Page 10 - Contractors World -UK & Ireland Vol 2 No 4 (May 2012)

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Good Vibrations
For Piletec At One
Tower Bridge
An ICE1423 vibrating piling
hamme r f rom s pe c i a l i s t
equipment hirer Pi letec is
helping Miller Piling install
approximately 1,100 concrete
piles on what will be one of
Europe’s most prest igious
residential developments:
One Tower Bridge.
T h e B e r ke l e y Home s
development will comprise 374 new apartments, plus
a cultural centre, retail facilities and a health spa, on
the site of a derelict coach-park located between the
GLA Headquarters building and Tower Bridge on the
South bank of the Thames.
The location, while highly sought-after as an
address, has less than ideal ground conditions, being
very poor and variable soil down to 10 m with London
Clay beneath.
Consequently, piling specialist Miller Piling is
required to install a series of reinforced concrete
piles in diameters from 750 mm to 1,200 mm to
depth of up to 28 m.
To help overcome the risk of the ground collapse
during the installation of the rotary-bored piles, Miller is using Piletec’s ICE 1423 vibrating hammer to install
the temporary steel pile casings.
“Normally we’d screw the temporary casing into position with our rig, before boring the pile, placing the
reinforcement and pouring the concrete” explains Miller Piling’s technical manager James Hayward.
“To maintain the programme commitments we are using the Piletec hammer to insert the casings before we drill
them out. This means the hammer can service two machines simultaneously.
“Some of the casings are up to 12 m long, so we are using the hammer suspended from a crane” he adds.
With this method, Miller Piling can install the piles and then use the ICE 1423 to lift the casings out of the ground
before the concrete has cured. “Without the vibrating hammer, the process would have been slow and laborious” says
Mr Hayward.
However, using the vibrating technique ensured that Miller Piling has remained on schedule, says Mr Hayward: “We
started in January and we have about another 200 piles to go. We should be off-site 6 weeks ahead of programme”.
“We use Piletec a lot for hammers. The equipment is good and the service is very prompt, with good technical
backup” comments Mr Hayward.
Although Miller’s £2.2 million piling contract is now almost complete, Berkeley Homes will not have completed the
development – which comprises several blocks, including one block of affordable social housing for Southwark Council –
for at least another five years.
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