Led by materials and technical manager Bhavika Ramrakhyani, who reports to group technical director Bill Hewlett, Costain has developed a set of United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited flexi-scope tests that are tailor-made so labs can be quickly established to meet operational needs.
Costain is one of a handful of organisations to be granted Flexible Scope of Accreditation by UKAS, replacing the centralised service that used to be offered by Costain Environmental Services (CES).
Costain said that the new approach offered improved cost control and speeded up the turnaround of reports. Other benefits include opportunities for on-the-spot commercial interpretation of the test results. For example, if tests from concrete summaries reveal elevated strengths, people on the ground can manage the reduction of cement to save money and reduce waste.
Mr Ramrakhyani said: “This new approach to materials compliance testing enables us to establish laboratories and obtain accreditation as soon as we are operational. That means we are not required to wait several months for an initial assessment visit. As part of a highly skilled and trained technical team, on-site lab testing provides a clear and effective reporting system which will highlight areas of concern and enable decisions to be made with greater confidence.”
Since gaining accreditation, facilities at LUL Bond Street recently tested materials used in sprayed concrete lining. Elsewhere, a lab is up and running at the M6 to Heysham Link Road and another is being set up at Felixstowe.
Negotiations are also at an advanced stage for a suite of laboratories at other projects.