Birmingham National Indoor Arena

All Foundations (UK) Ltd installed 57No load bearing piles using low headroom restricted access piling equipment, as part of the clients overall 26.0 million pound re-development of the existing National Indoor Arena’s Canal / Broad Street approach frontage in Birmingham.

Working in close liaison with the Main Contractor, BAM Construct, and Consultantant Paul Avery, All Foundations (UK) Ltd used its design knowledge and experience of the area, to propose the installation of Preliminary piles and pile testing and allay any concerns regarding drilling of the potentially problematic underlying sandstone strata and in turn provide comfort for the projects overall specification / settlement criteria. This approach not only proved to be the most successful technical solution, but also provided value engineering to the project to the tune of 80.0K.

The piling process was complex, in the words of Paul Avery “The piles were being installed either side of the West Coast Mainline tunnel coming out of Birmingham New Street, adjacent to the canal and around the existing live chiller and heating system for the ICC,” Mr Avery says. “There was a lot to think about.”

Piles were installed from within the existing 2.6m height Canal Tow path level public car park using our restricted access “Kitten” piling rig, accessed from the Sheepcote Street service yard entrance. 57No 350mm diameter piles were installed to depths of 13.0m, using segmental “Hollow Stem Auger” methods and specially adapted auger cutting heads, to assist the drilling of the predominant sandstone sub strata. The piles were installed in positions to allow the new structures foundations to straddle an existing Network Rail Tunnel and in turn allow normal uninterrupted rail service to Birmingham’s main New Street station. Piles were constructed / cast using site batched sand / cement grout. All plant, materials and pile reinforcement were transported approximately 100 yards from the service yard area to the area of works via powered low level forklift. The works were carried out alongside multi trade operations, with strict attention to the Health and Safety of all operatives, along with special attention to traffic management and fume extractions for working within confined spaces / low head height zones.

Piling works were completed in July 2013, on time and to an extremely strict programme. Our proactive approach for this section of the project, proved to be very successful and in essence help to provide the foundation and spring board, for the Main Contractor to complete and deliver to the client what can now only be considered as one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings.