Infrastructure asset protection need to give significant consideration to the long term implications of climate change in the planning phase. As they often have lives of at least 50-100 years, they need to be designed to function long into the future, where weather patterns and climate are projected to be more aggressive than they are now.
This puts a greater responsibility on infrastructure planners to fully consider the risks of flooding, ground instability, any potential contamination issues, model the impacts of higher rainfall, for example, and plan for mitigation measures, such as SUDS and ground stabilisation, to alleviate these issues, as well as the installation of renewable energy to reduce dependency on other infrastructure, such as water and power.
Geo-Environmental has a range of solutions to support this which include:
- Site geotechnical and environmental risk screening
- Geotechnical and environmental intrusive site surveys
- Flood risk assessments
- Surface water control modelling
- Drainage and SUDS design
- Slope stability analysis and design
How can we help?
Geo-Environmental can assess the viability of a site prior to any purchase commitments by undertaking a risk assessment of the site. This risk assessment may take the form of a desk study, or could even be a full intrusive site investigation with sample testing. Our aim is to help our clients minimise financial exposure and environmental incidents by thoroughly identifying risk and creating a plan to design these out or suggest effective mitigation strategies. We take into account past and future trends in climate to ensure that your developments and reputation stand the test of time. By proposing tailored and bespoke investigation and assessment strategies that are comprehensive we aim to minimise the delays to your development.
Geo-Environmental can provide the following services:
- Risk Screening – a geotechnical and environmental desk study, including comprehensive sets of historical maps, searches of Environment Agency records and Local Authority databases and assessment of other relevant sources of geotechnical and environmental information, to identify any risks in your proposed development site.
- Visual site assessment – a walkover of the site which will supplement the information in the risk screening phase and provide direction for the full-site survey.
- Full site survey – an intrusive investigation with an interpretive geotechnical and environmental ground investigation report including records of the encountered conditions, an assessment of geotechnical parameters and risks in terms of the proposed construction, and an assessment of environmental risks pertaining to the site and its redevelopment.
A large risk to the majority of developments is unforeseen ground conditions, so the benefits of identifying risks early and ensuring you get it right will always far outweigh the costs of the investigation.
Flood Risk Assessments
When planning any development, from major infrastructure to housing you must ensure that you have an understanding of the sources and impacts of flooding. Regulations state a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) is required for a development if it:
- includes building or engineering works in zone 2 or 3 of areas at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea;
- includes building or engineering works on land classified by the Environment Agency as having critical drainage problems;
- changes the use of land or buildings in a place at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, or with critical drainage problems;
- changes the use of land or buildings in a way that increases flood vulnerability of the development where it may be subject to other sources of flooding; and
- is larger than 1 hectare,
In the UK the Floods of 2007 and the storms and floods of 2013/14 caused widespread flooding and damage to property and infrastructure. With the future climate uncertain, but with more extreme weather events being predicted, the need to obtain high quality flood risk information is more important than ever.
How can we help?
We can provide site specific flood risk assessments to provide our clients with an understanding of the sources and impacts of flooding on their projects, be these large infrastructure improvements or small housing developments. Within our assessments we include a full breakdown of the mitigation measures that would be required to reduce flood risk and we also have the ability to design sustainable drainage solutions to mitigate any issues.
Surface Water Control and Groundwater Monitoring and Modelling
Flooding can occur in a number of ways, and each may be affected by climate change. Surface water flooding occurs where heavy rainfall can’t absorb into the ground or drain away. Developments can worsen this situation by reducing the permeable area in an area, making it more difficult for surface water to drain away.
It is therefore important to be able to predict the flow of surface water, how the movement of surface water will be changed by a development site, how it interacts with soil conditions and groundwater, as well as how it will react in extreme weather events.
We can, from a topographic survey and an analysis of ground and groundwater conditions, produce a model of surface water flow, identifying where there is a risk of flooding on a site and detail mitigation methods for resolving these problems.
Drainage Design and SUDS
The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 requires new developments and redevelopments in England and Wales to have drainage plans for surface runoff in place, which in time will be approved by the Local Authority SuDS Approval Body. Geo-Environmental are able to advise you how you can limit the surface water runoff from your site and design suitable attenuation and drainage systems to satisfy the Environment Agency and planning authorities, for new developments.
The Geo-Environmental staff and suppliers have years of experience in dealing will all aspects of water related engineering, for infrastructure and housing, the services we supply include:
- Foul Drainage
- Pipe sizes, layouts and connections to existing sewerage systems.
- Liaison with Sewerage Operator for adoption.
- Liaison with Environment Agency for discharge consent.
- Connections to private systems.
- Septic tanks, Package Treatment Plants, Pumping stations.
- Sustainable solutions, such as reed beds.
- Surface Water Drainage
- Pipe sizes, layouts and connections to existing systems.
- Attenuation crates.
- Permeable paving.
- Rainwater Harvesting
- Flow control specification.
- Oil interceptors.
- Connections to existing systems.
- Adoption liaison.
- Discharges to watercourses, which includes liaising with the EA and outfall design.
- Headwalls and culverts.
- Swales and Basins
- Section 104 and 106 applications.
We can also provide all the necessary paperwork for Code for Sustainable Homes, SUR1 and SUR2 requirements, advise on and assist with sewer adoption and sewer requisition and offer a desktop technical audit service to independently check and confirm details prepared by others.