Case studies

Mount Pleasant Halls, Cambridge

Detailed vapour and groundwater risk assessment of contamination in the ground.

Client name: Howard Osborne LLP

Architect name: RHP Architects

Contractor name: Osborne Contracting

Project Manager name: Savills (UK) Ltd

Project value: £22 million

CampbellReith was appointed by Howard Osborne to carry out detailed vapour and groundwater risk assessment of contamination in the ground from the site’s former use as a vehicle repair garage.

The project involved the development of four separate student accommodation blocks ranging from two to six storeys in height with areas of soft landscaping at Mount Pleasant, Cambridge. The existing five storey office building on the site was demolished and relic foundations and tanks were found, associated with a former maintenance garage. The ground consisted of Made Ground over the Chalk Principal Aquifer, in turn underlain by the Gault Clay. The site was at the top of a hill with the River Cam to the east.

Evidence of hydrocarbon contamination (odours and staining) was recorded in the Chalk in the eastern portion of the site within the footprint of the former garage, which may have originated from the relic tanks and associated infrastructure, which were excavated from site under supervision by CampbellReith.

Subsequent detailed controlled water and vapour risk assessment carried out by CampbellReith concluded a low risk to groundwater and the future residents.

CampbellReith identified knowledge gaps with respect to the ground and contamination. We were able to build a picture of how chemicals could move within the groundwater and into future buildings and gathered sufficient information to conclude with good confidence that there were low risks to controlled water and future residents, avoiding the need for soil excavation and vapour and ground gas protection measures when they were not needed.

Key Contacts


Antony Phin



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