Keller company HJ Foundation have completed the foundations for a 197.8m beachside apartment tower.
Appointed by general contractor Suffolk, HJ has installed 165, 914mm diameter auger piles to a depth of 47m. The 14-month project also included 104, 457mm diameter piles to 13.7m, along with sheet piling and bottom seals for the elevator pits.
HJ Foundation’s project manager Michael Meneses said: “These are among the biggest augercast piles we’ve done and they bring some specific challenges. These types of jobs are not known for their high quantity, so you can only do about three or four piles a day. And you really have to get everything right.
“Because they’re continuous flight, once you start pumping the pile you can’t stop and if you run into any hiccups it’s going to impact production – which wouldn’t be good news for the client. Having a rigorous quality management plan in place ensured we avoided any issues.
“The amount of grout needed for each pile is incredible, so we had six ready-mix trucks on site at any one time for every pile. Also, the cages for the piles – at 47m long – take up a lot of real estate, so we couldn’t stock pile more than nine at a time. There were a lot of logistical challenges but it’s all about being proactive and identifying any potential risks early on.
“In order to deliver in a timely manner, we had to figure out how to continue installation of the auger piles while we mobilised equipment for the sheet piling. There was a lot of overlap of activities, which required coordination with the client and other trades on site to ensure everything ran smoothly and safely.”
According to HJ Foundation, the ground itself also proved difficult.
“The sandy conditions in the upper soil strata caused the upper portion of the large piles to blow out to around 1524mm, which required more equipment, personnel, and effort to complete the pile cutoff work,” the company added.