Blackpitts Aloft Hotel

Project outline 

Aloft, a branch of the renowned Marriott International brand, are constructing a new hotel in Blackpitts with over 200 rooms. The eight-storey building will focus on providing tech-savvy, affordable accommodation and will be managed by Blackpitts Hospitality Limited. 

The opening of the hotel will come during a period of significant development in the Liberties area. The Teeling Whiskey distillery opened nearby just over a year ago, while a huge student accommodation complex is also set to open in the area in September. 

Main contractors BAM brought Murphy on board to construct the bearing piles, crane base piles, secant pile shaft for the hotel and also the secant pile wall for the adjacent student accommodation. 

Key challenges 

This confined urban environment presented several challenges in construction. The team on site was able to deal with these comfortably thanks to its considerable collective experience on similar projects.  

There was limited working space for the rig, however, the team had combated this issue on previous projects and was able to present the client with minimal space requirements for its operation. Using clear illustrations from the previous jobs, the team was able to reassure the client by demonstrating how the operation of the rig would work successfully. 

The two sites were separated by an existing culvert. Murphy had to work closely with BAM to ensure the temporary bridge over the culvert could support the 65T piling rig.  

Surrounding roads were tight with congested parking which provided a challenge with access to the site. One lane was closed due to the demolition of an existing building. This demolition impacted on the project as its crew required continual access through the piling site. At all times, Murphy maintained effective liaison with the demolition contractor regarding this. As well as the piling exclusion zone, Murphy had 2 banksmen working around the rig to ensure no one entered the working area without permission. 

Project delivery and innovations 

Murphy selected a Bauer MBG24 for this job. The team had used this on multiple projects of a similar nature and were confident it was the best rig to complete the works. 

Initially the proposal for works was to provide 900mm diameter piles throughout the site. However, as part of the design process, Murphy worked with its design partners and the client to create a plan using 1200mm piles for the secant pile wall and shaft. This adjustment to the design meant fewer piles needed to be constructed, saving time on the initial programme. Subsequently Murphy used less material on site with positive impact on cost and sustainability. 

The design changes led to a 13% programme saving for BAM contractors. Murphy were the only company in Ireland at the time of construction able to deliver the 1200mm diameter rotary bored piles and so were the only company able to offer savings through this approach. 

Throughout delivery, Murphy benefited from having 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. 

Murphy worked closely with BAM on this project but also built effective working relationships with the other contractors on site. Due to the large amount of work taking place on site it was key to be aware of all vehicle and operative movements. Having a clear line of a communication between parties ensured the safety of all on site and contributed to Murphy’s proud SHESQ record. 

Key facts 
  • Design, build and testing 
  • 23 no. 900mm diameter bearing piles 
  • 12 no. 900mm diameter crane base piles
  • 108 no. 1200mm diameter secant piles 
  • 54 male piles and 54 female piles 
  • Rock-sockets up to 8.1m long 
  • Piles to depths of 11.1m long 
  • Good collaboration throughout project with regular catch-ups with the client leading to an effective partnership in delivery 
  • Experienced project management team 
  • Provided quality control on site 
  • No accidents or incidents 
  • Delivered on time and to budget 

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