Articles & Case Studies

Braid Burn Flood Prevention Scheme

Posted: Friday 1st August 2008

Work is now well underway on the Braid Burn Flood Prevention Scheme in Edinburgh. Faber Maunsell, the leading Consulting Engineers, are providing detailed design and site supervision services.

Following the devastating flooding in April 2000 the City of Edinburgh Council immediately committed itself to promoting and constructing the Braid Burn flood defence scheme.

Jonathan Davies, Associate Director at Faber Maunsell said: “Many areas along the burn have been affected by flooding in the past, causing extensive damage to local properties.

“This is a highly complex scheme with many challenges including working within residential and recreational areas, coping with fluctuations in water levels and protecting the environment”.

The Braid Burn has burst its banks 4 times in the past 18 years, leaving 250 businesses and homes under water.

The scheme comprises 14 sites which, when complete, will protect around 900 homes and businesses from flooding.

Councillor Phil Wheeler, Transport Convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "In recent history we've witnessed the devastating impact of flooding to homes and businesses along the route of the Braid Burn. This scheme will provide a high standard of protection and is vitally important in reducing the likelihood of these events happening again."

Faber Maunsell’s design solution makes use of natural flood plains to store floodwaters and reduce flows downstream. In addition, two reservoirs are being constructed which will maximise the area where water can be stored. For example, the reservoir at Inch Park will be able to retain 190,000 cubic meters of water – the same as 76 Olympic sized pools.

The design increases the channel capacity in areas prone to flooding and blockages, allowing floodwater to pass through the city without causing damage.

The Braid Burn has been designated as an Urban Wildlife Site as part of the Edinburgh Urban Nature Conservation Strategy.

A variety of protected species live in and around the burn including European protected otters and bats along with dippers, king fishers, trout, bullhead and heron.

The burn links several smaller habitats together providing a vital corridor for wildlife to travel between the City’s urban and rural environments.

Faber Maunsell has appointed an Environmental Supervisor on site to oversee construction and ensure that all work is undertaken in line with national and local conservation legislation.

The main contractor for the works is Carillion Civil Engineering. The project is funded by the Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council.

The project is due for completion in 2010.

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