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Mon May 27 2024

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Akela develops alternative ground beam

5 Mar Akela Ground Engineering has developed a precast concrete beam system that it claims could speed up house-building.

Akela's precast ground beams system
Akela's precast ground beams system

Akela’s Abeam has a mechanical pinned joint, allowing for prefabricated ground beams to be installed in a matter of hours, with no need for any insitu concrete or follow up trades, the company says.

By combining off site fabrication with interlocking sections and secure fastening, the joint design “ensures a robust and efficient way to connect precast ground beams”, says Akela.

It claims that ABeam could help house-builders lay foundations for up to three plots per day.  Akela has set up a beam fabrication facility at group headquarters in Thornliebank, near Glasgow.

Will Payne, general manager of Akela Ground Engineering, said:  “After reviewing the precast ground beam options available on the market, we found many still had considerable downsides, the use of pile caps, insitu concrete and tie bars were common, this requires sequencing of works and could also be impacted by weather conditions, all of this leads to considerably longer installation times.

“Akela’s new ABeam precast system eliminates all of these issues and offers significant advantages in terms of construction install, performance and overall project quality.”

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He added: “In addition to the significant time savings and efficiencies, our new ABeam system can be delivered using the same plant equipment for full the installation process, with lighter bearing pressures from our JCB JX driven piling rigs.

“Using sustainable methods of production at our purpose-built facility and existing equipment for installation, we’re able to reduce our carbon footprint and offer developers a more modern and energy efficient alternative to existing ground beam options. For example, with ABeam, clients will no longer need to install crane platforms or hard standings at their sites.”

Bellway Homes construction director Andy Borland said: “Akela’s ABeam system has meant we were able to release plots to our wider teams a lot faster compared to other precast ground systems we have previously used. Our bricklayers were working on multiple plots within three days of pile installations at this development, rather than taking over a week and relying on the weather. We also didn’t need to install any crane platforms as Akela used the same excavated plant for the entire installation process, saving us money on preparatory works that other precast ground beams systems require.”

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