Forrest Hotels, a subsidiary of Forrest Group, is building £30million, 10-storey, 176-bedroom hotel at a prime location on the north bank of the River Clyde at Finnieston Quay, Glasgow. When complete, the Radisson Red Hotel will be Forrest Hotels’ first new-build property in Europe, and spearheads their expansion into the growing UK market. Designed by ADF Architects, the hotel will be adjacent to the SEC Centre, the Clyde Auditorium and the SSE Hydro Arena.
Bachy Soletanche was employed by Balfour Beatty, to design and construct the geotechnical package for this flagship project. Working closely with consulting engineer, Woolgar Hunter, the team developed a scheme that would require 63 rotary bored piles to support the new building. The piles, between 750 – 900mm in diameter, were bored to depths of between 11m and 30m.
Bachy Soletanche has extensive experience of working on the adjacent sites and due to the unpredictable ground conditions encountered previously, LDA piling using Bentonite was the preferred option to mitigate any risks that the unstable soils overlaying the sandstone could impose.
Piling work commenced early October with the site team encountering the ground conditions as expected with running sands and boulders overlaying the sandstone. This created some difficult drilling conditions, as well as the old ship yard obstructions to remove. The project team initially opted to use a BG18 piling rig, but it soon became apparent that a rig with increased torque capabilities would be required to overcome the strong bedrock and boulders. Using Bachy Soletanche’s extensive fleet of rigs, a BG24 was mobilised to site, which overcame the difficult ground conditions.
Bachy Soletanche has recently invested in mobile materials testing laboratories and a unit was utilised on the Radisson Red site. Predominately used for concrete acceptance testing, the lab is fully equipped with retractable weather protectors which allowed testing to be carried out in inclement weather, without any compromise to the quality of the test.
The geotechnical element of this project was completed on time and the hotel is scheduled for completion in 2018.