Broomhill Sands Scheme Wins Project Excellence Award

The £30 million Broomhill Sands Coastal Defense Scheme, delivered by Team Van Oord, has been named a winner in the 2016 Environment Agency Project Excellence Awards.

The Project Excellence Awards recognize work undertaken by the Environment Agency and its partners. Broomhill Sands has been named winner of the ‘Innovation’ category.

For 2016 there were 60 individual projects entered across the seven categories, making a total of 96 submissions. A pre-selection panel shortlisted three projects in each category for further judging.

As well as wining the Innovation category, Broomhill Sands was also shortlisted in two other categories: ‘Program and Project Delivery’ and ‘Efficiency’. Broomhill Sands also won the 2016 Environment Agency Exemplar Award which is presented annually to recognize outstanding health, safety and environmental performance.

Located at Camber Sands in East Sussex, the Broomhill Sands scheme provides improved protection from the risk of flooding for around 1,400 homes and more than 100 businesses.

The works extend across 2.5m of beach and include: a 1.8km length of rock revetment requiring 265,000 tonne of rock armor and a new concrete wave wall; recharging 700m of shingle beach and replacing the existing timber groynes; and widening and improving the existing access way along the top of the sea defenses, including pedestrian access steps and ramps down to the beach.

The Broomhill Sands team led on a number of innovations which are ‘firsts’ for the Environment Agency, the UK and even in some instances for the construction industry itself.

Broomhill Sands

The scheme features groyne planks made from recycled plastic and a long-term trial has been set up to monitor the success of this. The use of recycled plastic in this way has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of sea defense projects.

There is currently no industry guidance relating to the safety of the public and coastal rock armor structures. To address this, the Broomhill Sands team developed a technical specification that covers void ratio, rock interlocking, panel densities and rock sizes. They also developed the concept of a ‘welcoming void’ and created pathways up from the beach in a bid to deter the public from climbing onto the rock revetment.

Maurits den Broeder, Chairman of Team Van Oord, said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved with delivering this fantastic scheme. In making this award, the Environment Agency has recognized the project team’s outstanding efforts to break new ground and pioneer new solutions.”

The Broomhill Sands team will receive its Project Excellent Award at a ceremony hosted by the Environment Agency on 24 February.