When looking at buildings in the UK, especially older ones, you may wonder how they are still standing years after they were made. Well, a lot of them have had piling done in the foundations to help keep them upright for many more years to come. This article will look at 3 of our most famous UK landmarks that have had piling done.
The Elizabeth Tower, London
The Elizabeth Tower, which is the name of the tower, not Big Ben as many of us call it (Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the tower) was leaning so badly that the government realised that something needed to be done before it became dangerous.
Extensive work began on the tower in 2017, when the clock was cleaned and visitors to London could see it in all its glory, albeit covered in scaffolding. The piling was done shortly after, to ensure that the lean the tower had developed was corrected slightly and it could stay standing for hundreds more years to come. The iconic building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with its restoration and new piling completed, it’ll be enjoyed for years to come.
Brighton i360 Tower, Brighton
This tower is the thinnest tower in the world at only 4.5 in diameter and was designed and engineered by the same team that designed the London Eye.
Situated close to the water, the pilings on this 162m high tower have to be very deep. The bearing piling ranges from 13 to 20 metres deep, these act as stilts, so the tower is held securely in the chalk strata. The secant piles are then 10 metres deep to create the basement wall, holding back shingle.
The Albert Dock, Liverpool
This dock is one of the most famous in the UK and is the first to have had no wood structures above ground, as it is made from cast iron, brick and stone.
The wood piling underneath strengthens the foundations as it needs to be as heavy as possible to deal with the silt that the River Mersey has, with a quicksand nature, it could easily subside quickly. In 1981, the dock was derelict after the commercial shipping industry dwindled and moved. In 1983 the dock was taken over by the Merseyside Development Corporation and the Albert Dock Company to redevelop it. This was completed in 2003 and work is often carried out to ensure the foundations are as strong as ever.