The ‘walking piling gate’, which improves the safety, environmental standards and efficiency of the construction process, has been recognised as an innovation by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), and is featured on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – the key online resource showcasing best practice in the construction industry.
The Port’s principal contractor, VSBW (VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster), has been using the custom-built equipment to install large diameter tubular piles for the Port’s new berths, pier and marina curve, and is already reporting the kit has increased the number of piles being driven daily from three to a maximum of 10.
Dave Herrod, DWDR Programme Director at the Port of Dover, said: “The Dover Western Docks Revival is enhancing this key piece of national infrastructure by providing further capacity to keep the port resilient for the long term and providing a game changing opportunity for the regeneration of Dover.”
“The Port of Dover is committed to achieving high standards on every aspect of this flagship development and I am absolutely delighted our marine civil engineering team has been able to demonstrate this in terms of safety of the workforce, and the impact on the community and the environment by developing this innovative piece of equipment.”
The gates clamp onto the previously installed piles and are equipped with hydraulic roller boxes to guide the piles accurately in position. After driving a pile, the gate glides forward autonomously from the crane and hydraulically adjusts its position to prepare for the next pile. Repositioning and levelling of the piling gate without the need of the crane significantly shortens the critical path, as it can be achieved parallel to upending and pitching of a new pile. In addition to piling in straight lines, the new piling gate can also undertake smooth, wide curves, which has proved invaluable with the Port’s marina curve design.
Ron Eckersley, Community Manager for VSBW, said: “As Dover Western Docks Revival involves driving over 651 steel tubular piles as part of the marine civil engineering, the Port of Dover and VSBW decided to invest in two innovative best in class piling gates, significantly increasing the projected piling rate. This has helped us deliver the piling phase of the project in a much shorter period, which in turn has been beneficial in reducing noise nuisance to adjacent neighbours.
Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy, said: “Innovation has to be at the very heart of construction; both from determining its future success as well as its attractiveness as a sector to work in.
“It is, therefore, essential that the industry as a whole embraces innovation and continually works to raise standards in how it can be used for the benefit of the local community, environment and workforce. The Port’s DWDR ‘walking piling gate’ innovation has clearly achieved benefits in each of these areas, and has made a significant contribution to improving the image of the construction industry.
“The standard of innovations across construction sites and throughout the supply chain is increasing, with around 500 best practice examples of innovations now available on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub. This helps the industry to collaborate and learn from one another by sharing the very best practice from Scheme-registered sites, companies and suppliers across the UK and Ireland. The Scheme looks forward to continuing to help to raise standards and share best practice in this vital area for the industry.”
DWDR is the single biggest investment ever undertaken by the Port of Dover and represents the next exciting evolution of the Port, delivering long-term capacity for a key international gateway handling trade to the value of £122bn and representing up to 17% of UK trade in goods.
Source: Port of Dover