Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2020 - ONLINE , (DFI)

A Collaborative Approach to the Design and Delivery of the Most Heavily Loaded Piles Ever Constructed in the UK
J. D. Morris, P. M. Wiltcher, Z. Baldwin, T. Hartlib, J. F. Kennedy, M. S. Crilly

21 Moorfields is an oversite development in central London spanning Moorgate tube station. It required the installation of both the highest loaded bearing piles and the highest top loaded static pile test ever undertaken in the UK, at 50.5MN (5,680 tons). The 17-storey building is founded on only 15 large diameter bored piles installed through the roof of the live station. The piles are located in two parallel rows 50 m (164 ft) apart, bridging the underlying train lines and the Crossrail tunnel below. This unique project required a diverse cross-section of skills and experience from the Project Team as we not only pushed the boundaries of design but also those of construction practices. Our team therefore needed to be made up of members from multiple businesses and disciplines. The team worked together, in a highly collaborative environment, for around two years before any work started on site. A key challenge for this project was that there was only one opportunity to construct each pile. If a position had to be abandoned there were no alternative locations and the impact on the project would have been catastrophic. It was therefore vital that all events that may have led to the abandonment of a pile were investigated ahead of commencement on site. Risk elimination and mitigation strategies were developed for all eventualities whether they be associated with the design or construction processes. The successful pile load test, coupled with all contract piles being fully instrumented with state-of-the-art fiber optic (CemOptic) cable along their full length, has improved our understanding of the performance of such large and heavily loaded piles. The works piles will all be monitored during the construction of the new building, providing new insight into their real-world performance. Such groundbreaking work has never been undertaken before in the UK and has the potential to significantly influence the industry's understanding of pile behavior, and design, in the future. This paper will discuss the challenges the team encountered during the design and construction of this highly complex urban project, particularly when adopting, by necessity, a pioneering approach.

 article #3662; publication #1073 (AM-2020)