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Environmentally sensitive civil engineering design – Newenham Estate, SA

Newenham Estate is a master planned residential estate located in Mount Barker, the fifth-fastest growing area in South Australia, where developments such as this project are in high demand.

Set on a sizable and environmentally complex area, Newenham Estate comprises 180 allotments spread across both flat and steep land. The property’s natural features include a creek line, a large natural wetland, and a prominent area of trees.

Fyfe’s role and responsibilities

Fyfe is the lead engineering and survey consultant on this project, a role that sees us making the most of our civil engineering and geospatial capabilities, alongside our other integrated service offerings. 

Our work on the estate has, so far, covered:

  • Creating detailed infrastructure design of roads, stormwater drainage, flood modelling, Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and the sewer and water network
  • Coordinating the location of utility connections for allotments 
  • Managing all project work packages for approval submissions
  • Liaising with various stakeholders including the Mount Barker District Council, ElectraNET, Landscapes SA and utility service providers.
Overcoming challenges with clever design

The Fyfe team is accustomed to extreme and varied landscapes, projects that incorporate wetland design, and sites with a steep stormwater element. However, we less commonly encounter each of these factors in a single site. 

The unique landscape presented a few challenges, including:

  • Working within specific parameters and considering flood mitigation because of the creek line’s proximity 
  • Creating a sympathetic design around the prominent trees to ensure that the area’s natural beauty was retained and the trees remained prominent
  • Applying first principles and innovative thinking to ensure water quality, so that it can be discharged into the creek
  • Managing work in inclement weather that threatened to hinder development
  • Designing infrastructure solutions that worked for the landscape and local laws around road gradients
  • Working to preserve and protect the large central wetland, an important element from both an environmental and aesthetic perspective.

Our approach is designing and constructing infrastructure that is sympathetic to the landscape, environment, and the Newenham community vision. The engineering solutions and designs we are using mean the project’s key development outcomes are on track while the environmental features are viewed as an asset, not a constraint. 

A high-level of consultation and collaboration with the local council, utility providers, subcontractors, and other stakeholders has made it possible for us to deliver on these designs and solutions. 

Fyfe was a finalist in the UDIA National Awards for Excellence 2023 in the Professional Consulting category for our work on Newenham Estate.

To find out how Fyfe’s civil and environmental engineering services can benefit your project, please contact us.