Grimshaw Group: A specialist civil engineering company providing quality construction services throughout Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, including Bristol, Gloucester, Birmingham and Oxford.

Inside Excavation

Always ready to rise to a challenge, when asked to excavate a pit 6.48m x 10.65m x 2.85m Grimshaw Group had to come up with some ingenious ideas.

Although excavating the pit was fairly straightforward, its location - inside a factory with severe height and width restrictions, meant devising a method of working without the large machines usually employed on such a contract.

The pit was designed to hold blast furnace machinery being re-located during the Christmas break. This specific timeframe gave Grimshaws just 4 weeks to carve open the factory floor and be out.


Recent experience when excavating a basement for a new build proved invaluable on this project as when the excavations hit running water at 1.5 metres, urgent measures had to be taken to prevent likely slip.

Grimshaws prides itself on its flexibility and this was certainly required when original plans had to be redesigned to take account of the unforeseen ground conditions.

Working inside meant close attention had to be paid to any machinery used regarding clearance heights.

The concrete pour (providing the base and sides of the pit) was unusually completed in two phases as the pump had to be moved during the operation due to limited access through the factory doors.

The restricting conditions also called for a special light weight shuttering that could be easily managed by hand.

Fumes from the plant were an added consideration, extraction systems had to be used and a gas detector was in constant use.

Despite the complications, by working around the clock and using a combination of skill and experience the Grimshaw team were able complete the contract.

A solid pit was established into which the client could safely install their equipment.

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