Groundforce to the Rescue on Norwegian Shipwreck Site

27 Oct

The surprise discovery of a 15th Century ship buried in central Oslo required the rapid deployment of Groundforce’s Megabrace shoring system while archaeologists unearthed the relic.

The ship was discovered during construction of a basement on the Barcode Project, a section of the Bjorvika portion of the Fjord City redevelopment in the Norwegian capital.

Specialist groundworks contractor Kynningsrud Fundementering encountered the ancient vessel while installing sheet piles in preparation for a basement excavation.

The discovery meant that construction work had to stop while archaeologists investigated the find.

“Vedal Projects, the main contractor, asked Kynningsrud to find a support frame quickly and they came to us,” explains Sam Oldroyd, European sales manager for Groundforce.

“We had already worked with Kynningsrud on another site – Barcode B13 - about a year ago. That was a large basement construction, but this is a relatively small excavation,” he adds.

The equipment was needed to support the sides of the 6m x 25m x 4m deep excavation in ground which is loose fill to a depth of 5m above medium-stiff Oslo clay with bedrock at depths varying from 20m to 50m.

Groundforce was able to respond quickly, delivering its Mega Brace system to the site where Kynningsrud installed two levels in back-to-back configuration. “They needed the frame quickly and our modular hydraulic system was perfect. They managed to get it in in one day,” says Sam.

“Equipment from Groundforce was selected due to the rapid installation time and that the propping could then be carried out without welding,” explains Kynningsrud site manager Vidar Flatekval.

“The project is also a BREEAM [BRE Environmental Assessment Method] project, which has strict requirements for the use of recycled material – meaning that this equipment was ideal,” adds Vidar.

Scandinavia is proving to be a promising market for Groundforce which has carried out several projects in Norway in the past couple of years.

“Most ground support jobs here are still done with fabricated steel,” explains Sam. “That would have taken ages to install here.”

The archaeological dig was completed in mid-September and the Groundforce frame removed. 

The Barcode Project is located on reclaimed land that was previously underwater until the mid-19th Century.  Already nine wrecked ships have been located on the site, making it the largest collection of historical shipwrecks ever found in Norway, and it is likely there maybe more to be discovered.