BGA/ICE members were treated to a fascinating talk by three experts on 10th April describing the challenges of building the foundations of London’s latest iconic building, The Shard of Glass, while ensuring one of its oldest and busiest railway hubs at London Bridge continued to function without interruption.
John Richmond of WSP introduced the site, its history and the ground conditions, and the approach for the design of the foundations and sub-structure. Stephen West of Ramboll then outlined the extensive survey, review and assessment of the construction plans for the Shard carried out in partnership with Tony Gee & Partners for Network Rail to provide confirmation that this vital transport interchange would not be damaged by the construction. Finally the 30MN preliminary pile test carried out on site was presented by David Beadman of Byne Loopy Partners. The pile was instrumented in detail to record settlements and strains at various levels, enabling the mobilisation of shaft friction with determined through the various strata. A key fact to emerge from the lecture was that the weight of The Shard almost exactly balances out the weight of the ground removed for the basement.