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RAF Marham Taxiway Reconstruction

Key Facts

  • Client: Babcock Dyncorp (for Defence Estates / Defence Infrastructure Organisation)
  • Value: £20 million
  • Location: RAF Marham, Norfolk

At RAF Marham in Norfolk, the four-kilometre-long southern taxiway had originally been constructed for use in the Second World War. Now worn-out and in need of repair, BAM Nuttall’s task was to improve the surface of, and reduce the width of the taxiway. The construction works involved resurfacing and paving using Pavement Quality Concrete (PQC). The works were carried out in seven phases, so that the taxiway could remain operational for Tornado squadrons, as well as maintaining access to the airbase’s hardened aircraft shelter (HAS) during the project.

Minimising waste

Taxiway refurbishment works typically produce large amounts of carbon due to primary materials usage. BAM Nuttall’s early involvement in the design and surveys enabled us to develop a solution which recycled 85% of old taxiway materials and used surplus materials for other tasks at the base.

BAM Nuttall, in partnership with Babcock Dyncorp, designer Arup and supply chain partners Gill Civil Engineering and Tarmac, developed a solution that involved breaking up the existing pavement, crushing it onsite and reusing it. Zero waste was transported off site for disposal, minimising vehicle movements and the costs of imported aggregates and waste disposal.

It was important to us to minimise the environmental impact of the project, both by reducing its carbon footprint as well as the quantity of waste generated. As a result, no primary aggregates were used, other than for the high quality limestone aggregate top surface. This made a huge difference to the carbon emissions of the project, since these materials would have had to be transported from quarries in Derbyshire had they been used. By reusing existing surface materials, a 53% saving has been achieved on carbon. Recycling materials already onsite saved approximately £5m in additional costs.


Other features also had environmental benefits. For instance, new LED aeronautical ground lighting that was installed is 95% more efficient than standard systems.The CEEQUAL winning scheme is a showcase project for sustainable construction for the MOD.

RAF Families Day

We always aim to develop a positive presence within the community local to our projects. We volunteer locally and, where feasible, participate in charity events and host presentations at schools and local community groups. BAM Nuttall exhibited at the RAF Families Day at Marham, where the BAM team provided careers advice about the civil engineering industry, and organised a popular golf putting competition for the local community.