Sheet Pile Underground Car Parks Have Bright Future
Sheet Piles Have Bright Future In Underground Car Parks
With underground car parks becoming the new conservatory or swimming pool, adding 5% to the value of a property, which in London terms means around £25,000, it is little wonder that enquiries from urban developers wanting sheet piles for underground car park construction are on the rise.
Hot-rolled, steel sheet pile sections are a superb choice for such underground car park developments and basements, for various reasons. Sheet piles are an extremely cost-efficient option within such developments and can help speed up the project, as working from the top down, rather than from the bottom up, enables contractors to work both above and below ground at the same time.
Steel sheet piles can cut the cost of retaining wall structures by around half – essential for any project on a budget – but will also provide the development with a watertight underground space. Seal-welding the interlocked sections of the sheet piles ensures moisture will not enter the underground space – an absolutely essential factor for a swanky apartment block where owners expect the very best standards of construction.
Other Sheet Pile Advantages
The ability of sheet piles to transfer vertical load, from the structure above ground to the soil below, is another key benefit for any contractor working on a project with an underground car park within the specification. The load borne need not just be structural, as some underground car park developments will run beneath roads and other parts of urban infrastructure.
Whilst underground car parks have often used steel sheet piles to provide a temporary wall, later replaced by a permanent concrete wall, the case for using steel sheet piles as a permanent solution is becoming more compelling. Urban space is hard to acquire and expensive to buy, so every inch needs to be utilised effectively. The relatively thin nature of a sheet pile wall means space for car parking is not eaten up by the structure and as many car parking spaces as possible can be allocated to tenants, shoppers, hospital visitors, or whoever the users of the underground car park are.
Non-vibratory Sheet Piling
With sheet piling installation methods often now being non-vibratory, there is also less disturbance to those within the neighbourhood and fewer complaints about construction and sheet piling noise.
The need for underground car parking is likely to grow and sheet pile underground car parks could be pivotal in addressing this need. Car ownership is growing at a rate of around 100,000 every three months. At the end of June 2018, there were 31.5m cars alone on Britain’s roads. At the end of September 2018, there were 31.6m (source: RAC).
Urban development continues apace. Since the Millennium the population of many UK towns and cities has doubled. Between 2002 and 2015, Liverpool’s urban population grew by 181%, that of Birmingham by 163% and that of Leeds and Manchester by 150% and 149% respectively. Even smaller cities saw great growth, including Southampton (94%) and Cardiff (88%) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44482291. Whilst life in suburbia was the idyll for older generations, 20-29 year-olds have flocked back to the cities to live the in-vogue urban lifestyle.
Sheet Pile Underground Car Parks
Sheet piles used within underground car parks can themselves play a part in the urban aesthetic, being left as they are or subjected to rust acceleration, to achieve the industrial and urban grime ‘look’, or alternatively being painted to suit the colour themes of an apartment block development, hospital, office block or retail or sports centre or venue.
With apartment seekers more likely to opt for a home with on-site parking, rather than the urban lock-up that their parents and grandparents had to go on a waiting list for, the future for sheet piling contractors with the expertise to install sheet piles in underground car park and basement projects, is very bright.- Ends -
NOTES TO EDITORS
Sheet Piling (UK) Limited is one of the UK's leading piling contractors. Owning and operating a comprehensive range of specialist piling equipment Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd also carry extensive stocks of new and used piles enabling rapid reaction to any urgent requirements or emergency situations.