Does EA flood warning affect you?

The Environment Agency has warned that Britain’s flood planners must prepare for the worst on climate change, as its chairwoman, Emma Howard Boyd, said on current trends, global temperature could rise between 2C and 4C by 2100 and £billion a year would need to be spent on flood management, with some communities needing to move because of the risks of flooding.

The report from the EA has said that rising seas will swamp homes, with hundreds of key sites in England at risk of floods and that more should be done to encourage property owners to rebuild homes after flooding in better locations rather than just “recycling what was there before”.

The government said it will be seeking evidence for its own flood policy in the autumn.

Ms Howard Boyd, launching the consultation on the agency’s flood strategy, said government policy should ensure that all publicly-funded infrastructure is resilient to flooding and coastal change by 2050.

“We can’t win a war against water by building away climate change with infinitely high flood defences,” she said.  The agency expects more intense bursts of rain and continuing coastal erosion.  Ms Howard Boyd warned that climate change and population growth in England meant that properties built in the floodplain will double over the next 50 years.

The agency points towards research from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership which suggests that losses on UK mortgages could also double if global temperatures increase by 2C and triple if warming hits 4C.

These would be insurance-related losses related to outcomes of climate change such as more extreme weather.  Ms Howard-Boyd said the government’s six-year flood programme had given flood and coastal protection “a shot in the arm”, but she warned that more will be needed.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: “Flooding and coastal erosion can have terrible consequences for people, businesses and the environment.  “That’s why we are already providing £2.6bn over six years, delivering more than 1,500 projects to better protect 300,000 homes.”

But she added that “the threat of climate change will mean an increasing risk and preparing the country is a priority for the government, and the nation as a whole”.

In a statement, Friends of the Earth said: “Smarter adaptation and resilience building – including natural flood management measures like tree-planting – is undeniably important.  But the focus must be first and foremost on slashing emissions so that we can avoid the worst consequences of climate chaos in the first place.”

Communities need to think about flood prevention and how solutions already on the market can protect their properties, such as the Marshalls CPM Redi-Rock™ flood walls that are designed and manufactured to suit a wide variety of flood water projects, as they are ideal for protecting commercial property and residential areas as well as larger infrastructure, highways, river ways and sea frontages.

Ideal where space is scarce or areas where water may rise to unusual levels, the flood blocks are both fast and easy to install and available in three aesthetically pleasing finishes so blend perfectly into the local environment.

As customer requirements are individual, so are the flood walls. They are designed to suit project specific size requirements by the Marshalls CPM Design team and are versatile enough to achieve height without compromising on strength.

For more information please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/retaining-walls/flood-walls/

A sustainable product that you can trust

The argument for using precast concrete drainage products over other drainage materials has always been a compelling one, as the environmentally friendly, sustainable, heat resistant concrete continues to gain strength throughout its service life and leading drainage manufacturers, Marshalls CPM offering a 120 year design life on all of their precast concrete drainage products, its certainly one you can trust in.

In fact, Marshalls CPM have a 525mm ogee pipe at their Mells works in Somerset that was originally installed alongside the old castle in Norwich in 1891 and was excavated in June 1991 that shows no signs of deterioration and is structurally sound. When tested the pipe satisfied the requirements of the current standards for concrete pipes even though there were no standards when it was originally manufactured in 1891.

During the summer of this year, Marshalls CPM supplied flexible jointed concrete pipes to a £15m new sewer project in Frome Valley, Bristol which included the replacement of an existing pipe run to increase capacity for new developments in the area.

This work included digging up an old pipeline which included a 525mm rocker pipe that was manufactured at the Mells works in 1987. The rocker pipe is in perfect condition and has brought back many happy memories for employees, many of whom were just starting their working life with the Company in 1987.

When looking for a sustainable product that you can trust in, you can’t go wrong with precast concrete drainage solutions

Those winter storms are on the way – are you ready?

As we watched in horror the flooding from Hurricane Irma devastate parts of Florida, after causing more than $10bn (£7.6bn) in damage across the Caribbean, a figure which is still rising, we must look at what we can do to protect our infrastructure, both private and commercial from such horrors.

A 2012 BBC report stated that more than five and a half million properties in England and Wales alone were deemed to be at risk from flooding and that you can make permanent changes to reduce flooding and making these alterations can reduce the time and cost of recovering from flooding but can it look decorative?

Here, at Marshalls CPM we believe it can, as our Redi-Rock™ team has developed a flood wall that is doubled sided, with three aesthetically pleasing finishes, so looks great whichever side of the wall you are on and can be installed where space is scarce.

If you need a wall to look great when the flood water has receded as well as offering protection against flooding, then look no further, as our Redi-Rock™ flood walling is what you need.

So how does it work?

The flood walls are laid on a reinforced concrete strip foundation with starter bars into the hollow core. Wall reinforcement is then fixed as the blocks are laid. Once the wall has been completed, the core is filled with concrete to form the watertight barrier, protecting the surrounding areas from the flood water.

So what next?

We are happy to visit your site, help with designs and can even help with site installation; all you need to do is get in touch. How? Please call us on 01179 814500 or email redi-rock@cpm-group.com

Can sea walls really protect us and still attract tourism?

As the British weather continues to challenge our natural defences, the government has looked at engineered methods of protecting buildings and the surrounding area from the worsening effects that Mother Nature throws at us.

One such way in which we look to protect ourselves from flooding is the introduction of sea walls, however this has proven controversial as the unsightly walls have become a battle ground between the local residents and the tourism industry.

So is there a way to keep everyone happy?

What is needed is a walling system that is designed to withstand a one in 100 year storm and yet still looks attractive to those who both live and visit the area. Traditionally sea walls have been made from boulders, steel, concrete, aluminum, fiberglass composite and in some cases gabions and have been designed to withstand varying physical forces as well as location specific aspects, such as local climate, coastal positioning, wave regime etc.

However, a range of environmental problems and issues have arisen, including disrupting sediment movement and transport patterns. Combined with construction costs, this has led to an increasing use of other coastal management options such as beach replenishment which has proven short term and not a long term solution.

One solution which the popular coastal town of Blackpool have invested in, is a sea wall for its marine frontage of approximately 11.25 kilometres, all of which is now protected from erosion by the sea wall. However this needs constant maintenance with Engineering Services being responsible for the maintenance and improvement of seven miles of coastal defences.

Under the Coastal Protection Act, Blackpool Council must ensure the stability of the sea walls and ensure their continuing maintenance, for which a detailed Coast Protection Strategy was adopted by the Council in 1995.

Blackpool Councils twenty year coastal defence strategy has rebuild those sections of defence most in need. The £62 million of works have also been completed transforming the promenade between the Sandcastle Centre and North Pier, and a new 3.2 kilometre concrete seawall has been built along the same stretch. This has been Blackpool’s largest ever civil engineering project to date and took four years to construct working from South to North.
Rhyl on the other hand have used a retaining wall concrete block system for their West Coastal Defence works. Conventional solutions such as cladded sheet piles were considered, though the cost of the sheet piles and the associated cladding made the scheme unviable.

The retaining wall was constructed using positive connection modular blocks which incorporated a geogrid reinforced earth system and was completed within just 30 weeks, with 50 blocks being installed over a tidal cycle. Close monitoring of the finished wall and backfill showed there had been no settlement and there is little to no maintenance required.

The Rhyl scheme has proven so popular with the local community and holiday makers that it has become the flagship scheme for the regeneration of Rhyl under the Welsh Government’s North Wales Coast Strategic Regeneration Area initiative.

So can a sea wall keep everyone happy?

Visit your local seaside towns and you decide

Why use concrete in flood risk areas?

Over the last few years, climate conditions have altered causing widespread flooding across the UK. Developers are now continually looking for solutions to ensure that the disruption caused by flooding is kept to a minimum where possible and concrete has become a real sustainable solution for many.

Not only are concrete products inherently resistant to uplift or floatation due to their weight during flooding and cases of rising groundwater but they are also resistant to the damage from the impact of hard objects carried during flooding and recent developments in product innovation has seen hydraulic features being incorporated into concrete systems such as flow control devices and silt traps etc.

A wide range of engineered concrete SuDS products have been developed that can provide off-site solutions to on-site situations that make life easier and protect against the climate.

For more information on water management precast solutions please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/water-management/

To BIM or not to BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a new approach to project delivery that uses information to create a 3D model-based process of a building or infrastructure to improve the design, construction, and operation of the development.

The BIM profile provides information for creating and managing the infrastructure, ensuring that building projects are more efficient and more economic with less environmental impact, whilst still addressing wasted costs

BIM allows users to visualise and explore design ideas, simulate multiple alternatives, identify problem areas and improve productivity which is why many consultants are now using the BIM process within the construction industry and why many manufacturers now have their products available to download from arenas such as BIMSTORE as well as their own websites.

One leading consultant is so convinced of the success of using BIM that they have published their top 10 benefits of BIM, which can be found at www.mottmac.com/article/2385/building-information-modelling-bim

The only question left is what are you waiting for?

So why wouldn’t all sites be set up for maximum safety?

No one wants anyone on site to be hurt, the Health and Safety Executive promotes a mindset of everyone going home at the end of the day, safely. So why is site safety sometimes in question?

As manufacturers of precast concrete drainage products, that include pipes, tank systems and box culverts, we occasionally see somethings that are questionable, thankfully its reduced considerably in the last 10 years, but we still see a ladder that isn’t secure or a trench where we can’t see the true depth because of rainfall.

When questioned about these, we usually receive the same set of answers, “its someone else’s job”, “we don’t have the time” or “it costs too much”.

So let’s start with “its someone else’s job” – site safety is everyone’s job, how would you feel if something happened and you could have done something about it? Even if it was just telling the site safety officer a ladder haven’t been secured correctly.

“We don’t have the time” How long does it really take to put the end rails on a scaffold? To secure a set of ladders? To establish the depth of a trench? And finally “it costs too much” What is the cost of an extra ladder, trench box etc compared to the cost of an accident, injury or even fatality?

If you have a safe site, you are more likely to have a more productive one, one with clean work areas, proper access and equipment.

Retaining the Rail Network

A ‘Lego’ style concrete retaining wall block is helping Network rail reduce the disruption to services when trackside landslips endanger the rail network.

The concrete block system was first used by Dean and Dyball Rail on the Blackboy Tunnel/Exmouth Junction where a section in a cutting, approximately 20 meters long, required stabilising. Historically, there had been several small slips which had resulted in a timber post and sleeper retaining wall being constructed and this was in the process of collapsing onto the S&T trough route. Continue reading “Retaining the Rail Network”