Arup and Jacobs named as Environment Agency flood defence consultants

As part of the Environment Agency’s search for a new generation of engineers, Arup and Jacobs have been chosen to consult on future flood and coastal erosion projects that will keep the public and wildlife better protected.

With an ever-changing climate, the need to reduce the risk of flooding has never been more pertinent with increasing complexities requiring a new way of thinking on the way communities up and down the country are protected.

To match these needs, the Environment Agency is embarking on a new kind of supplier arrangement - Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF) - which vows to put collaboration at the heart of the way it works moving forward. This will see £2.6bn invested in flood and coastal erosion risk management projects, beginning in 2015 through to 2021 - helping to protect 300,000 homes.

It’s hoped the new way of working will modernize programme, asset and incident management to achieve improvements in sustainability, value for money and outcomes delivered.

Arup has been appointed to Lot 1 of the Environment Agency’s new CDF in the Midland and north east regions, while Jacobs will be supporting two of the six regional delivery hubs across England, both the north west and the Thames & Anglian regions of England.

The framework is effective immediately and has a duration of four years, with the option to extend to eight.

Commenting, Will McBain, associate director at Arup, said: “With the ever more frequent threats posed to people and the environment by climate change, the work of the Environment Agency in driving adaptation has never been more important. Being appointed to provide the consultancy services required in two regions gives Arup a unique opportunity to help the Agency to deliver its corporate objectives more efficiently and effectively.”

The award for Jacobs extends its long relationship with the Environment Agency, supporting previous frameworks since the agency’s creation in 1995. Working as delivery partner with the Environment Agency and Balfour Beatty, Jacobs is also helping oversee the refurbishment and upgrade of more than 4,000 flood defense assets along the River Thames.

“As the environment faces some of the toughest challenges of our time, we have an opportunity to build on our 25-year partnership with the Environment Agency and play a role in helping to protect communities for the future,” said Jacobs Buildings and Infrastructure Europe senior vice president Donald Morrison. “The new integrated delivery teams provide the opportunity for even greater collaboration with the Agency and other suppliers, enabling better ways to support the Agency’s objectives to improve efficiency across a wide range of resiliency and environmental outcomes.”

The new arrangements are also a major step forwards for delivering low carbon solutions for projects which will help the EA work towards the government’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. 

Toby Willison, executive director of operations at the Environment Agency, said: “This ambitious new framework will help us to continue to deliver our £2.6 billion flood and coastal defence programme in a way which ensures that sustainability, efficiency and value for money remain at the very heart of the work we do to protect people, homes and the environment. The Environment Agency continues to work closely with partners and communities from across the country to deliver our commitment of investing £2.6 billion to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion over six years.”

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