University of Birmingham – National Buried Infrastructure Facility (NBIF)

Client: Balfour Beatty

Nicknamed “The Earthquake Centre”, The primary function of the facility required the creation of a 25m x 10m x 6m deep pit. This will eventually incorporate a moveable floor that can simulate subsidence or seismic activity.

We worked with Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering for six months providing numerous handrails, suspended and cantilevered designed stair access solutions whilst they painstakingly excavated and formed “The Pit”.  It is sat in one of the lowest parts of the whole Campus, where they were battling both artesian water, and underground springs. Creating a massive waterproofed hole in this location seemed an almost impossible task at the outset.

With this completed we then installed handrails, stairs, heavy duty loading bays for the steel frame enclosure, masonry scaffolds and atrium birdcage to get the structure enclosed and watertight.

Project Duration: 12 months

Project Value: £21 million