Project outline

Canada House is a landmark office development completed in 2014, and is located in the heart of Dublin at the junction of St Stephen’s Green and Earlsfort Terrace. 

Murphy’s experienced ground engineering team were brought in by MB McNamara Construction Ltd following a series of successful projects previously completed for the contractor. 

The development was a secant pile wall to support the basement of the office building and at the time of construction, Murphy were the only company in Ireland able to provide the diverse range of piles required. The majority of these were 900mm diameter secant piles however, a combination of 1200mm and 1500mm diameter piles were also required.  

Key challenges

With two piling rigs working in close proximity, movements were strictly controlled and strong communications established between the two teams. Measures were taken to ensure a safe environment and efficient pace of work. This well-drilled operation helped the team complete works five weeks ahead of schedule. 

Hainault House, the building next to the site, was to be retained and protected throughout the works. This meant that MB McNamara had to construct temporary steel around the building, creating a challenge for the piling teams in keeping the rigs well away from the temporary supports. Configuring a plan that would successfully allow piling to continue while maintaining an adequate distance from these temporary supports was successfully achieved through excellent communication and collaboration between Murphy and the client, both at ground and executive level. 

Project delivery and innovations

 The works package awarded to Murphy required a secant pile wall, consisting of 900mm, 1200mm and 1500mm diameter piles, to support the basement of Canada house. At the time of construction, Murphy were the only company in Ireland with the ability to construct piles of this size. 

Originally the scope had suggested 600mm diameter piles. However, working with long-standing design partner Byrne Looby, Murphy put forward a revised design, including wider diameter piles that would reduce the number of piles required. By using less piles, the original cost of the works was reduced by 20%, the original programme was reduced by five weeks and the sustainability of the project was greatly increased, as far less material was used. 

Murphy were responsible for test pile construction, inclinometer tube installation, cube making and slump tests. We also contracted BHP to complete cube crushing. Integrity tests and computer controlled load tests were carried out under Murphy’s scope of work by subcontractor, Lloyd Acoustics. 

All of the steel cages were prefabricated and delivered pre-slung. This ensured that no operatives had to work at heights in order to lift them off. 

Murphy agreed to work some Saturdays in order to complete the piles across the site entrance. Due to the location of the site on St. Stephen’s Green, the site entrance could not be moved. Murphy suggested making it wider to allow other vehicles to move in and out while they were piling at the edges of the gates. This reduced the number of Saturdays worked. 

Key facts
  • Design, build and testing 
  • Provided 900m, 1200mm and 1500mm diameter piles 
  • Good collaboration throughout project with regular client catch-ups 
  • Experienced project management team provided quality control 
  • No accidents or incidents 
  • Brought design innovation to the project 
  • Delivered ahead of time and below budget 

Related projects

Canada House.

Ground Engineering at Murphy

The Murphy Ground Engineering team delivers a range of piling and geotechnical services including in-house pile design, value engineering and bespoke technical solutions throughout the UK and Ireland. Our direct delivery approach ensures that our clients always receive a reliable and adaptable service for their projects.

Find out more

Sign up to our newsletter

Our e-newsletter provides insights into our organisation, including new business activities, key updates, projects and expertise. Subscribe today!