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Newhaven Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) incinerates 210,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste each year to generate power, which is then exported to the National Grid. Working in consortium, HOCHTIEF designed and built the new ERF building, as well as administration and ancillary buildings.

Key features: 

  • ERF building, administration building, ancillary buildings
  • 17m deep reinforced concrete basement, 50m x 45m
  • 53m diameter,28m deep cofferdam
  • Major foundation works below ground water level

Located in brownfield land on the bank of a tidal estuary over a major aquifer, the ERF site was heavily contaminated and the ground poor due to the high water table.

With Planning Conditions imposing a height limit on the main building, we designed a 17m deep basement to house the refuse bunker and incinerators. However, the contamination led the Environment Agency to impose tight conditions on construction water discharges, meaning that we couldn’t use dewatering or lower the water table to build it.

Our response was to develop an innovative “floating caisson” methodology, which involved building the reinforced concrete basement at ground level then floating it into position before sinking it into a pre-excavated pit. This eliminated the need for long term ground water pumping required by conventional methods.

We bioremediated excavated material until it could be reused on site, minimising waste to (hazardous) landfill. We also treated the water from this activity until it was compliant with water quality standards and could be discharged to the River Ouse.

Our innovative methodology and careful treatment of contaminated waste minimised our environmental impact, ensuring the success of the scheme.  Gallery