In delivering this project, Keltbray has identified the huge potential HIPER Pile will have in integrating with building components that generate, manage and store energy as part of an active building. The team is forming a proof-of-concept around the HIPER Pile void providing a well-insulated thermal heat sink and offer a more thermally efficient method of storing heat than the ground (which is currently used in standard ground source heat pump systems). HIPER Piles will also play an important role in coordinating environmental control systems at building and district scales to support the journey to NetZero carbon.
To remove the risk in using these new materials and technology, Keltbray Piling needed to provide the assurances required for market acceptance. HIPER Pile are connected to Converge's patented wireless 'smart site' sensing networks providing live data capture. This gives the site teams improved monitoring of concrete strength gain and pile behaviour under load. It also gives future designers confidence that the piles have performed as expected and so can be reused in new developments.
HIPER Pile provides a competitive engineering solution and enables the client to consider otherwise unachievable alternatives such as shorter, more efficient piles. This means structures can be supported on fewer or reduced diameter HIPER Piles, cutting material usage and cost by up to 70%.
HIPER Pile can be constructed using Cemfree, a material developed by DB Group. Cemfree is an ultra-low-carbon, cement-free alternative to concrete. Field trials have shown that Cemfree can save as much as 80% of the carbon emissions involved in its manufacture, transport and use in construction.
The void through the hollow pile can also be used for rainwater storage, backfilling with surplus soil or thermal energy generation which can be incorporated with a buildings heating and cooling system.
The added capability for the potential to reuse HIPER Pile in future builds is a massive step for the construction industry towards a circular economy; seeing these critical structural building components as having continued use beyond the life of the initial building.
The HIPER Pile combines precast components to make the shift towards off-site manufacturing. This enables faster delivery by reducing the number of processes and people on site and decrease the frequency of vehicle movements, such as concrete wagons. This all contributes towards a safer, better-controlled construction site, mitigating the risk to the health and safety of staff.
Due to the improved structural efficiency of the HIPER Pile, smaller piles are now able to provide the same capacity, speeding up daily production rates by 20-50%, reducing construction programme timescales and streamlining the handover process to other contracting teams.
Re-using deep piled foundations can deliver greater sustainable outcomes, cost and time savings. Through the integration of sensors, 'smart' piles can deliver performance data providing the assurance required by future developers and insurers to re-use existing piles. And the huge carbon reductions realised by using Cemfree (80%), means that the bored piling sector can play a significant role in helping construction meet net zero targets.