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Principal Place, Shoreditch, London

Principal Place is a new mixed-use development located in Shoreditch within the City of London. When complete, there will be a 600,000-sq. ft. Foster & Partners - designed office scheme, half an acre of public piazza and 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space. There is also a significant residential component - Principal Tower - a 50- storey luxury residential establishment, which will be Foster & Partners’ first fully designed residential tower, reaching 175 meters, making it one of the tallest residential buildings in Central London.

With Liverpool Street Station less than a 5-minute walk and connectivity with four underground lines, national rail links and Crossrail, the development is destined to be extremely popular.

principle place shoreditch London

Principal Tower expresses the relationship between the creative, formerly industrial east end and Britain’s financial centre, appearing as three slim volumes. Where the tower addresses the residential neighbourhood of Shoreditch, it appears lower from ground level, while from the west it reflects the highrise nature of the City. A central volume rises up between the two to provide an elegant marker on the skyline.

BAUER Technologies Ltd was awarded the £4.86m foundations contract by Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe on behalf of their Client, a joint venture between Brookfield Office Properties and Concord Pacific. Specifically, Bauer was appointed to install the piled foundations and secant walls for the Principal Tower, which was particularly challenging. In particular Bauer was required to work under restricted space conditions, next to a live railway, around strict load restriction zones and in amongst other trades on site. Some 81no., 1500mm bored piles, up to 55m deep were installed, including 8no. permanent casings with bitumen coating, 14no. large section plunge columns, and 10no. king posts. 32no. 880mm bearing piles, up to 33m deep, were also installed as well as 214no. 880mm secant wall piles (150 linear meters), up to 33m deep including 24no. king posts.

Despite the challenging works constraints particular to the project, Bauer was able to complete the piling works on time and without any lost-time or accidents. Most importantly, the implemented risk assessments and associated mitigation measures allowed the piling team to install all piles without interruption to the live railway directly adjacent. Bauer, as a leading piling equipment manufacturer, was able to draw on its specialist foundations contractor knowledge to carry out project-specific plant modifications, which allowed a BG40 piling rig to install heavy duty pile casings of up to 2000mm diameter, whilst standing on sensitive temporary works structures with strict load restrictions.

principle place shoreditch London

Bauer’s equipment knowledge also allowed the site team to master a number of technical issues; the first being its response to the challenging design of a large diameter secant wall with piles at very close spacing. Bauer addressed this issue by using it’s newly developed ‘On-top Reaming Tool’, which allows time-efficient widening of the uncased pile shaft to the outer diameter of the temporary casing. The second technical issue - the installation of heavy duty plunge column piles as support for the future top down slab - Bauer designed and manufactured a hydraulic, laser guided frame, which allowed all plunge columns to be installed successfully in bentonite filled bores, well within agreed tolerances.

In order to reduce loading of the adjacent fragile Network Rail brick arch tunnels, Bauer used their experience from previous projects to successfully install permanent, bitumen coated liners just millimetres from the existing structure. Working in an area with intensive historic industrial and residential use, the Bauer piling rigs also removed numerous buried obstructions, such as pad foundations and bearing piles.

Notably, in a second phase of the works, Bauer used a 350 tonne mobile crane to safely lift its BG30 piling rig into the partially excavated secant wall box. This allowed the remaining bearing piles to be installed after successful completion of archaeological excavation works by the Museum of London.

Speaking about the project and the performance of Bauer on-site Gustav Jahnert, Project Manager at BAUER Technologies Limited said: “Our high standards in Health & Safety, as well as our normal performance orientated planning, allowed us to complete this complex project ahead of programme. Bauer’s high quality standards allowed the follow on contractors to continue with excavation of secant walls and installation of top down and intermediate slabs early without having to deal with remedial work related delays.”

Client: Brookfield Office Properties and Concord Pacific
Principle contractor: Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe
Piling contractor: BAUER Technologies Limited
Contract period: January 2016 - August 2016
Equipment Used: - BG40 and BG30 piling rig; 350 tonne mobile crane; On-top Reaming Tool, hydraulic plunge column frame
Bauer's Scope of Works: - 81no., 2000/1500mm bored piles, up to 55m deep
- 8no. permanent casings with bitumen coating
- 14no. heavy plunge columns
- 10no. heavy king posts
- 32no. 880mm bearing piles, up to 33m deep
- 214no. 880mm secant wall piles (150 linear meters), up to 33m deep including 24no. king posts
Project value: £4.86 million