Latest tech on HS2 could prevent land slips and sink holes

Grant Prior 3 years ago
Share

Latest fibre optic technology on an HS2 construction site can sense minute ground movements in embankments and cuttings and could help prevent land slips and detect the formation of sink holes.

The project’s Chilterns tunnel south portal site is the testing ground for the “Sensorgrid” system developed by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure & Construction (CSIC) and geosynthetics manufacturer HUESKER.

The standard ground-stabilizing mesh woven with fibre optic cables is being used by contractor Align, its designer Jacobs and infrastructure monitoring company Epsimon Ltd on a test pit at the site to simulate ground movement.

Heavy-duty water-filled bags were laid in the base of the pit, sections of Sensorgrid were laid over it and then buried. Monitoring equipment then generated pulses of light that travelled through the fibre optic cable.

To simulate ground movement, water was released from the bags causing the weight of the ground above to move and strain the mesh which in turn causes a change in characteristics of the light pulsing through it.

The successful trial showed that Sensorgrid can detect small ground movements earlier and more effectively than established ground monitoring techniques.

The team estimates that on construction costs alone, proactive preventive action enabled by Sensorgrid would be up to 10 times less than the cost of repairing ground that has failed. The benefits of disruption reduced or avoided would be in addition to this saving.

The technology is now undergoing a full scale live trial elsewhere at HS2’s South Portal site near the M25 motorway. Two kilometres of Sensorgrid has been incorporated into a cutting for the railway. It will provide continuous data to the monitoring team over the next two years.

HS2 Ltd innovation manager Rob Cairns said: “Sensorgrid is a great example of how we’re leveraging HS2’s size and scale to draw on British expertise to develop a technology and demonstrate its innovative capability in the early stages of construction. This will act as a test bed for proving out significant benefit to the operational railway, with long term benefits in bolstering the resilience of the UK’s transport network.”

Align’s innovation manager, Nick Podevyn said: “A lot of hard work has gone into this innovation, which has been in incubation for more than a year. It has been an exemplar of open collaboration and working as one team to deliver the solution. It’s fantastic to see the prototype being physically tested on our site and then the technology being implemented on the live project.”

Latest news

Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Contractor in talks to save parts of the business
1 day ago

RG Group signs £121m Newcastle rental homes job

Developer Olympian Homes advances 519 flats plan at Pottery Lane site
1 day ago

Winners named for £260m Manchester Uni framework

B&K, Henry Bros, Graham, Robertson and Vinci among new line-up
1 day ago

Shed specialist Benniman rides out market lull

Worcestershire warehouse builder says industrial and logistics work is picking up again
1 day ago

Another contractor cleared after high profile immigration raid

Adana Construction employees were working legally on site swooped on by Home Office
1 day ago

McAleer & Rushe wants to meet new London suppliers

Contractor holding Meet the Buyer event in London: Register now
1 day ago

McAlpine signs £500m Broadgate dual towers deal

Work to start on iconic 36-storey and 21-storey towers
2 days ago

Worker rescued from collapsed four metre deep trench

Fire crews take six hours to save trapped builder near Blackwall Tunnel
2 days ago

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
3 days ago

Greenwich University tenders £300m framework

Up to five firms will carry out upgrade and newbuild work at three campuses
2 days ago

Work starts on Manchester 26-storey Obsidian tower

Contractor Domis starts Salboy's 10th Manchester scheme in seven years
2 days ago

Race for £1.3bn West Midlands social homes framework

The Community Housing Group reboots tender race for new build housing
2 days ago

Delancey submits £400m King’s Cross lab plans

200,000 sq ft lab/office project will be built above railway and tube tunnels just 4.5m below
3 days ago

Winners revealed for £150m fire safety framework

New deal will help organisations comply with the Building Safety Act
2 days ago

Sellar plans £500m City tower next to Walkie-Talkie

Consultation starts on London 60 Gracechurch Street tower
3 days ago

Severfield ends year on high with record order book

Orders top £500m with strong future pipeline of opportunities ahead
3 days ago

Second senior director exits National Highways

Commercial director Malcolm Dare set to move on to new role
3 days ago

New scheme fuels London lab building boom

Plans in for 160,000 sq ft Whitechapel scheme near Royal London hospital
3 days ago

Contract race starts for next £155m section of A9 dualling

Prior Information Notice published for Tay Crossing to Ballinluig stretch
4 days ago

£55m Sheffield build-to-rent scheme approved

Demolition to start later this year for 158-flat Sheffield Garden project
4 days ago

London back as most expensive place to build in world

Capital leapfrogs Geneva to top costliest construction rankings
4 days ago

Gas supplier Regent to buy TClarke for £90m

£491m turnover listed building services specialist to be sold
4 days ago

Steel contractor Billington launches into bridge market

Steelwork firm hires staff from failed architectural and bridge specialist SH Structures
4 days ago

McGee employees benefit from rise in profits

Pre-tax profit doubles boosting payouts for Employee Ownership Trust
4 days ago

Lendlease veteran is latest new McAlpine director

Paul Sims joins as Operations Director after 40 years at rival contractor
5 days ago

Costain signs site labour supply deal with four firms

Contractor to use only a quartet of providers for temporary labour supply
4 days ago

BAM go-ahead for Leeds 200,000 sq ft office

Latitude Yellow will complete final plot at Doncaster Monk Bridge site
5 days ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £30m logistics job

Latest deal to build five distribution units for Prologis UK
5 days ago

Trio win new Scape utilities consultancy framework

Perfect Circle, AtkinsRéalis and Arcadis win places on
4 days ago

Precast firm FP McCann cleared after immigration raid

Home Office takes no action after public raid on construction site
5 days ago

Contractor services