CEEQUAL Award for Ecology and Biodiversity 2019. Photo L to R: Sean Harris, Director of Membership ICE, Gerardo Austria, Network Rail, Adrian Shawcross, Ramboll, Charl de Kock, Skanska, Liz Rawlinson, Skanska, Will Duckett, Ramboll, Kevin Sullivan, Network Rail, Conor McCone, Skanska, Dr Shamir Ghumra, BRE. Image courtesy of BRE Group
In an unprecedented achievement, eight Thameslink projects have so far scooped nine CEEQUAL Exceptional Achievement Awards. In 2017 the Bermondsey Dive Under project team from Network Rail, Ramboll, and Skanska were presented with the CEEQUAL Excellent Whole Team Award of 96.6% having increased biodiversity in the area by 113%. The score is the highest that has been achieved to date by a completed project on the Thameslink Programme.
This year the project was Highly Commended in the Ecology and Biodiversity category. CEEQUAL judges praised ‘the objective to achieve net positive’ which was ‘achieved through on-site enhancement despite the technical challenges’. It was a technically complex project, which could easily have resulted in ecology enhancements being overlooked.
The Bermondsey Dive Under project demolished existing viaduct arches and built a separation junction for the Thameslink Lines approaching London Bridge station to ease congestion. The project team committed to ensuring biodiversity onsite rather than offsetting elsewhere.
The inherited site contained previous tenant’s debris and soils heavily contaminated with asbestos, hydrocarbons and Japanese Knotweed. The land had limited botanical diversity, low conservation value and the fragmented nature of the vegetation meant the area was a poor habitat corridor. Wildflower planting created green corridors and stepping stones to the wider area, while green walls were installed to offset lost vegetation. The area will be serviced under the continual maintenance schedule, helping the habitat mature and become ecologically valuable.
Rebuilding a vital section of the Thameslink rail line at Bermondsey Dive Under included track and infrastructure work, with sustainability and urban regeneration aspects. Value engineering and detailed design by Ramboll, in collaboration with main contractor, Skanska, and Network Rail, delivered significant cost benefits.