Insights

Thursday, 13th June 2019

Environment and Community Practices within the Water Industry

In June 2019, Temple Group were joined at their ever growing Construction Forum event in London by clients, and guest speakers from eight 2O and the Port of Tilbury for a discussion on how embedding environment management into the construction process of complex projects can help with pro-active community engagement, project efficiencies and a reduction in project risk.

Below captures some of our discussions.
The first presentation was delivered by Rhian Halford (Associate Director and leading the CEM service line at Temple Group) and Jack Beaumont (Site Manager from the Thames Tunnel System Modifications project for the Shad Thames pumping site) providing an overview of the Tideway development.
The Shad Thames Pumping Station is one of the three sites (the others being Bekesbourne St and Beckton) that is solely delivered by Thames Water as opposed to being delivered under the Tideway Ltd umbrella. However, there is still a need to comply with the Development Consent Order (DCO) that governs the Tideway programme and in-line with the environment monitoring requirements as per the Code of Construction. Temple Group was commissioned in 2016 to provide the baseline, pre-construction and construction environmental monitoring at Shad Thames Pumping Station and Bekesbourne St. As well as the extensive monitoring requirements and in line with the DCO, community liaison activities were conducted by eight 2O, in which monthly meetings with the council and local businesses commenced and maintained throughout the project. This was particularly important when discussing any design changes such as traffic diversions at Shad Thames in a previously pedestrian area. Educational events were held to ensure that information was freely available to ensure transparency and understand community concerns as they develop and assist in reducing the overall impact of the project.

Following this, Alison Hall (Commercial and Marketing Manager) at the Port of Tilbury discussed the scale and ambition of the Tilbury 2 project along with environmental initiatives and CSR commitments. Key areas of PoT’s operations were discussed, along with recognised growth areas, particularly in relation to the use of barges to transport materials through London.

Tilbury 2 is also working under a DCO, where optimal environmental practices are aiming to be implemented throughout the lifecycle of the project. The construction phase has only recently commenced following community consultation, and Alison stressed the importance of maintaining an open dialogue with the community and stakeholders and working collaboratively on the project.

We also discussed the use of barges and how to optimise river transport during the construction process particularly due to the growing issues presented by London’s continuing traffic congestion issues and rising central tariffs (e.g. the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone this year). Now more than ever, we should be considering alternative modes of transport in the options for construction logistics.

Common themes highlighted across both projects included the importance of accurate and pro-active engagement. For example, ensuring the community are well informed of the project’s work schedule so that residents can plan daily activities around noisy works. It is important that communication strategies present the key messages to maintain good relationships with the community and stakeholders.

Concluding thoughts
In summary, discussions at Temple Group’s Construction Forum revealed that proactive environment management and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders’ result in a reduction in project risks and improved project efficiency. It is also helpful to have an increased awareness amongst site staff with regards to nuisance to ensure pro-active community engagement. Temple Group would like to thank its guest speakers; Jack Beaumont and Alison Hall as well those who attended the event and look forward to future Construction Forums. Please refer to our website www.templegroup.co.uk for up and coming events.
Temple Group are leaders in environment, planning and sustainability. Our Construction Environment Management (CEM) service helps clients to manage their environmental issues throughout the construction process. Temple Group can help you to develop management plans to meet planning requirements and project obligations. To read more about the services we offer and discuss further how digitisation can help you, please visit our website at www.templegroup.co.uk