At the Stormwater NSW Awards 2019 event held in February 2020, Costin Roe Consulting was Highly Commended for Excellence in Integrated Stormwater Design for the remediation and upgrade of a public water asset to facilitate an industrial infill development on a formerly contaminated site in western Sydney. It’s the second time in recent years that CRC has been honoured for civil engineering in relation to sustainable water management, this project representing the only privately-funded infrastructure project to receive recognition.
“It’s more often government-funded infrastructure projects getting the accolades, which is understandable. But this means there’s not enough public awareness of the many privately-funded industrial projects that are making significant improvements to public assets, community amenity, and the natural environment across Australia – particularly in high-density metropolitan areas like western Sydney,” said Mark Wilson B Eng (Civil) B Surv ME CPEng, director and head of civil engineering at CRC.
The firm is responsible for the civil and/or structural engineering of many large-scale industrial projects which are adding value to the community and environment through remediation and development in collaboration with key stakeholders including various levels of government and asset-management authorities.
The project honoured by Stormwater NSW at their 2020 event was judged on the submission by Costin Roe Consulting titled: Design for integrated stormwater and remediation of degraded Sydney Water asset resolving differing stakeholder requirements through collaboration to deliver multiple significant benefits and facilitate industrial infill development at Chullora NSW, pertaining to new facilities for PFD developed by Frasers Property Australia at 15-19 Muir Road, Chullora. The judges’ comments in presenting the certificate of honour to Mark Wilson, and also CRC engineer Mitchell Cross, at Newcastle on 26th February 2020, were summarised as, “This is a high-quality project which demonstrates how site regeneration can be managed environmentally and economically.”
The Stormwater NSW Awards for Excellence encourage and celebrate excellence in the innovation, development, completion, and management of stormwater projects and the people involved.
Project overview for awards submission
The principles of Water-Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) guided engineering by Costin Roe Consulting to design the remediation and upgrading of a section of the upper Cooks River, an asset of Sydney Water, which flows through a flood-affected industrial development at 15-19 Muir Road, Chullora NSW.
For consideration within this project, the 900m overall section of the upper Cooks River was divided into three subsections. The “upper third”, a 220m length of natural channel with vegetated banks, was overgrown, weed-infested, hazardous to access, and filled with rubbish and debris which impeded flow conveyance. The 320m “middle third” comprised a concrete-lined and brick-walled channel with failing walls and crossings, and steep banks overgrown with vegetation. The “lower third” consisted of covered culverts for 360m, followed by open channel of concrete and brick for a further 320m.
An infill development proposed for the site would replace a disused, dilapidated, and contaminated former waste transfer centre with a state-of-the-art, 5 Star Green Star rated facility where more than 200 people would be employed. To facilitate this development, Frasers Property Australia, the developers, appointed Costin Roe Consulting to design the remediation and upgrading of the upper Cooks River section to the satisfaction of key stakeholders with differing requirements.
Key stakeholders are Sydney Water, the NSW Office of Water, the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council, and Frasers Property Australia. Through collaboration with stakeholders, Costin Roe Consulting devised an integrated solution which achieved stakeholder consensus by balancing differing stakeholder requirements with environmental imperatives, sustainable practicalities, and engineering best practice to deliver favourable outcomes.
According to the design by Costin Roe Consulting, the upper third subsection of the upper Cooks River was preserved as natural channel and cleared of weeds, rubbish, and debris. Banks were stabilised and revegetated with native plants. Maintenance access was provided. Flow conveyance was improved.
The middle third, formerly consisting of outdated and deteriorated open hard channel through the site, was upgraded by a combination of new hard channel and naturalised vegetated overbank overflow zones. This approach satisfied both the NSW Office of Water requirement for naturalisation and the Sydney Water requirement for maintenance minimisation.
The covered culverts of the lower third were extended, and flood storage zones increased. A formalised overland flow path was effectively established from the open channel through the project to Muir Road.
Flood modelling by Costin Roe Consulting, using methodologies approved by Council, demonstrated that flood impacts would be maintained or improved by the project. The completed development provides a range of significant benefits to the community and environment. The potential for further development was improved, and the asset was remediated and upgraded at the developer’s expense.