Consulting on a new centre for Public Health England
PHE Harlow is a £400-million capital expenditure programme to create a new state-of-the-art public health science campus and headquarters for Public Health England (PHE) in Harlow, Essex. The campus is critical for the future of PHE and will ensure that it will be able to use the latest scientific advances to deliver world-leading science and evidence on issues such as smoking, alcohol misuse, diabetes, dementia, infectious diseases, environmental hazards and the consequences of climate change, nationally and internationally.
The work involves building and refurbishing new and existing laboratories and office areas, and constructing a new arrivals area, a logistics centre and site-wide infrastructure. PHE’s current facilities in Porton and Colindale, and its Central London headquarters will relocate to the new location, which will become a centre of excellence for public health research and health improvement and protection. Leading UK construction company VolkerFitzpatrick has been appointed to deliver the site-wide infrastructure, external works and energy centre, and contracted RSK to provide ecological consultancy and contracting for the project.
Applying RSK’s ethos of providing clients with a one-stop shop for their needs, RSK Habitat Management worked closely with ADAS and RSK colleagues to provide a turnkey solution. This collaborative method ensured that RSK was able to meet the project’s tight programme and prevented any costly delays.
Initially, RSK Habitat Management carried out a preliminary ecological appraisal and consulted local records. This was followed by several ecological surveys: a detailed building inspection for evidence of roosting and foraging bats, a reptile survey in potential habitat areas and an extensive arboricultural survey on more than 297 tree features. As a part of this last survey a tree protection plan and a detailed arboricultural planning statement were also produced. Next, more than 21,803 m2 of light scrub was cleared to facilitate ground-penetrating radar, topographical and service investigation surveys, and more than 5125 m2 of dense scrub vegetation was felled and processed. A BREEAM report for appropriate wildlife enhancements was produced to fulfil the requirements for BREEAM credits LE03 and LE05.
During this work all the strict survey requirements were met without any delays to the work programme. The client felt that the work was of huge assistance on the project and expressed that they would not hesitate to contract RSK Habitat Management again.