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Tower Wharf, Birkenhead

Tower Wharf at Birkenhead is a multi-million pound, four-storey, 48,000 sq. ft. commercial development, constructed on what was previously vacant, derelict land. Now complete the development adds much needed Grade A office accommodation to Wirral’s business proposition and ultimately will bring an estimated 400 jobs to the area. The scheme was financed by Wirral-based Longmeadow Estates Ltd and supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Aarsleff was awarded the piling contract by contractor Eric Wright Construction Ltd on behalf of client Longmeadow Estates and arrived on site December 2014.

The site was not without its challenges, in part due to its location – Wirral Waters – which being a water-side development, due consideration had to be given to indigenous marine life and the minimising of any impact piling works may have. In fact, ensuring there was no adverse impact to the location’s protected species was a priority given the site’s Natura 2000 status, which legally protects the most seriously threatened habitats and species across Europe. It also meant having regard for Policy NC7 of the adopted Wirral Unitary Development Plan and implementing the statutory nature conservation protocol for minimising the risk of injury to marine mammals from piling noise.

The ground conditions compromised up to 11m of made ground underlain by soft to firm & stiff clays, with the piles founding in a lower band of sandstone.

Specifically, works involved Aarsleff installing 168no. 250mm precast concrete piles to depths of between 12 and 15m to achieve a working load of 500kN. The project was completed during seven days on site and using Aarsleff’s own Banut 9 rig. It was a soft start operation utilising reduced hammer power for the first 20 minutes of each day, to minimise the impact of noise on the marine mammals.

The project was completed to budget and on-time with no lasting impact to the local environment.

Simon Milligan, Project Manager for Eric Wright Construction, said: “Aarsleff’s approach to their sub-contract works was completely refreshing. The Tower Wharf project required fast track procurement to meet a strict planning restriction on piling operations. Both Aarsleff’s Commercial and Construction teams ensured the commencement date on site was achieved and their works delivered within the timeframe. Aarsleff has a truly professional approach in undertaking their works.”

Client: Longmeadow Estates Ltd

Piling Contractor: Aarsleff Ground Engineering Ltd

Construction Date: November 2014

Scope of Works: 168no., 250mm x 250mm, precast concrete reinforced piles

Equipment: 1-off Banut 9 Rigs

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