Contractors World

Contractors World
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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2011 Volume 1 Issue 7
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 • Seddon and Viaduct Housing Partnership building for the future.

 • GT Access Takes UKs First 15 m Hinowa Booms
 • Snorkel UK Appoints PLP Lift Trucks As Regional Dealer
 • A-Plant to Merge Lion Trackhire and Eve under New Name
 • Lendlease have renewed their framework agreement with Human Recognition Systems.
 • RPS Appointed for GWR Exeter Depot Expansion




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Groundforce makes sure excavation is in good shape - page 2 of 3

Work in final stages, with the Groundforce frames in place. After completing the top frame, Conwell finished the excavation, installing another Groundforce frame to support the lower level at 2.5 m below ground level. Maximum dig depth was approximately 4.5 m at 49.125 m AOD.

Work in final stages, with the Groundforce frames in place. (roll cursor over image for other picture)

“Using a proprietary support system not only made installation quick and easy but also gave us the flexibility to create a clear working space within the excavation,” says Joe McFadden. “You can’t always put the supporting struts in the most obvious position because they span the excavation and can create an obstruction. Groundforce’s design had to take the eventual shape of the Intake Structure into account,” he adds.

Throughout the contract, a series of 2”, 3” and 4” sump wells located around the perimeter of the excavation were used to keep ground water low and prevent the excavation flooding. Water pumped out of the wells was run into a series of three temporary settlement lagoons before being returned to the river.

Adopting the Groundforce solution helped BAM Civil stay on programme and keep construction costs down. “By making the excavation follow the shape of the Intake Structure, we reduced the amount of material excavated by about 20%,” explains Mr McFadden.

“That not only saved time but also reduced the amount of vehicle and plant movements involved while cutting the amount of material that had to be disposed of around the site.”

The excavation took two weeks to complete and was back-filled after completion of the Intake Structure 12 weeks later. The overall project is scheduled for completion in March 2013.







Part of VP plc, the Harrogate-based hire group, Groundforce made its first move into the Irish market in 2006 when construction activity was at its peak.

With experienced engineer Liam Brew recruited as general manager, Groundforce Ireland started trading in January 2007 and grew strongly in its first year.

“We concentrated mainly on the big hydraulic props which are the company’s strongest sector,” explains Mr Brew. “Most of the inventory was supplied from locations in England and a lot of our work was initially with large civil contractors.”

Towards the end of 2007 the company acquired two sister companies, Underground Safety Services (USS) and Pipe Testing Accessories (PTA), and moved into its current headquarters in Portlaoise.

“We had two very good years culminating in what was then our biggest project to date, working on the Limerick Tunnel under the River Shannon,” says Mr Brew. This €660 million project made extensive use of Groundforce’s 250 tonne capacity MP250 hydraulic props to support the sides of the casting basin in which the segments of the submerged tube tunnel were built.

With the onset of recession and the slowdown of the Irish economy, workloads fell back. But now there are signs of recovery, says Mr Brew: “2010 was a tough year but 2011 has been much better.

“We have the advantage of being a small start-up without any major legacy costs to deal with. We didn’t have to reduce the size of our operation during the recession; instead we have been concentrated on growth and premium service delivery,” he adds.

Project Factfile


Construction of a new water treatment plant including intake structure, storage reservoirs and pumping mains. The new treatment plant form part of the Barrow Abstraction Scheme to provide potable water to County Kildare and the Greater Dublin Region.

  • Employer: Kildare County Council
  • Location: Athy, Co. Kildare
  • Value: €22 million
  • Commencement date: June 2011
  • Completion: March 2013


More information>>> More information:     Groundforce



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