ALE has used its in-house expertise to design, supply, install and perform a bespoke onsite load application, the first load test of its kind in Europe when conducting the progressive loading of a test pile in central London, UK. At 5121t, it was also the highest load test on a pile within Europe.

ALE’s testing equipment enabled the ground model to be confirmed on site for the future main build structure of the new 21 Moorfields building, a mixed retail and office redevelopment. The client supplied the load schedule of the 16-storey buildings test pile up to a maximum load of 50Mn (circa 5,000t).

Specialist weighing equipment needed to be positioned prior to the commencement of test truss assembly. The pile test loading and unloading cycle fluctuated in load up to a maximum of 52.2Mn in line with the engineer’s requirements. The test then took place over a three-day period, running 24 hours a day.

“Our unique method allowed for a very progressive and accurate load application with real- time monitoring,” explained Project Engineer Pete Cox.

“Using this method meant that our client had the insight that our solution was able to distribute the load across a varying number of reactive piles during the load application sequences. Not only does the client now have the confidence that this monitoring and control solution can now be implemented for their load schedule for the pile test criteria, but there is the potential to apply this high load test time-saving methodology on other sites.”

The load test operation was completed in September 2018. ALE is currently preparing for the additional scope for the 21 Moorfields project, which involves removal of construction plant with specially-designed high-level grillage, in March.