South-east based ground engineering contractor launches its first regional office.

Specialist ground engineering contractor Central Piling has opened a northern regional office as a first step to ambitious expansion plans.

The new office is based on a technology park in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, to complement Central Piling’s head office base in Halstead, Essex, which has been its headquarters for 29 of its 40 years in business.

Central Piling has a range of specialist Soilmec CFA (Continuous Flight Auger) rotary and mini piling rigs particularly suitable for boring in rock and dense ground. They have already been used on a tranche of northern office projects that have recently been completed, valued at well over £300,000.

These include installing 289 300mm and 400mm diameter piles to 14m for a new mental health hospital in Southport. The challenge here was to keep piling and work with the client while mass and reinforced concrete basement obstructions, which had not been removed by the demolition contractor, were eradicated.

At a school near Northwich, Cheshire, Central Piling are installing 188 300mm diameter piles to 9.5m for a new sports hall. Timing deliveries and collections around the school run periods for the ready-mixed concrete has been the key to progress there.

Other notable northern office projects include Merseyside, within the basement of the MetQuarter shopping centre, Liverpool, while it remained open to the public. Night access and protection was required to gain access through the main shopping concourse and into the basement. Central Piling had to plan to work within the confines of the limited 3.8m headroom and to minimise both carbon monoxide emission build-up and noise into the shopping centre.

Eight 450mm diameter fully-reinforced piles were concreted to a depth of 8m using the hydraulic-powered SM4 piling rig with a 3.5m high mast. The rig has a separate power pack which was located remotely outside the building basement some 50m from the piling rig, with the hydraulic hoses passed down through the building lightwell into the basement.

Central Piling’s new northern office also project-managed the installation of 12 450mm diameter piles to 10m depth for a pair of media advertising hoardings on either side of the Mancunian Way flyover off the Medlock street roundabout in Manchester (pictured). Piles were installed within the limited headroom beneath the flyover by a powerful SM12 rig fitted with a short mast was used to found the piles within dense sandstone.

Central Piling’s managing director Steve Hadley added: “We opened our first regional office to improve the lines of communication with the client and supervise on site.”

Central Piling is also looking to open a base in the south-west as part of its expansion plan.