VolkerGround Engineering was appointed by Morris Homes to design and install a permanent steel sheet pile wall to an existing residential project at Swans Reach, near to the village of Appley Bridge in Greater Manchester.
Morris Homes is one of the country’s largest privately owned house builders. Based in Cheshire, they provide new homes across the North West, Midlands and south of England. Over 90% of their development takes place on previously used brownfield sites, transforming disused industrial land and buildings into well designed energy efficient housing schemes.
Occupying the site of former industrial premises, adjacent to the Leeds Liverpool Canal, VolkerGround Engineering installed a structural retaining wall to provide support to the proposed development of 30 mixed residential properties. The wall comprised of 11.5m long AZ18-700 piles and was installed using a crane suspended Kowan ZU-100, still working, pile pressing machine.
The close proximity of the existing residences also required a silent piling technique, therefore a vibration-less hydraulic press was used.
The ground conditions underlying the site, comprising of made ground (mixed backfill material) over stiff glacial clay and dense sand with sandstone bedrock, presented a challenge for piling. By using an excavator mounted hydraulic auger drill, VolkerGround Engineering was able to overcome this challenge and loosen the ground. The team then used high pressure water jetting through steel tubes welded into the pans of the sheet piles, which ensured that a loosened zone was created ahead of the pile insertion and that the designed embedment level required was achieved.