Project outline 

Copper Bridge (an umbrella fund) had demolished an old hotel complex in Ballsbridge, Dublin 2 and were constructing a new urban quarter comprising of 490 apartments, a 152-room standalone hotel and 77,000 sq. ft. of retail, commercial and leisure space. 

JJ Rhatigan were the main contractors on this €30 million contract and brought Murphy Ground Engineering in to construct 524 secant piles, 10 tension points and 10 well points. The piles would support the new basement of the complex. 

The backdrop for the project was a busy Dublin main road with high footfall. Due to the size of the development and number of contractors, working space was extremely tight on site. 

Murphy also provided design, monitoring and testing for the piling. 

Key challenges 

Space on site was in short supply throughout the duration of works. With numerous sub-contractors working at the same time as Murphy, there was a lot of plant in the area at all times. This meant there was limited working space for the rigs and additional challenges around vehicle movements on and off the site. To overcome this issue personnel on site were flexible and engaged with all other sub-contractors. Their priority was to make sure their programme aided the others and ultimately contributed to the success of the overall project. 

Due to the scale of works a tight programme was put in place and even slight delays could cause major disruption. Murphy reacted quickly when difficult ground conditions, which had been undetected in initial surveys, led to time delays. Getting the right plant, equipment and utilising the knowledge of experts in the team meant no delays occurred after facing these difficult circumstances. 

Given the complexity of the design and volume of works on site, an experienced and collaborative approach was required. Murphy worked closely with long standing design partner, Byrne Looby and the client to achieve the shortest possible programme, while proposing a methodology that the client was confident in using. 

Local businesses continued to operate for the duration of the piling. This meant that noise and dust disruption had to be considered throughout works. Murphy monitored the site and were ready to address any concerns. The works were completed without any complaint. 

Project delivery and innovations 

To deliver such a large number of piles in line with the project programme, three rigs were situated on site. A spare driver meant that rigs were kept in operation at all times. This was an extremely slick operation, ensuring every hour of the working day was maximised while providing sufficient rest for staff. 

The three rigs were completing up to eight female and two male piles per day. The rigs selected were a BAUER MBG24 and two BAUER BG26s. 

Efforts were made to ensure that suppliers were local. This helped achieve greater levels of sustainability, while positively impacting on local business for the duration of the project. 

Throughout delivery Murphy benefited from having vast local resources in plant, equipment and workers in Dublin who were close to the site. This meant that any issues could be dealt with quickly and efficiently as they arose. 

Key facts 
  • Design and build (rotary bored piling), monitoring and testing 
  • Testing included both dynamic and integrity tests 
  • Provided 524 secant piles and 10 tension piles in 4 months 
  • 262 male piles and 262 female piles. 8 females piles delivered per day and 3 male piles through difficult ground conditions 
  • Piles at depths of 7-14 metres 
  • Rock socket lengths from 0.5 – 7 metres 
  • Tension piles, 3 metres deep with a 9.8m rock socket 
  • Verticality of 1:100 was required and achieved 
  • Excellence in delivery within a congested urban environment 
  • Good collaboration throughout with the client 
  • Delivered on time and to budget 
  • Bored hard Dublin limestone and in some cases very hard quartz

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Ground Engineering at Murphy

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.

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