Project outline 

Gortfinbar Windfarm is situated near Omagh in Co. Tyrone. It is in close proximity to many more windfarms, as there is a growing need to produce more wind energy in Ireland. Gortfinbar was selected as prime location for a windfarm, due to the strong winds in the area. Six turbines are to be constructed with one base providing a pile foundation. 

Murphy were employed to install fourteen piles to support the turbine base located in T4. The fourteen 900mm diameter piles were to support the compression and tension loads from the wind turbine. The piles were installed to a depth of 14m. 

Concrete was supplied by Northstone Materials and the steel reinforcement cages were supplied by Fairyhouse Steel. 

Site staff included one project manager, one engineer, one rig driver, three general operatives and office support staff. 

"No issues. Great service provided by Murphy’s.” - Declan Quinn Project Manager, DMKL 

Project delivery and innovation  

We installed fourteen piles for one turbine base foundation in Gortfinbar Windfarm, where there is a total of six wind turbines constructed by Energia. These generate energy for Northern Ireland Electricity. 

Once all the piles provided acceptable results through the dynamic, integrity and static load tests, they were trimmed down to the formation level. Then, steel reinforcement fixing was carried out for the base of the turbine. 

The successful change in design of the pile foundation involved close collaboration with the client, resident engineers and our pile foundation designers. 

Our piling projects provide experience, knowledge, systems of work, quality and equipment for the client, with an overall great service and product. The Moriarty safety officer praised the Safety, Health, Environment, Sustainability and Quality (SHESQ) check systems that were always on time and professional. 

Byrne Looby & Partners (BLP) provided Murphy with the design element of the pile foundation and have a good working relationship with Murphy. The collaboration of our build experience with BLP’s design experience, helped to provide an alternative cost benefit solution to the piling. 

Key challenge  

The design criteria changed as the job commenced. We worked closely with BLP to provide a design that would give the client a top quality product. We carried out two trial bore holes to provide a sufficient ground profile and this enabled BLP to improve the pile foundation design. The changes were readily agreed with the resident engineering firm. Our approach of clarifying the design change, providing a solution, implementing this and testing the product, helped all parties involved in the project. 

Related projects

Gortfinbar Wind Farm.

Building from the ground up

The Ground Engineering team at Murphy offers in-house pile design, value engineering and bespoke technical solutions throughout the UK and Ireland. We have a proven track record of successfully delivering both minor and major works across a range of sectors.

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