Newcastle University

Newcastle University

VolkerGround Engineering was contracted by Bowmer & Kirkland Ltd to install Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piles, with a contract value of £230,000. The works were to enable the construction of a National Innovation Centre for Ageing and Data at Newcastle University, scheduled to be opened in 2020.

The aim of the centre is to bring together leading scientists to work alongside the NHS, members of the public and selected industries, to develop information and technology that promotes healthy ageing.

The scope of work involved the installation of 149no. 600mm diameter CFA piles with a rotary piling option to deal with obstructions at depth. The work was completed using a PVE 55 piling rig.

The VolkerGround Engineering team faced the challenge of piling through coal measures. To determine the level of the coal seams and to minimise delays to the programme, the team probed the site by boring down with the rig beyond the assumed level of the coal seam at pre-identified locations. Using a gas monitor and rig data, the team were then able to determine the change in ground conditions.

VolkerGround Engineering worked closely with the main contractor to develop sequencing to allow for the follow on groundworks. This involved various intersite moves, with the  teams working together to ensure safe access and egress throughout.

VolkerGround Engineering completed dynamic and static load testing, to ensure the parameters set at design were being met on site.

There was a potential risk of the piles refusing shallow ground depths on this site. The VolkerGround Engineering team offered a solution to the client, which incorporated additional piles in the works to accommodate the load of the building. This guaranteed a successful build for the client.