Groundforce provides support for Brighton landmark

21 Jul

Groundforce has supplied its Mega Brace system with MP125 and MP150 props to a help with construction of a new landmark building in Brighton.

Conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, designers of the London Eye – the new i360 tower is a slender 162m high observation tower with a viewing ‘pod’ rising to 450 feet, sited at the root end of the historic West Pier on Brighton’s seafront.

Groundforce has been employed by civils subcontractor Mackley to support the sides of the 25m x 25m x 7m deep excavation in which the massive concrete foundations are cast.

We have installed secant piles through the loose ballast and sand and 5m into the underlying chalk,” says Mackley project manager Dan Argles. “Inside this excavation we are casting a reinforced concrete base comprising 1,900m3 of concrete and 190 tonnes of steel rebar.

Embedded within this slab is a 5m diameter, 22-tonne steel ring onto which the 162m-high tower will be fixed with over 80 massive bolts.

To support the sides of this excavation, Groundforce has installed its Mega Brace hydraulic frame as a waling beam around the top of the piled retaining wall.

Four hydraulic modular props – two 150 tonne capacity MP150s and two 125 tonne capacity MP125s – have been installed as knee-braces across each of the four corners. This leaves the centre of the excavation clear so that installation of the tower sections can be carried out unimpeded.

A smaller frame is used to support an additional 8.5m x 9.5m bay off one side of the excavation.

Mackley is responsible for all the civil works for the Brighton i360 including diverting services including a live Victorian sewer, excavating the basement and creating the foundations. Mackley will also create the single storey visitor centre at the base of the tower, which will encompass restaurants, an exhibition space, children’s soft play, conference and hospitality rooms and a gift shop. They are working with the main contractor, Hollandia.

Design of the support structure was completed by Groundforce, who has continued to provide on-site technical support during the three-month hire period.

Groundforce are pretty much our go-to supplier of support systems,” says Dan. “We’ve worked a lot with them on some pretty complex projects, most recently the Molesey Weir reconstruction project on the Thames.

The Groundforce equipment will remain in the ground until later this summer. The Brighton i360 is due to open to the public in 2016.