‘Innovative’ Camber sea defence wins two engineering awards

Representatives from the Environment Agency, Team Van Oord and local dignitaries at the opening in May
Representatives from the Environment Agency, Team Van Oord and local dignitaries at the opening in May
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The £30m sea defence in Camber was described as ‘successful’ and ‘innovative’ after it claimed two prestigious engineering awards on Thursday (July 14).

The Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence Scheme opened in May after two years of construction to provide better protection to the village and surrounding area.

The Broomhill Sands team. Photo by Jo Saunders, courtesy of Environment Agency

The Broomhill Sands team. Photo by Jo Saunders, courtesy of Environment Agency

It won both the Award for Best Infrastructure and the Brassey Award for Engineering Excellence in Kent and East Sussex, at the Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) South East England Award Ceremony.

ICE South East England director Suzanne Moroney said: “The Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence Scheme is an exemplar of a successful, innovative coastal flood defence scheme, using the latest construction methods to provide the press protection to the region whilst delivering efficiency savings.

“The team should be incredibly proud of themselves. It is an achievement to win one award, but to win two is a truly significant accomplishment.”

The team behind the complex project received their awards at a glamorous reception at the Grand Brighton Hotel hosted by former Top Gear and Fifth Gear presenter Tiff Needell.

Broomhill Sands defence, which spans 2km from Camber to Lydd. Photo courtesy of Environment Agency

Broomhill Sands defence, which spans 2km from Camber to Lydd. Photo courtesy of Environment Agency

The scheme should protect 1,388 homes and over 100 businesses by increasing the standard of protection from 1 in 20 years to 1 in 200 years, allowing for predicted sea level rise.

The improvements include 1.8km of rock revetment and new concrete wave wall, 700m beach recharge and replacement of timber groynes plus improvements to the existing promenade including access ramps and steps.

Led by the Environment Agency and with contractors engineering firms Team Van Oord, Mott MacDonald, CH2M and Arcadis, the scheme included a number of innovations, many of which are ‘firsts’ for the UK and some even for the construction industry.

The team have reported more than £8.9m of efficiencies and was highlighted in a government cabinet briefing as an example of best practice regarding value during construction.

The ICE South East England Engineering Awards celebrate the very best civil engineering in the region.

At the awards ceremony, ICE president and National Infrastructure Commissioner Sir John Armitt presented the awards to recipients and gave a key note speech on the importance of infrastructure investment in the region.

Other winners on the evening included the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford, which claimed the Award for Best Use of Civil Engineering in a Building Project, Wokingham Rail Station and Link Road Re-Development which won the Urbanisation Award and Thorndell Viaduct, which scooped up three awards including the top South East England Engineering Excellence Award.

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