Case Study

Solihull Community Fire Station

Solihull pallets

Project Information

The Solihull Community Fire Station project started in August 2010 and completed in March 2011. It was a refurbishment project to a masonry/brick and block frame construction representing a floor area of approximately 1740m2. The project had plenty of scope for waste minimisation techniques to be identified at the pre construction phase site waste management plan (SWMP)Watson and Cox Ltd enlisted the assistance of WPS Ltd, to help them integrate the SWMP onto all of their projects.

The Approach taken

Numerous waste minimisation decisions were undertaken successfully during the construction phase SWMP including;

  •  To ensure that the removal of existing materials was carried out in an economic manner and where possible, limit excessive damage
  • The use of mechanical cutting techniques for the building engineering services, to ensure reduced waste
  • To reduce timber waste by reuse of pallets through procurement
  • To utilise tape/joint finishes instead of plastering, to reduce excessive waste
  • To segregate waste arisings on site.


The targets set in the SWMP were to reduce waste by 10%, to recycle 70% and to send 20% to landfill, this target was easily achieved. The original forecast for inert waste was 339 tonnes, but no inert waste was sent from site during the construction phase and non hazardous waste was a mere 114 tonnes, which for a project cost of £1,037,007 and the floor area is impressive. Any mixed waste that left site easily achieved the target recycling rate through the assistance of their waste contractors.

Cost savings

Skip costs were high at tender stage based on the estimated quantities of waste that would be produced. This meant that a cost saving of £30,256 has been achieved through waste minimisation techniques implemented on site. This cost saving equates to 3% of the total project costs.

Lessons Learnt

Segregated waste skips will always be considered for future projects as they reduce the waste disposal costs and only waste contractors will be used with high offsite recycling rates to ensure best practice and reduction of waste to landfill.

Watson and Cox Ltd plan to develop their own in house forecasting data, assisted by WPS to ensure that the pre construction plan aligns as closely as possible to actual waste arisings data.

The procurement strategy will be addressed shortly which will include; sustainable products, returnable packaging schemes and sub contractors procurement.

In conclusion

Watson and Cox Ltd are delighted with the integration of SWMPs onto their sites and will continue to strive to achieve their target of 5% project savings through SWMPs. There are further areas of potential savings they would like to continue to address through the assistance of WPS Ltd.

Watson & Cox Construction Ltd.

Watson and Cox (Construction) Ltd. has developed a long established reputation and regional expertise since its formation over 35 years ago. From their base in Wellingborough, they have delivered and developed a portfolio of projects in both public and private sectors across a wide range of industries and markets. These include Industrial, Commercial, Retail, Education, Residential, Leisure and Health Care.

County: Northants

Tel: 01933 677777

Fax: 01933 400219

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