Demolition starts at £65million Sheffield University building project after foundation problems

Demolition work has begun to bulldoze part of a major Sheffield University building project after problems were found with the foundations of the new site.

By Alana Roberts
Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 11:27 am

Construction of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FoSS) building, on the junction of Whitham Road and Northumberland Road, began in May 2019.

The project, however, ran into problems earlier this year when it was discovered that ground movement had compromised the building’s concrete frame, BAM Construction, the company behind the build, said.

In May, BAM confirmed it would “partly dismantle” the work which had already been completed and said remedial work would be carried out to rectify the issues.

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The Faculty of Social Sciences hub had been due for completion in 2021 but construction was halted after ground movement comprised the building’s concrete frame

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At the time, a BAM spokesperson said: “BAM identified that there was settlement occurring in excess of that which would normally be expected in a structure of this nature, prompting us to conduct detailed investigations.

“These confirm a problem involving the piling of the structure, which are unusually complicated.”

Two piling rigs, which are large drilling machines, were used to construct the concrete pile foundations which support the FoSS building.

Building work began on the Faculty of Social Sciences building in May 2019

Concrete structures are designed with expansion and contraction joints between slabs so a small amount of movement is expected.

The movement, however, was more than the building’s concrete frame could safely accommodate and a review determined that half of the frame would have to be dismantled.

Demolition work started on Monday, July 20, with the delays pushing back the expected completion date by a year to 2022.

Previously a sports pitch, the site was once Godfrey Dam reservoir which in itself has created “challenging ground conditions” for construction.

Demolition work is underway at the University of Sheffield site across from Weston Park Hospital

A university spokesperson said: “BAM, the building contractor responsible for the construction of the new Faculty of Social Sciences Hub building has begun to partially deconstruct the new Faculty of Social Sciences building.

"This is necessary in order to gain access to make alterations to the new structure of the new building, which BAM will then rebuild.

"Although this will bring inevitable delays to the construction schedule, there will be no extra cost to the University.

"We are working closely with BAM to make sure the issue is resolved to our satisfaction and disruption to local residents is kept to a minimum during this work.”

Work began to partially dismantle to FoSS building on Monday, July 20, 2020. One of the tower cranes has been taken down to enable the works to take place.

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