Manchester Metropolitan University

Background

idverde UK were appointed as principal contractor in 2015 by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to carry out the new pedestrian link works.
MMU is one of the largest campus-based universities in the UK with a total student population of over 36,000. The new pedestrian link runs between Boundary Lane and Higher Cambridge Street and provides a safe pedestrian link between residential areas with the recently refurbished University’s Student Union Facilities on Higher Cambridge
Street. The site is bounded by the University’s barracks, which houses Manchester & Salford Universities Officer Training Corps.

Our role and Challenge

As an operational military facility, maintaining security was paramount. So the works required for this project required careful planning as the access restrictions to the site had to be adhered to throughout the contract.
The scheme involved groundworks and levelling, extensive drainage works and connection into the mains drainage, installation of permeable block paving, installation of bespoke granite lettering and granite walls, kerbing and tarmacadam installation works including remodelling a section of the University barracks car park and installing a new DDA complaint highway crossing to Boundary Lane. We also installed the street furniture and security fencing.
Works also included carefully dismantling an existing memorial plaque within the barracks site. The plaque was removed from a wall, which was then demolished. Following on from this, a new granite wall was built and the memorial plaque was then installed onto the new wall.
Once the hard landscaping works had been completed, our experienced horticulture team planted shrub planting as part of a sympathetic soft landscaping scheme.

There were a number of challenges with this project. The main challenge was the walkway was built alongside an existing 600mm gas main, which gave constraints to the redesign of foundations for the vertical columns.
The walkway has buildings either side of it so careful consideration was required to ensure water could drain away
from the area. The pathway was built from permeable block paving and the drainage was redesigned to channel the water away at lower levels before being allowed to get to a soakaway area further away.
The walkway was also adjacent to the student accommodation so works had to be undertaken at hours to suit the University timetable and at times when students living in the nearby accommodation wouldn’t be disturbed.

In 2016 the company was awarded a British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) Award for its regeneration scheme.