Fast-fit ground beam delivers three house plots a day

Aaron Morby 4 months ago

An innovative ‘clip and pin’ ground beam system for housing foundations is releasing multiple plots to brickwork trades in half the time of other systems.

A team using the ABeam system can deliver three plots a day to follow on tradesn
A team using the ABeam system can deliver three plots a day to follow on tradesn

The new precast concrete beam system using a proprietary interlocking joint is the brainchild of Scottish engineering specialist Akela Ground Engineer.

‘ABeam’ features a special steel pinned joint, allowing for prefabricated ground beams to be installed in a matter of hours.

Lego-like female and male metal plates at the end of each beam allow the beams to be clipped together at speed.

Then high-tensile steel pins slot in to fasten the interlocking beams in place without the need to shutter and grout ends.

Mechanical joints being slotted together and pinned

The system is being trialled by Bellway Homes which has found it is speeding up the release of plots to trades.

Andy Borland, construction director at Bellway Homes, said: “Akela’s ABeam system has meant we were able to release plots to our wider teams a lot faster compared to other precast ground systems we have previously used.

“Our bricklayers were working on multiple plots within three days of pile installations at this development, rather than taking over a week and relying on the weather.

“We also didn’t need to install any crane platforms as Akela used the same excavated plant for the entire installation process, saving us money on preparatory works that other precast ground beams systems require.”

Officially approved and signed off on “live” projects by the NHBC, ABeam could help housebuilders lay foundations for up to three plots per day.

Will Payne, general manager at Akela Ground Engineering, said: “After reviewing the precast ground beam options available on the market, we found many still had considerable downsides, the use of pile caps, insitu concrete and tie bars were common, this requires sequencing of works and could also be impacted by weather conditions, all of this leads to considerably longer installation times.

“Akela’s new ABeam precast system eliminates all of these issues and offers significant advantages in terms of construction install, performance and overall project quality.”

He added: “In addition to the significant time savings and efficiencies, our new ABeam system can be delivered using the same plant equipment for full the installation process, with lighter bearing pressures from our JCB JX driven piling rigs.”


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