. Greener Grangetown wins prestigious Roy Edwards Award

Greener Grangetown has won the Roy Edwards Award at the ICE Wales Awards 2019, which recently took place at the Marriot Hotel in Cardiff.

The innovative project catches, cleans and diverts over 40,000 square meters of rainwater run-off directly into the River Taff, rather than pumping the water over eight kilometers through the Vale of Glamorgan for treatment, before being pumped into the sea.

The scheme collects surface water from roofs and roads from twelve residential streets in Grangetown, channeling and filtering it through over 100 rain gardens before draining to the river Taff. Through the scheme, significant improvements have been made to the public realm as well as the creation of the first ‘bicycle street' along Taff Embankment.

By diverting run-off water into the rain gardens, plants and new trees soak up the water which is filtered through the soil and the roots which catch and break down the pollutants.

Specific types of trees and plants which are mostly native to Wales and all UK sourced, have been chosen to fit a number of criteria. They are durable, require little maintenance, are pollutant tolerant and have the ability to adapt to very wet or dry conditions.

Greener Grangetown is a joint venture delivered by Cardiff Council; Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water; Natural Resources Wales; Arup; ERH Communications and Civil Engineering Ltd with additional financial support from the Landfill Communities Fund.

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Environment and Recycling, said: "This is an innovative project which deserves the recognition that it is receiving.

"Without even knowing the purpose of the scheme and the significant benefits that it brings, the new planting has created an increased sense of community spirit in the area and has visually improved the streets of Grangetown.127 new trees have been planted, as well as 1,700 square meters of new green space. In time, as the plants and trees grow and spread, Grangetown will be even greener that it is now.

"Taff Embankment, which is part of the scheme, is also part of the Taff Trail and has now been completed, connecting Cardiff Bay to the city centre. As well as this initiative, improvements have also been made to vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist safety at 14 road junctions which are part of the scheme.

"I would like to thank all the partners involved for delivering this project. I would also like to thank the local residents for their patience while the scheme has been built."

Fergus O'Brien, Welsh Water's wastewater strategy manager said:

"We're very pleased that this project has been recognised with this award.  Sustainable drainage plays a vital role in Welsh Water's long term approach to protecting our customers and improving the environment in spite of the growing pressures from climate change and urbanisation. It does this by enhancing the inherent resilience of our assets and allowing them to cope with the increasing variability of the demands we make on them. 

"To meet our ambitious plans between now and 2050 we need to work in partnership with stakeholders to share knowledge and invest in areas where our priorities overlap.  Greener Grangetown project is a great example of how we can work with forward thinking councils like Cardiff and we hope this will be the first of many such partnerships."

Martyn Evans, NRW Project Lead said: "We've been incredibly proud to be part of this project, some seven years since we first collaborated with the City of Cardiff Council and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water on the initial feasibility study for this scheme. I really believe this scheme will create a legacy to show how green infrastructure projects can create healthy and resilient local environments, and support economic and social prosperity in our towns and cities, like Cardiff, for generations to come."

Chris Ellis, Project Engineer at Arup, said: "I am delighted that Greener Grangetown has been recognised by the ICE. Arup has been involved in the design of the project from the very beginning at feasibility and concept stages, right through to detailed design and construction support. It's rewarding to see the impact the finished scheme has had in transforming the area, while making Grangetown more resilient to the impacts of climate change."

Ken Evans, Civils Operations Director of ERH/Centregreat said: "ERH/Centregreat are very pleased to be the principle contractor on the Greener Grangetown SuDS Scheme. The construction works was an innovative retrofit project which was carried out in a densely populated urban area which was a key challenge in its self. However by working in close collaboration with the scheme partners, designers and the local community, ERH/Centregreat was able to successfully deliver an award winning sustainable drainage scheme. "