Thames Water: Kilburn Site 3C

The masterplan for the proposed regeneration of a considerable chunk of South Kilburn included the replacement of an existing roundabout with two residential blocks, housing approximately 100 new units in total.

  • Images Rick Mather Architects

Fluid commissioned early utilities surveys and made direct contact with Thames Water at the commencement of the project to determine the extent of below-ground services underlying the existing roundabout. These were found to be extensive, and in particular, a deep storm relief sewer was identified running directly across the site.

The subsequent determination of the layout and shape of the residential blocks was directly driven by the desire to avoid building directly over the sewer. With Fluid acting as a go-between between Thames Water and the design team, the blocks were arranged to create an ‘easement’ over the sewer in accordance with Thames Water’s requirements.

Thames Water and the realities of a brownfield site


  • Possibility of falling foul of Thames Water approval process, which might have caused delays to the tight construction programme.
  • Loss of water supply for significant population.

Design Procedures

  • Contacted Thames Water directly at the commencement of the project to determine location, depth and size of existing storm relief sewer.
  • Subsequently liaised directly with Thames Water to determine constraints on building over and adjacent to sewer, and appropriate ‘rules’ for piled foundation types and locations in proximity to the sewer.
  • Developed scheme proposals with the architect in accordance with Thames Water requirements, resulting in the arrangement of the two blocks to leave an ‘easement’ over the sewer route.
  • Prepared pile performance specification setting-out rules for positioning of piles relative to sewer and guidance on casing piles to avoid loading the sewer.