22 September 2014

MJ Abbott wins BALI award for London Irish project

Leading specialist sports contractor MJ Abbott Limited has won a BALI National Award in the Sports Grounds and Leisure Facilities category for its project to construct new training facilities for elite and community rugby for London Irish Rugby Club at Sunbury-on-Thames in West London.

MJ Abbott wins BALI award for London Irish project

Pre-season friendly between London Irish and Bristol Rugby at the new Hazelwood training facility at Sunbury-on-Thames

The BALI National Landscape Awards were first introduced in 1976 and are held annually to recognise BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) members who have demonstrated exceptionally high standards of professionalism and skill in the execution of a wide variety of landscape schemes. The Awards are respected in the UK and abroad as the standard to which others aspire and rightly reflect the prestige of BALI.

MJ Abbott's project at London Irish Rugby Club's new Hazelwood training facility was for the construction of a new world class 17-pitch training complex on the site of a redundant pay and play golf course.

The scheme was let under a design and build contract, however the project was based on initial design work by STRI Ltd. The client retained the services of STRI Ltd to monitor the construction process and post construction maintenance programme.

The project was managed by the client's agent, Equals Consulting Ltd.

MJ Abbott carried out the following scope of works:

  • Demolition and off site removal of existing golf clubhouse and driving range structures
  • Site clearance including removal of existing golf features and lake
  • Stripping, preservation and screening of existing topsoil
  • Cut and fill earthworks accommodating the site's use for landfill prior to construction of the golf course in the 1990s
  • All works carried out strictly in accordance with the agreed Materials Management Plan, including extensive sample testing
  • Filling of existing golf course lake, including high energy impact compaction of fill material
  • Installation of 100,000m² area of 3 layer lining system to plateau and within drainage trenches
  • Construction of 16 natural turf pitches, comprising primary and secondary drainage, fully automatic irrigation system, gravel rafts, lower and upper rootzone layers, topsoil layers (re-use of existing and imported topsoil), sand dressed areas, fibre-reinforced surfaces, pitch barriers, kerbing, sockets and rugby posts
  • Installation of floodlight system to three pitches
  • Installation of 3G artificial pitch featuring Rhino Turf surface achieving IRB 22 accreditation
  • Construction of new borehole for irrigation water supply
  • Construction of irrigation lake and wetland area, complete with aeration, timber fencing and reed planting
  • Landscaping including new tree and shrub planting, wild flower grass mixes, gapping up of existing hedges, new hedging, and timber fencing and access gates
  • Construction of overflow car park area complete with rubber crumb pitch access pathways, landscaping to all car park areas, and landscaping around the new clubhouse including tree and shrub planting
  • Grow in and first year's maintenance operations on all pitches and landscape areas.

This highly sensitive project was carried out to a very tight time scale, within budget, and to the satisfaction of all regulatory bodies.

MJ Abbott continues its relationship with London Irish by providing technical support and maintenance for the irrigation system.

Commenting on the news that MJ Abbott Limited had won a BALI National Landscape Award, MJ Abbott's Managing Director, Jonathan Abbott, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won an award in the Sports Grounds and Leisure Facilities category, and to have received recognition for all the hard work our management team and site employees put in to deliver this outstanding training facility for London Irish."

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