RECYCLED STEEL tubes from the oil and gas industry are being reused as piles for a multi-storey development in Sunderland.
Green Piling is installing 500, 700kN capacity piles of 177mm and 193mm diameter for an eight-storey residential development in Low Street.They range from 8m to 24m long and have a wall thickness of 12mm to 20mm which the firm says provides significant resistance to lateral and tension loading.
Developer Mandale decided on steel tube piles because of the complexity of the soil conditions and to minimise environmental impact and waste.
Steel tubing was considered to be the best material on a site where the geology is made ground, containing obstructions and fragments of boulder clay, overlaying Magnesian Limestone.
Green Piling's £100,000 contract is part of a £16.5M scheme due for completion in December 2005.
The 1.5ha inner city plot borders the River Weir in Sunderland's old port district. It is being monitored for archaeological interest by the Northern Archaeological Society, which has already established building footings dating from the late 14th century.