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Flexible propping solution aids in construction of new London development

Finsbury Avenue, London

When engaged to create the foundation for the new 2 Finsbury Avenue complex, Cementation Skanska sought our support for our temporary works expertise. As a result of the depth of three excavated basement levels, a robust propping system was required.


Foundation creation at London's new 2 Finsbury Avenue complex
Flexible propping solution to support depth of three excavated basement levels
Up to 550kN expected loads

Products used on this project

The challenge

An ambitious and eye-catching new commercial project in London’s Broadgate campus, 2 Finsbury Avenue comprises of a 37- and 23-storey tower, connected by an 18-storey ‘podium’. Offering approximately 67,000sqm of new office space and 700sqm of new retail space, this project marks a further exciting step in the transformation of the Broadgate campus. 

To facilitate the construction of this development and the significant structural loads expected, a substantial substructure foundation was required. This was where Cementation Skanska were contracted, with Chris Roberts, Project Manager at Skanska, explaining: “We were tasked with creating a secant piled retaining wall, that extended down to a maximum depth of 38 metres, as well as installing bearing piled foundations with plunge columns, facilitating a top-down construction method. As part of this, we required two stages of finger props, connected to the king posts installed in the perimeter secant wall piles, which would allow excavation of the future basement levels. It was here that we turned to Mabey Hire and its range of temporary propping equipment.

“Due to the quality and flexibility of Mabey Hire’s products, we felt they were well placed to cater to the scope of this project. As a result, we hired their Mass 25 and Mass 50 props, which we installed in various lengths, due to the differing requirements of our king posts.”

Our solution

Our Mass 25 and 50 propping offer excellent versatility, with the Mass 25 props able to support up to 340kN on one leg and Mass 50 working on loads up to 600kN. This was ideal for the high loads expected for this project, as Chris explains: “Given the considerable size of the development’s substructure, the expected loads on the temporary works equipment was high. In fact, in this case it was up to 550kN. This meant that any solution installed had to be able to meet those requirements, which Mabey Hire’s did. 

“Not only this, but another challenge was the presence of existing raking props on site, which had to be removed prior to the new solutions being installed. As a result, the phasing and sequencing of the prop installation was quite complex. However, we were able to overcome this through regular communication with the Mabey Hire team, who were extremely helpful, and by maintaining a stock of prop sections in the interim we had the flexibility to meet our planned work sequence. Mabey’s system also allowed for easy installation on-site and the bolted connections to the king post and jackpad connection to the existing retaining wall eliminated the need for welding on site and limited the wastage of materials.

“Working with Mabey Hire has been a good experience, with excellent project support from Andy Chung and his team. The majority of the equipment we needed were available at short-lead times and there was always reliable, regular communication between ourselves and Mabey Hire, allowing us to swiftly remedy any challenges that came up.”

The 2 Finsbury Avenue development is scheduled to be completed in 2027, providing a new landmark destination and working space for Broadgate and London. 

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