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Site remediation.

Cb1 development, Cambridge, UK

Located near Cambridge railway station at the gateway to the university city, the development known as cb1 included proposals for commercial, retail, residential (student and private) and leisure buildings, with a potential total value estimated at around £800 million.

We saved our client money and time through our combined geo-environmental, geotechnical, environmental and engineering services, all delivered from our local office.

The phased development also included public open space and all associated infrastructure and utilities. The proposed buildings, numbering up to 30, range in height from two to seven storeys, some with basements for car parking. Development is likely to continue until 2018.

Key facts

Mott MacDonald was commissioned to undertake geotechnical and geo-environmental studies for the cb1 development. These studies included phase 1 contaminated land and geotechnical desk studies for a number of specified areas within the cb1 re-development area and a further overview report on the development masterplan area. These reports were followed by the commissioning of a number of phases of intrusive phase 2 ground investigations resulting in factual ground investigation reports.

We then undertook generic and detailed quantitative risk assessments to determine the potential impacts of in-ground contamination on human health and controlled waters. As the development progressed we designed and supervised remediation works for various phases of the development. These reports were produced to support the Environmental Statement and to discharge the associated planning conditions for the development.

Challenges and solutions

Managing the legacy of historical contamination from railway and industrial/ commercial use with the proposed sensitive land use (residential properties and open space) and environmental conditions (sensitive aquifers directly beneath the site) was a key challenge. The cb1 area is a busy existing transport hub and commercial area which resulted in complex access issues for site investigation and remediation work.

We provided a combined geotechnical and geo-environmental solution to minimise disruption to existing site users and save time and cost. We developed good relationships with the regulatory authorities early on in the project to fully understand the requirements to allow an efficient and successful process through the planning system.

Value and benefits

As well as saving money and time by providing all required engineering and environmental services in house, we reduced cost and carbon footprint through detailed risk assessment resulting in less remediation.

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