“We can’t risk going off-programme, and need several below-ground substructures delivered on time”

If like many of our clients, your construction programme is extremely short, and the critical path runs through the below-ground activities, you may be looking for a way to de-risk the programme to ensure you stay on-track with your project.

Below, we’ve highlighted one example where a client was faced with this exact scenario, and how we were able to help.

The challenge

One of our repeat clients won a project for the construction of a new baggage handling facility at Heathrow Airport. As part of their tender return (and having already seen the benefits), they wanted to use prefabricated steel to construct below-ground level.

The substructures were absolutely key to the critical path of the programme, as the baggage handling systems were the critical activity. Getting them installed and commissioned for handover was imperative to the success of the project.

One of the biggest issues was getting 15 below-ground substructures with approximate sizes of 4m long x 2m wide x 2m deep, installed on time. They also needed to be within tolerance, and 100% watertight.

The main challenge was handing over the facility on time and to a high standard. With their reduced time frame on-site, there was a risk that choosing the traditional in situ construction method would have been overrunning, leaving the client with a substandard product.

The solution

As the client had already worked with us previously, and knew our product and dedicated team were up to the job, they were able to go with our solution instead of using the traditional in situ concrete reinforcing design.

This is because they knew that prefabricated steel was going to offer their client the end-product they wanted, and would de-risk their construction programme by selecting this route.

Fortunately our client was already sold on prefabricated steel as a below-ground construction method, and put this forward to the end-user of the baggage handling facility as the solution.

This was quickly approved, and we were able to get to work constructing the substructure out of prefabricated steel.

The results

The end result was that we installed all the substructures as per the intended programme, reducing the construction period and de-risking the works on-site. Our client was extremely satisfied with the result.

In fact, they came away from the project even more sold that this was the best solution for below-ground level construction. They were pleased with the proactive design at the start of the project, which lead to a faster manufacturing period – bringing us forward one week on-site.

“We have worked with Premier Pits installing vehicle inspection pits for about 5 years. We approached Mel Burrell their MD to discuss the option of installing prefabrication below ground level for different uses. We were unaware that the group had a division which dealt with bespoke substructures; Premier Substructures. Their team engaged with my pre construction team and gave us all the benefits of how they build below ground level. This process made us more competitive than the other main contractors at tender time, gave the end user a better product and made life easier for our on site construction team.”

Norwest Holst – Paul Welsh.

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