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Since formation of the company the majority of our project work has been focused around the geotechnics of various structures. This has been mainly due to the huge amount of building work along the "M62" corridor since 2003. Several examples of our project experience are cited below:


Under the DFeS and on behalf of Buro Happold Engineers work has been undertaken on five National Academy sites in North Linclonshire, London, Nottingham and Manchester. For these geo-environmental interpretative reports were prepared and a variety of foundation types were recommended. Other issues such as ground gas, contamination, top soil quality and the potential for sustainable urban drainage systems were also considered.

Due to relatively complex ground conditions (comprising made ground, superficial deposits and a steeply dipping rockhead) observational techniques were used to determine the base depths of the piles sunk for the Leith Street Bridge in Edinburgh. This involved on-site inspection of the arisings from each pile and liaison with the structural designers.

The foundations for the proposed new-build part of the Royal Mills redevelopment in Ancoats, Manchester were designed a raft but, due to be presence of low-permeability sand and silt bands within the glacial till, variable soil strength was anticipated. Therefore, in situ testing was undertaken to verify that the material underlying the raft met with the design criteria.

During construction there were also some problems regarding of flow failure of softened soils between the contiguous piled wall. The reasons for this were investigated and remedial measures were recommended.

The foundations of the new multi storey car-park at Edinburgh Airport, formed over 5m of soft alluvium over stiff to hard glacial till, were formed using driven pre-cast concrete piles. Project supervision was undertaken,  The installation and testing of these was supervised. In addition, the driving records and load test results were used to verify that the capacity of the  installed piles was adequate for the proposed vertical and moment loads.

Due to a relatively shallow rock surface below most of the proposed Chapel Wharf Development in Manchester and the considerable saving, both in terms of cost and time, should it be possible to use spread spread footings the ground investigation was designed to assess the elastic properties of the upper parts of the Chester Pebble beds formation (where limited core is usually recovered) using a High Pressure Dilatometer, or Pressuremeter.

To aid preliminary project planning ground investigation and preliminary design of a sheet piled wall was undertaken for a Basement car park to be constructed off Great Ancoats Street, Manchester. As the piles would need to be driven into a stiff clay a good deal of research was done into the possibility of using this construction method in an urban environment close to old masonry structures.


3J Geotechnics, 198 Slag Lane, Lowton, WA3 2EZ, Tel; 01942 728420 Mobile; 07739 971216

Last modified: Jul-06