Engineering fast and efficient sustainable design
Founded by a group of local residents, Osney Weir Lock Hyrdo is the first community owned hydro scheme to be powered by the River Thames. BuroHappold Engineering has delivered the detail design for the civil works associated with the new weir, upstream of an existing structure and adjacent to a new micro-hydropower plant on a section of the non-tidal Thames. Our team also worked to retain the Victorian weir gate that was present on the site.
The client required the initial two month programme to be reduced to just one month to enable timely delivery and installation of the manufactured weir. This would negate the need for costly storage solutions for the weir whilst the site was ready for its installation.
There was also a requirement to progress the existing concept design and work within the tight site boundary, as defined and agreed by the contractor. These constraints, coupled with unexpected site conditions from the existing Victorian structure, all needed addressing by our team of engineers.
BuroHappold’s role on this project consisted of the technical design coordination between the hydro-power scheme and the weir replacement, structural and geotechnical design and a bridge inspection. As well as acting as lead designers we helped resolve technical design issues arising from site during construction and supported the client in liaising with other stakeholders, including the Environment Agency.
Our small, but highly skilled multi-disciplinary project team, worked closely with the site contractor and weir manufacturers to ensure careful programming of the works took place.
The hydropower structure has been providing clean energy since January 2015 and has been designed such that it sits sensitively, with minimal visual footprint, within the surrounding landscape.
In a challenging and constrained environment, BuroHappold delivered this sustainable engineering solution, whilst preserving much of the original, Victorian structure within the client’s programme and budget.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply