VBA take home two awards at the Project Excellence Awards 2017

23rd June 2017

VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins, won two awards at the recent annual Project Excellence Awards 2017 under the WEM framework for the Environment Agency (EA).

During the annual flood and coast dinner at the annual Flood and Coast Conference in Telford, VBA won two awards; Cumbria and Lancashire asset management for their flood incident response team and the sustainable resource management award for their Dawlish Warren Beach management scheme.

The Cumbria and Lancashire project was submitted for its excellence in flood risk management, and defence measures during the flood incidents in 2015, following storm Desmond which continued into 2016. The main scope of works was to assist the EA in reducing the risk to life from flood events as well as supporting the operations teams in maintaining and repairing flood defences against future storms, all of which needed to be communicated to the public.

Stuart Newby, regional framework manager for VBA, said: “We are pleased to receive recognition for the excellent recovery operation we provided during the December floods and throughout 2016, and for all the hard work we put into aiding the affected communities. Well done to the site teams.”

The Dawlish Warren beach management scheme was submitted for consideration under the sustainable resource management award. The scheme consisted of a flood wall in the Dawlish sand spit which acts as a storm barrier, removal of 1.5km of gabions, construction works and dredging of 350,000m3 of sand to be placed on the beach. The scheme was also designated as a special area of conservation, and special protection area for bird assemblages, intertidal and sand dune habitats.

Paul Canning, principal coastal consultant for VBA, commented: “VBA are proud to have won two awards out of the three projects we submitted. The Dawlish scheme protected up to 3,000 properties and the overall regional infrastructure, which was a great achievement.”

Clare Dinnis, chair of the flood and coast conference advisory committee, said: “The judges were delighted to recognise the sustainable approach of working with natural processes to recharge the Dawlish Warren beach and the significant reduction in carbon footprint achieved by minimising hard engineering.

“Furthermore, the Cumbria and Lancashire project was an excellent example of working in partnership to manage assets during flooding incidents. The judges welcomed how this project helped to define ‘new ways of working’ with contractors – including how co-location activities freed up resources. These approaches to ‘being prepared’ could be easily replicated in other parts of the country.”

The annual Project Excellence Awards recognise projects that have shown a contribution to managing flood and coastal risk as well as building local resilience to flooding in the future. The awards were launched by the Environment Agency and announced at the Flood and Coast 2017 Conference which was held in Telford on 28-30 March 2017.