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Swindon Master Planning Case Study Report

BEM Services were approached by a developer that was looking to convert a large piece of land to the North of the M4 close to Swindon. The vision was to turn the greenfield site into 1100 houses, a school and approximately 20 industrial and retail buildings, creating around 2000 jobs. The plans were at the very early stages and very little was known about the gas and water services however it was known that two fuel pipelines ran across the area.

Our remit was to ascertain, for gas and water services, the extent of the existing local infrastructure, determine the expected usage for the site and propose possible distribution routes. Once this was done we had to develop an initial programme of works and provide an estimated cost for the installations.

Initially we took the estimated numbers of buildings and dwellings and calculated out the expected levels of demand for gas and water. We had to consider elements such as the expected use of solar panels and the possible types of businesses that would occupy the buildings. We also considered the expected increased efficiency of new gas boilers. For example a manufacturing businesses would use more water than an office.

Next we contacted the local water and gas utility companies to get information on the existing infrastructure, including details such as pipe sizes, regulator capacities and flow rates. These maps covered whole towns and villages so that we could get a good perspective on where the supplies came from and went to. The existing information was good and allowed us to develop our initial thoughts on distribution routes and possible connection points. Further liaison with the utilities companies allowed us to determine storage capacities in the area as the development was so large is could massively affect the water levels in the nearby reservoir.

With the research phase complete and having a good understanding of the local infrastructure proposed routes and connection points were drawn up. To do this we had to consider disruption to the local community already living in the area and possible expansion to the site we were looking at.

With the routes determined we could then calculate out the expected project costs and develop the delivery programme using industry wide knowledge and estimated costs provided by the utilities companies. As expected the duration of works spread to a whole year and the costs went into the multi-million pound region. The final report was delivered to the client on time and with a great deal of supporting documentation however it is understood that the project is currently on hold.