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Propping one of London’s biggest basements

The Elephant & Castle Town Centre Development, a landmark project in the heart of the Elephant & Castle redevelopment masterplan, is a complex construction and a testament to collaborative, sustainable engineering.

This mixed-use development involves the transformation of the original shopping centre into a London Underground Integrated Ticket Hall (ITH), new retail and leisure facilities, university buildings and residential units. Due to the size of the project, the basement construction methodology is technically complex, so it was an exciting challenge when Conquip was asked to work on the design for the temporary propping.

Complexities of engineering one of London’s biggest basements

Morrisroe was responsible for the excavation and construction phases of the basement along with the construction of the above-ground RC structures. Conquip was tasked with designing and delivering the temporary works propping solutions, in collaboration with KDL, Morrisroe’s in-house engineering team.

The project posed significant challenges due to high loads and tight tolerances that required complex solutions. Due to the sheer scale of the project, it meant that our team needed to collaborate very closely with the project team, to achieve the best design, but then adapt as work progressed.

Innovation at Work: Conquip’s Bespoke Solutions

To assist the project’s build methodology, Conquip introduced bespoke elements such as a double-to-single waling beam connection to maintain continuity where the double stacked waling beam changed to a single level. A bespoke bracket was also built for corners where the angle was too obtuse to accommodate a standard prop.

“One of the things that separates Conquip apart from others is the speed at which we can deliver bespoke items. If a project needs something adapting on site, then our in-house teams can design, manufacture and deliver that part to sites, preventing downtime on the project.,” Rob Law, Head of Temporary Works Engineering at Conquip.

The Power of Collaboration

The project was a testament to the power of collaboration between Conquip, Morrisroe, and Multiplex. Conquip’s teams were actively involved in site meetings, adapting their designs as work progressed. This proactive involvement ensured that the project did not experience any delays in relation to the propping scheme.

“Conquip and Morrisroe, along with Multiplex work together to make sure we had the most efficient design possible,” Keegan Hudson, Construction Manager at Multiplex.

Championing sustainability

The project also showcased sustainability through the reuse of props and value engineering the design to reduce the number of propping deliveries and collections required.

“We were able to value engineer the propping requirements for the project, reducing the amounts required. This not only helped with buildability and maximized the potential of the props, but also had a big impact on sustainability,” says Ali Solki, Project Engineer at Morrisroe.