Monthly Archives: June 2015

Desktop Study – Worcester

Desktop Study – Worcester

SWEL have just completed a desktop study in the Rainbow Hill Area. This report was produced a a quick turnaround. The site in question is being developed for a commercial use which is a lower risk site use. However, teh site is surrounded my numerous contamination sources, a gas works being the most significant.

Gas works were often the site of gasification plants, where coal for heated to produce coal gas, and coke as a bi product. However there are also many harmful bi product produced often which were dumped on to the ground around the plants cause intense contamination.

Benzo-a-pyrene is just one of the many contaminants associated with gasification plants, its causes cancers of teh skin, when people are exposed to it externally, these cancers are likely to form in folds of the skin around the next where dust may collect.

Desktop Study

Surface Water Drainage Strategy – East Devon

Surface Water Drainage Strategy – East Devon

In proving a Surface Water Drainage Strategy to the planning office when submitting a planning application, it makes clear how surface water drainage will be handled within the new development.

Surface water drainage will have to be carefully considered when the project involves large areas of impermeable surfaces.

In this instance an artificial sports pitch surface was to be renewed in and the opportunity was taken to check the adequacy of the surface water drainage on site.

SWEL undertook attenuation calculation in line with the relevant guidance, but were careful to estimate an appropriate attenuation value for the pitch surface.

The current pitch surface would seem to be impermeable but this would not have been the case when the pitch was first installed. By research the subject SWEL were able to determin that the pitch sand (which would be free draining) had becomh contaimanted with fine grained soils (clays etc.) that had reduced its permeability and thus increases run-off potentially.

These characteristics had no doubt developed over the life spane of the exist surface and so to specify draining based on the aged, low permeability surface would have been to over specify.

Instead an average value was used between that of a new surface and that of the surface as was observed.

Legacy Drainage Plan, were used to derive current state of drainage.

Pitch condition reports were used to derive condition of surfaces.

High Quality Legacy Plans helped to facilitate the writing of the report.

Surface Water Management Plan

Geotechnical Investigation & Design for Solar Park – Somerset

Geotechnical Investigation & Design for Solar Park – Somerset

A renewable energy company approached Southwest Environmental as they were concerned that transformer bases incorporated within a new solar park in Somerset were sufficient to meet structural loading.

The solar park which extends to approximately 12 hectares was well under construction with the majority of panels installed, and the transformer bases constructed.

The site was heavily trafficked and access was difficult


most of the solar panels were already installed


lots of solar panels just what the UK needs


again – a large number of solar panels

The site was on the peats and silts of the Somerset levels, these are very challenging areas in which to build, with soils typically exhibiting very low strength values, and owing to the thickness of they superficial silts are infeasible for piled foundations.

Using an established method for the determination of soil strengths SWEL found that the proposed structural loading was very similar to the max allowable loadings for the soil conditions encountered on site. To that end a program of monitoring was suggested for a period of 18 months to span a wet season, and observed for movement, as a secondary option a piled foundation solution was recommended.

The above work was turned around with a 15 day working window, with sampling, dynamic probing, laboratory analysis and reported delivered within a tight time frame.

Geotechnical Somerset

Sustainability Statement – Bristol

Sustainability Statement Bristol

SWEL have recently prepared a sustainability statement for a project in Bristol. The report was wriiten to meet the demands of Bristol City Council, and contained measures to be implemented in order to meet requirements set out in local policy.

As with all our reports, the sustainability statement was written on a quicjk turnaround provided within 10 days of commissioning.

SWEl based our recommendations to suite the clients pre-existing design.

The scheme was a fairly typical residential change of use application.

The sustainability statement was submitted to Bristol City Council well in advance of stipulated deadlines, and the report was well received.

Sustainability Bristol