Complex shoring project is a walk in the Parc for Groundforce

04 Jul

Modular hydraulic props and braces from Groundforce have helped civil engineering contractor Roadbridge install a number of underground pumping stations on a major leisure development in County Longford.

The pumping stations form an essential part of the drainage system for Center Parcs’ latest development - the new €233m Longford Forest Resort at Newcastle Wood.

Installed at various locations across the 400-acre site, six of the pumping stations had to be installed in depths of up to 6m in challenging ground conditions.

Steel sheet piles were chosen to provide internal support for the excavations, which were up to 20m x 10m, but due to the high rock level, a toe-in was not possible. Instead, Roadbridge approached Groundforce which proposed a hydraulic shoring system comprising three levels of Mega Brace high load capacity modular hydraulic bracing system, with HSK80 modular struts to support the sheets.

Because the pumping stations were all precast concrete units, it was essential that there were clear openings inside the frames to allow the units to be craned in.

This proved challenging as the pumping stations varied in size and shape and included some complex layouts.  Groundforce provided a solution which gave a clear opening for all the tanks with cross-struts positioned over the connecting pipework to minimise impact on the works.

While bespoke temporary shoring could also have provided a solution, designing and fabricating steel for this job would have been painstakingly slow. The modular hydraulic bracing system provided by Groundforce is ideally suited for long excavations where large clear spans are required, plus they are quick and easy to install. This proved to be of significant benefit to the build programme, with frames installed and extracted in a matter of hours.

Roadbridge Construction Manager Stephen Salvin commented: “The Groundforce framing system and temporary works designs added great benefit to this element of the project. Roadbridge were able to use their own sheet piles and piling hammer but the speed of installation of the Groundforce frames was a great help”.

Roadbridge is the main civils contractor, while John Sisk has the main building contract. Around 750 construction jobs will be created during the two-year project, which is due for completion in summer 2019. One completed the new holiday village is expected to provide up to 1,000 permanent jobs for local people.

The new Center Parcs resort will have 466 lodges and 30 apartments, accommodating up to 2,500 guests and more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, as well as a number of restaurants and cafés and a ‘subtropical swimming paradise’.