Ground preparation begins on Newcastle Science Central Development

Enabling works have begun on the Science Central development in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Science Central is a new mixed-use development on the former Scottish & Newcastle Tyne Brewery site, with retail and residential space alongside state-of-the-art offices. Mott MacDonald is providing civil, structural, environmental and building engineering services on the project which is being developed by the Science Central Partnership (Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University).

As part of the enabling works two shallow coal seams will be excavated to a depth of approximately 15m and then backfilled with engineered fill material. In addition to engineering design for the development, Mott MacDonald is providing technical due diligence, planning input, contract administration and site supervision for the enabling works contract.

Saeed Chaudhry, Mott MacDonald’s project director said: “The excavation of coal removes the need to pump cementitious grout into coal mine voids, thus reducing the use of cement in the project, together with locating historic mineshafts. The coal extraction will be subject to rigorous environmental control, including an environmental impact assessment and onsite noise and dust control with real time monitoring via the internet.”

In addition, the consultancy is advising on a site wide energy strategy which will contribute to ambitious sustainability targets set by the project partners. To link with the site wide energy solution, Mott MacDonald is reviewing heat yield and technical issues associated with a 1.8km deep geothermal borehole that could provide heat for the new buildings.

Enabling works will be followed by construction of the first building and the first phase of infrastructure works in early 2013. The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2014.


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Mott MacDonald is a diverse £1 billion global management, engineering and development consultancy. As one of the world's largest employee-owned companies with nearly 15,000 staff, we have 168 offices in nearly 50 countries and projects in 140. We're engaged in public and private sector development across a broad range of sectors including transport, buildings, power, oil and gas, international development, urban development, industry, water, environment, education, health and communications. More information can be found at