Southdowns is acting as specialist noise, vibration and air quality advisors on Sections C2 & C3 of Phase 1 of HS2, for the Main Works Civils Contractor EKFB JV (Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial, BAM Nuttall). This 80km long section of the Phase 1 route covers 15 viaducts, 6.9km of green tunnels, 22km of road diversions , 81 bridges and the movement of 30m cubic metres of spoil.
Building upon an initial contract to provide specialist technical consultancy on the project, Southdowns involvement has since expanded into the installation, management and maintenance of EKFB’s environmental monitoring systems.
Southdowns staff advise on Section 61 strategy, U&As, compliance with the Environmental Minimum Requirements (EMRs), the requirements of Information Paper E23 (which contains the project’s construction noise and vibration commitments), stakeholder engagement issues (including NI/TRH and Special Case status), HS2 monitoring requirements and other risk reduction aspects. Team members interface directly with HS2 representatives and are routinely involved in discussions with Local Authorities.
Southdowns staff play an active role in the development of the Section 61 strategy for the C2/C3 section, which spans over 5 separate sections and covers four Local Authority areas. Section 61 consent applications have been prepared for numerous critical works packages, including major piling works, bulk earthworks, batching plants, road re-alignments and construction of access roads. Many applications have included extended working hours in highly sensitive areas, requiring careful planning and early engagement with EHOs and other stakeholders. Southdowns has represented EKFB during proceedings for Section 61 appeals.
We are regularly lead on detailed engagement with regulatory authorities and provides input for the preparation of assessments and liaising with the beneficiaries of Special
Case provision, including highly acoustically sensitive assets close to the works.
Southdowns is responsible for carrying out detailed noise and vibration assessments for Special Cases, often requiring the research and development into appropriate and unique assessment criteria beyond the standardised approach adopted by the project elsewhere. Assessments have also been undertaken to assist the contractor in complying with Undertakings and Assurances (U&As) for unique receptors. Vibration and dust risk assessments for a heritage asset, with original stained glass panels have been completed, with unattended remote vibration monitoring now in place to manage the risk of building and stained glass damage.
Following prior involvement with a local special educational needs school, Southdowns has more recently acted as an intermediary for EKFB and the stakeholder to develop processes for the management of noise, including the development and deployment of a construction noise auralisation system for students, parents and Governors to use on campus.
We provide key input to dust management strategies and has undertaken numerous Dust Risk Assessments (DRAs) and dust monitoring surveys associated with construction activities. To date these have considered sensitive receptors including ecological receptors and historic property.
We are responsible for the preparation of monthly noise, vibration and air quality monitoring reports in accordance with HS2 standards and protocols. Staff have also coordinated and undertaken attended noise and vibration surveys and Best Practicable Means (BPM) audits across the project, assisting the contractor in closing out noise complaints and developing mitigation strategies.
The company also provides services to manage and maintain EKFB’s fleet of over 50 noise, dust and vibration monitors across the project.