Innovation: Precast Flood Defence Units

18 October 2021. We are using precast concrete units to form the new flood barriers in several areas, including around Severn Beach. Thames Valley Construction produces and builds these units off-site in Newport, Wales. They are then transported directly to site and lowered into position. 

This method minimizes disruption for local residents and the environment, compared with pouring the concrete directly on site. Its benefits include:  

  • Quicker construction, all pre-cast were constructed on site and were ready ahead of the programmed installation date. On average we can install 26 pre-cast units per day. This is a significant time saving compared with cast in-situ where we would have only been able to install 8 to 10 units a week.
  • Long and variable alignment: 374 identical pre-cast units were installed (south of Severn Beach,) each 2.3m in length with only 3 in situ stiches required over the entire length of 860.2m
  • Fewer staff needed on-site
  • Safer
  • Reduction in traffic movements to and from site
  • Less noise and ground vibration.
  • A higher standard of quality control, in particular the surface finish of the pre-cast units.

We expect to install a total of around two kilometres of precast concrete units by the time we complete the works.