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NW Bicester Eco Development

The NW Bicester Eco Development is planned to deliver 5000 homes over the next 25 years. The £100m first phase development of around 400 homes will also provide a primary school, business innovation centre, community centre and general retail/convenience store.

Masterplanning for the whole scheme is running in parallel with detailed design of the first phase. The initial findings from this D4FC project are being used to support both the first phase application and inform the wider masterplan.

Working with Oxford Brookes UKCP09 data was used to generate probabilistic weather projections, and spatial and temporal downscaling, to provide 5 km grid information more specific to the site and identify threshold data regarding key climate change risks related to:

  • higher summer temperatures
  • changing rainfall patterns
  • higher intensity storm events
  • impact on comfort levels and health risks.

Work continues to define the mitigation and adaptation measures in relation to these.

Further project details

1. What approach did you take in assessing risks and identifying adaptation measures to mitigate the risks?

The approach is underpinned by the UKCP09 future climate projections to identify the future hazard combined with current local climate impacts, exposure of the site and potential building features that may ameliorate or exacerbate future impacts.

This is analysed within the context of the vulnerability of those who would occupy the domestic and non domestic buildings.

Botential risks identified include overheating, increased surface water flooding and ground stability issues.

The risks then led to the identification of initial adaptation measures appropriate for tackling these risks that consider the details of the site, potential exposure, the residents and occupants of buildings, and minimisation of potential CO2 emissions because of development.

2. How have you communicated the risks and recommendations with your client? What methods worked well?

  • Written report and incorporated initial findings into sustainability statement (supporting planning application).
  • Planned stakeholder workshop – using tested workstream format to transfer knowledge and agree future approach to integrating adaptation measures.

3. What tools have you used to assess overheating and flood risks?

Flood risk has been modelled using ISIS, with 1:20, 1:100, 1:100 +CC and 1:1000 year events modelled, with +/–20% sensitivity testing.

All development was located outside the 1:1000 year event, within Zone 1. 4 What has the client agreed to implement as a result of your adaptation work?

SuDS comprising soakaways, swales and ponds, plus adopting innovative drainage system that uses overland flow as a predominant pathway. Control of both flow and volumetric discharge to improve baseflow of the ephemeral watercourse.

Aim towards water neutrality, to relieve water resource stress, through rainwater harvesting, grey and possibly black water recycling (although further work is still to be undertaken).

Ongoing discussions with client will continue once further adaptive measures have been identified.

5. What were the major challenges so far in doing this adaptation work?

  • Programme issues delaying the start of the work and progress to date.
  • Revised programming will enable catch up and integration of outputs into the detailed design of the first phase.

6. What advice would you give others undertaking adaptation strategies?

  • Ensure compatible programmes and client objectives.
  • Ensure the scale of proposed project/development is manageable within the timeframe.