Centenary Way Birmingham

Piles to support a new thirteen-storey building spanning over the A38 Queensway Tunnel

Sector: Buildings

One Centenary Way is the most constrained building within the Paradise Birmingham Masterplan due to the A38 Queensway Tunnel running directly beneath.

Technical Specifications

Pile type: Bearing piles & Contig wall piles

Number of piles: 103no.

Diameter: 600mm/1050mm/1200mm

Depth: <32.7m

The Challenge

The latest development at Paradise Birmingham, One Centenary Way, will bring a new thirteen-storey building spanning over the A38 Queensway Tunnel. The building will overlook the redesigned Centenary Square and will offer office, retail and restaurant space. 

Franki Foundations were contracted by Sir Robert McAlpine to develop a restricted access piled foundation solution allowing for large diameter piles to be installed whilst working over the tunnel. 

The Solution

Franki designed a pile scheme comprising of 62no. 1200mm diameter bearing piles up to 38m deep, many with permanent sleeves due to the interaction with the A38 Expressway tunnel. The sleeve design incorporated an outer permanent steel liner which was able to act in the temporary state to retain the made ground and granular fill, a light weight inner liner was then introduced to the pile with the reinforcement cage. The double liner design then formed a void which would later be filled with a low friction material providing confidence to the engineer that the existing tunnel structure would not take vertical or horizontal loading due to the new structure. 

Franki utilised Martello's MP5000 & MP6000 rotary bored piling rigs due to the weight restrictions of working adjacent to the tunnel structure. Martello's bespoke rigs were best suited to this project due to their gross weight being less than 30t whilst being able to construct the required 1200mm diameter being piles up to 38m deep. 

This project also incorporated an added challenge of numerous known obstructions, including mass and reinforced concrete. Franki used their specialist coring capability, including development of temporary casings with carbide teeth arrangements, to clear obstructions up to 8m thick and subsequently form the permanent piles. 

Working simultaneous to the Martello rigs, Franki's Casagrande B175 installed the 600mm diameter piles to form a contiguous piled wall down one side of the site. These piles allowed the client to dig down between the main road and Expressway tunnel.

Project details

Project name

Centenary Way Birmingham




Large diameter bored pile under casing, Contiguous Pile Wall, Restricted access bored piling

Building Period

2020 - 2020

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