of sequential works. This has led to Source Design Services being hailed as exemplar contractors by TfL.

The new approach meant Source Designed reduced the estimated diversion costs by nearly two-thirds.

The work has future-proofed the street; by laying extra ducting, the team has allowed for 60% more utilities to be added to the area over time, with no further disruption to the local community.

Local businesses have praised the excellent delivery of the project, which minimised disruption and resulted in no loss of services and no strikes on any services.

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