15 January 2015

Crossrail – Liverpool Street Station Wi System Design Commenced

Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station will serve the City of London and provide interchanges with London Underground’s Northern, Central, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines, connections to Stansted airport and National Rail services at Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.

To the eastern end of the new station, a new Crossrail ticket hall will be built, with a 40m deep box structure located on Blomfield Street to accommodate services. At the western end, the existing Moorgate Station ticket hall will be redeveloped to provide a new ticket hall to the Liverpool Street Station.

Laing O’Rourke are the appointed Main Contractor for the project and Wembley Innovation are working with their structural engineering consultant, Arup, to replace the originally proposed concrete windposts and lintels with Wi Columns and Wi Beams.  This requires liaison between Arup, the architect, Hawkins + Brown and the MEP consultant, Crownhouse Technologies, utlising the project BIM model software. The blockwork package is envisaged to commence in spring of 2015.

Main Contractor: Laing O’Rourke

Structural Engineer: Arup



14 December 2014

Wi Slot Block – Hilti Fixings Test Report

The Wi Slot Block is increasingly being adopted on large commercial and infrastructure projects, as part of the Wi System of reinforced concrete blockwork.  As many of these walls are located in service areas, or form the structural backing for cladding systems, significant loading may need to be borne by the walls, secured by structural anchors fixed into the blockwork.  These types of anchors will invariably be specified as resin anchors.  However, for non-structural loads, expansion bolts and conventional plugs and screws may be used.

The aim of this test programme was to determine pull-out loads and design capacities for various types of fixings and anchors.  The tests recorded within this report are related to Hilti products.  Similar tests have been undertaken with products from other manufacturers in order to provide potential users of the Slot Block the assurance they require that the block is capable of supporting typical project loads associated with blockwork construction.

Pull out tests were undertaken using the following products:

   – HIT HY70 + HIT SC/S + HIT – V5.8 (M10 & M12)

   – HUS – H8

   – HRD – H M10 x 100

The test programme confirmed that the anchors and fixings performed well within the face and side of the Wi Slot block and “Allowable loads” were obtained for each product, which can be used for guidance by users and specifiers.  The test report is available for download by clicking here.

Wi Slot Blocks

Wi Slot Blocks



22 August 2014

Victoria Station Upgrade

Taylor Woodrow and Bam Nuttall (TWBN) are working in partnership to deliver the contract to upgrade Victoria Underground Station.  It currently handles nearly 80m passengers a year, predicted to rise to 100m by 2020.  In order to cope with this increased demand, the £700m refurbishment and extension contract was awarded to TWBN, scheduled for completion in 2017.

The project will include the construction of two new ticket halls, step-free access, escalators and links to all levels.  It involves complex ground stabilisation and engineering works, not to mention the problems associated with the highly congested nature of the site above ground.

Pyramid Builders Ltd are undertaking the masonry package of works and commenced on site in July 2014.  Typical for such projects, there are a significant number of steel windposts to provide support for the blockwork walls.  The posts are specified as 120 x 80 and 180 x 80 RHS sections, up to 5m in height.  Due to their unwieldy nature and weight, it was found that installation of these posts was a potentially hazardous  and laborious task.  Coupled with “overweight” original specification blocks, this made for a challenging start to the project.

In order to preserve safety and to accelerate the works programme, Pyramid proposed the use of the Wi System for the wall panel support and wall construction.  Wembley Innovation were approached to carry out a design review and propose an alternative Wi System submission utilising the Wi Slot Block in conjunction with the Wi Columns.  Some areas subject to crowd loading require the use of an horizontal TEE section at 1.1m above FFL, built-into the wall panels.

This TEE section has been replaced by the use of Wi beams connected the adjacent Wi Columns, again, to simply construction and reduce heavy manual lifting operations.

The construction to the ground level +99.7m of the North Ticket Hall, has followed the original design.  However, all other areas will now adopt the Wi System of support and the Wi Slot Block for the walls.

Main Contractor: TWBN

Structural Engineer: Mott MacDonald

Masonry Subcontractor: Pyramid Builders Ltd

Contract Period: 33 Weeks



22 August 2014

Olympic Park Stadium Transformation

Balfour Beatty are leading the transformation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium. The London 2012 Olympic Stadium is being transformed into a multi-use venue, which will host the Rugby World Cup 2015 and will be the permanent home of West Ham Football Club from 2016.  It will also be the new national competition Stadium for athletics in the UK, as well hosting other sporting, cultural and community events. The stadium’s cable net roof will be the largest cantilevered roof in the world, covering all the seats.


Wi Column built in centre of wall

The blockwork package has been awarded to Pyramid Builders Ltd, who are building the new back-of-house internal partitions, and the front-of-house external walls.  The internal partitions originally had Ancon WP4 windposts specified to provide lateral restraint to the walls.  These sections have now been replaced by Wi Columns to accelerate and simplify construction.  The Wi Columns are being used in conjunction with the Wi Slot Block, to achieve a matched finish.

Main Contractor: Balfour Beatty

Structural Engineer: Buro Happold

Masonry Subcontractor: Pyramid Builders Ltd

Contract Period: 35 Weeks



5 August 2014

Another Argent Project Commenced At Building T1, Kings Cross

King’s Cross is the largest mixed use development in single ownership to be developed in central London for over 150 years. The 67 acre site is being developed by Argent and when complete, will include 50 new and refurbished buildings.

This Building T1 will comprise a new energy centre and electrical substation, a 417 space multi-storey car park, a multi-use games area, residential development totalling 102 units, retail units, cafes and bars, together with new areas of adjacent public space.

Wembley Innovation have been responsible for the structural design of the blockwork panels and the Wi System of Wi Columns and Beams for lateral support of the walls.  This is now the sixth project we have undertaken for Argent at Kings Cross, under a number of different main contractors.

Page 1 of 212