Abbey Pynford Finalists for GE Awards 2018

On 6th June 2018, Abbey Pynford were the proud finalists at the Ground Engineering Awards 2018 for the prestigious ‘Geotechnical Value of up to £1M’ award.

Situated at the London Hilton, Park Lane, the event acknowledged some of biggest industry leaders and innovators. This year was of particular importance, as it was the 10th anniversary for the ceremony.

Claire Smith, editor of Ground Engineering said:

“The GE Awards is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and every year the industry has demonstrated that however tight the budget and competitive the market, it can still deliver award-winning innovation, technical expertise and value engineering – and this year is no exception”.

The ‘Geotechnical Value of up to £1M’ award is designed to celebrate a ground engineering contract that’s stood above the rest for its innovation, sustainability, health and safety and of course quality.

Each entrant had to demonstrate the measures that were taken for their project to ensure it exceeded the intended standard.

Congratulations to all the winners!

30th Birthday Celebrations

Last month we were lucky to have great weather to celebrate 30 years since Abbey Pynford was formed with a Family Fun Day.

A fantastic time was had by all with bouncy castles, tug of war, BBQ and face painting!

John Patch, our Sales & Marketing director said “Much has been achieved in the first 30 years and there is much more to achieve in the next 30. Talent and commitment abound within the Company; there is no doubt that the business will grow and will extend its position as a leader in Engineered Foundations.”

Getting Out of the Ground on Brownfield Sites

While it’s easier to build on greenfield sites, the shrinking natural environment has pushed more conscientious developers into the use of brownfield sites. Additional complications can cause the cost and difficulty to ratchet up as the contaminated land requires specialist skills to reclaim. But with the proper techniques, brownfield land can be converted into a viable commercial or residential property with relative ease.

The prime issue with brownfield land is that it will inevitably be contaminated in some way. Either because building work previously existed and is now derelict, the land is in a heavily built up area or the site’s prior use was one that lead to damage to the ground and the project is now based in restoration.

Firstly, it has to be established whether or not the contamination of the land constitutes a danger. Some examples of sites that have potentially hazardous contamination include former factories, mines, steelworks and landfills. The onus for whether a land is contaminated lies with the local authority. If it is found that the land is contaminated then developers will have to liaise with the Environment Agency, who will advise whether or not an environmental permit is needed. They are also likely to offer advice on how to best overcome any specific difficulties.

Once the site is cleared for development, it’s important that the building work is tailored for the unique challenges of the land. A good example is the foundation, the most important initial step in construction. Being previously built upon, the ground conditions of a Brownfield site may be challenging – particularly if the site was a former landfill or quarry. This can make excavation impossible.

In these cases, it’s worth considering different foundation options, such as raft foundations.

There are two types of raft foundations, Housedeck and Comdeck, the main difference being their focus on residential (Housedeck) or commercial (Comdeck) use. Raft foundations are suitable for brownfield sites of all types. They do not require trenches, are usually quicker to complete, and are more robust than a traditional foundation. They also have the added benefit of generally having a reduced carbon footprint.

Once a solid foundation has been established the rest of the build should be straight forward, provided the brownfield site in question has no further restrictions. Developers should remember to check whether the site’s location will have any restrictions on appearance and whether or not it will inhibit construction. For example, a lot of brownfield sites are in urban centres. While the location is good for both commercial and residential properties, it may inhibit your ability to use certain tools.

There are a few hurdles for brownfield developments, but the lowered environmental impact and the sheer utility of the location can make the construction very worthwhile.

Our Commitment to Health & Safety

The construction industry is a high risk working environment, with a high potential for serious accidents and injuries. Workers are exposed to many potential hazards, with some of the most common being:

  • Falling from height
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Exposure to dangerous substances
  • Electrocution
  • Loss of hearing
  • Struck by moving object

Many construction site accidents can result in serious injury or even be fatal. According to research by HSE Gov, the rate of fatal injury in construction is four times higher than the rate across other industries, with 30 fatalities recorded last year in total.

With figures this high, it’s clear the construction industry is falling behind in healthy and safety regulations.

At Abbey Pynford, we are striving to become the most respected Design and Build Foundation Engineering Contractor in the UK by continually improving our health and safety compliance.

In fact, our integrated management system has earned us certifications for OHSAS18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO9001 (Quality Management Systems). Our employees are always in the safest environment possible.

It is our moral responsibility to protect the lives of our employees, both on and off-site; meaning we are devoted to:

  • Encouraging employees and sub-contractors to work collaboratively on establishing and maintaining safe working conditions.
  • Complying with health & safety regulations, codes of practice and British Standards.
  • Ensuring managers provide on-going training and expert advice on health & safety in the working environment.

In April this year, we were also awarded a prestigious Gold Award in the RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health and Safety Awards – an internationally-renowned ceremony that is focused on acknowledging achievements in health and safety management, both in leadership and the workforce.

This recognises our continuous dedication to guaranteeing our workforce remain unharmed throughout the working day, allowing them to return home safely.

Adrian O’Grady, our Managing Director said on the award: “We are delighted to be recognised for this award as it demonstrates our ongoing commitment and attention to Health, Safety and Welfare, which is integral to all we do. The diverse range of systems we offer have been developed with safety in mind; from safe systems of work for underpinning excavations to alleviating trenches on sites with our Housedeck system”.

We will be presented the award during a ceremony at ExCeL, London on Tuesday 19th June 2018.

If you would like to work with a company who puts the safety and satisfaction of its employees and customers first, please contact us to find out more.