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New piles settle DIY store damage

WARRINGTON-BASED FOUNDATION contractor Branlows recently completed a contract to stabilise and upgrade the foundations of a Wickes superstore in Lincoln.

The store sits on the site of an old quarry which was backfilled with between 8m and 12m of fill before it was built in the late 1960s. At that time, vibro-consolidated stone columns were installed to stabilise the fill material but were not successful, and over the years differential settlement has occurred which has damaged the building.

Wickes is currently eng- aged in a refurbishment programme that includes the Lincoln store. The proposed alter- ations to the building meant that the found- ations needed upgrading, and so it was decided that both problems should be dealt with at the same time.

Branlows installed 200, 168mm diameter drilled and rock-socketed piles using an overburden system, together with a secondary support structure to pick up the existing reinforced concrete pile caps and ground beams. Work was carried out in restricted and difficult access in just six weeks with minimal disruption, the store being open for over half that time.

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