VertaseFLI win at 2018 Brownfield Briefing Awards

VertaseFLI won Two Awards for Best Project Closure/Verification Process and Best Re-use of Materials on a Project, these were both awarded for the Sandford Farm Project at the Brownfield Briefing awards 2018.  Technical Director Duncan Scott was interviewed about the winning project.

Q. What was unique about this project?
A. The site comprised three former commercial landfills which VertaseFLI were able to remediate (rendering it suitable for proposed residential development) without exporting more than 5% of the landfilled waste. Through design, innovation and engineering, we were able to re-use 95% of the landfilled materials (~240,000m3) on the site of origin while managing long term residual risks of harm to human health, pollution of groundwater, and risk to property (by ground settlement or ground gas). There are currently no other examples of landfill remediation projects of this scale and complexity to enable residential development which I am aware of in the UK.

Q. What value did we bring to the project as a whole?
A. VertaseFLI added value to the project in many ways. On the lead up to project commencement and throughout the works, our staff contributed significantly to public liaison ensuring that the local residents remained well informed and had the opportunity to discuss any concerns. Our technical team continually strived to find innovative solutions to maximising materials re-use and performance, and our operational team continually sought ways to overcome constraints and minimise programme delays. One of many examples of our innovation was the design and construction of a large surcharge ground improvement scheme for an area of the site intended for use as public open space. This scheme enabled us to continue earthworks during a winter season (a time that we had initially envisaged being less productive on our programme). This additional period of productivity reduced the overall programme which contributed to an earlier completion date than would have otherwise been achieved.

Q. How was the relationship working with RSK and EPG?
A. RSK and EPG provided a wealth of technical expertise which we were able to draw from and build on during delivery of the project. Verification of the project to the satisfaction of Regulators would not have been possible without the expertise in understanding ground gas that was brought to the table by EPG. Equally, the good relationships that VertaseFLI and RSK nurtured with Regulators facilitated an environment for open-minded communication with Regulators which gave the project team an opportunity explore and use pioneering verification approaches, which moved beyond those typically used to validate remediation works.

Q. What would you do differently next time?
A. From the perspective of collaboration and teamwork, there is nothing I would do differently next time as I feel we got that right. The main challenges faced by the project were associated with the processing and reinstatement of materials recovered from a complex landfill waste and the time that these elements of the project took compared to that which was anticipated at tender. Given that we now have a first-hand appreciation of these challenges and that all of this knowledge is retained in house, the only thing I would do differently is to ensure all of the lessons learned are implemented on future schemes to avoid any of the pitfalls that we experienced.

Q. What are main constraints developing/ remediating landfills?
A. The current state of the regulatory regime for permitting and facilitating the re-use of materials recovered from landfill waste is currently the main constraint to developing and remediating landfills. In view of this, we are working with the Environment Agency to explore a bespoke route for permitting landfill remediation on another upcoming project. Through this work, we are likely to help pave a regulatory route for future projects of this nature.

Q. What makes you proud about this project?
A. Overcoming the relentless challenges (technical, commercial and operational) that VertaseFLI and the project team encountered during the delivery of a project of this scale and complexity through to completion tested us as a team and as individuals on all levels. The pride I experience from my involvement in this project comes from the knowledge that when problems were encountered, our team and the individuals it comprised remained focussed on finding technically robust commercially viable solutions. At no point did we succumb to the challenges and ‘walk away’. I am confident that our work on Sandford Farm has cemented our place in history at a time that I see as being a dawn of a rise in landfill remediation projects.

"Throughout such a complicated project, it was pleasing to work alongside VertaseFLI offering an innovative and revolutionary solution, under tremendously difficult circumstances, and we look forward to collaborating with them again"
Neil Anderson, Project Manager
- Taylor Wimpey West London

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