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Bath site investigation manages to keep out of hot water

CONTRACTS

EMERSON MOORE Geosciences recently completed investigation works for the renovation of Buro Happold's Bath offices.

Working for contractor Keller Ground Engineering, Emerson Moore provided pile design data for a new lift shaft.

Protection of the aquifer supplying Bath's renowned hot springs was of vital importance during the investigation. This was ensured by the use of grouted sacrificial casing and a full high pressure blow-out prevention system more commonly found in the offshore oil industry, combined with regular downhole temperature logging.

The investigation was complicated by restricted access to the site, in a redundant stairwell next to offices that were in use.

A Commachio 205 rotary rig was used because of access constraints and varied ground conditions, comprising alluvium and river gravels overlying Lower Lias clays with strong limestone bands. Even with the minimum width clearance of 750mm, access was gained with only millimetres to spare.

Emerson Moore also provided on-site geotechnical support, emailing borehole data directly to the client's offices. This allowed piling to start only days after exploratory drilling had finished.

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