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Students go off the rails


HISTORIC RAILWAY sheds are finding a new lease of life as student accommodation for the University of Lincoln.

The listed engine sheds lie between a track and other railway buildings already converted for the university in the Brayford Pool area of the city.

The sheds have been reduced to walls and roof trusses, ready for the new structure to be built in and around them by contractor HBG.

Foundation contractor Van Elle has just finished installing about 260, 300mm and 450mm diameter CFA piles for the project.

Piles were placed through soft alluvium and peat and found at between 13m and 15m depth, depending upon the building loads.

Van Elle used a Soilmec 208 rig to install up to 30 piles a day around the sheds over seven days. It then moved inside and switched to a Klemm 709 low headroom rig. It used the same machine for piling between the building and the railway.

A steeply sloping site between Sheffield's inner ring road and the A57 has been earmarked for student housing, which is being built by Ocon Construction on behalf of Opal Group.

Post-Second World War tenement blocks used to occupy the site, which is underlain by coal measures, siltstones and mudstones. Keller Ground Engineering's Soilmec 412 and CM50 machines have installed about 600 bearing piles designed to carry loads up to 600kN. Piling was due to finish at the beginning of this month.

The contractor has already installed 250, 600mm diameter piles for a contiguous pile wall for a basement car park under the only private residential block on the development.

This will retain over 5m of remediated fill and weathered mudstone. A king post wall was also built to retain ground for the development's access road.

Piling has just finished on the first of three futuristic curved glass apartment buildings on the banks of the River Aire in Shipley, near Bradford in Yorkshire.

Quarmby Construction Company installed 250, 600mm diameter and 20m deep CFA piles over 1200m 2 for the VM1 building.

VM1, with its a rotunda and sail-shaped elevations, was designed by architect Tony Lupton of Beckwith Design Associates for developer Newmason Properties.

It will house 113 riverside apartments, adding to the 105 already created by Newmason through restoration of the Grade II listed Victoria Mills worsted mill that stands on the same site.

The building is due to be finished early next year.

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