Canvey Island Student Housing


Project Description

SCOPE OF WORKS 154 No. 250mm x 259mm, precast concrete
reinforced piles; L 26-28m
CLIENT Homestead Plc

Property developer Homestead Plc won planning to construct 46
flats and six shops along the seafront esplanade, Canvey Island.
Canvey Island has a standard design for all buildings, based on
what is called a Canvey raft, with the allowable bearing capacity
for foundation design provided by Essex County Council.
However, Homestead’s design, which featured shops on the
ground floor and a block of flats above, would not allow the load
to be spread adequately for a Canvey raft. Typically, there would
be a lot of walls on the ground level, which would allow provision
for spreading the load and the raft designed in between the
walls, but in this instance the ground floor was designed with
more columns than walls so a piled solution was called for.
Aarsleff had previously installed a number of very long precast
concrete piles for the construction of a nearby school and using
this ‘local’ experience suggested that the piles be much longer
than those specified in a preliminary design and feasibility study.
Homestead, together with its consulting engineer, Wickford based John Sime & Associates, confirmed the need for longer
piles and Aarsleff won the contract in open tender.


Specifically, borehole data from approximately 200m away from
the development was used by Sime & Associates to produce
a preliminary design of the foundations and pile loadings
which indicated the piles needed to be about 18m in length and
subsequently the engineer requested budget prices from four
piling contractors to determine if the project was financially
viable. With the experience gained piling the nearby Castle View
School development, which required 750 piles, at up to 28m in
length, Aarsleff suggested pile lengths of 26-28m as the ground,
was exceptionally poor. In fact, the engineer confirmed that
Aarsleff’s suggested pile lengths were much longer than other
tenders, but a later borehole sunk on the actual site confirmed
the need for the proposed longer piles. A revised tender was
issued and Aarsleff was awarded the contract.


On site, works included the installation of 154 precast concrete piles of 250mm square section, which were supplied and
manufactured by Centrum, Aarsleff’s wholly owned subsidiary,
in Newark Nottinghamshire. All piles were between 26m and
28m long and mechanically jointed with a 14m under pile and
pin jointed over pile, all in accordance with BS EN 12794 (class 1
A). Using its own Banut 700 rig, Aarsleff drove the piles through
layers of alluvium, loose sand and peat, to toe into underlying
dense sand and gravel to take the required maximum 475kN
working load.

Case Study

A leading UK ground engineering specialist, focusing on multi-discipline excellence and value engineering. We design and deliver some of the UK’s largest ground engineering projects.

Our vision is to bring confidence to those constructing the landscape of tomorrow .

1947. Central Jutland, Denmark. Per Aarsleff borrowed 10,000 Danish Kroner from his father’s life insurance, bought an excavator, and founded Northern Europe’s leading contracting company.

Our biggest asset, our team is composed of the leading experts in ground engineering. Working with collaboration and cohesion at the core of our business, we can guarantee a quick and founded answer to all your questions.

We recruit and reward our people based on our ‘Step into the Blue’ company culture, where we embrace the core values of Life and Health, Trust, and Responsibility.

We do everything to ensure our team and yours work safely on our sites. With our core value of Life & Health, we see safety as a cultural pillar.

Our ISO accreditations are an assurance to you that we take governance seriously. Read our policies to discover more.

The projects that keep society running. Bridges, buildings, transit and rail facilities, embankment support, marine and offshore facilities, mines, airports, and water projects.

Keeping things turning. Sewage Treatment Works, Waste Water Treatment Works, Wind Farms and Wind Turbines, Biomass Plants, and Power stations.

Meeting society’s needs. Nursing and care homes, MOD buildings, Schools and Universities, and small or large-sized residential developments.

Staying on the move. Remediation, bridges, and foundation work are integral to keeping the industry running smoothly.

The landscape of the marketplace. Mega-retail sheds, distribution warehouses, University accommodation, and major supermarket and household name units.

Keeping things afloat. Ports and harbours, coastal defences, river embankments and inland waterways.

Technically trained estimators and a dedicated, in-house design team means we consider value-engineering at every stage of your project.

More than just a model, Visual Design & Construction is a tool to encourage collaboration and improve quality across all facets of a scheme.

From large commercial sheds to small residential plots, piling could be the foundation solution you need to support your project.

Issues around collapse, slipping or erosion? Our experts in retaining solutions have a broad portfolio of techniques designed to fix even the most nuanced of sites.

Tricky ground conditions or requirements? Aarsleff’s ground engineering team work on stabilisation through a varied range of techniques, bespoke to the properties of your site ground.

Our plant workshop offers a range of services designed to ensure your plant works for you. Whether it’s manufacturing and fabrication of equipment for long-term needs or hire so you can complete something specific.