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2012 Vol 2 No 9
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Groundforce Shorco has supplied some of its most advanced hydraulic shoring equipment to contractor Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) for use on the £50 million redevelopment of Glasgow’s School of Art

Groundforce Shorco has supplied some of its most advanced hydraulic shoring equipment to contractor Sir Robert McAlpine

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Groundforce Gives a Lesson In Shoring at Glasgow School of Art

A major city centre excavation marks the footprint of what will be an innovative new building for the internationally renowned Glasgow School of Art. Following completion of demolition, work is progressing rapidly on construction of the foundations and basement for the new five-storey building. Standing immediately opposite the school’s Grade A listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh building, the new facility will replace a number of the institution’s existing premises on Renfrew Street.

The new building will also provide a range of studios and additional teaching facilities as well as communal areas and exhibition spaces. The substructure of the new building requires temporary propping during the construction of the double storey basement in an excavation measuring approximately 60 m x 34 m x 10 m deep.

"Traditionally, SRM have opted for a structural steel solution, however the design Team from Groundforce’s Major Projects Division, worked closely with SRM to develop a propping solution which was not only commercially similar to the cost of structural steel but also offered additional benefits, such as speed of installation and the capability to monitor loads" comments Mark Whitmore, technical sales manager with Groundforce.

The support structure comprises nine hydraulic props in total; six at the upper level and three raking props at the lower level. As the site slopes quite steeply, all props are also on a vertical incline, meaning that Groundforce had to ensure that the end bearing plates, which are designed to permit lateral articulation, were rotated 90° to suit the connection detail on the capping beam.

Using the modular hydraulic system in combination with active load monitoring allowed Groundforce and SRM to be fluid with the design requirementsAs there was a need to measure the effect of the basement excavation on the surrounding buildings, the Groundforce wireless load monitoring system was utilised, which uses electronic load pins to log prop loads and transmit readings to a central server via GPRS. This data is then displayed in the form of charts and graphs on a secure website which the client, and any other authorised users, can access at any time.

Using the modular hydraulic system in combination with active load monitoring allowed Groundforce and SRM to be fluid with the design requirements. This provided flexibility to change aspects of the design to accommodate changes to the construction sequence. As a result of utilizing the wireless load monitoring system, SRM were able to adopt an observational approach to the lower level propping and were consequently able to significantly reduce the number of struts required. This had the obvious benefit of shortening the construction program for this phase of activity.

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