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Robert Welch Warehouse & Distribution Office, Evesham - light case study


Despite the industrial park setting and the poor quality of SuDS and landscape on neighbouring sites, the client, renowned cutlery and homeware designers and manufacturers Robert Welch, recognised that quality of environment was important for all their workers – not just those working in the head office in the historic centre of Evesham, but also those working at their proposed new warehouse development on the outskirts of the town.

Like the building itself, the landscape and SuDS took basic and cost-effective materials and techniques, exploited them to maximum effect to meet the budget of the development and provided enhanced features where they could give maximum beneficial impact.

Set within low-lying flatlands of the Vale of Evesham, the site benefitted from the presence of a small stream and historic, now fragmented, ditch-lines, however this location also presented significant constraints to SuDS – clay soils with perched groundwater and high relative water levels in the receiving stream.

The design sought to overcome these constraints without resorting to heavily engineered and expensive lined structures to prevent groundwater ingress and pumped systems to discharge to elevated watercourses as is demonstrated on neighbouring developments on the expanding industrial estate.

The design also utilised a parcel of woodland within the site area to demonstrate the long-term losses required in SuDS Approach 1, using no-dig construction methods within existing woodland to create large, shallow infiltration basins.

The result is a landscape that balances the formal aesthetics associated with the ‘front-of-house’ entrance areas, with biodiverse meadow, wetland and woodland areas typical of the wider vale landscape.

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