Robert Bird Group (RBG) generously hosted a technical talk on 29th January in their Southwark office focusing on infrastructure projects that involve development over and near rail sites in central London. The event was attended by over 80 men and women from across the transport sector.
Sonya Veerasamy, Interim CEO of Women in Transport, opened the event by highlighting our key achievements since our rebrand from WTS London to Women in Transport and exciting plans to expand beyond London.
Simon Nicholas, Managing Director of RBG welcomed the audience. Simon stressed the importance of women’s networks in the context of challenges in the construction industry, in particular the skills gap and the need to reflect the diversity of the wider population.
The two case studies presented were:
Bank Station Capacity Upgrade (BSCU) by Phil Hallinan of RBG and Alejandra Masia Cabanes of Dragados; and
21 Moorfields by Nick Cole of RBG.
Both projects used innovative engineering and construction technology, methodology and sequencing techniques to unlock the potential of two heavily constrained inner London sites to enrich the urban habitat and provide new spaces for development opportunities.
Bank Station Capacity Upgrade
Phil Hallinan is the Lead Engineer for Structural Design on the BSCU project. He is responsible for the delivery of RBG’s construction documentation including Technical Assurance and co-ordination with other disciplines. Phil provided a brief overview of the station’s long history and key project statistics.
Bank and Monument stations form the third busiest interchange on the network with 123,000 passengers using the station during the morning peak period. The project will increase capacity at Bank station by approximately 40 per cent, principally to the Northern Line and interchange routes to Central Line and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) , with the aim of reducing journey times and congestion and providing step free access.
Alejandra Masia Cabanes is the Lead Engineer for Civil and Structural Works at BSCU for Dragados UK, the lead contractor. She is responsible for managing the interface between the civil and structural works and the rest of disciplines such as premises, MEP, urban realm design and the construction of the station following a top-down approach.
Alejandra discussed the key lessons learned from the new Innovative Contractor Engagement (ICE) procurement process. It enables the early engagement of Tier 2 contractors, ensuring that the design process benefits from contractor input relating to construction techniques, methodologies and construction sequencing.
Phil, then went on to talk about innovative solutions developed by RBG. These enabled plunge columns to be eliminated, instead temporarily suspending four levels of top-down type basement slabs from a steel truss. This eliminated the detrimental program and health and safety impacts of having plunge columns within the low level 20m deep sprayed concrete lined shaft.
Nick Cole leads the RBG design team on 21 Moorfields. The project is a 17-storey (60,000 sqm) future London HQ for Deutsche Bank that will span up to 55m over Moorgate Station to avoid disruption during construction. Nick discussed the serious engineering challenges presented by an air-rights commercial development directly above a central London station.
The complex steel frame uses a combination of long span arches and transfer trusses to provide a co-ordinated temporary and permanent works solution. The key to unlocking the development lies in the innovative foundation with the entire building supported only on fifteen new 1.8 – 2.4m diameter mega-piles that extend down to the Thanet Sand, more than 50m below the station.
The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A exploring further engineering challenges including buildability constraints, the benefits of the ICE procurement process, knowledge dissemination of innovation within the industry and the impact of Brexit on procurement and import of materials.
The evening concluded with networking over drinks and pizza generously provided by RBG.
Here are some comments from our members about the event:
“Good mix of people with interesting views and ideas and, as always, good networking opportunities. Presentations were very interesting and informative and RBG were excellent hosts.”
“I really liked the projects and the engineering side of them, was very interesting. Good to see engineers working so side by side with architects.”
“The content was great! Really going into the technical details which I found insightful and inspirational. I also liked that many men joined the event. “
Our thanks to RBG for their generosity and support in hosting a fascinating technical talk and providing an opportunity for our members and guests to network.
Members of Women in Transport benefit from access to exclusive technical talks, site tours, networking and mentoring - join today for just £40 for the year!