North West Cambridge

North West Cambridge

Careys was contracted to deliver the enabling, infrastructure, utilities, landscaping and public realm works at this 150ha site, which will provides 3,000 new homes, a research facility with 100,000m2 of floor space and a wide range of community amenities. It also incorporates the largest water recycling system in the UK.


University of Cambridge



Principal Contractor


Our first package of works included the main drainage works; 11km of primary and secondary runs up to 7m deep. Subsequently, we secured the public realm package comprising construction of 4km of roads, 41km of kerbs and edgings and the laying of 60,000m2 of various paving types. We have also delivered the site-wide utilities contract, which included the installation of an 11km combined utility trench.

The deep drainage installation presented a number of challenges, compounded by the vast scale of the site and poor ground conditions. We developed multiple solutions including open cut shallow trenches, standard temporary works trench boxes of up to 5m and sheet piled solutions for the deeper areas. On some of the poorest ground conditions we employed a WellPoint system to effectively dewater the ground.

To maintain a sustainable approach to the project, we used a combination of recycled type 1 aggregate and ballast material rather than limestone type 1, in addition to sustainable timber sources.

Throughout the works we established and maintained strong relationships with stakeholders and the local community through a range of initiatives including a monthly collection for Great Ormond Street Hospital. We also supported a programme to increase road safety; Safety Cycle Awareness.

Crucial to the successful delivery of the project was the collaboration and working relationships established with a number of other contractors whom we have worked very closely with. It was essential to our works that we maintained good communication to facilitate access and complete the works safely and on time.

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