Scaffolding Association members join forces to save embankment

Two members of the Scaffolding Association, TAD Scaffold Designs (TAD) and Cheltenham & Gloucester Scaffolding Limited (C&G), have been working together to provide access for a four and a half tonne piling machine to undertake work on an embankment with subsidence in Berlingham, Pershore.

The structure was required to support a Beretta T44 Drilling Rig that couldn’t be founded directly at ground level due to the condition of the embankment. This was to enable contractors Apex Drilling Services Ltd from Bridgend to carry out piling work on the embankment.

In the first instance, TAD, who are Associate Members of the Scaffolding Association that are based in Penarth near Cardiff, needed to come up with a concept design to ensure that the loads generated by the scaffold and the piling rig could be supported due to the ground conditions and embankment. TAD engineer Mark Eley explains:

“The point loads generated by the piling rig were extremely large so the scaffold had to be designed to accommodate these. The excessive loads generated were considered and a sheet piling design was produced to ensure the ground could suitably support the foundation of the scaffold. The scaffold was also on the side of a very steep hill.”

Another issue was making sure the beams could be founded at the right spacings so that they could support the rig whilst ensuring there was enough clearance to complete the necessary works. The run was a total of 36m long and the work required piling down every 500mm.

Mark continued:

“A further design for the piling out riggers was required to ensure the loads could be supported by the beams. A timber sleeper was designed to ensure that the rig loads were adequately transferred through the beams.”

This beam structure allowed for transition of the rig and to support the rig during the process of piling, however this was not the most enjoyable part of the design process for Mark:

“The least favourite part was the utilisation of so many beams but based on the piling spacings and requirements they were needed.”

Mark also explained a few more challenges to this design project:

“We were unable to tie the scaffold and had to ensure that the scaffold could be founded within the pre-arranged parameters of the existing gardens and within the retained ground areas.”

Once the design was agreed, the reins were passed to C&G to bring it to life. Gloucestershire based C&G, who are Assessed Members of the Scaffolding Association, are a family run business that have been operating in the industry for over twenty years with a passion for working on design scaffolds.

C&G Director, Ben Clarke explained:

“We love doing design work, it’s all we really do now, I find working to strict designs interesting – it’s more challenging and gets the brain ticking.”

Logistics were surprisingly not a challenge despite being on an embankment, commented Ben:

“75% of the embankment had already been stabilised, our scaffold was there to secure the final bit where the work couldn’t have been done from the ground. This meant that we could park on top of the hill, it made a nice change that the logistics of getting kit to where it needed to be wasn’t a problem.”

Ben stated that overall the job was a huge success:

“The build just went really well to be honest, the lads enjoyed the challenge and we didn’t really face any problems with it. Our lads really do take pride in their work and I think that shows, overall it was an enjoyable project to be a part of.”

When asked about working with TAD, Ben was extremely complimentary:

“We have worked together for so long now, on so many different projects, that the rapport between us is fantastic. We know how each other operate and it just makes the whole process easy, they’re a great company to work with.”

Mark returned the compliments by concluding:

“C&G have an appreciation for design as they always endeavour to erect the scaffold as per all designed drawings and the whole team are always a pleasure to work alongside.”

Ben concluded:

“Here at C&G we are only as good as the people we put around us, like Mark and Rob at TAD and all our scaffolders, and we strive to live by our company motto of #bestscaffsinthesouthwest.”

FIND OUT MORE: TAD Scaffold Designs here and Cheltenham & Gloucester Scaffolding Limited here.

This article was originally published in AccessPoint Magazine, if you would like to receive future editions of the magazine for free you can join the mailing list here:

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