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High performance topsoil for landmark building at University of Winchester

Topsoil: Sourcing, specifying, blending, certifying

A new theatre, a new teaching space, library and lounges – the end result of this landmark development at the University of Winchester.  But at the very beginning of this flagship project was the groundwork – the soil specification and the collaboration between contractor and soil supplier.

Timelapse: West Downs Centre at University of Winchester Dec19-Feb20

(Credit: University of Winchester)

Working with our client JP Dunn Construction, MCM supplied a specified blend of BS3882 topsoil and a tested and fully compliant BS8601 subsoil, which would provide a welcome boost to the surrounding landscape, allowing better drainage and creating the perfect environment for the healthy establishment of plants, root growth and turf success.

Plaza and courtyard planting

With wildflower planting in pockets around the development, MCM supplied a low fertility topsoil blend to provide the nutrient levels required for a thriving soft landscape whilst suppressing the onset of invasive weeds across the planting scheme.  With the client, we ensured the soil was tested, compliant and spot on in terms of the specified blend. The building was completed in December 2019 and is one of the greenest buildings in Winchester: rainwater recycling, solar photo voltaic panels and smart building management systems and hence a BREEAM Excellent rating – something reflected in the surrounding landscape, from the soil up.

“The development will provide an outstanding environment for our students and be a landmark in the city.” – Professor Joy Carter, University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor

The building, part of the £33 million development for the University, was designed by DEA Architects with the landscape designed by Land Use Consultants.  The landscaping, completed by JP Dunn Construction, includes a courtyard, water garden, arrival plaza, embanked pocket green space with radial steps and an upper terrace.

The importance of choosing a reputable reliable soils supplier

MCM have worked with JP Dunn on this and similar projects for over 20 years.

“Matching the specification of the soils, meeting a tight delivery schedule and accommodating ongoing testing and certification were the key take-aways from our relationship with MCM as soil supplier for this project.  As ever, the MCM team worked tirelessly to ensure the right soil arrived in the right place at the right time, every time – of utmost importance to us and our partners in this prestigious scheme.” – James Galloway, Procurement Director, JP Dunn Construction

Find out more about the MCM range of high performance soils and their topsoil certification commitments. View the full range of MCM High Performance Soils at a glance:

March 2020

MCM Soil Leaflet Cover 2020

  • ‘I have worked with Scott and MCM over the last few years and we have built up a great working relationship. No matter what time of day, they will get back to me ASAP. If something is not achievable they would tell me instead of saying ‘yes’ and not performing. All deliveries turn up when required and we have great prices. I really enjoy working alongside the MCM team and would recommend them to anyone.’

    Michael Lock
    Purchasing Manager
    TSG UK

  • ‘J P Dunn Construction Ltd have been working with MCM for many years and they are at the top of our preferred supplier list. This is because MCM not only provide a quality product at a good price but also have an extremely high standard of service. This is essential in the world of procurement where timing, price and results can equal large buying gains. Looking forward to working with them for many years to come!’

    James Galloway
    Procurement Director
    JP Dunn

  • ‘Every time we enquire, whether for a price, an order or to discuss a project, we have always impressed with the helpful response, the speed and the options discussed with us.  MCM are clearly a business experiencing healthy growth and we can see why – they offer a swift, efficient service at a competitive price and are working very hard to present a professional business offering.’

    Luis Moreno
    Construction Director
    Randle Siddley

  • ‘They offer a ‘real-time’ service and delivery provision and we cannot fault them on communications and project management – from the office to staff on site, they are exemplary.’

    Rob Donald
    Landscape Consultant
    Talbot Farm Landscapes

  • ‘The Basildon garden required a high level of cleanliness – not an easy ask when it comes to soils and aggregates.  The team managed the tight timeframes and logistical challenges of the site admirably.’

    Simon Thomson
    Contracts Manager
    CR Swift Landscaping

  • ‘Above all, they are a safe pair of hands, with the service, product range, technical knowledge and value for money that we look for in a supplier.  At the helm of this relationship is Darrel Burgess, MCM’s Sales Manager, making the wheels turn. We continue to recommend MCM’s services across the Group.’

    Alistair Bayford
    Operations Director

  • ‘Our Supply chain is a key element to the success of our business. MCM continue to be a consistent and reliable part of our supply chain and have helped us improve our ability to deliver Quality & Time driven Projects to our Clients.’

    Paul Lavelle
    Managing Director
    Foran Construction

  • ‘MCM are a friendly team you can always rely on.

    Logistics being a vital part of landscape construction projects MCM Deliver time and time again.’

    David & Ruth Houghton
    Company Directors
    Kings Landscapes

  • ‘MCM provide a wide range of products and a prompt, friendly service at a keen price.’

    Mike O’Hara
    John Reilly Civil Engineering Limited

  • ‘We have worked with MCM-SE on many various projects over many years, we have found them to be always professional in their approach and eager to assist. They have a large range of products and can be used as a ‘one stop shop‘ which is ideal in the varied world of landscaping.’

    Darren Skidmore
    Skidmores of Hertfordshire

  • ‘Excellent level of service, Reliable supplier for all soils and aggregates.

    Their willingness to change, be flexible and continually challenge the parameters of the landscaping market has resulted in savings and increased quality which we have been happy to share with our clients.’

    Daniel Farendon
    Commercial Manager
    INEX Landscapes

  • ‘MCM are a company you can really rely on. They provide a timely, professional service and have assisted us on large prestigious sites such as the Crossrail Project and Wembley Stadium developments where compliance crucial and very important.’

    Steve Turney
    Company Director
    Turney Landscape

  • ‘MCM’s Enviro Blend type 1 proved to be just the solution we were looking for.

    The team at MCM helped to resolve our soils, sub-base and disposal needs quickly and cost effectively.’

    Rudi Swanepoel
    Commercial Director
    Landform Consultants