Menard designed and installed a solution of Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC) rigid inclusions, to avoid piling and allow the use of conventional shallow foundations (pad footings and ground bearing slabs) to support the building. This ground improvement solution brought significant benefits to the overall project, by reducing the embodied carbon footprint, accelerating and simplifying the construction sequence, and reducing costs. An SLS allowable bearing capacity of 250 kPa was achieved beneath the footings with CMC.
The design included a specific analysis to prove that the CMC had no impact on a nearby National Grid tunnel and close coordination with the Engineer was required to cater for the various changes. The piles from the previously existing ice centre were also kept in the ground, so the CMC positions had to be carefully adjusted accordingly.
The works have been completed in less than 3 weeks on site, ahead of programme, with a strict quality control comprising plate load tests on isolated CMC, compressive strength tests on concrete samples and drilling/concreting logs from the rig computer.
The use of Controlled Modulus Columns (CMC) instead of 15 m deep CFA piles greatly reduced the embodied carbon of the construction, by reducing the quantities of heavy carbon-emitting materials such as concrete (no concrete piles, thinner ground bearing slab) and steel (no pile caps, conventional pad/strip footings). Furthermore, the concrete mix design used a proportion of GGBS instead of cement (low-carbon concrete), leading to a further reduction of the overall carbon footprint of the project.