HS2: EKFB to prefabricate entire Thame Valley Viaduct

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A associated task betwixt Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall (EKFB) has revealed that it volition wholly prefabricate the 880 metre-long Thame Valley Viaduct earlier assembling it connected site.

The ambitious modular plan was worked up by HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor, EKFB, moving with plan spouse ASC (a associated task betwixt Arcadis, Setec and Cowi) and architects Moxon.

HS2 Ltd claimed that prefabricating each large constituent of the viaduct would chopped its c footprint by two-thirds.

Set debased into the landscape, crossing the flood plain of the River Thame, conscionable extracurricular Aylesbury, the underside of the viaduct volition beryllium conscionable 3 metres supra the ground, with 36 spans of 25 metres successful magnitude crossing the stream and surrounding wetlands.

The 35 factual piers that enactment the viaduct volition besides beryllium wholly made disconnected tract earlier being placed connected their foundations. Traditionally, viaduct beams are secured unneurotic supra each of the piers with a factual diaphragm that is formed successful situ. The larger precast beams that volition beryllium utilized astatine Thame Valley tin beryllium secured straight to 1 another, removing the request for the diaphragm, improving durability and reliability, redeeming time, cutting outgo and benefitting information by reducing the request for radical to enactment astatine height.

HS2 Ltd's caput of civilian structures, Tomas Garcia, said: “HS2 trains and stations volition beryllium zero-carbon from time one, providing a cleaner, greener mode to question and helping the combat against clime change.

“But we’re besides superior astir reducing the magnitude of c we usage during construction, and Thame Valley is simply a large illustration of however our contractors are utilizing the latest engineering techniques to bash conscionable that. Prefabrication and offsite manufacturing connection immense benefits successful presumption of efficiency, and this plan volition assistance america present a much efficient, durable and elegant operation with little factual and steel."

Applying lessons from caller high-speed obstruction projects successful Spain, the plan squad chopped the magnitude of embedded c by simplifying the operation of the viaduct truthful that each large constituent could beryllium made disconnected site.

In a large measurement guardant for viaduct plan successful the UK, the squad opted for 2 wide ‘box girder’ beams per span alternatively of 8 smaller beams, to simplify and velocity up assembly. The new, lighter-weight operation is expected to prevention 19,000t of embedded c successful examination with the erstwhile design.

As good arsenic cutting embedded c successful presumption of materials, this attack besides requires less lorries to present worldly to site, cuts waste, and volition minimise disruption for the section assemblage during construction.

EKFB method manager Janice McKenna said: “Cutting c during operation is simply a precedence for EKFB, arsenic the squad commences the gathering works of immoderate of the main structures on its 80km conception of HS2, and this process starts close astatine the archetypal plan stages.

“Working alongside our plan partners, we person tackled the c situation from 2 angles. The structurally businesslike solution means we minimise the embedded c successful the viaduct materials; and we person besides been capable to trim emissions during operation by maximising offsite prefabrication to execute an businesslike build, arsenic good arsenic reducing the fig of HGVs connected section roads. The techniques utilized successful the Thame Valley Viaduct are besides being utilized successful different structures on our enactment of route.”

Preparatory works person already begun connected tract adjacent Aylesbury, with the plan squad besides looking astatine whether a akin modular attack to operation could beryllium applied to other, smaller viaducts elsewhere connected the route.

HS2 precocious unveiled revised designs for its Euston station, which besides heavy relies connected offsite modular construction.