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R e p r e s e n t i n g

8-17 20 Years of the Channel Tunnel 18-31 The Joseph Gallagher Group 32-43 Soprema UK 44-47 FP McCann

BRITISH TUNNELLING SOCIETY Written by: Roger Bridge, Chairman

The entrance hall at the Associated Society of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) where BTS is based 3


F Roger Bridge,

Photo credit: Lars Plougmann / Flickr


or the majority of people in the UK, tunnels are a brief but essential part of daily travel avoiding the surface congestion in our cities. Very few are aware of the full extent of the engineering excellence that goes on beneath their feet as workers undertake the tasks associated with the creation of the underground spaces for road, rail, water, sewers, utilities and many more applications. The recent TV coverage of Crossrail has given the public an insight of what ‘tunnelling’ is all about and the general feedback tends to be one of awe and amazement. We can easily become somewhat indifferent about the significance of our daily challenges and achievements and such coverage makes people realise what does go on beneath their feet and raises the profile of the industry. We have a world-class heritage of tunnelling The Thames Tunnel, engineered in 1893 by Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is still operational today


Photo credit: Eurotunnel


The Channel Tunnel

Jubilee Line extension

with the world’s first sub-aqueous tunnel built under the River Thames by Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1843 and still operational today. Our extensive network of tunnels serving London Underground again bears testament to the ingenuity of tunnellers in the UK, as do the sewers built by Bazalgette and opened in 1865. More recently, we have had the Channel Tunnel, Heathrow Express, Jubilee Line, HS1 and the A3 Hindhead Tunnels. It was my pleasure and an honour to take over from Damian McGirr as Chairman of the BTS in May this year. The BTS is an Associated Society of the ICE. With a current membership of over 700 individual members and in excess of 60 corporate members, it is one of the most vibrant gatherings of professional tunnellers in the world. We are a forum to assist and encourage the dissemination of information relating to tunnelling

The Telford Theatre plays host to BTS lectures

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Tunnel infrastructure of the HST 1 network


and to act as a catalyst in the development of new technologies and standards that benefit the industry by improving knowledge, sustainability, efficiency, quality and safety in the construction and use of underground space. It is true to say that UK tunnelling is globally recognised and our standards and guidance are regularly adopted by projects around the world. In recent years, the lack of Tunnel schemes in the UK has seen large numbers of skilled personnel leave for international projects. Now we have the prospect of increasing demands for tunnellers in the UK once again, there is a potential for a shortfall in capacity. One of the


society’s aims is the attraction of ‘new blood’ into the industry. Through our Young Members, we regularly attend schools, universities and career fairs, giving prospective tunnellers a taste of what the industry offers. A strength of the BTS is that we welcome all tunnelling personnel within the industry, giving a greater depth to the ability and knowledge available. The society has strong ties with both TunnelSkills and TUCA; these bodies are the industry’s response to the potential shortfall of skilled and competent personnel to ensure its future capability to deliver. As an industry we have probably never had such a promising period ahead of us, with a range of projects currently underway or in the pipeline, and there has never been a better time to embark on a career in tunnelling. With numerous LUL contracts and National Grid Power Tunnels well underway and Crossrail recently passing the halfway mark, we are looking to the next phase of works. Hinkley, Shieldhall, Bank Station and Northern Line Extension are all due to begin soon; Tideway, Silvertown and HS2 will become a reality in the near future. I cannot begin to mention numerous small schemes for utilities that tend to go unnoticed in the press. In summary, the UK tunnelling industry is in an excellent position and I look forward to the coming years and the challenging work ahead for all of us.

Association Information A S S O C I AT I O N TYPE

A Learned Society. The BTS is an Associated Society of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). L O C AT I O N

The Institution of Civil Engineers, London, UK. FOUNDED


Chairman, Roger Bridge; Vice Chairman, Mark Leggett NO. OF M E M BE RS

In excess of 700 individual members and 60 corporate members

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Twenty years of the Channel Tunne

As the record breaking infrastructure project rea another milestone, Eurotunnel’s UK Director of P Affairs, John Keefe, discusses its past, present a

E D I T E D B Y: J O E L L E V Y 8

e el

aches Public and future 9


Caption to Channel Tunnel the image car shuttle interior ON DECEMBER 1 1990, British and French tunnellers met in the centre of the under-construction Channel Tunnel, creating the first land junction between the two nations since the ice age. The historic moment also marked the half-way point of a six-year construction some 200 years in the making. This record-breaking achievement of infrastructure has a long history. 10

Tunnel plans date back to Napoleonic times, with various ideas suggested since. Although popular with industry, invasion threats delayed matters until more peaceable times. Even so, two previous digging attempts were made, in the late 1870s and more recently in 1974. Both were halted for economic reasons, but both were ultimately used in the modern tunnel’s construction for surveying work and transportation of materials.


In the 1980s, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Francois Mitterand agreed that with a peaceful Europe established, linking England and France would boost business both ways. A competition was launched to find an efficient, cost-effective and safe model. Eurotunnel’s winning project features two railway tunnels and one central service tunnel giving access along the full length of the 50km of

running tunnels and allowing efficient maintenance access and emergency evacuation. Since economic difficulties ended the 1974 attempt, private finance was deemed a safer option. Money was raised from shareholders and banks with an original budget of ÂŁ2.5bn. It took three more years from first contact to complete and link the two railway tunnels, install the equipment, terminals, track, maintenance 11


Photograph taken during the initial construction phase of the Channel Tunnel at Shakespeare Cliff, Dover in 1988 buildings and more, taking the opening date to May 6 1994. Record-breaking Not just the time-scale impressed. The tunnel has been recognised as the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century, and one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Keefe said: “For a combination of the scale of the engineering that went into it, the time it took to build and the economic impact it has had on its region, it is one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure built in the 20th century. 12

“Thirteen-thousand people worked on the construction. The tunnelling in total distance is 150km, done in six years. The UK terminals are 150 hectares and in France 650 hectares plus 100 hectares of development land used for commercial zones. “It uses continental high-speed rail technology, an overhead catenary power supply of 25,000 volts and an automatic train protection system, so instead of using signals it is all automated and controlled from duplicated control centres in the UK and France.” Reliability is another standout


feature. With every system in the tunnel duplicated in the two nations: drainage, ventilation, power supply, railway control; in the event of one system failing, the duplicate steps up and runs the whole tunnel independently. Three challenges Despite its reputation as a groundbreaking engineering project, construction was not without setbacks. Sir Alastair Morton headed up an iron-willed leadership driving development to completion, overcoming several issues, identified by Keefe, which ultimately saw costs rise above £4.6bn. “Firstly, the design wasn’t totally finished when construction began, and the regulatory body put in place was a combination of French and

“For a combination of the scale of the engineering... it is one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure built in the 20th century”


Geological profile along the tunnel as constructed. For most of its length the tunnel bores through a chalk marl stratum (layer)

Typical tunnel cross section, with the service tunnel between twin rail tunnels. Shown linking the rail tunnels is a piston relief duct, necessary to manage pressure changes due to the movement of trains

British regulation. “The AGC kept applying new regulations for safety and pushing the standards further, so in the end things like the rolling stock, which had been specified at the beginning, had to be modified during manufacture, and additional safety fail-safe systems put in. The additional cost added was quite significant through that part of the process. “Combined with that, the British railways board and SNCF made traffic 13


“The railway business, including high-speed passenger trains between London and Paris and freight trains from Scotland to southern Spain, is experiencing strong gains�

Channel Tunnel with Eurostar train 14


forecasts that were used to justify the project, which unfortunately have never proven to be accurate.” Forecasts placed railway passenger numbers at 20 million a year and railway freight at 10 million tonnes a year. In reality Eurotunnel counted just 10 million annual railway passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of freight. Revenue shortfalls meant higher interest rates and a huge gap in Eurotunnel’s finances, leading to 2007’s brink-of-the-abyss negotiations. Here, the company renegotiated its contract with creditors, wiping away half its debts and hugely strengthening its position.

finalisation of the HS1 line from Folkestone to St Pancras in 2007, highspeed passenger levels have leapt from 6.5 million to 9.5 million. In freight, Eurotunnel’s incentive scheme kick-started the market and helps companies gain traction in the rail freight market, which has grown 10 percent. Eurotunnel will also expand the reach from the initial coverage of

Brighter future And things continue to improve. The shuttle service between Folkestone to Coquelles is carrying 1.4-1.5 million trucks per year and 2.5 million cars, with both markets growing, and Keefe expects truck numbers to rise further up to two million by 2020 as the UK economy picks up. The railway business, including high-speed passenger trains between London and Paris and freight trains from Scotland to southern Spain, is experiencing strong gains. Since

Passengers travelling from Folkstone to London since 2007

9.5 million

6.5 million 15

INFRASTRUCTURE multi-modal containerised freight to cover a far wider range of manufactured goods, logistics chains and heavy product. Further boosting rail is the recovering economy, leaving consumers with more disposable income, driving tourism and trade up, and raising freight figures.

London’s St Pancras station


HS2 Looking forward, plans to link the Tunnel to the UK’s much-debated HS2 rail service via the existing HS1 line at London have stuttered, with the HS2 Chairman recommending that dropping the proposal would save £700m. Keefe however, believes this a mistake, noting the huge economic benefits high speed services can bring. “It would be folly not to link the two together and there are a variety of different routes you could use,” he said. “Cutting the line half way up makes London a barrier to trade with the rest of the UK. It satisfies a group of people in central London, but in reality you’re cutting off the rest of the UK from continental access. Another route must be found and HS2 needs to be linked to HS1. “When the tunnel itself opened, there was no high-speed track in the UK, then half of HS1 was built so you had speed but it slowed into Waterloo and then eventually the second half was built to St Pancras in 2007. “From 1994 to 2007 you finally got the complete run up to St Pancras, so it was a very long time after the tunnel


was completed before proper highspeed services between London and Paris operated and traffic numbers jumped immediately.” High-speed rail has cut journey times from Folkestone, Kent, to London to 37 minutes, transforming opportunities for locals. Ashford, another Kent town served by a highspeed line has seen huge expansion in industry and the housing market on the back of its excellent connection to the rest of the UK and the continent. Keefe concluded: “If you look at what has happened since the Channel Tunnel was built, just in Kent, and mirrored in the north of France, you have a high speed line with all the benefits that brings to the area, a motorway and the M2 upgrade, and international stations at Ashford and Ebbsfleet, which because of its excellent connections has been nominated as the next new town in the UK. “A lot of industry has moved into the area, including from overseas. It’s made Kent an international business centre. Economically that’s a very powerful argument not only for the Channel Tunnel, but the infrastructure that goes alongside it.”


When the tunnel itself opened, there was no high-speed track in the UK.

High Speed 1 (HS1) is a 108-kilometre (67 mile) high-speed railway between London and the Channel Tunnel. Plans to link the Tunnel to the UK’s much-debated HS2 rail service via the existing HS1 line at London have stuttered.


The Joseph Gallagher Group

expands into Middle-East after shrewd acquisitions Written by: Joel Levy Produced by: Richard Durrant



The ambitious company is forging a reputation for quality work across the region after adding several complementary businesses to strengthen and diversify its offering


pecialist civil engineering contractor Joseph Gallagher is taking its ambitions to the next level after strengthening and expanding its capabilities with key acquisitions in recent years and entering the booming MiddleEast. The Group has enhanced its services via the shrewd acquisition of four companies: crawler crane specialist N.R.C. Plant Ltd; hired tunnelling equipment expert Specialist Plant Associates; Iseki Microtunnelling; and Johnston Trenchless Solutions. The latter pair have allowed the company not only to expand northward from its Orsett, Essex base, but has opened a path to new opportunities further afield. Middle-East Tunnelling Director Richard Dexter said: “We have in the last four years, through the acquisition of Iseki and Johnston, started business in the Middle-East and now have offices in Bahrain and Kuwait. We operate up and down the GCC. Half the Iseki machine fleet is kept in the Middle-East and can be quickly brought back to the UK if required. “The region has a massively growing population and huge oil and gas reserves. We do a lot of microtunnelling in oil and gas pipes, road crossings for the oil and gas industry, and with a growing population and a need to house and utility these people there’s significant capital


Iseki Micro Tunnelling: The fleet of microtunnelling equipment has installed over 80km of finished pipeline, most of it operated by the company’s own operators

investment in drainage. “With the amount of building development going on there is the potential to forge ahead and build a reputation there, and we are doing this now.” In a challenging market to break into, reputation counts, and with the company now approved in Bahrain as a tunnelling and microtunnelling contractor, it can bid with clients directly for work, and in the past four years, Joseph Gallagher has already forged a positive image. While largely working as a subcontractor for larger builders, Gallagher’s ambitious management are keen to win more work as lead contractor. With more than three decades experience, it has the skills to do so. Dexter said: “We have been principal contractor on several occasions but a ratio of

A typical project, sinking a shaft onsite in Kuwait

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+44 (0) 1302 329911 | |

Recent projects Green Park Underground Station Upgrade – Temporary works & site setup logistics Dorchester Hotel Annex Utilities Tunnel – Detailed design of tunnel and access shafts Connaught Tunnel, Crossrail Project Tunnel widening temporary works & construction sequencing Kilroot Salt Mine Detailed design of 1200m long, 7m diameter, 1200m long shotcrete lined access decline

Underground Design and Technical Support Specialists Alan Auld Engineering has worked with the Joseph Gallagher Group on many complex underground construction projects, providing engineering support from tender concept through to project completion. In addition to tunnel design we are specialists in underground construction sequencing and temporary works, including tunnel worksite logistics.

The company was formed in 1958 specialising in fabrication of bespoke steelwork and has progressed into the leading designer and manufacturer of purpose built steel formwork. Clients include most major contractors in the UK and Ireland. Projects include tunnel and shaft linings, sea defences, windfarm bases, bridge piers, columns, curved & straight walls, sewage tanks and precast moulds etc. Our CNC manufacturing equipment ensures the highest standards of quality and accuracy.

Dorchester Hotel Service Tunnel, London

Whitelee Wind Farm, Scotland

Bridge Pier, Dublin

Shaft Lining, Norfolk

Special Formwork A division of Mercian Weldcraft Ltd Stubbers Green Rd Aldridge W Midlands WS9 8BN

Fleetwood WWTW

Forth Bridge Columns

Tel: 01922 451909 Fax: 01922 454520



Website Lyme Regis Sea Defences

THE JOSEPH GALLAGHER GROUP 5:1 as a subcontractor. As our turnover hopefully increases to the £100m bracket over the next five years we will pick up more roles as principal contractor. “The duration of our contracts over the last 10 years has increased from one-to-two months to one-to-two years, allowing us to attract and retain staff better because they become more settled and we can offer more stable positions.” Dexter believes the acquired companies strongly complement each other, and that with their expansion of Joseph Gallagher’s capabilities, the decision to take on the existing liabilities of the Johnston business - both its equipment and skilled workforce – has been justified. “We saw synergies in the business, so we could take on the roles played in-house without any additional costs, which reduced the costbase of the company. We already had significant space for equipment and a head office and were able to reduce the office space costs. “The company had some exceedingly good employees and we could integrate the business they had with our existing business and our previous acquisition of Iseki Microtunnelling and our desire to make inroads into the Midlands and northern England.” Gaining Johnston’s directional drilling arm, equipment it had previously lacked, also gave Gallagher directional drilling and auger boring capability, where it had previously had to subcontract.


Key Personnel

Joseph Gallagher Group Chairman 40 + years experience tunnelling & shaft sinking as Miner, Lead Miner and Foreman for most of the UKs major tunnelling contractors. Founder Joseph Gallagher Ltd, had involvement in almost every major UK tunnelling project as Plant Labour or subcontract suppliers. Helped expand the business into RC frame construction which now forms 40% of turnover.

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Launch rings

“We bring a variety of options to the table that many don’t, including very high regard to health and safety, a large engineering input, and an experienced tunnelling workforce” – Richard Dexter, Tunnelling Director, The Joseph Gallagher Group Limited 24

History These recent developments are just the latest step of a 32-year history. Eponymous founder Gallagher began his own company in 1982 after working for years as lead-miner and foreman for various large contractors. As the new venture grew, the company won its first major contract on the DLR Bank Station project in the late 1980s. Successful completion of the Bank extension to the Docklands light railway laid the foundation of the Group’s reputation for competitive pricing and programme-achievement. True to its background, the company has retained its core activities, including shaft sinking and specialist groundworks, while also expanding into all types of civil engineering and construction, like spray concrete and microtunnelling.


Projects Boasting a comprehensive set of skills in ground excavation, Joseph Gallagher remains involved in large-scale projects in the capital, including for Crossrail, for which it created five grout shafts at Bond Street C411 for Costain-Skanska, and the Connaught tunnel section of the Connaught passage for Taylor-Woodrow, a contract worth over £6 million. It is still working on the C360 Costain-Skanska Mile-End and Eleanor Street contract worth circa £10m. Elsewhere, for the London Underground, Gallagher is building the Bond Street station upgrade for Costain-Laing O’Rourke for £15m and working on the National Grid London Power Tunnels for Costain-Skanska, valued at £20m over three years. Another specialist area and key part of the business is Gallagher’s exceptional deep basement and zero pile work for private property developers working on multi-storey housing in central London. Gallagher has also performed strongly in the mining sector for a decade, successfully delivering multiple projects for various clients, including a new mine in County Monaghan, Ireland in 2006 for a British Gypsum subsidiary. The Group also recently completed a 1.2 kilometre, eight-metre tunnel for a private mine in Northern Ireland, demonstrating its specialist capabilities in design and construction of mine access tunnels.

Key Personnel

Richard Dexter Tunnelling Director 30 years experience tunnelling and shaft sinking for Cairo wastewater, Channel Tunnel, Jubilee Line extension, CTRL phases 1 & 2 and now Crossrail 315 & 360

Tunnel Construction for Thameslink 2000

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Precast Concrete Solutions. FP McCann offers a complete range of Tunnel and Shaft solutions including our Smoothbore Shafts from 3.66m - 25m diameter, bespoke cover slabs made to specification, full range of Jacking Pipes from DN450 - DN2400 and Caisson Rings from DN2100 - DN4000.

Contact Stuart Carson on 07850 234136 01455 290780

OSIL are proud to be supporting Doosan Enpure with their Bellozanne project. Our in house process consultants consider the initial odour issue, the current legislative targets, legal compliancy and the individuality of the particular site. We then combine our expert process knowledge and product ranges to deliver the most efficient cost effective solutions.

Odour Services International Limited Unit 14, Morston Court, Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock , Staffordshire, WS11 8JB, UK

T: +44 (0) 1543 506855 E: W:

Key Personnel Drummond Mine

Gallagher often works collaboratively with clients, performing soft ground tunnelling works before the customer takes over for the hard rock mining development, while Gallagher leaves a small crew on-site for additional drill and blast and other works. This provides a more cost-effective solution to customers’ needs. Adaptability Such adaptability has made the company greater than the sum of its parts. While smaller in an industry of giants, Gallagher has punched above its weight, growing revenues fivefold in a decade from £12m to nearing £60m. Dexter believes the company’s ingenuity and attitude to risk has elevated it above many rivals. He said: “We bring a variety of options to the table that many don’t, including very high regard to health and safety, a large engineering input, and an experienced tunnelling workforce. We can value-engineer a client’s scheme to make our input worth people’s faith in us and bring clever

Steve Harvey Managing Director 30 years experience micro-tunnelling, shaft sinking and utilities, early years micro-tunnelling and pipe jacking most of the UK contractors in the field. Managing Director 7 years Laserbore Far East, Project Director for Southern Water, Lewes plus multiple other schemes. Operations Director Brown McNicholas, EDF framework Operations Director for Laing O’Rourke

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Tunnel construction

Lowering equipment into the tower 28

November 2014


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Vantage Tower

Staff are all directly employed


THE JOSEPH GALLAGHER GROUP ideas to the table, such that we can take the client’s original scheme and make it more economic. “We also bring various contract options. Unlike many, we supply labour on a contract basis. For example, half the national grid London power tunnels were labour-supplied for TBM Operations, but the other half was lump-sum work for shaft sinking and spray concrete access tunnels. “There are some who do lump-sum contracting and several labour-only, but very few companies of our size can cope with the risk-profile on modern contracting jobs for high-profile clients.” Opportunities A 500-strong workforce, many of whom have been at the company as long as 20 to 30-plus years, underpins the Group’s achievements, and a growing workload offers greater career opportunities. With health and safety high on the company’s agenda, it is not just employees’ careers that are secure, but those that do choose to move on take away a wealth of on-site experience in various disciplines for a respected company, with the extensive work the Group undertakes. Going forward, there are exciting prospects both for the staff, and the Group itself, as it forges an ever-growing reputation and expands its portfolio and Middle-East strategy. Dexter concluded: “We want to further increase our credibility throughout the various authorities in the Middle-East amongst a lot of competition.


Company Information INDUSTRY






Civil Engineering and Construction

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Soprema UK reinforces its reputation with high-profile projects The company has established itself as an industry-leader in the UK on the strength of a diverse, high performance range of roofing and waterproofing products, expert workforce and commitment to quality Written by: Joel Levy and Produced by: Richard Durrant




Victoria Station Shaft Pal 2

nternational waterproofing specialist Soprema is winning large-scale work in the UK on the strength of a diverse range of products, knowledgeable workforce and commitment to quality. Having been specified on many high profile, extensive roofing and waterproofing projects such as IKEA, Sainsbury’s, and tunnel waterproofing for the Channel Tunnel rail link, Dublin Port Tunnel and Ramsgate Tunnel, the company has an impressive back-catalogue to complement its major ongoing projects including Crossrail and the London Underground station upgrades. Soprema UK not only offers bituminous, cold applied liquid, synthetic and hot melt waterproofing systems to the roofing industry but also manufactures high performance waterproofing solutions for civil engineering projects, drinking water storage, swimming pools and surfacing applications. The Soprema Group operates in 90 countries, has seven Research and Development

‘Soprema is winning large-scale work in the UK on the strength of a diverse range of products, knowledgeable workforce and commitment to quality’ 34


centres focused on sustainable development and 18 training centres, ensuring it is at the forefront of industry innovation. It employs 5,200 people, has 34 manufacturing plants, 60 operating subsidiaries, including Italian single-ply manufacturer FLAG SpA, and some 4,500 distributors. The Group was founded in 1908 by Charles Geisen, inventor of the Mammoth Membrane which paved the way for modern waterproofing membranes, and remains a family affair, with his grandson Pierre Etienne

Soprema Research and Innovation Centre Strasbourg

The “Cut & Cover” portals at the Hindhead Tunnel w w w. s o p r e m a . c o . u k


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Bindschedler currently Group Chairman. Soprema has since established itself as a world-leader in the development and manufacture of waterproofing membranes, and maintains strong relationships with all project stakeholders including, architects, main contractors and specialist waterproofing contractors. Soprema owes its worldwide success to proactive research and development, its unique approach to waterproofing solutions and commitment to inventiveness. “We continue to promote new and bold ideas, for the varied and ever changing demands of the construction industry, enabling us to offer roofing and waterproofing solutions for all construction projects, no matter the size or complexity,” said the company.


Production line


BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about €74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at Website:

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‘We continue to promote new and bold ideas, for the varied and ever changing demands of the construction industry, enabling us to offer roofing and waterproofing solutions for all construction projects, no matter the size or complexity’ Soprema is a

Sustainability Soprema’s R&D policy, which strongly promotes sustainable development, is focused on limiting its environmental impact, with the use of renewable resources in its production processes and in its factories, while fully integrating health and safety into its innovation policy. Soprema has always considered the safety of people, installations and buildings the highest priority and therefore continues to develop new sustainable waterproofing systems to meet the demands of today’s market. In 1997 the company was awarded ISO 14001 certification, a sign of its commitment to continual improvement in terms of environmental management. Where possible, Soprema uses sustainable natural resources or recycled materials.

world-leader in the development and manufacture of waterproofing membranes


Roofing This combined expertise and responsible approach has gained the company many key roofing and waterproofing projects. Soprema is

a key part of the IKEA supply chain, where it has waterproofed nine UK stores for the Swedish retailer, both new and refurbishment projects. Other retail projects include the 16,000 sqm Sainsbury’s distribution centre in Charlton, an ongoing Palace Foods distribution warehouse in Dublin and the IBM headquarters refurbishment in Greenford, both 14,000 sqm.

Soprema is a key part of the IKEA supply chain

A commitment to solidarity Soprema is continually securing a growing number of high-profile public and private sector supply chain agreements across the UK. This is w w w. s o p r e m a . c o . u k


Specialist Geotextile Solution Providers

Cha Technologies Group, a global manufacturer of technical textiles whose European operation, Cosmotec are engaged in the production of specialist geotextiles related to Civil Engineering Works and Construction related applications Email: Tel: +44 (0)161 242 7987



achieved through its commitment to providing high quality, excellent value and durable roofing, waterproofing and surfacing products for long-lasting constructions. Soprema strives to offer excellent service and technical support to continue development of the business. Tunnelling Using the synthetic products manufactured in FLAG SpA (Soprema Group’s Italian Headquarters and manufacturing plant near Milan) the company also has an impressive record in tunnel waterproofing in the UK. In the recent years it provided waterproofing systems to the cut and cover portals at the Hindhead

Shaft Pal 2 wall

‘Soprema strives to offer excellent service and technical support to continue development of the business’

Shaft Pal 2 at Victoria Station for London Underground w w w. s o p r e m a . c o . u k



Soprema technicians working on site at the Stepney Green Caverns


tunnel in Surrey and the shotcrete lining sections of the new Tyne tunnel near Newcastle. Soprema UK is also active in many current tunnelling projects in London in light of the substantial infrastructure investments, including Europe’s largest infrastructure project Crossrail and various Underground station upgrades. “We have supplied waterproofing for the stepfree access at Green Park station and are working on Crossrail Projects: C300 Fisher Street shaft, C305 Stepney Green Caverns, C310 Thames Tunnel Cross Passages, C360 Mile End shaft and C510 Whitechapel Station. We are also working towards C510 Liverpool Street station


and C435 Farringdon station,” the company said. Unique Expertise In order to meet the specific requirements of civil engineering projects, Soprema has created the Civilrock range, which offers products designed to support the demands of projects such as tunnels, bridges, car parks, underground and basements structures, basins, dams, lakes ponds and tanks. Civilrock covers all of the activities connected to these structures, which were previously covered by the group’s different brands: SOPREMA, FLAG and ALSAN. This has given Soprema the chance to offer a more complete range which better matches the requirements of clients, project managers and contractors. Experience and reliability The company’s obvious success has been built on both the knowledge and experience of its staff and the resultant faith and confidence its customers have in the reliability of its products. It is a positive reputation many years in the making. Soprema achieves its ambitions in accordance with the historical values that have enabled the company to gain the confidence of its customers from the start. These ethical values are recognised and supported by all employees, creating a positive and committed company culture.

Company Information INDUSTRY

Waterproofing HEADQUARTERS


1908 (Group) EMPLOYEES


The development and manufacture of waterproofing membranes

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FP McCann

achieves industry excellenc through innovation and exp

The family business has expanded rapidly in recent years with precast concrete now a major focus in the UK Written by: FP McCann Produced by: Richard Durrant

ce pertise





FP McCann Precast Concrete Easi Base 1200

he beginnings of FP McCann Ltd were formed in Northern Ireland in the 1950s on the back of a small quarry and asphalt surfacing operation. This family run business, established by Francis Patrick McCann and now managed by son Eoin McCann (MD) and his five brothers and one sister, has grown over the years into a leading Northern Ireland civil engineering and asphalt surfacing company. From roads and bridges, rail, sports complexes, public realm, landfill sites, and renewable energy projects, FP McCann has a wealth of experience in constructing and managing projects. In precast concrete, from a standing start in 2000 at Knockloughrim in Northern Ireland, the acquisition of Hepworth Concrete Products in 2005 saw FP McCann spread across the water to see rapid growth on the UK mainland. Helped further by the acquisition of Ennstone Concrete Products in 2009, and more latterly the former Tarmac Topfloor business, Charcon’s specialist precast facility in Cambridgeshire and in early 2014, the precast interests of the Eleco group, Bell & Webster and Milbury Systems. A market leader With significant added investment in plant and machinery at a number of its production facilities, precast concrete now forms the core of FP McCann’s business. This rapid growth, enhanced by many years



of knowledge, skills and experience brought onboard via the acquisitions has seen FP McCann become one of the UK’s market leaders in the manufacture, supply and delivery of precast concrete products. Products are manufactured and delivered through FP McCann’s series of modern manufacturing plants located nationwide. This geographical spread gives the company an unrivalled ability to serve the construction industry throughout the UK and Ireland. The operating divisions of the precast arm of FP McCann include: Drainage & Water Management; Railway; Power & Infrastructure; Shafts and Tunnels; Walling; Rooms Fencing; Flooring; Specialist Bespoke and Agriculture.

“In terms of shaft build, we are the UK’s market leading provider with a full range of segmental shafts from 3.6 metres up to 25 metres in diameter” – Stuart Carson, Tunnelling Manager

Precast concrete shafts sections

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Innovative team In shafts and tunnels, within the last five years FP McCann has significantly developed its range and manufacturing capabilities and is now one of the sector’s main suppliers. The company’s design and engineering team have developed its own concrete moulds which meet the latest British Tunnelling Society’s specification. As a result, FP McCann is supplying shaft and tunnel segmental linings to J Murphy and Sons at New Cross, London, manufactured at its Cadeby production facility in Warwickshire. FP McCann’s Tunnelling Manager Stuart Carson said: “In terms of shaft build, we are the UK’s market leading provider with a full range of segmental shafts from 3.6 metres up to 25 metres


‘Our focus is on product modularisation across all our precast divisions. Standardisation of design has greatly assisted our contractors, aiding the speed of on-site installations in a safe and cost efficient manner” – Andy Cooper, General Manager

Howard Lloyd

VIP POLYMERS Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Established since 1923, we are a UK based, world-class manufacturer of high-performance pipe seals for the pressurised and nonpressurised water industries. Today, we are proud to be the preferred seal supplier to a number of leading global pipe manufacturers operating in the ductile iron, clay, plastic and concrete pipeline market sectors. The company manufactures over 3,000 products, and has introduced many new proprietary products for pipeline applications, notably Viptyte, Viploc and Vipsleeve. Website:

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Technical Tunnelling Components

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Manufacturers and suppliers of quality assured segment accessories worldwide dowelock • Connection • alignment • shear

bolting systems • Connection bolts • straight bolts & sockets • curved bolts

Grout/Lifting Sockets and Accessories • • • •

grout plugs Non Return Valves Hydrophilic Seals extension tubes

segment packers and complementary products • • • •

Alignment Dowels Guide rods hole formers segment spacers

Bespoke Solutions • In house design • Computer simulation • 3D modelling



in diameter. “All shaft segments are pre-fitted with ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) gaskets, which is the preferred choice of the miners in the UK.” “Tunnel segments to New Cross are manufactured to the latest BTS specification, with no relaxation on the design. Independent testing is being carried out on tolerances and dimensions. “We’re quite unique because our competitors tend to have to go out to steel mould suppliers which obviously increases costs and lead times.”

‘We’re quite unique because our competitors tend to have to go out to steel mould suppliers which obviously increases costs and lead times” – Stuart Carson

Staff Expertise FP McCann has industry-recognised experts in all its precast divisions, and despite only being

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We are a welding & industrial supply company covering Shropshire, the West Midlands and mid Wales offering over 60,000 products suitable for use in all industries from engineering, construction, electrical, wood-work, automotive, decorating & gardening. CBL has an experienced sales force on hand just waiting to take your call: 01952 5818721AT Branches in Telford TF7 4PL and Coleshill B46 1AT

Tyler Bros would like to wish FP McCann every future success. We look forward to our continued relationship over various future projects.

At Tyler Bros (Sutton-in-Ashfield) Ltd, we offer a comprehensive range of services. Our expertise extends across all our operations, from milling and turning to fabrication and assembly. We also work with a trusted network of associates to provide additional services such as anodising, plating, heat treatment and painting - with the benefit of single source responsibility.



Key Personnel

Andy Cooper General Manager

Stuart Carson Tunnelling Manager

Knockloughrim Quarry, Magherafelt

involved the tunnelling industry for the past five years, the company boasts a wealth of knowledge and skills. Some of the people working for the company have more than 30 years’ experience in the industry including, Tunnelling Engineer Lesley Parker, Tunnelling Contracts Manager Howard Lloyd, Tunnelling Estimator Colin Timmins and Precast Group Quality & Materials Manager Colin Richards.

Lesley Parker Tunnel Engineer

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National Theatre, Kingdom of Bahrain

Simple solutions, beautiful results T: +973 (0)172 75787 • F: +973 (0)172 62744 Cyprus Building & Road Construction Co. WLL PO Box 15954, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Steel Stockists Reinforcing Coil Reinforcing Bar Threaded Bar Reinforcing Mesh Drawn Wire


Other Services 2D/3D Bending Scaffold Guards

Bar Reinforcement High Tensile Steel Mild Steel Stainless Steel Galvanised Wire Cut and Bent Service

Fabrication Pre-fabrication Mesh fabrication Section Welding


For more information contact: Welding Mig Welding Arc Welding Tig Welding Spot Welding Multi Welding Butt Welding

Surface Finishes Hot Dipped Galvanizing Electroplating Hot dipped Plastic Coating Sherardizing

Oscrete Construction Products, Rutland St., Bradford, UK. Tel: 01274 393286. Email:

Budden Road, Coseley, West Midlands WV14 8JZ Web: email: Tel: 0121 557 2191 Fax: 0121 520 3020



Continuing with staff development, the company has embarked on apprenticeship programmes and the offer of student gap year placements to further their training and knowledge within the industry. FP McCann has adopted a philosophy of encouraging people to develop their skills and in turn, nurture them through to senior positions, which is perfectly illustrated today by many of its current management staff.

FP McCann is the UK’s market leader in the manufacture, supply and delivery of precast concrete drainage products

Competitive Edge What underpins FP McCann as a market leader is its extensive stock holding of core products across all its precast divisions. The ability to w w w. f p m c c a n n . c o . u k



Aerial view of facility

“Precast concrete works because it is modular in nature and by design. You simply take it to the site and plug it in...” -Andy Cooper


service its customers’ demands while ensuring consistency and speed of delivery. The pioneering precast concrete solutions provider is continually developing new and innovative off-site products that are safer, quicker to install and offer a higher quality finish to traditional construction methods. A good example of this can be seen in its proprietary Easi-Base precast concrete manhole system. All water authorities have now adopted this with its inclusion within ‘Sewers for Adoption seventh edition’. Speaking of the future, and the challenges that lie ahead, FP McCann’s General Manager Andy Cooper said: “We will always come up against companies with a variety of materials competing against concrete.


Company Information INDUSTRY

Construction, civil engineering, precast concrete products Precast concrete tunnels


“Our main challenge is to try and keep concrete very much at the forefront in terms of durability, proven performance, cheaper installation costs and extensive design life. “Precast concrete works because it is modular in nature and by design. You simply take it to the site and plug it in, you don’t have to do a lot of formation work on site with associated wet trades. “Our focus is on product modularisation across all our precast divisions. Standardisation of design has greatly assisted our contractors, aiding the speed of on-site installations in a safe and cost-efficient manner.” Precast concrete can offer significant carbon reductions compared with traditional build methods: It is very durable with a proven in service life in excess of 100 years; uses recycled aggregate and is highly recyclable; can be quickly installed in a safe and efficient manner and is cost-effective compared with other materials and traditional methods of construction.

Knockloughrim, Northern Ireland FOUNDED




Precast concrete solutions, shaft & tunnel segments; drainage; water management

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BRITISH TUNNELLING SOCIETY 1 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA Tel. 020-7665-2229

British Tunnelling Society - Brochure November 2014  

For the majority of people in the UK, tunnels are a brief but essential part of daily travel avoiding the surface congestion in our cities....

British Tunnelling Society - Brochure November 2014  

For the majority of people in the UK, tunnels are a brief but essential part of daily travel avoiding the surface congestion in our cities....