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24 Sep 2019

Working with the tide

One thing is true of working at QEM – no two days are ever the same. While our ‘bread and butter’ business may be engineering projects like Leeds Citygate, piloting the use of hydrogen for heating, or helping another client gain ISO certification, our clients are varied, so there’s always a fresh challenge just around the corner.

And in this instance the challenge was the sea. After two disastrous tidal surges at their Gimblet Rock holiday park in 2014 and then again in 2017, Haulfryn Group needed expert help to protect the park and its customers from further surges. Enter Brian Lewis of QEM Solutions, who would manage a vital and complex part of the project for Haulfryn – to an exacting deadline.

The tidal surges of 2014 and 2017 had toppled the holiday park’s existing defences and destroyed sea-facing caravans and holiday homes. Haulfryn Group was quick to support all those affected, removing debris and assisting with insurance claims to minimise immediate distress. But the Group also realised that a long-term, and ‘bomb-proof’, solution was needed to guarantee this couldn’t happen again.

Before:

After:

The innovative design was two-fold. First, the park needed a wall defence that would not only protect sea-facing units from storm damage, but retain the exquisite sea views so sought after by customers. A 1.3 metre high glazed wall was built along some 170 metres of the welsh coastline, fitted upon the existing granite sea wall defences. In addition, storm shutters were installed and sealed to exposed units, protecting against wind, sea and rain.

But the protection programme needed something yet more robust, and Brian was to oversee and manage this crucial aspect. A strong earth bank or ‘bund’, well above the the peak surges of both 2014 and 2017, was created to form a landscape barrier against high tide. In addition, a new pump and sump system was installed to improve drainage and prevent flooding in extreme weather.

Responsible for the delivery of the programme, Brian was the lead interface between the insurance company and the directors of Haulfryn Group, while supervising contractors, achieving insurance sign off and controlling costs, all with one eye on the ticking clock and the lightening days. Under his direction, a host of specialist flood engineers, planners and contractors worked together against the clock and the looming deadline of the approaching summer holiday season.

Through robust leadership and professionalism, Brian delivered the project on time in April 2019, well before the summer holiday season began in earnest. And not only did the two-fold tidal defence resolve a major issue for Haulfryn Group, but it earned them an important Risk Management Award from Leisuredays Insurance for going ‘above and beyond’ in its efforts to protect customers.

Keeping people safe, keeping clients happy, keeping costs under control, and completing on schedule. Congratulations Brian, on a job more than delivered. Whatever will be next?

Left to Right: Bobby McGee - CEO, Haulfryn; Jeremy Lambe - Planner; Lawrence Waterhouse - Tidal Expert, Royal Sun Alliance; Chris Nettleton - Leisure Days Insurance; Brian Lewis - QEM Solutions, Donna Riley (holding award) - Park Manager; Matt Pressman - General Manager, Haulfryn; David John - Operations Director, Haulfryn.