Local archaeology, ancient hedgerows, nearby villagers, badgers and the great crested newt were among the factors that had to be taken into account by the BAA team responsible for building new long-term car parks for Stansted Airport.
Other considerations included reducing construction materials and balancing earth movements to minimise site traffic on local roads.
'Fortunately the newts were not within our boundaries, ' says team member Dave King. But there were badger runs close by the 18ha of virgin land earmarked to the south of the airport, and rare flowers in 600-year-old hedgerows. By designing smaller car parks around them, most of the hedges were left intact - during construction they were fenced off with 6m wide buffer zones. The contractor's compound was adjusted to avoid the badgers.
The design team liaised with the council to address the visual impact of the car parks.
While negotiations were under way, archaeologists had time to explore the site, tracing local prehistory back to 11,000 years BC, says King.
A new glass lamp standard has been designed to avoid light spillage at night.
Landscaping helped to reduce the visual impact on neighbouring villages and to minimise earthmoving requirements, saving project costs and giving the environmental benefit of fewer truck movements. Planting helped provide an acoustic and visual buffer, while brambles provide a habitat for small animals and insect life, as well as natural security.
Rainwater run-off handling followed sustainable urban drainage principles.
Because loadings in the car parks will be substantially lower than on a major road, surfacing was cut from 450mm to 400mm without detriment. Asphalt was replaced with ASHphalt with 30% incinerator ash and 15% recycled planings in the mix.
Laing TPS Consult Prior BAA Associated Ashpalt Penny Anderson Associates Framework Archaeology Chris Blandford Associates Meteor