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Best Practice Award

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Commissioning authority: Environment Agency
Principal designer: Faber Maunsell
Principal contractor: May Gurney

Award for projects which involved processes adopted to understand and meet client needs; supported team working throughout; and maintains continuous improvement. Sponsored by May Gurney.

This ambitious five-year scheme has improved around 30km of river defences across the fens of Lincolnshire, protecting more than 3,000 properties.

The project team was drawn from the Environment Agency, the consultant and the contractor, and demonstrated how a single team can deliver high-quality infrastructure at considerably reduced costs while maintaining client and public satisfaction.

The original predicted cost of £20.8 million was cut by 25 per cent thanks largely to the rolling programme/design approach, which allowed value engineering opportunities to be identified early on.

More than one million recycled car tyres were used to create bales for embankment. Each bale contained around 100 tyres strapped together to create lightweight fill which enabled steeper embankment slope angles.

This was the first time car tyres had been used in this way in the UK and the project team expects that the technique will be used in future embankment strengthening projects.

This was just one of the examples of lateral thinking which transcendedfunding, organisation and technology. The project was an example of teamwork among all parties over a long period, which saw much engineering innovation and delighted the client.

‘The use of more than one million recycled car tyres to create bales was impressive – with a strong chance of take-up on other projects.’

‘The project demonstrated a great measure of lateral thinking – in funding, organisation
and technology.’

Dalby Forest Visitor Centre, Yorkshire
Oldham Library
Innovate Green Office, Leeds
Victoria Footbridge, Hereford
Portslade Flood Protection Project, East Sussex

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