Route for roots

A second entrance to a preparatory school and nursery in Guildford has been successfully completed, enabling a one-way system to be employed to regulate traffic at peak times. Motion designed the new access, linking the existing car park to the adjacent street. The area was covered by a large number of trees, so a permeable ‘no dig’ construction was needed to protect the tree roots. To minimise impact, the route followed a former road, which was over one hundred years old.

Faruk Pekbeken, Technical Director at Floodline Consulting, explains, “We invited Motion to provide the design for the ‘green road’, which needed to comply with the very strict conditions of the planning application for the protected area. We have worked closely with Motion over the years, on a number of projects, and can rely on them to provide a flexible, professional service.”

The design had to meet very stringent ecological standards. In order to ensure compliance, the route was initially planned by ecologists, the detailed design was put together by Motion and then checked on site by the manufacturer of the tree root protection system. The three stages were required to persuade the school and the local council of the ecological value of the design.

Motion Technical Director, Neil Jaques, describes the process: “A geo-cellular system was used to spread the load over the soil and roots below, as well as allowing water and air through to the tree roots. The road surface is above the existing ground level and retained by timber sleepers.”


An abridged version of this article first appeared in the Winter 2018/19 issue of Insight.

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