- UBU Design
Tarling Road Community Hub
Achieving BREEAM ‘Very Good’ status with the help of Ecology credits
Eight Associates was delighted to work with landscape architects, UBU design, as ecology and arboriculture consultants for the construction stage of the project at Tarling Road, in East Finchley, North London.
The scheme involved the demolition of the existing Old Barn community centre, and the construction of a new purpose-built community facility to be known as the Tarling Road Community Hub, to be used by a variety of local community groups, including the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association (SBWA).
Eight Associates was appointed as ecologist and arboriculturalist for the construction phase, with two overarching objectives:
- Arboriculture – to ensure trees were protected throughout the site works, and provide advice on which trees to retain or to remove to meet local authority requirements
- Ecology – to assess the site for protected species, outline the required ecological protection measures, and advise on how biodiversity enhancement could be optimised.
As the site was previously identified as having ecologically valuable habitat, Eight Associates worked closely with the contractor, Graham Construction, to ascertain a full understanding of the construction plan and schedule. Toolbox talks provided the team with information on the potential protected species that may occur on the site, such as bats, birds and reptiles and detail of the ecological enhancements to be incorporated as part of the landscaping scheme. We strongly advocate teamwork and transparency across all projects such as this, finding that clear and concise communication will always enhance outcomes.
The arboriculturalist attended the site at various times throughout the construction period, inspecting all trees and sharing valuable knowledge on tree protection. Liaising with UBU design, it was established which trees should be retained in compliance with the site’s planning conditions, and which could be removed to allow site works and access.
Reviewing the site for protected species, Eight Associates advised on areas of habitat that could contain reptiles, and identified suitable locations where bat and bird boxes could be positioned. Several sites visits were undertaken to monitor progress and discuss any issues with the contractor.
During site works nesting bird activity was identified and Eight Associates responded quickly providing a pragmatic solution to allow the schedule of works to be planned, disruption and delay kept to a minimum, whilst also ensuring compliance with nesting bird legislation.
Results for our client & the site
Eight Associates’ work on the project, and the team targeting the complete number of credits in the Land Use and Ecology section of the BREEAM assessment, meant that the full allocation of credits could be awarded by Eight Associates. All stakeholders were extremely pleased that ecological and arboricultural effort heavily contributed to the scheme achieving an overall Very Good BREEAM rating. In addition, a number of trees on site were successfully, retained and protected, in line with the British Standard, BS 5837 Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction.
Furthermore, all agreed biodiversity enhancements were implemented and installed in appropriate locations around the site – including bat and bird boxes, a log pile for invertebrates and native plants. It is hoped these low-cost, low-labour inclusions to the project will contribute to the local wildlife populations and benefit the community for many years to come.