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Bachy starts piling at the SECC


Geotechnical engineer, Bachy Soletanche, has started piling at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, in preparation for a new multi-storey car park.

The seven-week, £750,000 contract was awarded by SCC, Design Build contractor, and will involve the installation of the piles in a site which is known to be potentially problematic due to the positioning over a former dock that was filled with unknown matter during the 1950s.

With half of the car park site over this in-filled area, and with the made ground within the dock extending to 16m (52ft) below ground level, Bachy Soletanche included the removal of all obstructions in its scope of work.  

A CM120 piling rig initially probed the in-filled dock area to determine the extent of unknown obstructions, and to explore whether ground conditions were suitable for continuous flight auger (CFA) piling. The company found that the top few metres were too unstable to install CFA piles without using temporary casing within the top 10m (32ft). Instead, a BG28/36 rig was mobilised to install Bauer casing prior to the CM120 installing the piles through it.  

The CFA piles within the dock were installed with 880mm (34in) outer diameter Bauer casing, along with a 750mm (30in) CFA auger ­ reaching to a maximum depth of 23m (75ft) ­and a rock socket in the sandstone. The piles outside the dock are CFA piles of 600mm (24in) and 750mm (30in).   

Chris Wallbank, contracts manager at Bachy Soletanche, said: “We knew that this project would throw up a few challenges but we have had a really positive start. The SECC car park piling certainly requires substantial technical knowledge, so we are pleased to be able to contribute our experience and expertise to the work.  

“Despite the worst of the wet weather, we are very much on target for the seven-week completion deadline.”

The next stages of the project include the piling for a new Link Bridge to connect the Arena and multi-story car park.

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