Piling, Somerset Levels

Brent Knoll, Somerset

Project brief

To provide 220 steel cased bottom driven piles to a predesigned set, and fabricate and cast 450 x 350mm R/C beams, for a detached garage, office and utility room. The main property is located on the Somerset levels, and surrounded by land drains which prevent the main river from flooding and carry away excess water from the farm land.

When we started the project the level of the drain was 0.6m below commencing surface level, and all piles were driven to their pre designed set, and were then concreted. After waiting for the piles to cure we then proceeded to excavate for the beams, and because of the heavy rainfall the drain level rose to 0.1m below commencing surface level, which unfortunately was 0.5m above our bottom of dig, so all the beams flooded, and we were unable to continue with work until the water level of the drains fell. We returned a month later once the water level had receded and completed excavating the ground beams. We used a mobile line pump to concrete the beams as the access to site would not allow larger vehicles onto the driveway.

Scope of works;

*Protect driveway.

*Welfare facilities provided by client.

*Check for services.

*Install 220 Steel cased bottom driven piles.

*Excavate beams.

*Fabricate and install steel reinforced beams.

*Pour beams with C35 concrete.

*Clear site and leave tidier then when we arrived.

Flooded beams, right next to full land drain.
Flooded beams, right next to full land drain.
Flooded beams stopped work.
Flooded beams stopped work.

Unfortunately the perimeter of the new extension came parallel to the bank of the land drain, which had been built up by the previous owners. As soon as we disturbed the ground near the bank it breached the drain, flooding the excavated beams. Because of the abnormal weather conditions that had been taking place, the drains were full and we left site until the water level had receded and could continue with works.

Piles complete excavating ground beams.
Piles complete excavating ground beams.
450 x 350mm R\C beams being excavated, the ground is unstable and Cordek trench will be used to support sides of the beams.
450 x 350mm R\C beams being excavated, the ground is unstable and Cordek trench will be used to support sides of the beams.
Piled ground beams complete, and concrete finished.
Piled ground beams complete, and concrete finished.

The smaller tie beams which can be seen are 350 x 350mm. These will carry very little load. The one furthest away will carry the rear of the garage wall, which is timber, and closest one in the photo will support the block and beam floor.

Site is left very tidy, with no waste any where to be seen.
Site is left very tidy, with no waste anywhere to be seen.
Concrete was pumped from the gateway to the site, and as can be seen from the photo all is left clean and tidy.
Concrete was pumped from the gateway to the site, and as can be seen from the photo all is left clean and tidy.

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