The University of Southampton

Piling begins

Published: 20 December 2006

The piling operation is an important step in the construction of our brand new, state-of-the-art Mountbatten Building.

The demolition is now over and the concrete peckers have left the site. Piles are now being installed in the ground using a contiguous flight auger. This technique uses a rig which drills a 450mm diameter hole some 25 metres into the ground; it puts in a steel reinforcement cage and fills it up with concrete fed from the bottom. The new facility will be founded on some pretty hard geological materials well below the surface. The piling rig produces 21 piles a day and we hope that this work will be completed by mid February.

The next team, starting at the end of January, will be ground workers. They will be cutting back the top 450mm of piles and forming a pile cap on each group of piles. This will form a type of base from which we will see starter bars poking out of the top for columns. These columns will hold up the structural concrete frame of the new building. We are hoping that the frame will start to come out of the ground in February. The building is scheduled to be completed by May 2008.

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