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Aarsleff, Soil Nails, Ikea, Exeter, Newcourt Way

Soil Nails for Ikea’s new store in Exeter, South UK

IKEA has invested £80 million in the Exeter site, with plans to bring 350 new jobs to the town and create their ‘greenest’ store yet – aiming to be 100% renewable energy.

Main contractor McLaughlin & Harvey Construction Ltd awarded Aarsleff Ground Engineering the contract to supply and install soil nails to build a large-scale wall to support the construction of a new IKEA store in Exeter, just off Newcourt Way near Sandy Park. Soil nailing has the benefit of a top-down construction method and therefore was deemed to be the smartest solution to allow the development to progress without significant loss of usable land. The land, which is a total 115,882.00sq metre area, is bound to the South by a residential construction site and current residential development. The 115,8820 sqm plot of land was excavated for signs of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements by Cotswold Archaeology before being handed over for official groundworks.

To provide a level platform on which to construct the new IKEA store, Aarsleff cut into an existing slope 424m long and 9.8m high. Testing was carried out in advance of the main works to include the install and test of 6No test nails between 5m and 8m long. Aarsleff installed 1081no 32mm hollow self-drilling soil nails with a sacrificial drill bit to a 70° slope made up of Dawlish Sandstone, faced with a structural steel mesh cladded with a facing mesh and filled with a graded hardwearing local stone. The nails were installed with Aarsleff’s own Klemm 806 drill rig.

Speaking about the project, Kevin Hague, General Manager, Aarsleff said:

“This is an exciting project simply because of the sheer scale of what is involved. It also allows us to demonstrate the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a soil nail solution for a commercial development”.

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