The Grey to Green public realm scheme in Sheffield constructed by the group’s Highways Division has won three awards in the 2016 CEEQUAL Outstanding Achievement Awards at an event held recently at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

The awards recognise the top sustainability achievements by civil engineering project teams and the NM Group project, which picked up the three awards, was the Grey to Green scheme in the Sheffield Riverside Business District for Sheffield City Council.

This project has transformed 1.2km of redundant roads in Sheffield city centre into new and attractive public spaces. It includes innovative perennial meadows, an interlinked sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS), rain gardens, public art that explores local history and high quality paved footways and street furniture.

It has also improved the city’s resilience to climate change, enhanced public space and connectivity with the rest of the city centre and provided an attractive setting for existing and new investment and jobs.

The first award it received was in the landscape category. The scheme constitutes one of the most ambitious retro-fit SUD systems in the country which, combined with other soft landscape areas, has enabled striking urban meadow to be created in the middle of the city centre. It is believed that this is unique in a UK city centre setting.

The second award was in the water environment category. Given the reconfiguration of the city centre, there was an opportunity to improve water management for both flood risk and water quality and this was taken. The impermeable highway surface was removed and this combined with the newly created green infrastructure, facilitates an environment to capture, clean, infiltrate, move and store water.

The project also received a special accolade, securing the top award - the Eric Hughes Award for Outstanding Contribution to Improving Sustainability in Civil Engineering.

The judges said: “It demonstrates how one intervention can enhance the experience of people using the city centre, reduce flood risk, improve water management, provide habitats for nature, boost the area’s economy and so much more. This would be a considerable achievement for a new development but is all the more remarkable because Grey to Green is a retrofit project in a busy city centre.”

This is a project that really makes a real difference - it is a landmark in urban landspace development.”

“We are absolutely delighted that this prestigious project has won three awards,” said Geoff Poyzer, managing director of the Highways Division of the NM Group. “The scheme is innovative and has provided a sustainable green space, which has made a huge difference to the public realm in Sheffield.”

Councillor Leigh Bramall, deputy leader of Sheffield City Council and cabinet member for business and economy, said: “Our project team has clearly done a fantastic job on this scheme as seen by the number of very well-regarded awards it continues to receive.

“Grey To Green has completely transformed a rather neglected part of the inner city and links well with our wider vision for West Bar and Kelham Island, providing an eye-catching introduction to the city.”

Date: 03 January 2017