• Sector: Water

  • Client: Laing O’Rourke

  • Duration: 5 months

  • Completed: Nov 2015

  • Location: Oxford

  • Value: £600k

Description: Following a competitive tender Falco was awarded the contract to divert existing underground utilities to facilitate the development of a new £40m physics building for Oxford University.

We worked closely with the Principal Contractor to maintain a tight programme. Due to traffic and pedestrian management constraints, we proposed that three of the sewer runs should be laid in timber headings to deliver greater programme certainty by removing the impact of Streetworks Notices from the critical path.

The works involved excavating six 5-metre manholes and four timber headings totalling 86 linear metres. Our project team identified some value-engineering initiatives including the use of smaller, lightweight helically-reinforced PE pipework as an alternative to more traditional concrete pipe material which could be installed using standard timber heading and therefore reduced manual handling risk and overall programme. There was some initial resistance to using the new system but by working collaboratively with the manufacturer, Aquaspira, we were able to convince key stakeholders of the benefits without compromising on quality and serviceability.

Following installation the new systems were commissioned with minimum reliance on overpumping. The redundant sewers were abandoned by grouting upon completion. Pipework for three low pressure gas supplies were re-routed to existing buildings and meters relocated by our accredited subcontractor.

The works were technically challenging requiring us to maintain the integrity of existing drainage network during diversionary works to minimise flood risk while working in a congested, shared-worksite.

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