The Center Parcs Woburn site is the fifth village development of the holiday chain in the UK, and represents a major investment by the firm. Following completion of all the requirements of the planning consent, construction began early in 2012 for a target opening date of spring 2014. The requirements of the planning consent included building a new roundabout, the diversion of public rights of way and the creation of new bridleways and cycle paths around the development complex. Many of these bridleways and cycle paths were through mixed forest, comprising mature and semi-mature deciduous trees, intermixed with some blocks of coniferous plantations in which the holiday village was to be constructed.
Whilst the planning authorities requested that these infrastructure works were undertaken, they also insisted that they use a method sympathetic to the environment, and ideally using no-dig construction methods that would not damage tree roots through which the access roads and bridleways were to be constructed.
Whilst there are a number of solutions available, Hannah Reed opted for the ABG Abweb TRP geocell structure solution within the road construction. This method is supported as a solution in Aboriculture Practice Note 12 (APN12) and is widely accepted by Tree Protection Officers in this application. Abweb TRP geocell has a three dimensional cellular structure which, when filled, mitigates the vertical load pressure on the sub-soils containing tree roots, thus preventing damage from compaction and root starvation.
Surface vegetation is removed and the ground is carefully levelled so as not to damage the underlying tree roots, making sure they are just covered. A layer of ABG Terrex non-woven geotextile separator is placed to prevent upward migration of fine particles, allowing the granular fill material to remain porous. The Abweb TRP geocell is then expanded to the specified road width and pinned using steel pins to form diamond shaped pockets which are then filled with the granular material. The cells act as a permanent form-work to the road surface in this no dig solution. Water, air and nutrients can flow into the underlying soil allowing the tree roots to flourish, whilst being protected from vehicular loading.
The geocells cellular structure reinforces the granular fill reducing the need for a subbase and saving up to 50% of fill material over a non-reinforced solution.
Simple and fast “no-dig” installation. Expand Abweb TRP to form cells, pin into place and fill with porous granular material allowing air and water to reach tree roots. Abweb TRP geocell acts as a platform for vehicles, protecting the roots from wheel damage.
The ABG Service
ABG’s technical department were able to give advice on the correct size of Abweb TRP Geocell required for the given loading and soil conditions. Assistance with installation was also given by the ABG’s installation department (ABG Installs).
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