Environmental efforts bear fruit!

We are delighted to share the news that our ESD Loch Ness Regional project was recently awarded two silver Green Apple Awards for environmental best practice at both the Scottish and international award events.

The Loch Ness Regional project will improve and ensure the future resilience of water quality by addressing the trihalomethanes (THM) and cryptosporidium risk at Invermoriston and Fort Augustus through the construction of a new water intake, a service reservoir, a 15-km pipeline and a water treatment works. The project is being delivered for Scottish Water as part of its SR15 investment programme by its alliance delivery partner ESD (standing for “efficient service delivery”), a joint venture between Binnies, Galliford Try and MWH Treatment.

Design and construction planning enabled the mitigation of extensive environmental sensitivities. ESD needed to install a new raw water intake into Loch Ness but installation of a pipe beneath the bed of the loch carried significant environmental risks due to local ecology and fish species. Working with its specialist subcontractor, ESD installed a floating silt curtain and separate oil boom around the works, weighted at the bottom and secured from the support vessel and the shoreline. This was deployed by boat and inspected daily. The work took ten weeks to complete under controlled activities regulations (CAR) authorisation from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in a tight working window of June to September to avoid the fish migration season. No pollution incidents occurred during this operation.

Most of the work took place in ancient forest woodland, providing habitat for the UK’s most protected species, including birds, bats, red squirrels and pine martens. Engaging specialists to perform surveys over a period of ten years before the start of the scheme and early within the programme avoided significant disturbance and minimised tree clearance. Any trees removed were recycled on-site to form habitats.

Loch Ness Green Apple Award

A key goal for the project was minimising the carbon footprint and this was achieved by maximising sustainable construction and protecting the natural heritage of the site. The project team minimised land-take and route alignment and employed pollution prevention controls. This increased the sustainability awareness of the project team and supply chain through in-house environmental training by the ESD environmental team. Environmental mitigation methods included minimising the export of spoil from the site, with suitable excavated materials used as structural fill. Reducing construction traffic to reduce CO2 emissions was a key topic raised during community events prior to commencement.

Community engagement with residents and businesses was essential. The programme was adjusted and work was completed outside high-peak tourist season. Correspondence was sent to the community and noticeboards were erected informing walkers of phasing and route closures on the Great Glen Way. A shuttle minibus was provided at the closed sections to transport walkers during the work.

We are thrilled that the environmental protection, best practice and community engagement that was undertaken in one of the most environmentally sensitive and visited areas in northern Scotland has been recognised.

About Binnies

At Binnies, we create new possibilities for humanity through our innovative approach to delivery. Backed by a culture that has stayed true since the company’s founding over 100 years ago, Binnies develops intelligent water and environmental solutions using a whole-life-cycle approach to deliver functional infrastructure and lasting environmental and social legacies. We strive to elevate the quality of life for our local communities today and for generations to come.

Binnies is an RSK group company and was formerly part of Black & Veatch.

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About the RSK group (RSK)

RSK is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services group made up of over 100 businesses. The group is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has an established presence in more than 40 countries around the world.

For over 30 years, RSK has been helping organisations realise their business goals efficiently, cost-effectively and with the minimum environmental and social impact. We deliver practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time. As a client-focused business, our services are constantly evolving to directly respond to or pre-empt global conditions and legislative drivers.

Visit www.rskgroup.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as we continue to forge a stronger future together.

Media contact

Binnies UK

Angela Collins Tel: +44 (0)1737 856399 | Mobile: +44 (0)7391 639733 | Email: collinsa@binnies.com