5th November 2020

Success for our Royal Albert Hall team at Ground Engineering Awards

We are celebrating success after picking up the award for ‘UK Project with a value of between £1M and under £3M’ at this year’s Ground Engineering Awards.

Congratulations to McAlpine Design Group (MDG) and our Royal Albert Hall Special Projects team on winning the UK Project with a value of between £1M and under £3M award at this year’s Ground Engineering Awards.

The awards allow the opportunity to celebrate the best in geotechnical engineering. The accolade was awarded during the virtual ceremony on 4th November 2020 to Sir Robert McAlpine, Conisbee and Realtime Civil Engineering.

The Royal Albert Hall is undergoing a programme of works and an additional 930m² space was required in a two-level basement measuring 40m by 20m and 10m deep.

Construction noise had to be limited while the building was being used for concerts.

The concept for the basement was a secant piled retaining wall and bearing piles for the structure. It included multi-level props for the construction of the basement and steel framed door openings in the existing walls. Silent sheet piling and a logistics platform reduced the project’s impact.

To provide access into the new basement levels, we had to create a series of wide structural openings in the Hall’s walls. But cutting through the listed building’s 1.4m walls posed problems. The huge load of the building above and the fact we had no access from the outside meant forming these openings was challenging.

We developed a structural underpinning solution which created the openings without risk to the structure. This delivered a permanent solution with little or no temporary works.

The judges felt that this was a high-profile project, with lots of constraints, that was done very well and commented:

“They provided an innovative solution in a highly constrained site which opened further development opportunities for the client once they had demonstrated what was possible. They showed successful completion of underpinning in very difficult ground conditions.”

The judges were impressed by the 30-metre-tall chimneys staying straight, they thought this was a good achievement highlighting what could be done with a good team.


“I’m delighted for our MDG colleagues and Royal Albert Hall project team whose hard work has been recognised for this award."

Ganga Prakhya Head of Design Group, Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine & Realtime Civil Engineering - Royal Albert Hall Construction

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