Biowise Ltd / Wastewise required the design of an In-Vessel Composting (IVC) facility with associated Aerated Static Pile (ASP) composting, screening and blending operations, and appointed Ashcourt Group Ltd as lead contractors for this project.
Due to our longstanding relationship with Ashcourt Group Ltd, we worked with them on the design of the structural, civil and drainage elements of this organics recycling plant. This plant services Cheshire Council and processes 75,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste per year. The project involved collaborating with several stakeholders including Ashcourt Group Ltd as lead contractors and Dutch firm Gicom as mechanical consultants.
To address the challenges, we designed easement bridges to protect the water mains and prevent any imposed ground pressure transferring to the pipes. We carefully removed all construction waste infill and historic peat layer prior to the construction of the foundations. To ensure the highest standard of quality we carried out visits to another Wastewise biowaste composting facility in Willerby, Hull to study the operation of the facility, especially regarding the structure wheel loader. With regards to the IVC building, the structural solution adopted comprised of a single storey, clad braced steel frame to the reception hall area, using a column free approach. To address the large clear spans required for the roof, cellform beams were included in the frame design. The frame design incorporated a first-floor plant room area adjacent to the IVC tunnel roof area. The wall construction included precast concrete 'push' walls to the perimeter to sustain impact loading from loading shovel plant.
Regarding the foundation design, the Geotechnical report commissioned for the project
Site Investigation Report was independently prepared by Rogers Geotechnical Services revealed favourable ground conditions and as a result, conventional concrete pad foundations were designed. Within the IVC structure, there was a scrubber area and a complex of eight tunnels within which, the compost was to be treated. A reinforced concrete construction format was adopted to these areas of the IVC building due to the volatility of the process requirements. Additional reinforcement was added into the concrete structure to resist the forces imparted, together with strategic locations agreed for movement joints in the superstructure. In order to address both thermal issues and build issues, a precast concrete roof with slip membrane and a jointed screed was designed for the tunnel areas. Externally there was a requirement for a maturation area to be constructed where processed material could be cured. This required the design of precast concrete rocket wall retaining structures and which considered impact loading from loading shovel plant. A weighbridge and office structure were designed together with an access road including a services easement bridging slab, hard standing area and the foul and surface water drainage system associated with the development.
The construction of the Recycling Plant is now complete and progress has gone superbly well. Our client Ashcourt Group is delighted with our innovative problem solving on this project which has in turn supported the progression of the project. We have identified areas and processes for improvement and as a result liaised with mechanical engineers Gicom to action them. This programme was completed on schedule and our high-quality design services for this organics recycling plant will benefit Cheshire Council on an ongoing basis in the long-term.