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Projects Win Top Environment Accolade

4 April 2011

Costain has picked up yet more awards, for the environmental performance of two of its projects.

The accolades, for the Wolvercote Viaduct replacement project in Oxfordshire and Castleford Footbridge in Yorkshire, came from CEEQUAL, a body originally created by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), with financial support from the UK Government and the ICE's Research & Development Enabling Fund.

Its objective is to encourage the attainment of environmental and social excellence in civil engineering and public sector works and to deliver improved environmental and sustainability performance in civil engineering specification, design and construction.

CEEQUAL looks at environmental aspects of a project including the use of water, energy and carbon, ecology, noise and dust, waste minimisation and management, and social issues such as the effects on neighbours and community relations.

Awards are made to projects where the clients, designers and/or constructors have gone beyond the legal and environmental minima in the environmental field.

Wolvercote was awarded an ‘Excellent’ construction-only award, while Castleford,  which has already picked up a clutch of other awards including an ‘Excellent’ whole-project CEEQUAL award, went one better by winning its category for ‘Outstanding Achievement’ in community relations.

The Wolvercote project team was praised for its efforts in environmental care while replacing the 45-year-old, 250-metre-long viaduct that spanned the A40 road, the Oxford Canal and the London-Birmingham main line railway.

Among aspects that caught the CEEQUAL assessors’ eyes were the temporary translocation of an ancient hedgerow from beside the canal bridleway and its eventual replanting in its original location and the recycling of 95% – 57,000 tons – of site waste generated. The site’s community relations efforts also came in for praise.

The 130-metre, S-shaped Castleford Footbridge featured particularly high standards of architecture and materials and was awarded points from the assessors for its sustainability.

An extensive programme of community involvement included numerous school visits to give safety talks, as well as inviting several hundred pupils to the site. Unusually, local community representatives were involved in commenting on proposed materials and visited off-site fabricators as well as the site itself. This helped ensure universal acclaim by local residents when it was erected.

“The Outstanding Achievement awards event marked the first time that CEEQUAL has chosen to highlight any specific aspect of projects which have gone through the CEEQUAL assessment process,” notes Costain Environment Manager, Amy Baldry, “and the award for Castleford Footbridge commending the excellent management of the community and stakeholders is a great achievement for all those involved.”