Over a number of days last November, Europe’s largest load test was carried out on a series of concrete piles that were installed around Moorgate tube station.
The piles that needed testing have been installed around the station to hold up a 16-storey office block that is being built above the land that was cleared for the construction of the Crossrail station.
Once the new station was completed, works began on constructing the foundations for the office block, but as it sits directly above the shallow Moorgate tube station, they put in huge deep piles around the station, with trusses above to distribute the weight.
But they needed to be certain that the piles would work as expected, so for three days last November, a series of gigantic weights were up on the piles and trusses to make sure the theory matched the reality.
This was the first load test of its kind in Europe when conducting the weighing of a test pile in central London, UK. At just over 5,120 tonnes, it was also the highest load test on a pile within Europe.
Specialist weighing equipment supplied by ALE needed to be positioned prior to the commencement of test truss assembly, and the test then took place over a three-day period, running 24 hours a day.
The pile test loading and unloading cycle the fluctuated in load up to the maximum of 50Mn in line with the engineer’s requirements.
Now that the piles are proven to handle the weight of the building, works can start on that, which will eventually become the London headquarters for Deutsche Bank.
The developer is Land Securities, architect is Wilkinson Eyre and main contractor is Mace.
When completed, the 16-storey office block will include new entrances to Moorgate tube and Elizabeth line platforms, and a restoration of the pedway highwalk to Barbican.