Aarsleff drives piles for Cardiff quarter

UK precast concrete piling contractor Aarsleff has completed piling works for the latest element of the Cardiff City Centre development – the Capital Quarter.

Aarsleff drives piles for Cardiff quarter

The Capital Quarter, which is being undertaken by JR Smart (Builders), is an 8ac (32,400m2) mixed-use development, which when complete will feature in excess of 800,000ft2 (74,300m2) of constructions, including offices, hotels, student housing, residential and education buildings.

Block K, the fourth major structure on the site and final element of the scheme, is a multi-storey car park and saw Aarsleff drive 207no. concrete piles measuring 300x300mm at depths of between 10m and 12m for a 600-900kN pile load. A further 14 tubular steel piles sized 339mm in diameter were also driven up to 15m depth for a maximum 900kN pile load.

Aarsleff also piled the other major structures, which required some 685no. precast piles being driven in total.

The project was not without its challenges as Nathan Sale, Aarsleff project manager who supervised the piling programme, explained: "We had to work out a strategy to limit noise and vibration as construction was still underway on one of the new buildings. We also had to meet with Network Rail to ensure a safe system of work to protect their adjacent line.

"From our surveys and site knowledge we predicted a challenging drive scenario for the piling as there is a 2m-deep band of hard sand and gravel running across the site, and we needed the full power of the Junttan PM20 piling rig."