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

Why is offsite the way forward?

With the construction industry constantly looking for fast, efficient, precast modular systems that decrease the number of health and safety issues on site, offsite construction is on the increase.

With products now being manufactured offsite under factory conditions and shipped to site and installed on the same day saving valuable man hours, installation costs, storage room and the need for skilled labour.

Marshalls CPM is leading the way in the manufacture of precast concrete offsite systems, offering water management products, flatpack systems and practical precast solutions based on sound design and engineering knowledge that are cost effective and a more sustainable approach to construction.

By offering offsite precast concrete products, customers have a great certainty over costs and programme timings, reducing the movement of vehicles on site and the Marshalls CPM technical team can offer help on your bespoke offsite solution.

For more information please visit https://www.cpm-group.com/products/off-site-solutions/

When the heat is on, you can trust concrete

The fire resistant properties of concrete are well known and in a world that can be devastated by fire in an instance, architects and planners can never underestimated the benefits of specifying concrete over more flammable materials.

Concrete is chemically inert and therefore virtually non-combustible. It has a slow rate of heat transfer, which means that using concrete retaining walls around your property can act as a fire shield.

But what about fires in our sewer system? It is true that they are rare but would you want to risk it? With damages to property and personal lawsuits, the repair bull can run into millions.

The American National Fire Protection Association is dedicated to promoting the science and improving the methods of fire prevention and protection published Bulletin NFPA No 328 which states “Manholes, sewers and similar underground conduits have long been recognized by fire protection engineers as constituting areas where fire and explosion hazards of some severity may exist. Modern civilization, accompanied by the increase number of fuel stations, solvent disposal operations, dry cleaning establishments, fuel gas production and distribution facilities, refrigeration plants and many other industrial activities with potentially dangerous gas vapor by-products make the safe operation of underground structure more difficult each year.”

For more information please visit http://www.concretepipe.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/fires_in_sewers.pdf

Modern Methods of Construction

With a sales team who have over 100 years of experience between them, Marshalls CPM is well placed in offering precast concrete solutions to the construction industry which can be used to reduce construction time and promote sustainability, as well as offering cost savings.

By embracing innovation and modern methods of construction and the construction industry’s demand for fast efficient, modular systems, Marshalls CPM provides precast concrete products that are designed, engineered and manufactured off-site under factory conditions at one of Marshalls CPM’s two manufacturing works. One in Mells, Somerset to service the South of the UK and one in Pollington, Yorkshire to service the North.

With a shortage of skilled labour in the construction industry, Marshalls CPM has worked on solutions that minimalise the need for skilled labour on site and maximise health and safety and cost efficiencies over traditional construction methods.

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

Reducing the installation cost of manholes

Concrete pipeline systems manufacturers continue to innovate as the industry strives for improved pipeline and manhole construction quality and performance, delivering reduced waste, lower costs, faster build times and minimised environmental impacts.

Production techniques continue to advance and the use of modern logistics systems ensure excellent product quality and reliable service.

Responsible sourcing of raw materials from local suppliers ensures that cradle to site “pipe miles” is low and high use of recycled materials keeps embodied impacts to a minimum.

The use of modern, integrally-cast high performance seals helps maintain water tightness and integrity of joints.

The design flexibility of concrete pipeline systems means that many special features can be incorporated in the factory and simply placed into position on site. These “offsite solutions” can replace lengthy in-situ operations, thus improving site safety and product quality, reducing waste, speeding-up installation and reducing costs.

An excellent example of an offsite solution introduced recently is a concrete manhole system, packed with many benefits that will satisfy designers, contractors and operators alike. The new manhole design offers:

Reduced construction time
Decreased installation costs
Improved safety on site
Superior quality
Watertight system
Reduced carbon footprint

Concrete Manhole Construction

Traditionally, manhole construction has required the base to be formed in-situ where building of the channel, connections and benching occurs in the trench, often in wet and unpleasant conditions. The process can take around 40 hours per manhole and is not always successful, particularly in terms of leakage where egress of waste water can lead to contaminated groundwater and ingress can contribute to the common problem of overloaded sewer networks plus increased energy usage and running costs at treatment works and pumping stations.
Concrete Manhole Design

The new concrete manhole design comprises a precast concrete monolithic base unit, complete with channel and benching with predetermined combinations of inlet(s) and outlet and a new design of chamber ring with watertight, flexible joints and no lifting holes, thereby removing points of possible leakage.

Both base units and chamber rings are made with thicker, stronger walls. The robust design means that the requirement for a concrete surround is eliminated, unless specifically required. The excavation is backfilled sooner and there is less need for men to work in confined spaces. This reduces time spent in the excavation, further improving site safety and reducing installation costs.
Concrete Manhole Installation

Installation of the whole system is speedy and efficient. Once in position, wet trades are eliminated, formation of benching on site and sealing of lifting holes is avoided and follow-up operations can start immediately. Field trials indicate that time savings of over 30% can easily be achieved and costs reduced by well over 10%, particularly when installed without a concrete surround.

Enviromental Advantages

The system also yields environmental advantages as less concrete is used, there is less waste and less excavated material is disposed to landfill. An annual saving of over 22,000 tonnes of CO2e is estimated in the UK if all manholes manufactured by members of CPSA changed to the new precast base system.

The quality of material and finish is well above that normally achieved on site and the full system is manufactured under factory conditions by third party certified companies to ISO 9001 quality management system. Products are Kitemarked to BS EN 1917:2002 and BS 5911-3:2010Concrete Manholes and Inspection Chambers and tested under laboratory conditions.

UK Water companies have embraced the new precast manhole base system and given their acceptance to use the design for new projects in lieu of traditional in-situ construction and full acceptance is anticipated throughout the UK

More information o the new precast manhole base system can be found at https://www.cpm-group.com/products/drainage/sealed-manholes/the-perfect-manholes/

Why precast offsite solutions are making life easier

The construction industry’s demand for fast, efficient, sustainable modular systems has led to a diverse range of precast off-site solutions being designed, engineered and manufactured off-site, under factory conditions that offer a real alternative to traditional on-site construction and an answer to the current skills shortage the industry is facing.

Whether it is a precast chamber with a hydro-brake® pre-fitted or a bespoke manhole section which has been specially designed, that speeds up installation, whilst offering a safe working environment or a flatpack system that reduces the site time programme and disruption to local residents, the rise of precast off-site solutions, that are based on sound design and engineering knowledge are resulting in minimal site installation costs and increased health and safely benefits.

This theory is backed by The Construction Industry Council’s Offsite Housing Review from February 2013 that found there is a massive opportunity to use offsite solution products to deliver the new homes that are badly needed. The report identified potential benefits in a number of areas:
• speed of production
• speed of build on site
• cost, quality and uniformity of build
• sustainability and waste reduction
• validation and testing
• health and safety

A large number of off-site solutions are manufactured using precast concrete methods unlike other materials where a large number of solutions are installed on-site using the contractors workforce.

Due to the rise of the popularity of off-site products, manufacturers are now offering CPD style presentations to show exactly what they can offer and how these precast solutions can make life easier for both the construction team and the on-site team.

For more information on how the Marshalls CPM Off-Site Solutions team can help you please call 01179 814500 or email off-site@cpm-group.com

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?