Preston-based steel sheet pile installation specialist, Sheet Piling (UK) Limited, has helped EFL Championship football club, Fulham FC, ensure that its iconic riverside ground, Craven Cottage, will be its footballing home for many years to come.
Sheet Piling UK has been part of a project that is developing a suite of new amenities at the club. Its groundworks have helped extend the Riverside Stand, to increase the ground’s seating capacity, but have also enabled the creation of new facilities alongside the club’s stretch of the River Thames, for the benefit of fans, residents and visitors alike.
Extending the stand and transforming the river side walkway into a world-class destination, which will boast a pathway that allows leisure users to have an uninterrupted walk between Hammersmith and Putney bridges, required the type of groundwork support in which Sheet Piling UK specialises. Its team started work at the site in April 2020, following the demolition of Fulham FC’s existing Riverside Stand.
Sheet Piling UK used first-class steel sheet pile sections manufactured by its supplier, Emirates Steel, to create three sides of the basement works required for the stand extension. The fourth side comprised the previously completed and realigned Thames wall.
Given the vast amount of stock that Sheet Piling UK holds, there was no delay in getting the required Z-section sheet piles out to the project, enabling it to move faster. The capacities on offer through the Sheet Piling UK fleet of rigs were also called upon, with two ABI telescopic leader rigs deployed at the project, complete with their resonance-free vibratory piling hammers and double jaw clamp, ABI MZK1250 assemblies.
Use of the company’s own Delmag leader-mounted hammer delivered another benefit to the client, avoiding the need to create a deep lead trench or have to use longer sheet piles, as would have been the case if a conventional, crane-suspended, hydraulic impact hammer been used.
Having completed the initial sheet pile installation, Sheet Piling UK’s team are now looking to the next stage of the bulk earthworks project, which will see them creating and installing a temporary steel-welded support frame (part cofferdam). Once the earthworks are completed, the sheet pile interlocks will be welded, so as to provide a watertight basement structure.
Sheet Piling UK’s managing director, Andrew Cotton, says: “We are delighted to be playing our part in giving a real community-focused football club like Fulham FC the opportunity to develop its ground in such a way as to secure its future at the site for many years to come. Many sports grounds are reticent to ask their fan base to adopt new grounds, in new locations and, through this project, Fulham FC has not had to do so. It has been able to create a valuable sporting and leisure resource at its much beloved sporting home, with steel sheet piling at its base.”