Norman Chapel, Durham Castle


Project Description

SCOPE OF WORKS: 17 x 5m contiguous bored pile wall utilising 450dia SFA piles

CLIENT: Brims Construction Ltd

CONTRACT: Design and build

CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: December 2022 – January 2023

Built c. 1080, the Norman Chapel is Durham’s oldest building and is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Castle. During its long history the chapel has seen much change in the surrounding area, one of the many changes was the construction of an earth embankment to create a terrace outside of the building over 100 years ago. The method used means that the soil piled against the outside of the chapel is creating damp that is causing damage to the historic stonework and carvings within the chapel.

Aarsleff were contacted to develop a piled solution to allow 5m depth of soil to be removed from the chapel walls and a ventilation system installed to remedy the problem. We developed a cantilevered contiguous bored pile wall using 450dia SFA piles. The wall stretches 17 metres with a retained height of 5m.

Working within a UNESCO World Heritage Site meant the solution had to be low vibration, exclude hot works, could not touch or clash with the building and could only employ small plant capable of accessing the working area. This very restricted access meant we had to cane a mini-piling rig over the castle wall to cross a temporary bridge and then track around the Castle motte.

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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.

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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.