CIVIL ENGINEERING

Complex challenges. Constructive outcomes.

Whitescape’s civil engineering business specialises in complex infrastructure projects where we can help to maximise the commercial value of the site to landowners, developers and investors. Our projects are driven by a meticulous approach to planning, sequencing and supply chain logistics. We meet unexpected challenges constructively, and our directly employed team will do whatever it takes to keep the project on schedule, on budget and on specification.

Bespoke strategies for challenging sites

Civil engineers can play a major role in optimising the value to be gained from any site, but particularly so when developing brownfield or compromised land, where creative approaches can pay dividends.

Whitescape’s largest civil engineering challenge to date has been at the Morelands Riverdale Buildings, two redundant listed Victorian water pumping stations on the Thames at Hampton. The task was to widen a critical access road between the buildings and the Thames Water filter beds, to which there was zero works access. We designed and installed a novel piling system, allowing the road to be cantilevered out over the 220m long embankment, spanning vital underground water supply infrastructure. This provided the extra width required to meet the parking and service infrastructure needs of the 100-strong scientific community, but it posed tremendous technical challenges.

Planning and collaboration are key

A successful project depends on meticulous planning and sequencing as well as close collaboration between all stakeholders – but the programme must also be flexibly designed to accommodate unpredictable issues.

At Morelands Riverdale, Whitescape anticipated and planned for a series of critical phases during the complex operations, notably the pouring phase. 1900m³ of foam concrete filler was pumped the 220m length of the site, with the pipeline broken to control flow into specific sections. Close communication with structural engineers and other professionals was vital in managing simultaneous activities in a constrained space. The site yielded many more obstacles and problems than surveys could predict, often demanding an immediate response. Keeping the project on track was a remarkable challenge, and achievement, in its own right.

Precision is the civil engineer’s byword

Fine tolerances, where there’s no margin for error, demand top skills and experience. Civil engineering is a people business where every team member shares responsibility for getting the installation exactly right.

Whitescape’s piling scheme for the cantilevered roadway at Morelands Riverdale was designed to support the parking area of the road above and to protect important piping and culvert runs below, with a clearance of at least 1m from any of this existing infrastructure. When a second probe at 2.5m identified unrecorded obstacles, the normal bolt tolerance of 75mm was pushed down to 5mm on two piles. The knock-on effect reduced tolerance to 3-5mm across 320 bolts, with zero tolerance on the outer edge of the site next to the filter beds. Our engineers were able to deliver this level of precision with no compromise to the integrity of the structure.