Project Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom

Datacenter in Hemel Hempstead

Franki & Martello, perfect combo

Sector: Buildings

Redevelopment of an existing logistics hub into a data centre, which presents a series of challenges with piling required both inside and outside of the existing structure.

Technical Specifications

CFA piling by Franki Foundations
& Restricted access rotary bored piles by Martello Piling

  • 689 no
  • Ø 600 mm

The Challenge

The multimillion pound redevelopment of an existing logistics hub into a data centre presented a series of challenges with piling required both inside and outside of the existing structure.

Inside, the available headroom was restricted to a maximum of 15.0m and had to allow for piling in close proximity to existing stone columns without causing disturbance. Across the site, ground conditions were clay over chalk of varying levels.

Although a large site, the sectional completion areas required by the Client presented a challenge to work efficiently and safely in order to hit the programmed targets. 

The Solution

Utilising our Martello piling systems, it enabled our in-house design team to offer a unique solution, of fewer 600mm dia. piles to be installed in lieu of 450mm dia. piles to depth, offering time savings and without the need to remove the existing roof structure, thereby providing the Client with significant cost and time savings not otherwise available in the market. 

The Martello rotary piling was undertaken from the building’s existing concrete floor by 2No. MP6000, 1No. MP5000 with 1No. MP4000 rig on standby. In areas, piling was through the footprint of existing stone columns, so to avoid any loss of support, piles were temporarily cased over the depth of the stone columns. This comprehensive approach and available fleet achieved an average of 12 piles per day, against the programmed 10 with piling completed a 1.5 weeks ahead of the challenging programme. 

The CFA piling outside of the warehouse footprint was completed utilising a SF50 rig and once again we bettered the production levels, completing the piling 3 weeks ahead of programme. Attednant crawler cranes were used with one piece reinforcement cages and a number of piles included central Dywidag bars to cater for tension loads. The crawler cranes enabled the piling rigs to move on to next pile position without the need to be held up with cage installation which meant production targets were realised and improved upon.


Project details

Project name

Datacenter in Hemel Hempstead

Area(s) of expertise

Warehouses and Logistics


Continuous flight auger pile (CFA), Restricted access bored piling

Contract type



Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom



Building Period

2022 - 2022

Rig & auger

Rig outside

Suite of Martello rigs and cranes

While in operations

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