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VAC UK establishes best practice with BAM

10th Feb 2022

VAC UK’s work with BAM Nuttall Ltd, for the Environment Agency at Hebden Bridge and Radcliffe & Redvales Flood Risk Management Schemes, is being held up as industry best practice, helping to reduce the risk of injury and delivering a 36% saving on costs.

Leading civil engineering contractor BAM is managing the excavation of more than 80 trial holes across the West Yorkshire town as part of the vital project to improve the town’s flood defences.

The trial holes will be used to confirm service locations previously identified via desk top studies, statutory service provider drawings and GPR surveys.

The versatility of vacuum excavation (vac ex) really came into its own as the BAM and VAC UK teams had to negotiate a variety of challenges including overhanging branches; very tight working spaces; a limited time to find services; narrow streets with on street resident parking; and the need to minimise the impact on residents, businesses and visitors.

Using vac ex meant it was possible to deploy quickly, reduce the size of excavations and to almost eliminate the chance of a service strike.

The VAC UK team also used an extension hose to reach several of the inspection locations that were difficult to access.

BAM’s careful time and resource planning improved efficiency and meant that it was possible to limit deployment of the machines – typically to a couple of days per week – reducing disruption to traffic and the community.

Steve Hamer of BAM Nuttall Ltd said: “Using this approach over the conventional method of hand excavation reduces risks hugely, where services would definitely have been damaged at a huge cost and would have carried the threat of injury, reputational damage and impact on the local community.”

“We’ve taken the opportunity to draw on our approach at both Hebden Bridge and Radcliffe & Redvales FRMS to set new standards for good practice.”


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