Manchester Ship Canal. – In late December 2015 Storm Eva cause flooding in the canal which resulted in severe damage to about 160m of canal bank. Drilled ground anchors were needed to tie back a new combi pile wall stabilising the damaged bank. However, during the drilling of the anchors, movement was recorded beneath nearby structures and work was stopped. We were commissioned to investigate the cause of the movement and recommend changes to overcome these problems. Researching the probable cause of the movement, we highlighted changes ensuring that further movement could be kept to controllable levels. 

Chernobyl. – When building the sarcophagus over reactor number four, there were problems trying to build the CFA piles in the active zone. Bechtel contacted us to ask for our help to resolve the problems they were having on site. First, we reviewed the computer records for the pile installation and the test pile results. We identified where changes in construction method would significantly impact the quality and speed of construction. Seeing construction at the site quickly confirmed our findings. Finally we made recommendations to the construction team, resolving the problems that the site team were having.  Take some time to watch the arch being slid into place here.

Bishop Stortford. – A house builder called to say that their piling contractor was unable to form CFA piles on the site. First, we reviewed the site investigation documents, pile records and looked into previous projects close to the site and discovered there were dissolution features under the site preventing the formation of the piles. So we specified the scope for further ground investigation and found the full extent of the features. We recommended compaction grouting to stabilise the dissolution features thereby reducing the effects of ground movement on adjacent buildings during the successful completion of the piling.

Design and Innovation

Ground Movement – Planning conditions for a new 24 storey tower block in South London required a ground movement assessment arising from the installation of the piled foundations. Using computer modelling techniques, we were able to show that the predicted induced strains surrounding the nearby tunnel would not be sufficient to cause any damage.

Differential Settlement. – Heavily loaded centre core foundations near to more lightly loaded column foundations can give rise to high differential settlement and hence structural instability. Our analysis of a tall building’s foundations showed that there was a significant risk of large differential settlement occurring. By modelling the building foundations and structural loads, we modified the foundation design moderating the differential settlement to a level that the structure could sustain. 

Belpile. – Introducing new working practices notably the approach to bid management. This resulted in Belpile securing the AU$5m “Top-Down” piling work at the prestigious 500 Hay Street project. Of particular note was the close working partnership with Airey Taylor Consulting and Cooper & Oxley Construction. The work included CFA and limited access contiguous piled walls. The plunged column piles were deep large diameter CFA piles.

Business Consultancy

Piling Solutions. – We introduced a computer based system for project control and managing the Company’s quality performance meeting the needs of ISO 9001. As a result new employees were able to quickly learn the business systems.

Bauer Technologies. – Retained as consultants to assist Bauer Technologies to become established in the UK. Of particular importance was our help with developing the quality and safety systems and business development in the UK markets.

Bachy Soletanche. – Commissioned to produce a detailed three year plan for a new division of this world leading foundation engineering contractor. Wishing to explore the potential of the limited access and low headroom piling market they contacted us because of our experience in this area. Subsequently, Bachy Soletanche opened their new limited access and low headroom piling division. 

Bid Management

Bauer. – We successfully led the bid for securing the £15m rotary piling project at Uskmouth as well as a £6.5m CFA piling project in Pembroke. 

Morgan Est. – C Hobbs took the role of Bid Director for the Crossrail Station boxes and LUL station upgrades for the BBMV JV. The projects required the construction of large diameter rotary piles, diaphragm walls and piled secant and contiguous walls.

Roy Hill. – C Hobbs oversaw the bids on three major sections for the Roy Hill mine project in North Western Australia. Of particular importance to the project was a new stockyard and car-dumper with piles and retaining walls. Secondly, a 6km conveyor to a new port facility over difficult marshy ground. Finally thirteen bridges on a new 350kM railway line needing heavy wall driven steel tubular piles. Overall, the project value was AU$35M and Avopiling were successful in securing the bridge piling for the 13 structures.

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