Micropiled Underpinning for the HSE

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This project was completed in a HSE community hospital in County Cork. The foundation movement was attributed to the unprecedented rise in ground water levels associated with the increased rainfall event of 2015 / 2016. This resulted in the relatively sudden loss of fines and load bearing capacity of the underlying soils.

The design consisted of a series of integrated micropile supported cantilever and straddle ground beams needled through the rising walls. At one location, ground beams were dowelled via proprietary injection mortar for different reasons. The external walls were constructed of nearly 500mm thick mass concrete, dating back to 1841. Our hydraulic concrete power cutter helped enormously to create the openings whilst reducing noise, eliminating fumes and minimizing manual handling.

Much of the excavations had to be carefully completed by hand as our cable avoidance tool nearly went into cardiac arrest with the amount of live services present beneath the ground. Despite this, our crew knuckled down and all works were completed without incident.

Considering the environment, works had to be carefully managed and co-ordinated between all stakeholders. And of course, the pandemic required another kaleidoscope of controls which needed to be rigorously implemented.

During this project, we saw first-hand the outstanding dedication and remarkable resilience of HSE staff, particularly those who work on the frontline. Their ability to put their own welfare behind others and maintain a ‘never say die’ attitude must never be understated.