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Steel Tubular Piles at Desford Brick Factory

Forterra, one of the UK’s largest building product manufacturers, are expanding their facility near Coalville in North West Leicestershire. The new building on the site of their existing factory will double the production capacity over the next three years to 180 million bricks annually. The facility specifically manufactures bricks for the construction of houses, and will be the largest and most efficient brick factory in Europe once the new building is completed. Forterra also manufacture a wide variety of other precast concrete, brick, and block products across their 18 manufacturing sites around the UK.

Aarsleff Ground Engineering were awarded the piling contract by Buckingham Group Contracting in February 2020, with the works to commence in April. A total of 256No. 339mm diameter thick walled steel tubular piles were installed for the foundations of a new chimney and silo storage area. All the piles were installed utilising Aarsleff’s Junttan PMx22 and PM20 piling rigs, with piles being installed to lengths of 7m and 9m.

The piles were required to project up to 2.5m from the pile mat level for the required connection into the foundations of the chimney and silos. This required careful planning of the piling programme as to not make any of the piling positions unreachable by the rig.

Aarsleff Ground Engineering’s senior contracts engineer, Parth Patel, who managed the project said,

The highlight of this project was AGE being able to deliver the piling works safely during the corona virus pandemic. Many sites across the UK had to rethink in order to comply with the government guidelines. AGE worked alongside Buckingham’s site team to achieve successful project delivery with respect to the piling works. There was a requirement to project piles on this site which resulted in Aarsleff having to strategically install in a logical sequence. Richard Judd was the foreman on the site who carried out an excellent job despite this challenge.

Production at the new site is expected to commence in 2022, with the factories predicted capacity of 0.7 billion bricks per annum.

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