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Modular groundworks solutions aid in iconic Fleet Street renovation

Fleet Street, London

120 Fleet Street, symbolic for its association with the British newspaper industry, is seeing major renovations to provide new highly sustainable commercial spaces for the city. Erith, the enabling and demolition specialist, enlisted our help when a flexible groundworks solution was required at short notice.


Groundworks support at iconic London location during renovations
Site access issues due to confined city centre location
Groundworks and propping package designed and delivered

Products used on this project

The challenge

As part of a series of renovations being carried out on London’s Fleet Street, Erith was contracted to deliver the enabling works on the Grade II* listed Daily Express Building, as well as the new River Court office development. A new 52,000m2 building, River Court will step up from seven-storeys to 21 at its uppermost point and will form a new, highly sustainable and state-of-the-art commercial workplace in the heart of the city.

As part of Erith’s appointment, the original River Court superstructure had to be demolished from the top down to ground floor level. It was for this section of the project that Erith turned to us for our support and expertise, as Steven Gillam, Project Manager at Erith explained: “We were contracted to perform a number of works for this project, which included completing any residual soft stripping work, erecting perimeter scaffolding, and the construction and installation of a tower crane and base. 

“We were also contracted to demolish the original River Court superstructure to clear space for the new office tower. It was during this section of the scheme that, due to its complexity, extra support structures were required to ensure the stability of the ground to enable us to carry out the substructure demolition works safely; and this is where we turned to Mabey Hire.”

Given the scope of the demolition works that Erith was undertaking, it swiftly became clear that additional support would be required to ensure the safety of all on site, as well as the stability of the basement level. Steven explained further: 

“As soon as we realised we needed to get extra ground support, we started looking for temporary works providers who could offer a solution that would suit our requirements. However, one of the challenges we had was related to site access. Due to the confined city centre location, we were unable to bring in a larger tower crane, meaning we were limited to a 10-tonne capacity crane. This was a key factor that we had to consider when looking for temporary groundworks support, and Mabey Hire was able to meet the challenge head on.”

Our solution

The temporary works scheme we supplied incorporated Super Bracing Strut-1000, as well as a Mass 25 propping tower. 

Arran Philippou, Major Projects Sales Manager at Mabey Hire explained: “Our Super Bracing Strut was the perfect fit for this project due to its modular construction, meaning it could be split into two sections and easily transported to site. Individually, each section was within the weight limit of the onsite tower crane, enabling it to be safely lifted into position and assembled on site. 

“We also designed, supplied and pre-assembled a temporary support tower, constructed from our Mass 25 props. Due to the ground level being seven metres below the strut installation level, this propping tower provided intermediate support during both the installation and dismantling of the Super Bracing Strut, further ensuring the safety of those on site.

Our comprehensive range of equipment wasn’t the only reason we were brought in on the project, with Steven saying: “Our biggest constraint on this project was time, as we had to have all the equipment fitted fast so we could continue our main works. Mabey Hire really helped with this aspect, with its technical, engineering and delivery departments being extremely supportive throughout the whole operation, delivering the equipment seamlessly to site. 

“What’s more, Mabey Hire was able to deliver the propping tower preassembled, which really sped up the installation and dismantling of the systems and provided a significant programme saving overall. From our initial enquiry to the kit arriving on site took under four weeks, which was extremely beneficial for us.”

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