On completion, the 244 m high Elbtower will be the third tallest skyscraper in Germany and forms part of a 157-hectare megaproject to redevelop former harbour and industrial areas in the HafenCity district of Hamburg.
Located on low load-bearing ground near the Elbe river, the Elbtower’s foundations will rest on long piles to transfer the load to a deep load-bearing soil layer and prevent long-term settlement. Deep foundation contractor BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH constructed four bored test piles up to 111.4 m long and 1850 mm in diameter, and Fugro provided unique load-testing and measurement technology for the pile-testing programme. The advantage of Fugro’s in situ load testing, especially on piles of this size and bearing capacity, is that clients can verify and potentially optimise their foundation design without the need for costly and time-consuming installation of the reaction piles used in conventional testing.
In a world first, Fugro also fitted the longest-ever thermal integrity tests strings in the rotary bored piles, which had concreted lengths of over 111 m, to verify the structural integrity of the constructed sections.
Hauke Sychla, Fugro’s Project Manager: “The bi-directional load-testing results and comprehensive pile instrumentation provided by Fugro will help our client and the design firm to understand the ground’s deformation behaviour and the piles’ bearing capacities to design a safe and cost-effective foundation design for the Elbtower.”