Unsupported browser

For a better experience, please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Project of the decade

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ground Engineering Awards, we wanted to know what the best project was in the past decade. 

We shortlisted one major project award winner from each year and the industry has voted for its favourite. 

Have a read through the ten shortlisted entries below. The winner will be announced at the GE Awards on 6 June 2018. 

The Project of the Decade category is sponsored by Keltbray Piling.


10 Fenchurch Avenue
Arup Geotechnics and Sir Robert McAlpine

10 fen ave ge award photo 2

10 Fenchurch Ave

For a new four level basement for a 14-storey building in the City of London, the focus was on the temporary support that allowed the construction time of the secant pile wall supported basement to be shortened. This also maximised site access with the use of a single level of props measuring up to 50m. 


Lyme Regis Environmental Improvements, Phase IV
West Dorset District Council, CH2M, Balfour Beatty Construction Services and Aecom

lyme regis

lyme regis

Work undertaken to stabilise an historic landslide in Lyme Regis within an Unesco World Heritage Site was the biggest project of its kind. The £6.5M geotechnical works included construction of a new seawall and major slope stabilisation using 2,500 soil nails, a 27m deep anchored piled wall with anchors up to 46m long, dowel piles extending to 12m, and groundwater drainage to protect 480 homes. 


Queensferry Crossing, Firth of Forth
Transport Scotland with Jacobs Arup JV, Ramboll and Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors



Due to the varying foundation conditions, several construction techniques were used for the crossing, including prefabricated steel caissons, designed to penetrate thick alluvium and boulder clay deposits; prefabricated steel cofferdams positioned in pre-formed sub-sea trenches, formed by both excavation and blasting; and driven sheet pile cofferdams utilising either hold down anchors or deep de-watering wells to achieve temporary stability. 


Hooley Cutting Stabilisation, Croydon
Bam Ritchies with Network Rail

hooley cutting ge awards

hooley cutting ge awards

Advance work meant that work on stabilising the 30m deep Hooley Cutting didn’t impact on rail services on between Brighton and London route. The 170-year-old cutting through the Upper Chalk was overlain by pockets of gravel and suffered from rock falls. Installation of a scaffold deck allowed soil nailing, piling and wire mesh work to be carried out without the need for track possessions. 


Emirates Air Line, London
Bachy Soletanche, TfL, Mace, Buro Happold and URS

Emirates Air Line

Emirates Air Line

Delivery of the UK’s first urban cable car in time for the 2012 London Olympics was a job that many said couldn’t be achieved on time. Consisting of large diameter rotary bored piles at five separate locations, across the Thames with many close to or over tidal and non-tidal water, it also faced multiple technical, geotechnical and environmental challenges. 


Hindhead Tunnel
Highways England, Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald

hindhead 2

hindhead 2

The judges said that delivery of the new Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 is exemplar of how to deliver modern underground infrastructure. “The project team demonstrated a range of different and complex technologies and delivered a product that the client and public love,” said one of the judges. 


Guildford Radisson Hotel
CGL, Galliford Try and Walsh Associates


guildford radisson hotel

Value engineering based on knowledge of the local ground conditions enabled this project to go ahead, despite originally being considered too expensive in economic climate at the time. CGL was able to replace piles with pad foundations and to use open cut excavations to create the underground car park for the 185-bed hotel. This approach cut projected costs by £7M to £30M. 


The Pinnacle (now known as 22 Bishopsgate) 
Arup and Bachy Soletance



Foundations for The Pinnacle were completed in 2010 but work on the structure was halted by the recession. The site covered the footprint of three previous buildings and was cluttered with piles. A design was developed for 2.4m diameter, 63m deep piles and to reuse of some the existing piles. The site was credited as being the third in the UK to use base grouted piles in unstable Thanet Sands. 


Thrandeston Bog
Mott MacDonald, RD Geotech, Nuttall John Martin and Keller

geo dsm thrandeston infra01 crop

geo dsm thrandeston infra01 crop

The rail embankment on the London to Norwich route at Thrandeston, near Diss, had suffered from stability issues due to underlying clay and peat deposits since it was first constructed in the 1840s. Keller undertook deep soil mixing to deliver a cost effective approach compared to sheet piling, which would have cost £6M more. In total 11,000 columns were installed over a 19-week period. 


Dartford Park project
Keller, Fitzpatrick and Collier Associates



A shift towards a sustainable solution led Fitzpatrick to challenge use of a piled solution for a new warehouse development in Dartford. Bringing in its own consulting engineer, Collier Associates, to review options, resulted in Keller installing driven cast in situ piles that were shorter and founded in the gravels rather than the conventional driven precast pile solution. 

keltbray piling

keltbray piling logo

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.