Completed in three phases in 162 weeks, Chettles Yard student accommodation centre sprawls over 10 acres and provided 1,063 student accommodation units also houses five retail units, a Magnet Showroom & Trade Centre, seven employment units, value supermarket chain Lidl, Greggs, Dominos Pizza and oriental fast-food outlet Wok & Go.
Chettles Yard student accommodation centre also features a number of green features in both colour and design. It includes biomass boilers and rainwater harvesting. BWB provided remediation advice to deal with a legacy of heavy historic contamination and also provided full design services for all the infrastructure works, flood risk assessment and alleviation design and structural design.
This former industrial site had been affected by leaking fuel tanks, spillage and deliberate disposal of oil, petrol and diesel which led to serious contamination of the underlying soils. The land was swamped in compounds which are toxic to the environment and human health and was therefore considered undevelopable.
Decontamination of the site began in February 2007 utilising bioremediation techniques. The environmentally 'kind' process used naturally occurring microbes to remove toxic chemicals from the soil with the pollutants acting as the microbes food source. The efficiency of the process was increased by installing a vacuum system to draw air through the soils in each treatment cell. As well as ensuring a healthy supply of oxygen for the microbes, the vacuum system controlled the emission of harmful vapours and odours which could have caused a nuisance to neighbouring residential areas.
The method resulted in the compounds being converted to harmless gases and water, making it an environmentally friendly way to treat land. It has also eradicated the need for over 4000 lorry trips, which would have been required to transport the soils to landfill, which cut pollution and congestion as well as unnecessary disruption to local residents. However, this approach was not only adopted because of its ecological benefits it also makes financial sense too. Land remediation at the site was extremely cost effective and offered the client real financial benefits. By cutting landfill tax from the project, contamination costs were slashed from £2.5 million to under £700,000.