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UK Project with a Geotechnical Value of between £1M and £3M

This is for a ground engineering scheme (as a standalone project or part of a larger development) with a contract value of between £1M and £3M that stands out in terms of its credentials in innovation, sustainability, health and safety and value engineering.

The shortlisted entrants were asked to demonstrate the exceptional measures that were undertaken to result in the project being delivered above the expected standard. A key element in deciding the winner will be the contribution of the entrant to the overall delivery of a project.

Sponsored by 

groundforce shorco2 new cmyk

groundforce shorco2 new cmyk

Amey Consulting

A565 Great Howard Street Bridge, Liverpool

Overall project value £10M
Geotechnical value £1.2M

great howard street bridge replacement, liverpool

great howard street bridge replacement, liverpool

The construction of a new single span road bridge was needed to replace an existing bridge on a route that overlies the Kingsway Tunnel, which is a road tunnel under the River Mersey

The use of reinforced earth as a coherent gravity structure for the bridge abutments/wingwalls not only provided a structurally efficient way to support the onerous loadings, but also reduced excavations to minimise temporary instability risk and disturbance of the existing arch structure.

According to Amey, significant achievements were made through the proposed design. The reinforced earth retaining structures proved to be an economical way to meet extraordinary construction-specific requirements.

Bam Nuttall Mott MacDonald JV

Exeter Flood Defence Scheme (Phase 2)

Overall project value £30M
Geotechnical value £2.9M

exeter flood scheme

exeter flood scheme

The JV led a team of specialists to undertake the work for the Environment Agency on phase 2 of the scheme, which included earthworks, low noise and vibration driven sheet piles and tubes, restricted access CFA piling, and bored rotary piling using mobile wheeled rigs.

The flood risk is now reduced for more than 3000 homes and businesses and, according the JV, this has been achieved through innovation design to match the client’s budget and plan the works to minimise the disruption to local residents, the travelling public and local business.

Central Piling

Islington Square, London

Overall project value: Undisclosed
Geotechnical value £1.5M

islington sq

islington sq

Islington Square is a new residential development on the site of a Royal Mail sorting office.

Consisting of a number of blocks, one in particular proved to be more complex and piling was required to form an underground link between the block’s 14m deep basement and the, yet to be constructed, basement of a further block.

Installation of the embedded retaining wall to facilitate the construction of the basement was complicated, with the most appropriate solution being a propped contiguous piled wall installed to a depth of 20m.

The project was very limited in terms of space and was further compounded by the need to maximise the available area within the basement with little tolerance in the verticality of the contiguous piles.

Keller, Phi and Redrow Homes

Napier Park, Luton

Overall project value £1.5bn
Geotechnical value £1.7M

napier park luton

napier park luton

The redevelopment of a former Vauxhall car factory was complicated due to the steeply sloped site.

The overall site level difference of 30m meant that the access road climbs and there are a series of platforms on which houses will be constructed. The scheme initially looked like a major civil engineering project with large concrete retaining walls to create the plateaux.

However three retaining wall solutions were proposed and used at the site: 900mm and 600mm contiguous bored piles for the basement structures, a Phi Textomur wall and a adjoining king post wall around the edge of the site. CFA bearing piles were also installed for house and apartment foundations.

Mott Macdonald and Bachy Soletanche

Linton Bridge, North Yorkshire

Overall project value £4.8M
Geotechnical value £1.4M

linton bridge

linton bridge

The Grade II listed Linton Bridge was on the verge of collapse with 200mm settlement of the south pier and severe structural damage to the south arch.

Work to stabilise the structure by constructing a new integral piled deck for the bridge was complex and access was restricted. Rigs successfully bored through brick, concrete and rock with maximum vibration levels recorded not exceeding there 5mm/s specified and no evidence of damage caused to the abutments or piers during pile installation.

Due to collaborative working between all the parties involved to resolve technical challenges, the bridge has been repaired to its original appearance with a reduced future maintenance liability.

Sir Robert McAlpine, Ramboll and John F Hunt

Fruit and Wool Exchange, London

Overall project value £120M
Geotechnical value £2.5M

fruit and wool exchange

fruit and wool exchange

Construction of a 7.5m deep basement at London’s Fruit and Wool Exchange was never going to be easy: the planned seven-storey building is in a conservation area, wedged between Crossrail tunnels, utility mains and main roads.

The construction and associated temporary ground support of the basement was formed within a 400m long of sheet piled wall that was adopted after a value engineering exercise to shorten the programme and maximise construction

The success of the project, according to the firms, is due to the high degree of technical knowledge and design capability of the team. They added that an in-depth understanding of the construction processes involved and the ability to manage programme, interfaces and risks also benefitted the project.

Structural Soils and Mott MacDonald

Pentir 400kV Cable Section, Phase 2 Onshore GI, Wylfa

Overall project value Confidential
Geotechnical value Confidential



For the development of the Horizon nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey, a new 400kV transmission connection is required between Wylfa and the substation on the mainland. This calls for construction of a 4km long cable tunnel crossing beneath the Menai Strait.

The ground investigation for the tunnel was undertaken within a technically demanding geological and geotechnical environment and used cable percussive techniques with rotary drilled and inclined rotary drilled boreholes were used with machine dug trial pits including soakaway. 

An exceptionally large quantity of data was produced, not only from standard in-situ and laboratory work, but also from specialist testing. Structural Soils used an on-site logging shed and converted it into a bespoke core logging and storage facility.


9 Marylebone Lane, London

Overall project value £22M
Geotechnical value Undisclosed

wsp marylebone

wsp marylebone

A number of geotechnical challenges had to be overcome to deliver a new eight-storey apartment block with a three-level basement over London Underground (LU) tunnels.

Due to the depth of the basement, tension piles were incorporated into the raft to assist with the control of ground heave. The only feasible positions for these piles were between the platform and pedestrian tunnels within the LU concession zone.

The ground movements on the LU assets were analysed and WSP calculated horizontal strain and angular distortions across the neighbouring structures. This was used to assess the building damage risk for agreement and WSP also calculated ovalisation, squatting and radius of curvature of the LU tunnels and shafts for agreement with LU.


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