Located in the Dockland area, HA Consulting Engineers was tasked with joining together 2 new buildings and pedestrianising the road between them.
The purpose of the development was to redevelop an old site into a new commercial complex featuring luxury accommodation. Our job was to oversee the whole construction from planning to finish.
The site utilised the following features
Some of the first requirements of the structural engineering work were
• Due to the design fully maximising the available site area, we were limited in the types of foundation we could use for the project – particularly with the columns in the perimeter of the building.
• Drainage also presented a number of problems as we had to reach a fixed drain on each site, and the design required all drainage to sit inside the structure.
• A large degree of onsite attenuation was required due to restricted discharge into the existing main sewer network.
The following issues occurred with the concrete piles
• We had to create concrete piles in the peat rich soil. After calculating the loads we recommended 750mm piles carrying 220 tonnes per pile submerged to a depth of at least 20m.
• All of our designs were based on this pile diameter, which then governed the spacing of each individual pile and thus the supporting columns throughout the structure.
• The appointed specialist piling contractor informed HA Consulting Engineers that they had encountered a thick level of gravel stone on a previous project at depth in the soil and the size of the pile would need to be changed to 450mm at very short notice.
To ensure the newly specified piles would support the proposed structure
• We requested that testing was conducted to test the load-bearing capacity of the smaller diameter piles.
• The piles failed during the first load test. An investigation was launched into the reasons behind this failure.
• Poor grade concrete and an inefficient curing process were found to be the root cause of the failure.
• With a third of the working piles already installed at the time of the first load test, we then had to trace the source of this concrete and conduct an additional test to ensure no working piles were affected.
Before the work commenced we had to contend with the following difficulties
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