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Bespoke basement propping installed to facilitate city centre development

Oceana Plaza, Swansea

Early-stage collaboration with construction company Bouygues UK, has led to the successful design and installation of a basement propping scheme on a high-profile city centre redevelopment in Swansea.

Known as 71/72 The Kingsway, the £33 million scheme involves transforming a former nightclub into a five-storey, 114,000 square foot office structure. Offering up to 600 co-working spaces for the tech, digital and creative industries, the development is part of Swansea Council’s wider £1 billion strategy for transforming the city. 


redevelopment scheme


square foot office structure being built


Basement propping scheme on a high-profile city centre redvelopment in Swansea
£33m scheme to transform former nightclub into five-storey office structure
Monitoring provided real-time data and insight of site behaviours

Products used on this project

The challenge

Unoccupied since the nightspot closed in 2014, Bouygues UK was appointed to deliver the complex project and early engagement began, where we offered expert advice on the temporary works scheme required.

Working closely with structural engineer Bingham Hall, we were responsible for supplying and installing the equipment required. While the original proposed scheme design included the use of steel walers and bracing struts, as would typically be expected on a basement excavation of this nature, it became clear that this approach wasn’t suitable for the 71/72 The Kingsway project. This was due to concerns that the groundworks shoring equipment would clash with the piling rigs.

Instead, an alternative solution was put forward featuring our Mass 25 props, which were used to create portal frames in specific areas within the basement area, enabling the extensive piling operations to be undertaken without disruption.

Our solution

In addition to the structural temporary works support, Enviroguard, our monitoring solution, was also installed and remained on site during the temporary works installation and throughout the piling works themselves. This provided real-time data and insight as to the site behaviours so that any movement of the existing retaining wall was captured.

Speaking about the project, Lee Matthews, Major Projects Manager at Mabey Hire said: “This was a really great project to be involved with and serves to highlight the benefits of our in-house installation service. Working closely and collaboratively with structural engineers Bingham Hall and the main contractor, Bouygues UK, we remained on hand throughout the works. On a project of this scale, it’s inevitable that there will be some changes required as construction progresses, and we were able to deliver those changes speedily on site too.

“Taking advantage of our end-to-end service offering, the use of our environmental monitoring solution to monitor noise, dust and vibration levels was also responsible for providing the wider team with invaluable insight into the behaviour of the site.”

Bouygues UK Site Manager, Chelbie Jones, commented: “Mabey Hire has done a great job for us in terms of the design and delivery in facilitating our logistic constraints and programme requirements.  Despite the challenges the site presents, the works carried out have been executed well and collaboratively by Mabey Hire and the Bouygues UK delivery team.”

Mike Timothy, Bouygues UK Project Director, added: “The area has already seen a huge amount of improvements in recent years and this contemporary, flexible office development with opportunities for retail and leisure will further add to the regeneration of Swansea and the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “This major development will help tackle the challenge of businesses leaving Swansea to find high-quality office accommodation elsewhere by providing space for over 600 jobs in the tech and digital sectors. It will also generate further footfall for our city centre traders and act as a catalyst for even further private sector investment on The Kingsway.”

The 71/72 The Kingsway project is being developed by Swansea Council. It’s being part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal and supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

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