CampbellReith provided geotechnical, environmental, structural and civil engineering services for the development of student accommodation on Mile End Road in London’s East End.
The new accommodation has 630 bedrooms and a series of blocks up to 10 stories in height with a partial basement.
As the site extended over the Central Line Underground Tunnel and was adjacent to the Hammersmith and City line, the foundation of the buildings was complex. With careful consideration of the impact of demolition and later construction on the surrounding infrastructure, CampbellReith consulted with London Underground Limited (LUL) to analyse ground movement to help in the planning process.
The proposed solution included placing piles on each side of the Central Line and using large concrete ground beams to bridge the tunnel. A concrete raft in the centre of the site supported a partial basement as it was not possible to bridge the tunnels. The soil removed when excavating the basement was used to offset the weight of the additional building load. An analysis for LUL proved that no additional weight from the structure was affecting the tunnels below.
The Bell & Webster method of construction is preferred using piles to support a reinforced concrete frame and the precast concrete panel super structure because of its robustness, sound absorption and the amount of time it takes to complete the building.
Some of the main features of this projects included:
- Minimising the foundation impact over the existing Central line London Underground tunnel by introducing a single storey basement and utilising lightweight modular framed superstructure.
- 12m span RC substructure to span over the Central Line tunnel to limit interruption to the classrooms and student accommodation on the above ground levels.
- A three storey high Vierendeel steel frame allowed the main entrance space to be maximised for the architectural intent.