Northern Powerhouse?

Pile Probing – Manchester

We like to feel  that we’re contributing to the Northern Powerhouse and this week saw us working in Manchester on a project to construct student accomodation in the city centre. Our role was to clear locations of buried obstructions prior to piling commencing.

We successfully cleared 30 locations to 8m depth in a single day – a total of over 250m linear metres of pile probing. With the piling rig arriving the following day, the result was a happy client.

The fact Manchester was enjoying its warmest day of the year so far was a pure coincidence, though it was a welcome surprise not to get wet*!

For more information or to get a quote for pile probing at your site, please contact Steven Partridge – 01296 739413

[* The editor used to live in Manchester]

Pile Probing

Pile Probing – London

We were contacted by one of our regular clients with an urgent request to carry out pile probing at one of their sites in London. We were able to be on site the next day, using our Geoprobe rig to clear 55 pile locations to a depth of 4m, all before 3pm. To make matters even better, the sun shone all day.

For more information about our pile probing service please contact Duncan Eastland – 01296 739431

Contract Value: <£2k


Earth, Wind and Fire…mostly Fire

After the Fire
After the Fire

It’s never good when your business premises are reduced to ash in a raging inferno. But this was just the scenario faced by one of our clients, when their car showr0om and repair workshop has burnt down overnight.

We were on hand the next day, working closely with both the fire brigade and the demolition crew. We were able to obtain the vital geotechnical data necessary to allow design for the new buildings to progress.
Here you can see our Terrier rig taking soil samples and completing in situ standard penetration tests and dynamic probes to depths of up to 15m.

Now the flames have died out, the demolition has been completed and the new structure has been designed. Our client is well on the way to be back in business.

Centre Point, London – Pile Probing Plus

The prestigious Centre Point Building, located at the end of Oxford Street in London, is currently undergoing major refurbishment as its converted from offices to luxury apartments. The work requires additional pile foundations to be installed, both around the building and in the existing basement car parks. The only problem was that no-one could be really certain what else might be in the ground beneath the site.

We were called in to carry out pile probing for the 100+ piles to be installed. Careful planning ensured that we were able to work around the numerous HV cables, tube and Crossrail tunnels beneath the site, identifying obstructions in a number of locations. On such a congested site it was not possible to simply reconfigure the foundations and relocate the piles.

Instead we returned to site and using a DTH hammer, we were able to break up the obstructions in situ, without disturbing the surrounding structures. All part of our Pile Probing Plus service.

For more information please contact Duncan Eastland – 01296 739431

Everybody Breathe In

Terrier - Restricted Access
Terrier – Restricted Access

The combination of restricted head room and a ‘confined space’ presents major obstacles to any site investigation. However, our Terrier rig was able to gain access and complete a  geo-environmental investigation in such a space. Its quite amazing where this little rig can get.
Access was through a standard doorway working with an overhead ceiling clearance of
less than 30mm with the machine set up. Precision operation was required to ensure we completed five boreholes, each to 6 metres in depth, with SPTs every metre, all in a safe and efficient manner.
The nature of the confined space meant that exhaust gases from the Terrier’s engine had to be vented to an outside area. We used an extendable sectional exhaust pipe to ensure a safe working environment. But just in case we also carried out carbon monoxide monitoring to ensure our crew’s safety.
Even better, our work was completed without the need to close the car repair workshop we were working in. allowing our client to continue panel bashing, filling and spraying to his hearts content.

White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover

We were commissioned to carry out a geotechnical investigation, including rock coring, at a site located just a stone’s throw from  the busy harbour of Dover.

Our Commachio 205 and drilling crew were able to produce high quality cores and gain SPT/CPT data from 4 boreholes, each drilled to a depth of 20m below ground level. All completed on time and on budget.

Voids were encountered at various depths fueling rumours of secret smuggling tunnels similar to those we found in Margate last year. Unfortunately the only treasure recovered were metres and metres of chalk. Better luck next time lads!

Machu Pichu

alma roadOK so not exactly Peru, but a very steep, terraced site in the Chilterns.

The extremely tight access didn’t prevent our site team from getting in and completing a comprehensive geotechnical investigation, including soil sampling and dynamic probing to 10m depth. The work was completed on time and on budget, with dynamic probing data issued to the client on a ‘same day’ basis to assist with pile design.

Pile Probing Challenge

We do like a challenge, so when a client asked if we could probe 65 pile locations in a single day we said yes. Just to make it more of a challenge our client also wanted soil samples taken from each location and analysed for a range of potential contaminants.

The site was an office car park crammed with cars during the week, so the probing had to take place at the weekend. With noise restrictions preventing Sunday working and project deadlines meaning the work had to be completed in a single day, we knew we would have our work cut out. Each location required us to core the surface pavement, take a soil sample from the upper metre of soil profile and probe to 3.6m depth – a total of 234m of probing. But happily, using our Geoprobe Direct Push drill rig we were able to get everything completed in time to see the kick-off of the FA Cup.

The soil samples were dropped off at our own laboratory later the same day for ‘fast track’ analysis and the results provided to the client 3 days later.


Probing the Depths – Part Two

The headline “ground swallows car” sounds as if it comes straight out of a Hollywood horror film. But it is actually surprisingly common in areas with either chalk or limestone geology or with a history of mining (which could be for clay or salt as well as for coal).

If you are considering constructing foundations you may wish to consider commissioning us to ‘pile probe’ the area first. Not only will this identify shallow obstructions but it will identify swallow holes, solution features and abandoned underground workings such as the ones that caused this:

Ground Swallows Car

Probing the Depths……

Pile Probing Rig

…of Central London in this case. Subadra has completed a week of pile probing at a cramped development site in Central London. Despite obstacles such as leaking water mains, piling rigs and deep excavations we successfully probed sixty locations to verify the presence of below ground obstacles that might impede the construction of the engineers’ piled foundation solution and contiguous boundary piles. The contractor used this information to target additional ground clearance the key areas of concern.
Contract value: <£5k