Setting the Standard at the University of Cambridge

1st Jun 2018

Work is progressing to plan on the exciting but complex sports development project we’re undertaking for the University of Cambridge at its Wilberforce Road Sports Ground. This features the design and construction of two full size floodlit sand-dressed hockey turf pitches to International Hockey Federation (FIH) National Performance Standard. S&C Slatter is of course an FIH Certified Field Builder.

The University is acknowledged for its excellence in education, learning and research. However, it also has an illustrious sporting tradition with some of the World’s leading sports stars having studied and played at what is a leading national centre for student sport. These include Michael Atherton, Emma Pooley and many Olympians and Paralympians.

Part of our initial brief was to facilitate an intensive archaeological investigation of a Roman Farmstead believed to be present within the site. With this successfully completed and a good deal of useful information secured by the researchers, we have now moved onto creating the construction formation level and introducing the drainage systems.

A Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) is part of the drainage solution; designed to store below ground a 100-year return period storm event with an allowance of 40% for climate change impact within a slender permeable sub-layer.

The sports ground is actually within an established residential area creating limitations on access, with our works entry point frequently crossed by high density cycle traffic. It’s therefore been essential for us to develop and implement a comprehensive and effective traffic management plan. For example, a significant reduction in the number of necessary vehicle movements has resulted from the construction design solution created by us to maximise the amount of excavated materials retained on site and not requiring off-site transportation and disposal.

This necessitates us engaging in a major on-site earth modelling and profiling process, together with the introduction of ground stabilisation techniques and applications. However, this is well within the competency of our in-house civil engineering team who are highly experienced in meeting such challenges and well-resourced with our own fleet of advanced specification construction equipment.

Our project team is led by Pre-Construction Manager Ben O’Connor and Contracts Manager Peter Fowler. Dave Wills is the Site Supervisor. Together they are responsible for delivering this high profile, full design & construction project which in addition to the sports pitches and immediate infrastructure also includes the provision of car parking and a new electrical supply and sub-station.