As part of a £120 million regeneration project in the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth, Watkin Jones were contracted to replace existing, largely vacant, buildings with new “design and build” multi-storey buildings for a variety of regeneration purposes.
The new buildings to be developed include:
- A 454 bedroom student accommodation block
- 128 bedroom hotel, 10 storeys high for Premier Inn
- 2000ft2 of new retail space
- 70,000ft2 of high grade office space over 9 storeys
All of the above to be developed over a 2 level basement car park with parking for up to 196 vehicles and 290 cycles.
Due to the technical & complex aspects of the large scale excavations required on the project, Watkin Jones structural engineers sought out the advice of All Foundations due to experience gained working together previously. All Foundations were asked to assist in identifying cost saving measures for constructing the ground retaining structures of the project.
All Foundations subsequently partnered with Watkin Jones to design and build the entire piling requirements for the scheme, to ensure that it was as cost effective as possible. Indeed All Foundations identified a number of cost saving measures which had the effect of dramatically reducing not only the cost of the scheme but also reducing the disruption to the local communities infrastructure as a whole during development.
The solution provided by All Foundations was a contiguous piled retaining wall, using 600mm dia, heavily reinforced and “temporary berm propped” piles to depths varying from 10 to 13 metres.
The “berm prop” method system (natural earth banking) was chosen to negate any major internal temporary propping works that would hinder the construction of vital main foundation works and or the requirement for external tie anchors that would be required to be installed into adjacent local government / highway agency owned land. In addition the 600mm dia piles provided the ability to carry and transfer the heavy external load bearing element of the structure below the final basement levels in a suitable and costs effective manner.
All Foundations Operations Director, Michael Lloyd, had this to say about the project:
‘Working alongside Watkin Jones on this project was a privilege, they were very accommodating and allowed us the level of flexibility we required to get on and complete our stage of the development as quickly and safely as possible. Yes there were a few snags, such as identifying some alternative ground conditions not picked up in the Ground Investigation Report (GIR), however with the freedom provided to us we were able to quickly alleviate this through the use of additional piles to offset the ground conditions and ensure that the foundations met the load bearing standards required. Overall the project went smoothly and we finished the project well within the time frame given.’
Watkin Jones were equally as pleased as All Foundations with how the project was completed, Simon Cowell, Construction Director at Watkin Jones, was particularly pleased with how well All Foundations worked with the Watkin Jones Project Team.
‘From the very start of the project All Foundations were fully engaged with ourselves and their allocated site manager was in close communication with our team to ensure that everyone knew what was transpiring at all times. It was a pleasure to work with such a pro-active partner who provided dynamic solutions to, often unforeseen, issues. The cost saving options All Foundations provided were very much appreciated, as were the disruption reduction measures. All in all the project, in relation to the foundation and piling, went without any major hitches and we would not hesitate to use All Foundations again as their expertise and ability to offer such a comprehensive service benefits all parties involved.’
The project was completed on time and within budget and as the building continues to evolve and expand out from street level, it is already having a positive impact upon the vibrant town of Bournemouth.