Wales Cymru - project awards

Reservoir works, Wales

The annual ICE Wales Cymru Awards celebrates outstanding engineering achievement across the country. Civil engineering is about creating, improving and protecting the world in which we live.

ICE Wales Cymru arranges awards and competitions to promote the achievements of civil engineers in the region.

ICE Wales Cymru Project Awards include the George Gibby Award, Roy Edwards Award, Bill Ward Sustainability Award, Designed in Wales Award, Studies and Research Award, and the Emerging Engineers Award.

2017 Awards

The 2017 Awards Ceremony will be held at the Marriott Hotel, Cardiff on Friday 16th June and will be hosted by ICE Wales Cymru Chairman, Mr. Stephen Lawrence, and our VIP Guest will be ICE President, Professor Tim Broyd.

Download the 2017 application pack

Download the 2017 entry form

We are happy to announce that the ICE Wales Cymru Sustainability Award has been re named from 2016 onwards to ICE Wales Cymru Bill Ward Sustainability Award to commemorate the longest activing serving Fellow in ICE Wales Cymru – Mr. Bill Ward CEng FICE.

2016 Awards Winners

Below is the list of project winners for their respective awards.

Please note: AOKOIP - Any Other Key Organisation Involved in the Project.

  • A465 Dualling Brynmawr to Tredegar

    A465 dualling

      Winner - George Gibby Award

      Client: Welsh Government
      Principal Designer: Arup
      Engineer: Arcadis LLP
      Principal Contractor: Carillion

    The A465 Heads of the Valleys trunk road provides a strategically important link between the Midlands and south west Wales. This latest phase of the dualling of the 7.8 km route between Brynmawr and Tredegar delivers first class modern infrastructure, provides safer and more reliable journeys and reduces community severance.

    The scheme consists of four junctions, eight bridges, cuttings up to 12 metres deep and retaining walls up to 28 metres high. It was carried out in challenging mountain top conditions, dealing with historic mine workings, rock blasting and the Welsh weather. The scheme was completed on time and under budget. The outline scheme required disposal of 750,000 m3 of surplus material. Through detailed consideration of the vertical alignment, junction provision and requirements for noise and visual mitigation this was reduced to a zero disposal scheme.

    The outline scheme provided a 170 metre long viaduct running in parallel with existing high voltage overhead cables. The team proposed an alternative earthworks solution with a 28 metre embankment and three tiers of reinforced earth on the north face. An 18 metre wide, 9 metre tall and 150 metre long precast concrete arch underpass takes a reservoir spillway and Welsh Water access road under the embankment.

    The scheme provided 790 jobs for Welsh residents, 86 New Entrants employed gained transferrable skills and qualifications, 155 weeks of work experience were provided and 30 apprenticeships were supported. Other community benefits included the provision of an off-line cycle track and extensive consultation with the public during the construction period.

    The judges were impressed with the design changes instigated by the project team. Very significant amendments to the outline design were identified and implemented. The consultation with the community was a very good example of co-operation. The training provided for local people was extensive in an area where job opportunities are limited. The scheme is notable for the application of value engineering and collaborative working.

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  • Welsh National Sailing Academy & Events Centre

    Welsh national sailing acadamy

      Winner - Bill Ward Sustainability Award

      Client: Gwynedd Council
      Principal Designer: Ellis Williams Architects Ltd.
      Engineer: YGC, Gwynedd Council
      Principal Contractor: Wynne Construction

    As a centre of excellence for sail training, the Academy and Events Centre has been designed as a state of the art facility for sailors at all levels of competence and ability. In addition to the hosting of dinghy events of national and international standard the facilities will also cater for keelboat events, yachting regattas and other water sport activities.

    The development consists of three elements; new road and infrastructure, marina extension and the iconic Academy Building. The £13 million vision budget for the project had to be reduced to meet the £8.9 million budget. The main building design was changed from concrete frame to steel frame which also allowed a change in foundations from piled to pad footings without losing the main features of the building. Beyond the building line a reinforced earth solution was developed for the ramped approaches to the terrace level. This transformed the rock fill gabions from merely cladding to part of the structural solution with a further cost saving.

    The marine works consisted of both a maintenance dredge and a capital dredge. Dredge material was retained on site either as a beach recharge material or used in a reclamation area for future wild life enhancements. Dredging was by cutter suction dredger pumping material ashore. Close co-operation was required with the Harbour Master to move boats to enable the dredging operation to be completed. An 80 metre long new quay wall was constructed using steel sheet piles and an in-situ RC capping beam. New pontoons were provided and with a link span bridge provided access.

    The project delivered large benefits for the community. The improved facilities for major sailing events will bring investment into the town. The main building provides restaurant and bar facilities both for local people and those using the adjacent beach.

    The judges commended the work carried to deliver the project for some 65% of the original vision budget. All members of the team worked closely together to achieve this. The end result is a building totally fit for purpose and marina facilities that can be further expanded as financial pressures permit.

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  • Pont Briwet Transportation Improvement Project

    Pont Briwet Transportation Improvement Project

      Winner - Innovation Award

      Client: Gwynedd Council
      Principal Designer: Hewson Consulting Engineers
      Principal Contractor: Hochtief (UK) Construction Ltd.
      AOKOIP: Network Rai

    Pont Briwet Transportation scheme is a £16.5 million rail and highway upgrade including the Pont Briwet viaduct over the Dwyryd estuary in Gwynedd. The new viaduct replaces a Grade 2 listed timber structure carrying a single track railway and a single lane toll road. Originally constructed in the 1860s it required a major costly intervention to extend its life span. Speed restrictions of 20mph were imposed on both road and rail traffic.

    The viaduct is a pioneering bridge solution as the longest fully integrated road/rail viaduct in the UK. While the actual decks for road and rail are separate they are carried on precast concrete cross beams. The cross heads are "boat" shaped to reflect the maritime environment. They were cast in two parts and joined on site. The main deck spans are also precast thus reducing the need for temporary works at the crossing.

    Services are carried in the space between the road and rail and are hidden, but immediately accessible. Coastal protection of the road and rail embankments either side of the bridge was engineered to avoid the use of extensive sheet steel piling, preferring instead to adopt flexible and energy absorbing rock armoured slopes.

    A rail halt, again using precast concrete for the majority of the work was constructed on the south side of the bridge and the approach roads on both sides were widened and improved. The scheme required the closure of the road during construction and settlement of the timber viaduct during the works required closure of the railway for some 12 months. Extensive consultation was carried out with a large number of regulatory bodies and with the public.

    The judges liked the way in which the scheme fitted into the environment. The use of precast concrete for the majority of the structure resulted in a quicker and safer construction period and the rock armour protection was totally in sympathy with the marine environment. The removal of single carriageway working and traffic lights has significantly improved the traffic capacity on an important tourist route.

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  • Project Riverside

    Project Riverside

      Winner - Chairman's Award for Urban Regeneration

      Client: Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
      Principal Designer: Tony Gee & Partners
      Engineer: Mott MacDonald
      Principal Contractor: Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd.
      AOKOIP: Capita

    Project Riverside is a major regeneration project by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council that has been developed to reinvigorate, refresh and renew the local communities of Merthyr Vale and Aberfan. The site covers the area of the former Merthyr Vale Colliery.

    The project provides an improved single carriageway on a raised flood defence embankment to protect new development along the valley floor with road and footbridges enabling access for both housing development and educational uses. The project is intended to allow the villages of Merthyr Vale and Aberfan to have an element of closure on the past and the tragedy at Aberfan 50 years ago.

    Significant design changes were made during the project. The road bridge across the Taff was increased in span to avoid the need for foundation work in the river. Similarly, the footbridge span was also increased in response to the flood consequences assessment and the need to build in winter. These changes allowed construction work to start during the fish spawning embargo period and ensured the work was completed 3 months ahead of schedule.

    The road embankment requires 40,000T of material which included 15,000T of recycled soils and 5,000T of clay brought from another of the Key Contractor Organisation's site. 99% of all construction waste was diverted from landfill. The scheme provides 1 in 1000 year flood protection for new housing development as well as protecting existing housing. The scheme connects both the future development area and the new Ynysowen Primary School.

    Extensive community benefits were provided during the scheme including the refurbishment of a church hall, the launch of a Christmas Fayre, a new memorial to the Merthyr Vale Colliery with the Miners wheel and a life sized miner carved in wood.

    The judges were impressed with the vision of the scheme to support redevelopment of an old mining community. The scheme opens up a considerable area for redevelopment and there is already interest expressed by housing developers.

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  • Harlech Castle Visitor Centre and Footbridge

    Harlech Castle Visitor Centre and Footbridge

      Winner - George Gibby Heritage Award

      Client: Cadw
      Key Design Organisation: Mott MacDonald, EPT Partnership
      Engineer/Project Manager: Mott MacDonald
      Key Contractor Organisation: R.L. Davies & Son Ltd.
      AOKOIP: SHStructures Ltd., David Dexter Associates, Jacobs UK

    Harlech Castle is one of the finest surviving 13th Century castles in Britain and one of the most sophisticated and innovative examples of military engineering in Europe. It is a Grade 1 Listed Building, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and also part of a World Heritage Site.

    CADW had purchased the Castle Hotel opposite the castle with the vision to turn it into a new visitor centre with new luxury apartments, and connect it to the castle via a new "floating" bridge. Prior to the scheme access to the castle was via a series of timber steps and there had been no level access of any kind, required for mobility impaired visitors, for approximately 6 centuries.

    The 140 year old hotel was refurbished to provide apartments and extended to provide a new visitor centre. The extension utilised timber glulam frames, Eco trusses and traditional steel work. The centre has a green roof to blend into the natural environment.

    The footbridge providing level access to the castle sits low in the landscape to allow views over the adjoining countryside. It follows the line of the old draw-bridge across the moat. The steel footbridge was constructed in three sections and transported through the narrow street of Harlech.

    The 46 metre bridge is an underslung triangular Vierendeel truss tapering in elevation and braced diagonally in the deck's plane. The three spans are angled relative to each other and the deck is formed of Ekki timber planks. Due to the changing levels in the moat each footbridge support is of a different design. The opportunity was also taken to provide services to the castle which had previously not been available.

    The judges commented on the attention to quality and detail in the refurbishment of the hotel and the provision of the new visitor centre. The bridge shows how a modern structure can be successfully "married" to an ancient monument without dominating the monument. The project is notable for the quality of its design and construction. Great care has been taken to blend "new" with "old" and careful consideration has been given to the needs and expectations of the local community.

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  • Chainbridge Restoration Work

    Chainbridge Restoration Work

      Winner - Roy Edwards Heritage Award

      Client: Llangollen Town Council
      Principal Designer & Engineer: Ramboll UK Ltd.
      Principal Contractor: Shemec Ltd.

    Llantysilio Chainbridge, originally built in 1817 to link the Llangollen Canal and the A5 London to Holyhead road, was replaced in 1876 as the original structure was considered beyond repair.

    However, when the majority of the replacement was washed away by severe flooding in 1928 (although the supporting chains survived) Sir Henry Robinson decided to rebuild the bridge along the lines of the Menai Suspension bridge. It was closed in the 1980s due to its dangerous state of repair.

    The bridge - which carries a footpath across the River Dee between Berwyn Station and the Chainbridge Hotel - is in a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation, World Heritage Site and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. When Llangollen Town Council decided to restore the bridge a 3D non-linear analysis showed the existing structure was incapable of carrying pedestrian loading however, the structure was re-analysed assuming it had been repaired and showed that the bridge could carry pedestrian loading assuming numbers on the bridge were restricted to ten people.

    Restoration work involved restoring and repairing each iron element and providing a new timber decking. Each metal element was stripped back to bare metal and recoated with a flexible epoxy paint system in workshop conditions. Where wrought iron elements were beyond repair new identical elements were fabricated in mild steel. Dismantling and reconstruction of the bridge were carried out using rope access over the river span with a scaffold erected over the dry span and a separate scaffold over the hotel and the canal.

    The judges were impressed that the lead for the project was taken by the Town Council supported by Llantisilio Community Council with Heritage Lottery funding the majority of the cost along with locally raised funds. The economic benefit to local business is already evident and work is in progress to increase the tourist benefits provided by the new bridge. The refurbishment is a very good example of what can be achieved with the right vision and the co-operation between all parties involved.

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  • Rhiwbina Flood Defence Scheme

    Rhiwbina Flood Defence Scheme

      Winner - Roy Edwards Award

      Client: City of Cardiff Council
      Principal Designer & Engineer: Mott MacDonald
      Principal Contractor: Raymond Brown Construction Ltd.
      AOKOIP: Edenvale Young Associates

    The Rhiwbina Flood Defence Scheme is an environmentally-sensitive project which set out to manage flooding and provide protection from major fluvial flooding from the Whitchurch Brook in Rhiwbina.

    The scheme is designed to contain fluvial flooding up to a 1 in 100 year event (plus an allowance for climate change) and increase capacity and flow within the brook, enabling surplus flow to be attenuated off-line and away from residential areas. The scheme aimed to reduce risk of flooding to the local area to reduce downstream detriment and reduce visual impact in the community.

    Use of 3D information technology and hydraulic flood modelling enabled the design to concentrate on seven distinct works areas along a 2 km section of the brook. A variety of remedial measures were adopted including bank raising in very restricted areas between gardens, micro-piling techniques to retain a long established hawthorn hedge, coir rolls and green screens to widen the water course where possible and an attenuation pond with an adjustable side intake weir. A three stage pumping solution coped with the 600l/s peak winter flow.

    The works were carried out following extensive consultation with the public and designs were changed to meet the aspirations of individual property owners for future use of their gardens.

    The judges commented on the way in which the scheme addressed the sensitive environmental considerations. Only in limited areas were "hard" solutions adopted. The co-operation with individuals was noted. Liaison with property and landowners was exceptional.

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  • Thorndell Viaduct Reconstruction, West Sussex

    Thorndell Viaduct Reconstruction, West Sussex

      Winner - Designed in Wales Award

      Client: Network Rail
      Principal Designer & Engineer: Cass Hayward LLP
      Principal Contractor: BAM Nuttall

    The Thorndell Viaduct lies on the River Arun Floodplain in West Sussex and was constructed in 1863. The cast iron beam and cast iron column structure required reconstruction due to the limited life of the piers.

    Access to the construction site was severely limited and was across the floodplain, interlaced with shallow drainage channels and flood bunds. Network Rail required minimum disruption to the existing railway and a four day possession was arranged.

    The scheme required a solution that would enable a new viaduct to be constructed alongside the existing structure, but utilising only small spans, small components and plant and discounted schemes with long steel spans requiring large cranes. Limited headroom also precluded piling under the existing structure.

    The solution adopted was to utilise 58 small diameter piles each side of and parallel to the railway and outside the footprint of the existing viaduct. Continuous pile cap beams could be constructed independently of, and on both sides of, the railway with interconnecting transverse concrete beams under each pier location to form a piled grillage foundation.

    The main bridge deck was constructed of precast concrete beams and installed during the possession using SPMTs, multiwheeled trailer units hydraulically coupled to transport heavy objects and distributing the weight to equalise pressure on all wheels.

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  • Malera Borehole Refurbishment Scheme, Uganda

    Malera Borehole Refurbishment Scheme, Uganda

      Winner - Chairman's Award for "Making a difference"

      Client: Mbale Coalition Against Poverty
      Principal Designer, Engineer & Principal Contractor: Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD)
      AOKOIP: Innovation Africa Ltd.

    The Malera district is one of the poorest in Uganda and suffers from regular flooding, drought and urban drift to the slums of Mbale. Engineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) was asked by the local community to refurbish and improve a borehole to provide a sustainable water supply for the community.

    Scoping studies of 10 boreholes showed the Kobaale borehole offered the best options for refurbishment and pumping test showed the borehole could deliver up to 6000 litres/hour. The original borehole had a diesel pump which was no longer operational and water had to be hand pumped. Two 20,000 litre storage tanks were required to serve a community of 200 people and two troughs for 5000 local cattle.

    A number of options were considered for the tanks including corrugated galvanised steel, locally manufactured plastic and circular structures constructed of blocks made from the local marram and cement which had been used on other EFOD schemes.

    The chosen solution was local plastic due to the cost of corrugated steel and the difficulty of ensuring the water tightness of the marram block structures. Diesel pumping was ruled out on cost and maintenance grounds and solar powered pumps and lights were installed by Innovation Africa Ltd. The total budget for the project was £31,250.

    The judges liked the way in which EFOD approached the project, they were aware of the difficulties of maintaining plant and equipment in remote rural communities and evolved a scheme which answered all the requirements of the community, despite the difficulties of working in an unfamiliar and unforgiving environment.

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  • Materials for Life (M4L): Biomimetic multi-scale damage immunity for construction materials

    Materials for Life (M4L): Biomimetic multi-scale damage immunity for construction materials

      Winner - Studies & Research Award

      Client: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
      AOKOIP: Costain; University of Cambridge; University of Bath, Cardiff University

    The Materials for Life (M4L) project team have developed a multi-scale self-healing system in concrete using a range of inter-disciplinary technologies. The EPSRC project is a collaboration between Cardiff University, the University of Cambridge and the University of Bath.

    The project has investigated individual and combined healing techniques in the laboratory and at the field-scale. The individual healing techniques address damage at various lengths and timescales. These include encapsulating healing agents, bacterial healing agents, crack closure using shape memory polymer tendons and repeated supply of healing agents through vascular networks.

    Amalgamating these techniques to form a multi-scale healing system has shown to improve the overall healing efficiency with respect to strength recovery. Costain has built a full scale concrete structure in South Wales which includes five wall panels incorporating different combinations of self-healing techniques. This project has been an important step in evaluating the feasibility of self-healing concrete.

    The judges were intrigued by the approach of the team. While specific uses of the technique have not yet been established future research may well result in useful methods of reducing deterioration of concrete in the future.

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