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Propump goes down in history at St Helen’s Place, London

Home to The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London with origins in the 15th century, 5-7 St Helen’s Place in Bishopsgate was in need of major remodelling as part of a £50 million redevelopment.

Before crucial construction works could begin, foamed concrete from Propump Engineering proved the ideal solution to fill 12 basement vaults – providing a strong, stable foundation for the building as it prepares for another thousand years as one of the City’s most prestigious addresses.

Located in a conservation area which includes a Grade I Listed church, St Helen’s Place has been owned by the Leathersellers’ Company since 1543. The buildings have had various incarnations since then and have survived the Great Fire of London, the Blitz during World War II and the Baltic Exchange terrorist bomb of 1992.

It will be the new hall for The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers – an English institution which was awarded a charter of incorporation by Henry VI in 1444. The hall will provide new premises for the organisation’s 150 liverymen.

Designed by Eric Parry Architects and delivered by main contractor Brookfield Multiplex, the development will transform the use of the historical building. The project includes stripping the building back to its shell and retaining the original 1919 Portland stone façade, before the demolition and redevelopment will run for approximately 31 months.

Before these redevelopment works could begin, Propump Engineering was appointed to provide a lightweight, strong and versatile solution for the structural strengthening of 12 basement vaults. With the foamed concrete in place, a foundation piling rig can access the restricted rear of the site safely, securely and with minimal disruption – keeping the project on time and on budget.

Propump delivered the foamed concrete application with a density of 1250 kg/m³. At this density the foamed concrete possesses excellent fluid properties and could be easily pumped over long distances when required as it is only slightly denser than water. With a 2:1 aggregate to cement ratio and 40% foam content, the mix achieved a compressive strength of 4N/mm² and has ensured any additional weight on the ageing structures will be kept to a minimum.

Set for completion by summer 2016, this landmark redevelopment in the City of London has been given a strong base for success with foamed concrete playing a crucial role. Thanks to a high quality application by the UK’s first foamed concrete specialists, the Leathersellers’ Company will soon be using their stunning new premises befitting of the world-famous organisation.

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