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Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Engineering Sustainability 159 September 2006 Issue ES3 Pages 109116 Paper

14321 Received 01/07/2005 Accepted 05/04/2006 Keywords: land reclamation/recycling of materials/waste management & disposal Jonathan Dunlop Civil Engineer, DFP Central Procurement Directorate, Belfast, UK

Sustainable regeneration of former Mackies site, Belfast


J. Dunlop MSc
Waste minimisation, recycling and environmental protection are becoming increasingly important in todays construction industry. Facilities for waste disposal have limited capacity and the availability of natural resources is depleting. This paper considers the sustainable redevelopment of a brown eld industrial site and identies signicant cost savings to the client during design development and construction. Techniques adopted during the construction phase of the scheme included the on-site crushing of existing concrete structures for reuse and the bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils in windrows. Soils containing heavy metals were contained on site and groundwater contaminated with solvents was treated on site. The treatment and reuse of materials on site proved very successful and also reduced the requirement for waste disposal to landll. The wildlife environment of the area was maintained and enhanced with the retention of a main badger sett within the site boundary, the creation of landscaped areas and control of Japanese knotweed. The project is being assessed for a CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental Quality) Whole Project Award. 1.1. History The former Mackies site has a history of extensive industrial activity since the late 1800s, including brick works (and associated excavations), glass production, aircraft and munitions manufacture and foundries. During the 1990s, Mackie International had become a major employer in West Belfast. President Clinton paid an historic visit to the factory in 1995 and commended the work of the management in promoting fair employment and integration within the local community. Unfortunately, the business did not prosper as envisaged and subsequently closed in 1999. The Industrial Development Board (IDB) purchased the site in 2001 and also inherited the expectation of the community for the redevelopment of the now derelict factory buildings and the provision of employment.

1.2. Development concept The IDB commissioned the preparation of a master plan for the site, with the main objectives of the brief being (a) to make provision for a modern business park with potential employment for over 1000 people (b) to take into account the proposed Springvale Educational Village and the promotion of mutual objectives, business and employment opportunities (c) to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and enhance the landscape amenity and wildlife opportunities within the site. A multi-discipline team produced a master plan for the development. The group recommended the provision of a variety of employment enterprises ranging from business incubator units through standard industrial units to ofce-based information and computer technology units, all placed within a high-quality, clean and modern working environment. This proposal would meet the planning requirements of the area and satisfy the recommendations made by the West Belfast and Greater Shankill task forces and local action groups in the community. Due to the location of the site on the Belfast peaceline, early consultation with the local community was considered essential, with equal access for both sections of the community being provided. 1.3. Geotechnical investigations A detailed geotechnical investigation of the site identied that the subsoil properties comprised weathered mercia mudstone, Dunlop 109

1. INTRODUCTION The redevelopment of the former Mackies complex and the measures taken to ensure the development is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable are detailed in this paper. The 8 ha site is owned by Invest Northern Ireland and is located off the Springeld Road, approximately 2.5 km from Belfast city centre. Fig. 1 shows the site before redevelopment commenced. The site is bounded to the west by the steeply sloping banks of the Forth River, to the north by an area of derelict ground, to the east by Woodvale Park and to the south by residential housing. Although the site is located within residential West Belfast, the lands around the perimeter of the site present ideal conditions for wildlife habitats. One of the major objectives of the design was to maximise the reuse and recycling of materials on the site, in addition to minimising trafc disruption in the surrounding residential areas during construction. Engineering Sustainability 159 Issue ES3

Sustainable regeneration of former Mackies site, Belfast

Fig. 1. Photograph of site before redevelopment

overlain in areas by ll material from previous industrial activities on the site. The ll material varied in composition and depth across the majority of the site and comprised demolition rubble, foundry ash, soot, clay, sand, gravel and quarry aggregate. Sherwood sandstone, which is a regionally important aquifer, underlies the mudstone at depth. Fig. 2 shows a typical cross-section through the site.

high-risk areas. A total of 38 trial pits were excavated and 17 boreholes installed on the site. The Phase 2 investigation summarised the contamination on the site as follows (a) total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) soil contamination, especially around the area of oil storage (b) chlorinated solvent contamination of shallow groundwater (c) dispersed heavy metal, TPH and minor asbestos contamination of ll materials. A remediation strategy for the site was then produced to provide a site suitable for industrial development. Further site investigations were conducted to delineate the extent of the contamination. The extent of TPH-contaminated soils was less than anticipated from the Phase 2 investigation.

1.4. Contamination investigations The contamination investigation started with a Phase 1 environmental desk study to assess potential sources of contamination associated with current and historical land usage. This study indicated that the site presented a high environmental risk as a result of its varied historical use. A Phase 2 intrusive investigation was therefore carried out, targeting the identied

Fig. 2. Typical cross-section through the site (y scale exaggerated)

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The contaminated groundwater was found to contain the following solvents (a) (b) (c) (d ) trichloroethene (TCE) at levels of 8189 mg/l cis-1,2-dichloroethene (c1,2-DCE) at levels of 83110 mg/l 1,1-dichloroethane (1,1-DCA) at levels of 258335 mg/l 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) at levels of 4959 mg/l.

treatment and also monitored the Forth River for contaminants during the site works. Whitemountain Civils Ltd was awarded both contracts through competitive tendering. Construction of Phase 1 commenced in October 2003, Phase 2 began in April 2004 and the site works were completed in June 2005.

The levels detected were conrmed to represent moderate contamination that could present a potential risk to construction workers if the perched water was encountered. The potential for vapour release into proposed buildings also posed a human health risk. TCE and its degradation products DCE and vinyl chloride were present. This suggested that natural degradation of these compounds was taking place in the subsurface.

2.1. Developing the master plan A number of changes to the site layout were considered during the development of the master plan. The extent of the site was adjusted along the western boundary to account for the unstable banks of the Forth River. A highly active main badger sett was located in the embankment on the eastern side of the site. Although, in certain circumstances, a license for the relocation of a badger sett can be obtained from the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS), it was considered preferable to adjust the site layout to accommodate the badgers. The road layout and nished site levels were also revised to balance the cut/ll quantities. The client was only willing to accept the changes to the layout if the available development area was maintained. This was successfully achieved to the satisfaction of the client. These changes from the original master plan layout avoided the need to culvert an additional section of the Forth River or to strengthen the banks of the ravine. The quantity of imported ll and the extent of retaining structures required were also reduced. Cost savings in excess of 750 000 were realised due to these amendments. Fig. 3 shows the nal proposed site layout. Queens University Belfast provided advice on the reuse of concrete and this work continued during the site works, with further research into the quality and value of aggregates obtained from recycled concrete. The research focused on the development of a method of predicting the quality and future use of crushed concrete aggregates from visual inspection and grading analysis.

2. SITE DEVELOPMENT Development of the site took place in a number of stages. In advance of the site works, an extensive downtaking project was undertaken in which all of the large factory buildings were carefully dismantled for reuse and recycling of the materials. Two of the buildings were sold directly for rebuilding; steel stanchions, cladding, cranes and other heavy lifting equipment were all carefully removed for reuse. The main site was developed in two phases with both projects being managed by the Department of Finance and Personnel, Central Procurement Directorate (CPD). Phase 1 (Springeld Road Entrance) involved the culverting of 150 m of the Forth River upstream of the Springeld Road, inlling of the ravine to accommodate a new signalised junction and entrance road, and the provision of associated infrastructure. The CPD was also appointed to develop the master plan through detailed design, planning, tender procurement and construction supervision as Phase 2 of the works. This paper focuses on the design and construction of Phase 2, the techniques applied to ensure the development was sustainable and the measures taken to protect and enhance the natural environment. The main works associated with Phase 2 of the development were (a) provision of a site access road and infrastructure (b) breaking out, crushing and reuse of existing concrete structures (c) earthworks to provide development sites (d ) excavation and reuse of the existing bituminous materials on site (e) on-site treatment of contamination ( f ) inclusion of a sustainable drainage system ( g) construction of timber crib walling to retain unstable embankments (h) erection of perimeter fencing (i) provision of services for future business and industrial development. Due to the contamination on the site, allowance was made in the contract documentation for the inclusion of an environmental consultant within the construction team, to give advice during the site works. Invest Northern Irelands Technical Advisory Unit provided advice on the works relating to the contamination Engineering Sustainability 159 Issue ES3

2.2. Reuse of concrete structures The contract required all the concrete oor slabs, underground concrete structures and foundations to be excavated, crushed and reused on site. More than 10 000 m3 of concrete structures were crushed, with all the resulting material being reused in the development as follows (a) (b) (c) (d ) 25% 20% 10% 45% behind the crib retaining wall as structural ll in road construction as capping material as ll to pipe trenches as general ll to form development plateaux.

Reinforcement from the concrete structures was removed during crushing, stockpiled and taken off site for recycling. The retention of the concrete on site had both nancial and environmental benets. Cost savings are estimated in the region of 125 000 in comparison to off-site concrete disposal and the import of an equivalent quantity of stone ll. Trafc movements through a residential area were also minimised, reducing nuisance, noise, exhaust emissions and dust pollution. Fig. 4 shows the concrete crushers in operation. Dunlop 111

Sustainable regeneration of former Mackies site, Belfast

Fig. 3. Final proposed site layout

2.3. Reuse of bituminous materials Approximately 1000 m of existing bituminous surfacing were excavated and crushed on site for reuse. The crushed material was placed and rolled in specic areas across the site to form a semi-impermeable capping over areas of low-level contamination prior to nal development and surfacing of the site. This reduced the potential for rainwater to percolate through the underlying material and leach contaminants into the Forth River.
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material located directly beneath the former oil storage tanks. Due to the low permeability of the underlying mudstone, vertical migration of the contaminants had been signicantly restricted. The TPH-contaminated material was excavated and placed in windrows for treatment on site. Windrows are used to reduce the concentrations of petroleum constituents in excavated soils through the use of biodegradation. The method involved placing the contaminated soils in uniform rows and stimulating aerobic microbial activity within the soils through aeration and the addition of nutrients. The enhanced microbial activity resulted in the degradation of adsorbed petroleum-product constituents through microbial respiration. Fig. 5 shows a photograph of the windrows being mechanically turned. A number of parameters contribute to the effectiveness of windrows. These include soil characteristics, constituent characteristics and climatic conditions. A series of tests were carried out to ensure adequate counts of naturally occurring micro-organisms were present in soils and to determine the nutrient content. These organisms require inorganic nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) to support cell growth and sustain the biodegradation process. Nutrients were added to the soils in the form of horse manure to maintain the required conditions. The windrows were covered with a polythene membrane to produce a controlled environment, maintain moisture content and eliminate leachate production. Frequent sampling of the windrows was carried out to monitor the rate of degradation.

2.4. Contamination treatment 2.4.1. Bioremediation of TPH-contaminated soils. Contamination of soils with TPH was conned to the area of ll

Fig. 4. Mobile concrete crushing plant

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Fig. 5. Total petroleum hydrocarbon treatment in windrows Approximately 250 m3 of contaminated soils were treated. TPH concentrations were reduced from . 9000 mg/kg to ,100 mg/kg over a three-month period. After treatment, the soils were considered suitable for reuse on the site. The cost of the treatment was comparable to the cost of off-site disposal and proved to be a successful example of reclamation of contaminated soils while avoiding the nuisance of transportation and disposal to our fast reducing landll sites. 2.4.2. Solvent treatment. Monitored natural attenuation was considered to be a possible treatment method of the solventcontaminated groundwater. Further groundwater samples were taken for analysis during the site works (eight months after previous sampling) to determine if natural degradation was occurring. The assessment concluded that only certain areas of the contaminated water had geochemical conditions amenable to the biological degradation of the chlorinated solvents. Pumped removal and on-site ltration was the method chosen for treating the solvent-contaminated groundwater. The groundwater was extracted via the previously installed boreholes and passed through an activated carbon lter to remove the solvents. Activated carbon operates through adsorption and this takes place due to the intramolecular attraction between the carbon surface and the substance that is being adsorbed. As the water passes over and through the carbon, the compounds that are the most attracted to the carbon are adsorbed onto its surface. The compounds that are the most highly attracted are Engineering Sustainability 159 Issue ES3 typically organic compounds, which can cause taste, odour and appearance problems. Examples of these compounds are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and halocarbons such as trihalomethane (THM) compounds. Validation sampling of the treated water was carried out before discharge to ensure complete removal of all the solvents and the spent lter media were disposed of in a licensed landll. Treatment of the groundwater took place over a number of months with minimal depletion of the water level. Excavation of the subsoils in the contaminated area revealed a recharging source of water from within the bedrock. Primary solvents were still being detected within the recharging water, and therefore further investigations were carried out to determine the potential source of the pollution. Several exploratory trial pits and trenches were opened across the site and groundwater containing solvents was detected at the northern boundary of the site. This was veried as being the source of the contamination on the site through isotopic testing of the solvent constituents. The adjacent landowner was informed of the situation and subsequently initiated a site investigation to determine the origin of the contamination. 2.4.3. Containment of contaminated foundry ash. During the removal of underground concrete tanks and foundations, an unexpected quantity of contaminated foundry ash was encountered. This necessitated an urgent reassessment of treatment options. Dunlop 113

Sustainable regeneration of former Mackies site, Belfast

The ash was tested and found to contain elevated concentrations of heavy metals. Cement stabilisation was chosen as a possible treatment method to enable on-site retention of the ash for reuse. Cement stabilisation is used to stabilise chemically and immobilise physically contaminants, to prevent leaching of contaminants and also to improve the engineering properties of the material for reuse. The excavated ash was screened to remove bricks and building rubble, and samples of the ash were taken for laboratory testing. Stabilisation of the ash with varying combinations of cement and binders was carried out with the leachability of the resulting material being tested. Unfortunately, the leachability of the heavy metals was not reduced through the stabilisation process. The contaminant concentrations within the ash were reassessed in terms of potential risk to the environment and human health. The material was considered suitable for retention on site if properly contained in a suitable location. The ash material was mixed with clay and placed against an existing embankment on the site. The material was capped with clay to reduce leachate production and landscaped. Again, this approach reduces transportation and disposal to landll compared to the traditional dig and dump techniques. Signicant cost savings in the region of 100 000 were realised from this sustainable approach to waste management.

buffer zone into which no machinery was to travel or work take place. The sett and badger activity in the area was monitored frequently by an environmental scientist. The proposed landscaping within the site is to include native planting to encourage and enhance wildlife habitats. Wildlife corridors within the development have been maintained and access for small animals through new fencing is provided. Fig. 6 shows a photograph of the site after redevelopment, prior to construction of the business units.

3.1. Storm water management system Urban drainage can increase ood risk in rivers by altering natural ow patterns. Rain water runoff from large areas of hard standing can produce sudden peak ows to the receiving watercourse. During storm conditions the accumulation of these discharges can cause downstream ooding if the drainage system is unable to handle the excess demand. Global warming is also adding to the problem with increased rainfall and storm intensity. Urban discharges are a major cause of surface water pollution. Surface drainage from roads, carparking and industrial sites is often contaminated with oils, sediments, rubber, chemicals and organic matter. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDSs) have been developed to address these problems, providing efcient solutions for storm water management. Typical examples of SuDS are the use of grass swales, retention/detention ponds, permeable pavements, inltration trenches and interceptors. A SuDS concept was adopted within this development. Additional retention was created within the storm sewers with the

3. ENVIRONMENT ENHANCEMENT The retention of the badger sett on the eastern boundary of the site was agreed with the EHS during the design stage. A temporary fence was erected around the sett to identify a

Fig. 6. Redeveloped site prior to construction of business units

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use of oversized pipework and a throttled discharge. Storm water is also passed through an interceptor for the removal of oils and sediments before discharge to the Forth River. The inclusion of a retention pond, which would also act as an amenity and wildlife habitat, was considered during the design stage, but due to the high demand for development land and the limited space available it was not considered viable. Future investors on the site will also be encouraged to include SuDSs in their development (e.g. the collection of rainwater from roofs for reuse). 3.2. Japanese knotweed Japanese knotweed was discovered on the western boundary of the site along the top of the Forth River ravine during the start of the site works. A detailed investigation of the site conrmed that the knotweed was present in large clumps along the Forth River valley and on adjacent lands. Knotweed grows in dense clumps or stands and has large oval green leaves and a hollow stem, similar to bamboo. It was introduced into the British Isles in the 1850s from Japan. Fig. 7 shows a photograph of the knotweed discovered on the site. Beneath the position of any stand of knotweed will exist an extensive underground root (rhizome) network that can extend several metres around and beneath, depending on ground conditions. The plant can cause damage to infrastructure, asphalt and bitmac nishes, and even foundations and retaining walls. Under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 it is an offence to plant or otherwise encourage the growth of Japanese

knotweed. This could include cutting the plant or roots and disturbing surrounding soil if not correctly managed. Advice on the treatment and management of the knotweed was given by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Applied Plant Science Division. Dig and dump was not considered a viable option due to the extensive spread of the knotweed throughout the Forth River ravine. A management programme, which included periodic spraying with herbicides and monitoring, was recommended. The presence of knotweed on a site can devalue a development signicantly. For this reason, the location of the new fence along the western boundary of the site was amended to create a sterile buffer zone between the knotweed and the site boundary. It was fortunate that there was a substantial landscaping buffer zone that could be utilised to contain and treat the knotweed as off-site disposal or burial and containment on site would have cost in excess of 100 000. This highlights the importance of identifying this troublesome plant at an early stage. 4. CEEQUAL CEEQUAL is an award scheme that assesses the environmental quality of civil engineering projects. Its objective is to encourage the attainment of environmental excellence in civil engineering projects by going beyond the statutory requirements and therefore delivering improved environmental performance in project specication, design and construction. This award scheme is based on self-assessment carried out by a trained assessor and validated by an external verier appointed by CEEQUAL Ltd. This project is being assessed for a CEEQUAL Whole Project Award, which considers the whole life of the project during design, construction and operation. The on-site reuse of materials, treatment of contaminants and environmental enhancement have all added additional value to the project. From April 2006, all major public sector projects procured through CPD will be required to achieve a high rating of environmental performance when assessed through CEEQUAL or equivalent award schemes. 5. WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CONTAMINATED LAND LEGISLATION IN NORTHERN IRELAND The Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, which implements the EC Waste Framework Directive in Northern Ireland, transferred the regulatory role from the District Councils to the Department of the Environment in July 2004. Waste is dened as any substance or object that the holder disposes of or is required to be disposed of by law. 5.1. Waste management The EHS is now responsible for the administrative and enforcement provisions of waste-related regulations. A duty of care is imposed on those who produce, transport and dispose of waste, to ensure these operations do not have adverse environmental impacts. This includes a system to track loads of waste as they move from one party to the next. All persons who transport waste must be registered and sites where the waste is disposed of require a waste management license.

Fig. 7. Japanese knotweed

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The Hazardous Waste Directive is implemented in Northern Ireland through the Special Waste Regulations (NI) 1998. A detailed consignment note must accompany the transport of special waste with the EHS requiring pre-notication before movement. Again, all parties involved from the producer to the recipient have specic responsibilities. The policies of on-site reuse and remediation adopted in this project have dramatically reduced the amount of waste produced. Only small quantities of special waste (such as asbestos sheeting and the carbon lters from the solvent treatment) had to be taken off site for disposal.

6. CONCLUSIONS This project provides conrmation that with a sustainable approach to design and construction of civil engineering projects, signicant cost savings to clients can be achieved. Cost savings in excess of 750 000 were realised during the detailed design of the project. The methods adopted for the construction of the project also provided real cost savings in the region of 225 000 (almost 10% of the contract value) through on-site reuse of existing concrete structures and the treatment of contaminated soils. The treatment of contaminated land, inclusion of sustainable drainage, provision of wildlife habitats and minimisation of trafc disruption through a residential area during construction all contributed to the enhancement of the natural environment. Integration of the supply chain through the inclusion of professional advice during the design and the use of specialist environmental subcontractors during the construction phase added to the delivery of a value for money project. Contrary to what many people would have expected, the adoption of on-site recycling and remediation on this project has produced considerable cost savings, reduced trafc noise and pollution during construction, and has required the minimum of landll disposal. Specications already allow the use of recycled aggregates in most construction materials and a more widespread understanding of the potential benets and cost savings should give a boost to the recycling industry and take some pressure off our overburdened landll sites.

5.2. Contaminated land management Since 2002, the EHS has adopted a site-specic quantitative risk assessment approach to determine the potential impact of contaminated land on the environment and human health. Previously used qualitative assessments and the comparison of contaminant concentrations with generic lists of contaminant trigger levels (Inter-Departmental Committee on the Redevelopment of Contaminated Land (ICRCL) or Dutch Intervention) are no longer acceptable. The initial contaminated land assessment for this development was produced before 2002 and used the qualitative approach. The EHS considered that a site-specic risk assessment was necessary for the development. This work was carried out during the site works to comply with the current legislation and best practice in validating the contamination treatment on the site.

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